The NCAA Tournament is full of exciting games, and these ten players can lead their teams on a jog or upset a bracket. Some are candidates for the John R. Wooden Award given to the most outstanding player of the season, while others are anchors for their teams. They all promise to be fun to watch.
Luka Garza, Iowa
Garza is a two-time big ten player of the year and is one of the most skilled players in the league. The senior center is a finalist for the Wooden Award and has proven himself as the future of the game. This athletic big man averaged 23.7 points and 8.8 assists per game while shooting 54.7 percent off the field. He’s going to be one of a few versatile big men to watch as the second-seeded Iowa starts the tournament.
Ayo Dosunmu, Illinois
Illinois has won its first tournament bid since 2013 and looks to be a force to be reckoned with as a number one. Dosunmu, a junior guard, is one of the many players in this team to note and has an average of five more points per game compared to the previous season. He also improved his 3-point shot, now making 38.8 percent of it. As a national player of the year, Dosunmu has shown steady improvement since last season and looks like never before to lead a team through the tournament.
Cading Cadeham, Oklahoma State
Cunningham, a first-year guard, has already taken note of the season. He was expected to be a success, and as Big 12 Player of the Year and a Wood Prize finalist, he is definitely one. Cunningham is a reliable player for the Cowboys and his statistics prove it – he averaged 20.2 points and 6.3 rebounds per game. Although his consistency sometimes seems average, it is anything but for a first-year player. The team will need him to make a tough first game against Liberty, a strong upset.
Cameron Krutwig, Loyola-Chicago
Loyola-Chicago is back for another hopeful tournament. As the only starter of the Final Four team in 2018, Krutwig is ready to lead the Ramblers as a senior. Krutwig, a center, scores 15 points per game and is a critical anchor for the team this season if he wants to make another turn. For a big man, he is extremely versatile and is only the fourth player in the Missouri Valley Conference to score at least 1,500 points, 800 rebounds and 300 assistants in his career.
Kofi Cockburn, Illinois
This 7-foot second foot is all a team wants in a versatile center. Cockburn are in second place in the doubles doubles league, which has rounded out 16 so far this season. He is as efficient as a center can be and shoots 65.5 percent off the field. With his improved shooting and dominance in the paint, it’s going to be tough for any team to beat the Illini.
Jared Butler, Baylor
Baylor, the number 1 seed in the Southern region, would not have achieved it without Butler. The junior points guard has improved a lot from last season, especially when it comes to shooting. Butler scored 17.1 points per game, including 42.9 percent from the three-point range. He helped lead Baylor to his first Big 12 championship title in the regular season since 1950, and it looks like he’s not going to stop anytime soon.
Moses Moody, Arkansas
Moody’s’ path to the Southeastern Conference Rookie of the Year award showed his skills as a leader on both sides of the floor. As a freshman, he started all 28 Razorbacks games this season and averaged 33.5 minutes played, most of all in the team. This makes him a reliable part of an unfolding no. 3-seeded Arkansas team. Expect Moody to play many minutes in the first round in a quick game between the Razorbacks and Colgate.
Evan Mobley, Southern California
Another skilled center is on the list and this time it’s Mobley, a freshman. The 7-foot goal scorer is a dominant presence on both sides of the floor, especially in terms of his defensive ability. Mobley is a reliable defender on the edge and averages three blocks per game. He will help a lot with the paint and his passing skills will not go unnoticed – he is the big man that every NBA team is currently looking for.
Quentin Grimes, Houston
Grimes achieved success with Houston after transferring from Kansas before the 2018-19 season. He found his place as an effective guard and has greatly improved his score since last season, averaging 12.1 to 18 points per game. He also tries eight three-pointers per game and makes 40 percent of it. This breakthrough is what makes Grimes so exciting to watch when he’s on the field, and he’s not very absent and averages 32.2 minutes per game.
Herbert Jones, Alabama
Jones has been a key part of Alabama’s unexpected success this season. The senior guard is a great player in the big area and helps the team in more ways than its 11.2 points per game. As the Southeastern Conference player of the year, Jones was a huge defensive assist, averaging 6.5 rebounds per game – most of all on the team. He also adds small but important numbers to the score, including 1.8 steals and 1.1 blocks per game.