SportYardbarker's 2018-19 college basketball All-America teams
10 candidates for college basketball Player of the Year
Basketball, more than any other sport, lends itself to star players taking over. An elite basketball player can practically carry a team, especially on the college level. The college basketball season is about to end, and various publications and voting blocs will unveil their Player of the Year awards. Several players are in the running, but somebody is going to end up emerging as the best men’s college hoops player this season. Here are 10 players vying for the title of Player of the Year. Zion Williamson, Duke There are a couple of obstacles facing Williamson in the race for Player of the Year, even if he is the odds-on favorite to be the top pick in the NBA Draft.
As we approach the start of both the women's and men's NCAA Tournaments, it's time to highlight some of the best in the college game. There have been plenty of stellar individual performances this season, mostly from the veterans on the women's side, while some highly touted freshmen have lived up to their preseason billing for the men.
Here we go with Yardbarker's 2018-19 All-America teams for both the men and women, including honorable mention selections.
Let's start with the women ...
Napheesa Collier, F, Sr., Connecticut
It's been a special season for Collier, who was named both the American Athletic Conference Player of the Year and Defensive Player of the Year. She's averaging 20.9 points while shooting 61.4 percent, and averaging 10.5 rebounds with 3.5 assists for the Huskies. She's arguably the most consistent player in the country and, now, will try to lead UConn to its first national championship since 2016.
10 teams on the bubble heading into conference tournaments
March Madness is right around the corner. Before that, though, there is the matter of conference tournaments. For some teams, this is perfunctory. They have already punched their tickets to the tourney. Other teams aren’t so lucky. This is the time of year you hear a lot about “bubble teams" and how conference tournaments could make or break them. A good run with a couple of upsets, and they will be just fine. An early exit, though, and they could be watching March Madness from home. Here are 10 college basketball teams on the bubble, presented in alphabetical order. Keep them in mind when watching conference tourneys.
Asia Durr, G, Sr., Louisville
It was hardly a surprise that Durr was the repeat recipient of the ACC Player of the Year Award. It's been another stellar season for Durr, who is averaging 21.3 points and has blossomed into one of the nation's most complete players. She's second on Louisville's all-time scoring list and plays with plenty of confidence that the Cardinals will need if they're to make a long run in the NCAA Tournament.
Megan Gustafson, C, Sr., Iowa
A remarkable college career is nearing an end for Gustafson. She's Iowa's all-time leader in points and rebounds and currently leads the nation, averaging 28.0 points while shooting 69.6 percent. She also ranks among the top five with 13.3 rebounds per contest. The Big Ten Player of Year scored a league tournament title-game record 45 points to help the Hawkeyes beat No. 1 seed Maryland, 90-76, to win the event this month.
2-Year-Old Obsessed With Basketball Sinks Buckets
Manatu Tu’ihalangingie’s 2nd birthday has just passed. His gift to us — his skills. No matter if it's just a laundry basket or an actual hoop — he got game. Manatu Tu’ihalangingie’s 2nd birthday has just passed, but he has gifted his ball skills. "I don't wanna get ahead of myself and get too excited. Just wanna keep him grounded right now for a 2-year-old. Yea don't let the fame get to his head. He asks me, ‘Momma, can I basketball? Me? Basketball?’ I'm like, OK, you wanna watch your own highlight video,” mom Bailey Tu'ihalangingie laughed.
Sabrina Ionescu, G, Jr., Oregon
The triple-double machine has a real shot at earning national Player of the Year honors this season. Ionescu (19.6 ppg, 8.1 apg. 7.5 rpg) was again named the Pac-12 Player of the Year, but the bigger goal for the talented guard is guiding the Ducks to their first-ever Final Four. It might not be easy, especially after they lost to Stanford in the conference tournament championship game. However, Ionescu will do all she can to make sure Oregon has a chance.
Arike Ogunbowale, G, Sr., Notre Dame
Last season's NCAA Tournament hero is ready for an encore. Ogunbowale has managed to follow up an immensely successful junior campaign with a strong senior season, averaging 21.0 points, 4.9 rebounds and 3.9 assists. She's the heart and soul of the Irish roster and the motor that truly makes everything go. If Notre Dame is to have a shot at repeating as national champion, Ogunbowale must be at her best — which usually is the case.
Fun and creative ways to fill out your March Madness bracket
Everybody does a March Madness bracket: your college hoops-obsessed friends, our co-workers who haven’t watched a second of the season, you name it. There are many ways you can pick your bracket. You can study the stats and delve deep into Ken Pomeroy’s numbers, or you can pick chalk. And after all of that, as the cliché goes, somebody who made random picks wins your bracket pool. So why not have fun? Here are some different ways to make your bracket picks that could spice it up for you this year. Mascot fight! The question you must ask yourself is simple: Which mascot would win in a fight? It leads to a lot of interesting questions.
Honorable mention: Kristine Anigwe, F, Sr., California; Kalani Brown, C, Sr., Baylor; Bridget Carleton, G, Sr., Iowa State; Chennedy Carter, G, So, Texas A&M; Kaila Charles, G, Jr., Maryland; Sophie Cunningham, G, Sr., Missouri; Teaira McCowan, C, Sr., Mississippi State; Katie Lou Samuelson, G, Sr., Connecticut; Jessica Shepard, F, Sr., Notre Dame; Alanna Smith, F, Sr., Stanford
On the men's side...
RJ Barrett, Guard-Forward, Freshman, Duke
It's quite possible Barrett has exceeded the hype that surrounded his arrival at Duke. It's because he's been so consistently good all season long and plays with poise well beyond his years. Often in the shadow of his more popular teammate who fancies the dunk shot, Barrett ended the regular season averaging a team-leading 23.4 points, plus 7.5 rebounds and 4.2 assists. He shot 45.8 percent and also had eight double-doubles.
Rui Hachimura, Forward, Junior, Gonzaga
Hachimura's progression in three seasons with the Zags has been relatively remarkable. The potential has always been there, but until this season, the 6-foot-8 Hachimura, who is of Beninese and Japanese decent, started two collegiate games. And on a team loaded with talent, Hachimura has shined the brightest. He enters the NCAA Tournament averaging a team-best 20.1 points along with 6.6 rebounds. He was rather nonexistent with a season-low nine points in Gonzaga's stunning loss to Saint Mary's in the West Coast Conference Tournament title game, so the Zags can't allow that to happen again.
As the tournament begins, we're already suffering from Duke fatigue
Our country is divided in so many ways. It seems that every day is an internet battle between political ideologies. With social media, everyone can make judgments about others' life decisions. We fight over LeBron vs. Jordan. Does a straw have one hole or two? One thing we can agree on: We all are tired of hearing about Duke. Of course, that isn't totally true as, after all, where do the Cameron Crazies come from? There is, however, a sizable part of the sports world that has grown weary of Duke basketball. Duke games on television. Duke players get all the attention. Duke, Duke, Duke, Duke, Duke. This isn't a new development, but this has become one of the top Duke-hating seasons.
Grant Williams, Forward, Junior, Tennessee
For the second straight season, Williams was named SEC Player of the Year. Unlike a year ago, the honor was expected this time around. He heads into the conference tournament averaging career highs in points (19.3), boards (7.7), assists (3.3) and steals (1.2.). Williams also put forth arguably the best individual performance of any player in the country in 2018-19. Riding a 12-game winning streak, Tennessee was in trouble at Vanderbilt on Jan. 23. Trailing late, Williams helped the Volunteers force overtime and eventually leave with an 88-83 victory thanks to his 43-point effort that featured a 23-of-23 run from the free-throw line.
Zion Williamson, Forward, Freshman, Duke
The favorite for national Player of the Year honors, Williamson will be there to help the Blue Devils take aim at the national title. While it will be interesting to see how he handles himself, and the knee, Williamson is still the key to Duke's postseason success. His 68.3 shooting percentage from the regular season represented more than just his extraordinary dunks. Second to Barrett in scoring (21.6 ppg), Williamson has been the most entertaining aspect to this college basketball season.
Cassius Winston, Guard, Junior, Michigan State
Prior to the season, Winston was certainly a first-team All-Big Ten candidate, but Player of the Year? Now, there's really no doubt, following the regular season the Spartans star has enjoyed. His 19.0 points and 7.6 assists per game are both career highs. It's truly a case of...as Winston goes so does Michigan State. In the last five regular-season games, Winston scored 20 or more points four times and averaged 8.8 assists to help the Spartans nab a share of the league crown and the No. 1 seed in the conference tournament.
Honorable mention: Brandon Clarke, F, Jr., Gonzaga; Jarrett Culver, G, So, Texas Tech; Carsen Edwards, G, Jr., Purdue; Ethan Happ, F. Sr., Wisconsin; Markus Howard, G, Jr., Marquette; De'Andre Hunter, G, So., Virginia; Dedric Lawson, F, Jr., Kansas; Caleb Martin, F, Sr., Nevada; Ja Morant, G, So., Murray State; PJ Washington, F, So, Kentucky.
Michael Avenatti takes to Twitter, reveals 'major scandal' day after arrest.
Avenatti named Suns rookie center Deandre Ayton and Oregon's Bol Bol as players who "received large sums from Nike." Ask DeAndre Ayton and Nike about the cash payments to his mother and others. Nike’s attempt at diversion and cover-up will fail miserably once prosecutors realize they have been played by Nike and their lawyers at Boies. This reaches the highest levels of Nike.— Michael Avenatti (@MichaelAvenatti) March 26, 2019 Bol Bol and his handlers also received large sums from Nike. The receipts are clear as day.
Notre Dame Women's Basketball: Preseason #1 AP Poll
Notre Dame women's basketball team is the preseason #1 team in the AP poll for the first time in 15 years. The 2016 ACC Champion Fighting Irish will be lead ...
Coach K: Coaching The Nation's Most Talented Roster
Duke head coach Mike Krzyzewski has potentially the most talented roster in his tenure in Durham, armed with arguably the most talented freshmen class in ...
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