With over 5,200 players slated to play collegiate basketball in Division I this season, there are talented players from coast to coast. Some of them are household names, while there are plenty of players who people haven’t heard of, but are demanding of your attention.
The majority of fans tend to focus on the power five conferences, turning a blind eye to the smaller programs. When you dig deeper, you’ll see that the non-power five schools have players who could just as easily play for a power conference program.
When it comes to junior guards in the NCAA, there are talented players from coast to coast. With so many players, it was nearly impossible to cut the list down to just 10 players without leaving star-calibre players off the list.
Last season was a banner year for the Grand Canyon Antelopes, even if they didn’t raise any banners to the rafters of GCU Arena.
The Antelopes finished the year with a dazzling 27-7 record overall, giving them their most wins in a season since making the jump up to Division I.
Despite not being eligible for both the WAC Tournament and the NCAA Tournament until the 2017-18 season, they made the most of their appearance in the 2016 CollegeInsider.Com Tournament. They advanced to the quarter-finals, before falling at the hands of the Coastal Carolina Chanticleers.
Looking ahead to the 2016-17 season, the Antelopes are in the final year of their probationary period after making the leap to the top tier, and this season could top the performance of last year. Leaders Joshua Braun and DeWayne Russell are back for another year, and they have a strong supporting cast by their side as they look to advance to their fourth-straight post-season tournament. Continue reading 2016-17 Schedules: Grand Canyon Antelopes→
Calendars are about to switch over to February, and the stretch run is about to kick in for every team in the country. The push for conference titles and post-season berths will be kicked into high gear, and players will bring their best efforts to the hardwood night in and night out.
With the end of the season near, it’s time to think about individual awards in the NCAA. Starting at the end of February, we will be opening the fan-voting for the 2nd Annual Fan-Voted All-American awards.
But, we also hand out our own hardware here at College Court Report. With that, it’s time to put out some watch lists to give you an idea of where we are leaning in terms of overall awards. Each day of the week, we will update a different Watch List for different awards.
Here is the first edition of the Mid-Major Player of the Year Watch List.
We looked at statistics of each player, and the overall impact that each player has on their team. While the selections may not be the best player on their respective team, they are a key cog in the process, and that weighs heavily in our decisions.
The Grand Canyon Antelopes are one of the newest teams at the Division I level of men’s basketball in the NCAA, having been playing at the top level since the 2013-14 season. In their third season, the Antelopes have started to make serious waves in the WAC, and across the NCAA as a whole. With he exception of their blowout loss at Louisville, the Antelopes have played strong basketball this season. They entered Monday night riding a four-game winning streak, and they opened the season on a six-game winning streak.
On their home court, the SIU-Edwardsville Cougars were looking to score the upset win on Monday night. The season has gone the other direction for the Cougars this season, as they have had to endure a seven-game losing streak in November and December before reeling off two straight wins. After a road loss to the USC Trojans, the Cougars were looking to get back on track with a marquee win over the Antelopes.
The 2013-14 season saw the Saint Louis Billikens advance to the Round of 32 in the NCAA Tournament. With the likes of Jordair Jett, Dwayne Evans, Rob Loe, and Mike McCall Jr on the roster, it was one of the best Billiken teams of all-time.
However, most of those players graduated, which led to a rebuilding year in 2014-15. Saint Louis wasn’t nearly as strong as they were the previous year, and struggled at times to get things rolling.
This off-season hasn’t been any better, and the 2015-16 edition of the Billikens will have a different look and feel to it. Three players have transferred from the program, including Austin McBroom, Tanner Lancoma, and Grandy Glaze.
McBroom is off to Eastern Washington, while Lancoma has yet to make his decision.