As we are rapidly heading into the latter stages of August, that only means one thing. The college basketball season is right around the corner. With just about 80 days left until the NCAA tips off their college basketball season, there is a ton of things that should be talked about. One is looking at some of the top players to keep an eye on for the 2021-22 basketball season. Who should make the list?
Max Abmas, Jr, Oral Roberts
As he heads into his third season as a Golden Eagle, Max Abmas makes the list with his incredible showing in his sophomore season. The guard from Rockwell, Texas showed his ability to score the basketball at a very high-level last season.
Averaging just around 24 points per game, Abmas also led Oral Roberts to the Sweet 16 as a 15-seed, taking down highly ranked Ohio State in the First Round. If you want to have some fun watching a player this season this is your guy.
Johnny Juzang, Jr, UCLA
After playing a very limited role for Kentucky in his freshman season, Juzang took his talents to the west coast where he started 26 out of 27 games for Mick Cronin at UCLA. Similar to Abmas, Juzang’s offensive arsenal was shown at full capacity. The sophomore shot 50% from the floor while stroking it at a 35% clip from deep.
Johnny Juzang’s NCAA Tournament run started in the First Four where the Bruins took down Michigan State to start the tournament. Fast forward five games and Juzang has taken over the tournament and led the Bruins to a Final Four appearance. At this point, he was averaging 22 points per game in the five games he played. Against Gonzaga, he played his heart out putting up 29 points while playing all 45 minutes including the overtime period.
UCLA returns every one of significance to the team this season. Johnny Juzang is the top dog for UCLA.
Paolo Banchero, Fr, Duke
Paolo Banchero is the second-rated recruit coming out of the 2021 class behind Chet Holmgren. Banchero stands at 6’9 and weighs about 235 pounds. He played his high school ball at O’Dea High School where he averaged monster numbers during his time there. Averaging a double-double in his first three seasons, as well as winning a state championship.
In his junior season, Banchero had the honor of collecting Washington’s Gatorade Player of the Year Award. With dominating the paint in high school, Paolo looks to do the same inside the ACC this season. One of the best players inside the ACC and around the whole country this upcoming season.
Caleb Houstan, Fr, Michigan
Another freshman stepping onto the scene that will make college basketball better to watch this season. Being able to see Houstan play for Canada at the FIBA U19 championships makes it exciting to see what he can do in the Big 10. He averaged 17 points per game in the championships and added a couple of 20 point games to the resume as well.
Houstan joins an already stacked recruiting class for the Wolverines that consists of one other five-star, three four-stars, and one three-star. In addition to recruiting, Juwan Howard made a statement in the transfer portal picking up key pieces like DeVante Jones from Coastal Carolina. Caleb Houstan and the Wolverines will look to fight for the top spot in the conference with teams like Purdue, Michigan State, and Ohio State.
I know people may wonder why names like Drew Timme, Chet Holmgren, Trayce Jackson-Davis, Jaden Ivey, and plenty of others are not on the list. It seems too obvious to put names like that on here which will not make the article too interesting. Plus, previous articles have some of these names on them as well. There seems to be plenty of anticipation for the 2021-22 college basketball season. A lot of young, talented players are waiting for their time to perform on a big stage with the ultimate goal of winning a National Championship.
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