On Tuesday, the Associated Press released their All American team. Overall, 15 players are selected for three different teams. Two freshmen earned spots. Chances are at least 12 players will be headed for the NBA draft in the coming months. If they forego the rest of college, these basketball players will have earned some of the highest honors.
First Team All-America
Forward – Zion Williamson – Duke 22.1 ppg, 8.9 rpg, 2.1 apg, 69.3 fg pct, 1.8 blocks, 2.2 steals (64 of 64 first-place votes, 320 points).
Forward – Grant Williams – Tennessee 19.0 ppg, 7.6 rpg, 3.1 apg, 56.5 fg pct, 82.6 ft pct, 1.4 blocks, 1.1 steals (49, 286).
Guard – R.J. Barrett – Duke 22.9 ppg, 7.5 rpg, 4.1 apg (44, 275).
Guard – Ja Morant – Murray State 24.6 ppg, 5.5 rpg, 10.0 apg, 50.3 fg pct, 81.0 ft pct, 1.8 steals (43, 272).
Guard – Cassius Winston – Michigan State 18.9 ppg, 3.1 rpg, 7.6 apg, 40.4 3-pt fg pct, 84.0 ft pct (42,268).
As expected the first team consists of a pair of freshmen players from the Duke Blue Devils. Zion Williamson and R.J. Barrett were obvious choices for the first team. The electrifying Ja Morant also earned a spot from the Murray State Racers. Forward Grant Williams earned the honor from the Tennessee Volunteers. Meanwhile, point guard Cassius Winston earned the final spot on the first team. Winston led the Michigan State Spartans to the Final Four on Sunday afternoon. Interestingly enough, he was the only first team player to advance to the Final Four.
2nd Team All-America
Forward – Rui Hachimura – Gonzaga 20.1 rpg, 6.6 rpg, 60.9 fg pct, 1.0 steals (25, 207).
F/G – Jarrett Culver – Texas Tech 18.5 ppg, 6.3 rpg, 3.7 apg, 1.4 steals (15, 188).
Guard – Markus Howard – Marquette 24.8 ppg, 3.9 rpg, 4.0 apg, 40.6 3-pt fg pct, 3.5 3-pt fg/game, 88.7 ft pct, 1.1 steals (11, 186).
Guard – Carsen Edwards – Purdue 23.0 ppg, 3.5 rpg, 3.0 apg, 84.3 ft pct, 3.3 3-pt fg/game, 1.4 steals (6, 133).
Center – Ethan Happ – Wisconsin 17.5 ppg, 10.1 rpg, 4.6 apg, 53.1 fg pct, 1.3 blocks, 1.1 steals (6, 139).
The second team also has one All-American participating in the Final Four. Swing man Jarrett Culver has led the Texas Tech Red Raiders to a top 10 ranking, a Big 12 title and a Final Four appearance. Smooth shooting forward Rui Hachimura missed out on a Final Four appearance, but the WCC player of the year earned a spot on the second team. Markus Howard became one of the most prolific scorers in college basketball. However, his dip in play turned Howard from a possible first team all-american into a second team player. Two Big Ten players round out the second team. Guard Carsen Edwards lit up opposing defenses all season. He scored a pair of 42 point games in the NCAA Tournament. However, the Purdue Boilermakers fell one game short of making a Final Four trip. Meanwhile, Ethan Happ led the Wisconsin Badgers back into the NCAA Tournament. The do-it-all front court player was rewarded with a second team all-american slot.
3rd Team All-America
Forward – De’Andre Hunter – Virginia 15.1 ppg, 5.0 rpg, 2.1 apg, 53.0 fg pct, 45.7 3-pt fg pct (3, 125).
Forward – Dedric Lawson – Kansas 19.1 ppg, 10.3 rpg, 82.4 ft pct, 1.1 blocks, 1.3 steals (3, 110).
Forward – Brandon Clarke – Gonzaga 16.5 ppg, 8.4 rpg, 69.3 fg pct, 3.1 blocks, 1.2 steals (4, 92).
Forward – P.J. Washington – Kentucky 14.8 ppg, 7.5 rpg, 51.5 fg pct, 41.9 3-pt fg pct, 1.2 blocks (1, 79).
Guard – Kyle Guy – Virginia 15.6 ppg, 4.4 rpg, 2.2 apg, 46.3 3-pt fg pct, 83.6 ft pct (1, 44).
The third team had four guys playing in the Elite 8. Virginia’s De’Andre Hunter and Kyle Guy earned their Final Four berth. A year ago, the Cavaliers were knocked out of the first round as a No. 1 seed. Therefore, any individual awards really didn’t mean much. Now, the Cavaliers can celebrate Guy and Hunter with a trip to Minneapolis. Forward Dedric Lawson did his best to elevate the depleted Kansas Jayhawks. He earned third team. Brandon Clarke blossomed for the Gonzaga Bulldogs during his first season with the team. P.J. Washington became a dominant player for the Kentucky Wildcats this season. He returned from a foot injury to be the best player for the Wildcats in the Sweet 16 and Elite 8 rounds of the tournament.
Overall, 4 of the 15 All-Americans made it to the Final Four. Virginia has two players, while Michigan State and Texas Tech has one player apiece. Ten players participated in Elite 8 games. Furthermore, all 15 players helped lead their teams to the NCAA Tournament. As a result, these players had an impact on winning teams.