Jeff Goodman’s 2020-21 College Basketball Preseason Awards

    Stadium's Preseason Honors

    October 28, 2022

    The Preseason National Player of the Year was a complete no-brainer, but picking my Preseason All-Americans was hardly an easy task.

    There are just two freshmen on the trio of All-American teams, and the Big 12 is well represented with three players on the first team.

    We’ve also given you a mid-major All-American squad.

    [MORE: College Basketball’s 2020-21 Transfer List]


    PLAYER OF THE YEAR | Luka Garza, Iowa
    It’s difficult to choose anyone else. Garza was dominant last season, and my guess is he’ll be even better this year after working on his game all offseason.

    FRESHMAN OF THE YEAR | Cade Cunningham, Oklahoma State
    Cunningham comes in with plenty of well-deserved hype. He’s a guy who just impacts winning in so many different ways.

    DEFENSIVE PLAYER OF THE YEAR | Marcus Garrett, Kansas
    He’s a lockdown perimeter defender and has proven himself to be one of the best players in the country.


    C – Luka Garza, 6-11, 260, Sr., Iowa He was my National Player of the Year last season, but came in second to Obi Toppin for most of the MVP awards. He was dominant on the offensive end and was the first Iowa player since 1952 to earn consensus All-America first-team honors.
    2019-20 Stats: 23.9 ppg, 9.8 rpg

    G – Cade Cunningham, 6-8, 220, Fr., Oklahoma State He enters college basketball as the top-ranked freshman and for good reason. He’s a big, strong, athletic, versatile guard who does virtually everything at a high level — including win games. He’s a guy who can run the point and make players better and also is able to attack and score. His lone drawback is his perimeter shot, but he’s able to use his strength and size to get to the basket and finish.
    2019-20 Stats: N/A

    PG – Marcus Zegarowski, 6-2, 180, Jr., Creighton He came into college without a big rep, but has proven himself as arguably the best overall point guard in the country. He’s a high-IQ floor leader who averaged 5.0 assists and shot 42 percent from deep. He was also the primary reason why the Bluejays were a top-10 team for much of last season.
    2019-20 Stats: 16.1 ppg, 5.0 apg, 42% 3-pointers

    G – Marcus Garrett, 6-5, 195, Sr., Kansas I like to reward defense, and Garrett was arguably the best perimeter defender in the country a year ago. He’ll have an expanded role this season as the primary point guard — an area he handled well a year ago when Devon Dotson was off the floor.
    2019-20 Stats: 9.2 ppg, 4.6 apg, 4.5 rpg

    PG – Jared Butler, 6-3, 190, Jr., Baylor He was the best offensive player on a Bears team that was one of the best in the country for most of last season. Butler is a scoring guard who can do it from all three levels and is also capable of making his teammates better.
    2019-20 Stats: 16.0 ppg, 3.1 apg


    PF – Trayce Jackson-Davis, 6-9, 245, Soph., Indiana Led the Hoosiers in scoring, rebounding and blocks as a freshman, and should see increased production this year with a better point guard situation. Look for the hard-playing big man to be one of the best frontcourt guys in the country.
    2019-20 Stats: 13.5 ppg, 8.4 rpg

    PF – Trendon Watford, 6-9, 240, Soph., LSU With Skylar Mays and Emmitt Williams gone, expect for Watford to become even more of an offensive weapon this season. He’s a skilled forward who should make a major jump this season after flirting with staying in the NBA Draft this past offseason.
    2019-20 Stats: 13.6 ppg, 7.2 rpg

    PG – Ayo Dosunmu, 6-5, 185, Jr., Illinois The key for Ayo will be his perimeter shot. He’s a big, strong, athletic floor leader who can get to the basket and finish, but he has to prove he can be a reliable shooter from long range and will need to cut down on his turnovers.
    2019-20 Stats: 16.6 ppg, 4.3 rpg, 3.3 apg

    SG – James Bouknight, 6-5, 190, Soph., UConn He came on strong the second half of the season and averaged 15.8 points and 5.1 boards in the last 16 games. Bouknight is a big-time scorer who will be the go-to guy for a Huskies team that re-enters the Big East.
    2019-20 Stats: 13.0 ppg, 4.1 rpg

    PG – Jalen Crutcher, 6-1, 175, Sr., Dayton With Obi Toppin off to the NBA, it’s Crutcher’s show. The Memphis native is a tough, well-rounded floor leader who will need to shoulder even more of the load this season.
    2019-20 Stats: 15.1 ppg, 4.9 apg, 42% 3-pointers


    PF – Drew Timme, 6-10, 235, Soph., Gonzaga He’s a feisty forward who was extremely productive as a role guy a year ago, playing behind Filip Petrusev and Killian Tillie, who are both gone. Timme is a guy who can dominate in the paint and on the glass. He’s also capable of stepping out and making shots.
    2019-20 Stats: 9.8 ppg, 5.4 rpg

    C – Jeremiah Robinson-Earl, 6-9, 230, Soph., Villanova Was the Big East Freshman of the Year and nearly averaged a double-double. He’s a skilled forward who probably won’t put up eye-popping scoring numbers due to the abundance of talent in the program.
    2019-20 Stats: 10.5 ppg, 9.4 rpg

    PG – Remy Martin, 6-0, 170, Sr., Arizona State The Sun Devils are loaded this season, and it’ll be up to Martin to keep everyone happy. He can score, but he’ll need to make sure he takes care of the ball and picks his spots.
    2019-20 Stats: 19.1 ppg, 4.1 apg

    G – Carlik Jones, 6-1, 185, Grad, Louisville I normally wouldn’t go with a transfer who is jumping up a level, but Jones will likely be Chris Mack’s top player and is a veteran that was the Player of the Year in the Big South last season.
    2019-20 Stats: 20.0 ppg, 5.5 apg, 5.1 rpg (at Radford)

    SG – Brandon Boston, 6-7, 180, Fr., Kentucky Look for Boston to be John Calipari’s top player on a young and balanced ‘Cats roster. He’s got the size and can score in a variety of ways.
    2019-20 Stats: N/A


    F – Terry Taylor, 6-5, 230, Sr., Austin Peay The undersized forward averaged a double-double last season. He’s the reigning OVC Player of the Year and is a brutal matchup for anyone in the league.
    2019-20 Stats: 21.8 ppg, 11.0 rpg

    G – AJ Green, 6-4, 190, Jr., UNI Green was the Player of the Year in the Missouri Valley last season. He’s a big-time shooter who made 39 percent of his shots from long distance and 92 percent from the line. Green will be the best player on a team that should be in the equation for an NCAA tourney bid.
    2019-20 Stats: 19.7 ppg, 3.0 apg, 3.0 rpg

    PG – Colbey Ross, 6-1, 180, Sr., Pepperdine He’s already the school’s all-time assist leader with 647 and still has a year to go (he also has 1,763 career points). He finishes at the line and shoots it from deep. The NBA knows all about this kid.
    2019-20 Stats: 20.5 ppg, 7.2 apg

    PG – Isaiah Miller, 6-0, 190, Sr., UNCG Miller is an elite defender and was also the SoCon Player of the Year last season. Miller will need to improve his perimeter shot, but he does just about everything else.
    2019-20 Stats: 17.8 ppg, 5.0 rpg, 3.1 apg

    PG – Jason Preston, 6-4, 190, Jr., Ohio Led the team in points, assists, field goal percentage and 3-point percentage. He’s a big point guard who can distribute, shoot and get to the basket.
    2019-20 Stats: 16.8 ppg, 7.4 apg, 6.4 rpg, 40% 3-pointers

    MORE: College Basketball’s 2020-21 Events Schedule

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