The 2021-22 college basketball season starts TODAY! This will be one of the most exciting college basketball seasons in some time. Don’t get me wrong, every season is an exciting one, but this one has another gear to it. There are so many talented teams, players, and coaches we can talk about, but which ones are the best of the best?
Here is my prediction for National Player of the Year, Coach of the Year, Freshman of the Year, and Defensive Player of the Year to jumpstart your college basketball season. It is upon us!
2021-22 National Player of the Year Prediction
Drew Timme, Gonzaga
Drew Timme comes into his junior season at Gonzaga as the clear front-runner to win the National Player of the Year award. Timme averaged 19 PPG last season which led a very talented Gonzaga team. With players like Corey Kispert and Jalen Suggs no longer on the team, Mark Few revamped this roster with a top-three recruiting class, led by five-star Chet Holmgren and Hunter Sallis. This gives Timme guys that will open up the floor offensively to allow him to attack the defense.
Even with the talent coming into Spokane, Drew Timme will most likely lead the team in scoring once again. His dominance in the paint, his footwork, and his ability to stretch the floor and handle the ball on the perimeter open up a lot of chances for him to have another successful season.
Timme will be fighting for this award against some other great players around the country. Ultimately, this feels like a Luka Garza situation from a year ago. People knew he would be getting the award unless something crazy happened during the regular season.
2021-22 National Coach of the Year Prediction
Chris Beard, Texas
This is a pretty easy choice for me to pick Chris Beard. He is an established college coach who took his Texas Tech team to their first-ever National Championship game in program history. Even though they lost that game, Chris Beard created a culture that no one will ever forget. He created a winning culture at Texas Tech and he will do it again at the University of Texas.
Coming into his first season as head coach in Austin, Beard went straight to work. He brings in a handful of talented players from inside the transfer portal. In year one he gets the pleasure of coaching two of the top transfers in the country, Minnesota’s Marcus Carr, and UMass’ Tre Mitchell.
A ton of experience comes along with Texas, locking themselves in at number five in the Preseason Top 25 poll. Chris Beard is giving up beer for the 2021-22 season, putting his attention fully on his team. Texas has a legitimate shot at the National Championship come April.
2021-22 Freshman of the Year Prediction
Paolo Banchero, Duke
Again, this is a pretty easy choice for me to make. Yes, there are names like Chet Holmgren, AJ Griffin, Caleb Houstan, Jalen Duren, and Emoni Bates. The list goes on and on but I do not think anyone matches the impact that Paolo will have on the court. This is a heck of a player for Mike Krzyzewski to be able to coach in his last season.
Paolo’s 6-9, 235-pound frame is a tough matchup when teams play Duke. Banchero even has a shot at National Player of the Year but should run away with Freshman of the Year in my eyes.
2021-22 National Defensive Player of the Year Prediction
Osun Osunniyi, St Bonaventure
Osun Osunniyi has been an outstanding defender throughout his whole college career. As a freshman, Osunniyi averaged 2.6 blocks per game, leading all freshmen in Division l, which was also good for sixth in all of college basketball. With that, he was a part of the A10 All-Defensive Team. As a sophomore, he was able to grab another spot on the All-Defensive Team.
Looking to go even higher, Osun did just that by winning the A10 Defensive Player of the Year award as a junior in 2020-21. Registering seven blocked shots in multiple games a season ago warrants that award being given to him.
Now as a senior he is looking for that one last accomplishment. I enjoy picking a mid-major player to win this award because a lot of people do not see the talent that is there in the mid-major leagues. Osun Osunniyi deserves this award more than anyone in the country. With St Bonaventure on the map once again, he will be a guy to keep your eye on.
With all that has been said, these are just my predictions. I cannot wait to go through the season and watch these predictions hopefully come true. Anyone who wins an award on the national level deserves the utmost respect. With the college basketball season starting today, these predictions will not change at any point during the season. These are my final predictions for some of the national-level awards.
With the season starting today, if you want more college basketball news, follow my Twitter, @worldofcollege1
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