Dribble Handoff: Who shall be faculty basketball’s participant of the yr within the 2021-22 season?


Coming into the 2020-21 season, Iowa star Luka Garza stood out so obviously amongst his friends as faculty basketball’s finest participant that we excluded him as an possibility for the dribble handoff’s predictions piece on who would win the Naismith Faculty Participant of the Yr. Primarily, we ended up making our predictions for who can be the second-best participant of the school hoops season, as a result of Garza adopted by by profitable mainly each participant of the yr award.

Heading into the 2021-22 season, issues look a bit extra open within the race for the Naismith trophy. Gonzaga star Drew Timme is the one returning first-team CBS Sports activities All-American, however there are 4 whole returners from our three All-American groups, and it is unclear how the arrival of No. 1 general prospect Chet Holmgren will affect Timme’s utilization at Gonzaga.

Different returning All-People embody Illinois middle Kofi Cockburn, Michigan middle Hunter Dickinson and Oral Roberts guard Max Abmas. However generally the Naismith winner comes from someplace sudden, similar to 2020 winner Obi Toppin, who exploded after profitable 2018-19 A-10 Rookie of the Yr to win quite a few nationwide awards awards as a sophomore the next season. There’s additionally latest precedent for freshmen profitable the Naismith award with Zion Williamson in 2019, Anthony Davis in 2012 and Kevin Durant in 2007.

So who’s in line to gather the {hardware} because the nation’s finest participant within the season forward? Our writers make their predictions right here on this week’s version of the dribble handoff.

Drew Timme, Gonzaga

The plain Nationwide Participant of the Yr favourite (as famous above) is Drew Timme contemplating he is the one CBS Sports activities First Workforce All-American returning to school and the main returning scorer and rebounder for the group ranked No. 1 within the CBS Sports activities Preseason Prime 25 And 1.

So I am going to go together with him.

The 6-foot-10 ahead averaged 19.0 factors, 7.0 rebounds and a pair of.3 assists in 28.2 minutes per sport final season for a Gonzaga group that performed for the nationwide title and completed 31-1. As you seemingly know, he wasn’t nice in that nationwide title sport towards Baylor, which is among the many causes Gonzaga wasn’t nice in that nationwide title sport towards Baylor. Timme took fewer photographs (7) than he usually takes, scored fewer factors (12) than he usually scores, grabbed fewer rebounds (5) than he usually grabs, and was a defensive legal responsibility in area. Once more, not nice. However I am not going to let that final impression overshadow an in any other case unbelievable sophomore season — and I will be stunned if Timme is not even higher this season whereas starring for a group that’s thought-about the favourite to win the 2022 NCAA Event— Gary Parrish

Chet Holmgren, Gonzaga

Cobb, thanks for reminding me about that Dribble Handoff piece from the summer time of 2020. With Garza not being an possibility, I took Cade Cunningham — who wound up as a First Workforce All-American, was the Nationwide Freshman of the Yr and primarily lived as much as the hype on his approach to being the No. 1 decide. Since Parrish has taken Timme, and I believe he will be near Garza-level by way of preseason love for NPOY, I am going to sidestep doubling up. In reality, Timme may get nudged out by Holmgren, anyway. And ya know what? 

That is what I’ll say occurs. I am going to take the projected prime freshman within the nation — and somebody within the combine to be the No. 1 decide — for a second straight season. Holmgren’s position will see him taking part in rather more on the perimeter than Timme. Gonzaga has a great nonconference schedule, however there is not one highway sport on the docket till WCC play begins. Extraordinarily good likelihood that Gonzaga is a No. 1 seed. Holmgren shall be one-of-a-kind in faculty hoops. It is simple to examine his stat line being within the vary of 17.5 factors, 10.5 rebounds, 3.5 blocks and three.5 assists. If that is what it’s, he’ll have an incredible shot at beating out Timme to be faculty basketball’s finest participant. — Matt Norlander

Paolo Banchero, Duke

I am already on wax with Duke as my title decide in 2021-22. That’s predicated on what I believe might be a storybook ending for probably the greatest faculty coaches of all time in Coach Okay as he runs it again one ultimate yr earlier than retirement. However, moreso, it is a gamble on the expertise by his facet for this final go-round. 

Duke as a group has a number of first-round abilities that may get them there and an authorized celebrity in Banchero that would be the better of the bunch. A 6-foot-9 combo ahead, he will bodily overwhelm opponents and will put up gaudy and environment friendly numbers for a group with title aspirations. Have a look again on the final twenty years and that position on Duke has equated typically to recognition as faculty basketball’s finest. If Banchero’s pretty much as good as marketed, why would this season be totally different? — Kyle Boone

The stardom of Trayce Jackson-Davis in two seasons at Indiana has been neglected due to the Hoosiers’ struggles, however make no mistake about the truth that Jackson-Davis is, certainly, a star. Now, he is poised to take his first-team All-Huge Ten play to the following stage underneath first-year coach Mike Woodson. The 6-foot-9 middle is able to increase his sport as a junior underneath a coach who is aware of that it takes a great exterior shot to be a giant man in immediately’s NBA. Assuming Jackson-Davis provides one to his repertoire, he’ll be borderline unstoppable.

Jackson-Davis is extra athletic than fellow Huge Ten star huge males Kofi Cockburn and Hunter Dickinson, extra versatile defensively and simply pretty much as good, if not higher, at rebounding than each of them. These three shall be within the working for Huge Ten and nationwide participant of the yr honors, and if Jackson-Davis continues his trajectory of enchancment like he ought to underneath Woodson, he can emerge as the perfect participant in from that trio and the perfect within the nation. — David Cobb



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