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One Player to Know on Each 2022 NCAA Tournament Team

One Player to Know on Each 2022 NCAA Tournament Team

The NCAA Tournament is nearing, and with it, a chance for many unknown players to get the spotlight. What players do fans need to know heading into the 2022 NCAA Tournament? Here is the one player to know on each 2022 NCAA Tournament team.

West Region

1. Gonzaga Bulldogs- Chet Holmgren, F

Holmgren is the possible top 2022 NBA Draft pick. The 7-footer averages 14.2 points, 9.6 rebounds and 3.6 blocks per game. Gonzaga could win their first National Championship with Holmgren leading the way.

16. Georgia State Panthers- Corey Allen, G

Allen is the Panthers leading scorer at 14.7 points per game. He is one of a few guards the Panthers have that will need to play out of their minds to defeat the Bulldogs in the round of 64.

8. Boise State Broncos- Abu Kigab, F

It is rare that a forward leads a team in scoring and steals, but that’s exactly what Kigab has done for the Broncos this season. The fifth-year senior has improved every season and could help the Broncos to a win or two in the 2022 NCAA Tournament.

9. Memphis Tigers- Jalen Duren, C

The Tigers have a legitimate NBA Draft prospect in Duren, who averages 12.2 points and 8.1 rebounds per game.

5. UConn Huskies- R.J. Cole, G

Cole started his career at Howard, but transferred to UConn before the 2019-2020 season. He leads the team in scoring and if he gets hot, UConn can win a few games.

12. New Mexico State Aggies- Teddy Allen, G

From West Virginia to Nebraska to New Mexico State, Allen has been around the country playing college basketball in his career. He leads the Aggies at 19.8 points per game and is one of the best scorers in the country.

4. Arkansas Razorbacks- JD Notae, G

Notae is one of the best players in the country and averages 18.4 points per game. If he gets hot and gets some help, Arkansas could be heading to New Orleans for the Final Four.

13. Vermont Catamounts- Ben Shungu, G

The Catamounts are led by Ben Shungu and Ryan Davis. Although Davis is the leading scorer, Shungu doesn’t trail him by much and will have the ball in his hands a lot more often. He also leads the team in steals.

6. Alabama Crimson Tide- Jahvon Quinerly, G

While Jaden Shackelford leads the team in scoring, Quinerly can be an x-factor. The Villanova-transfer hasn’t been hitting from deep this year and needs to find his stroke for the Crimson Tide to advance.

11. Rutgers Scarlet Knights- Ron Harper Jr., G

The son of former NBA player Rob Harper, Harper Jr. has developed into a star for the Scarlet Knights. He averages 15.6 points per game and could be a problem for Indiana and potentially Alabama.

11. Notre Dame Fighting Irish- Blake Wesley, G

It is not often that Notre Dame gets an impact freshman guard like Wesley. He leads the team in scoring and could be headed to the NBA next season.

3. Texas Tech Red Raiders- Terrence Shannon, G

Shannon hasn’t been 100 percent for a lot of the season, but he still averages double figures. Texas Tech needs him to be great on the offensive end to make a deep run.

14. Montana State Bobcats- Jubrile Belo, F

Xavier Bishop is also a fine player, but Belo leads the team in rebounding and blocked shots. His ability to protect the paint and rebound could help the Bobcats upset the Red Raiders.

7. Michigan State Spartans- Marcus Bingham, F

The Spartans have failed to find a go-to player, so Bingham is a player to watch because of his ability to do the dirty work. He has 6.1 rebounds per game and 2.2 blocked shots per game.

10. Davidson Wildcats- Foster Loyer, G

Sometimes the bracket gives fans a weird storyline. Loyer was a solid bench piece for the Spartans over the last few years and now is Davidson’s leading scorer. Expect the announcers to talk about that frequently.

2. Duke Blue Devils- Paolo Banchero, F

Banchero is a 6-foot-10 forward who can handle the ball and shoot. He will be selected early in the 2022 NBA Draft, but needs his team to lock in on defense if he wishes to make a Final Four.

15. Cal State Fullerton Titans- Damari Milstead, G

Milstead leads the team in assists and steals. His defensive pressure could be a problem for Duke, who have struggled to find a great point guard this season.

South Region

1. Arizona Wildcats- Bennedict Mathurin, G

A big reason why Arizona was able to get a number one seed is Mathurin’s growth. After averaging 10.8 points per game last year, he has averaged 17.4 points this season.

16. Wright State Raiders- Tanner Holden, G

The Raiders have a few good scorers, but Holden leads them all at 19.8 points per game. He’ll be at the top of the scouting report for Bryant and possibly Arizona.

16. Bryant Bulldogs- Peter Kiss, G

Kiss is the leading scorer in the country at 25.1 points per game. He has a tendency to talk trash and get under his opponent’s skin, so he is worth keeping an eye on.

8. Seton Hall- Jared Rhoden, G

Rhoden has had to carry a lot of the scoring duties for the Pirates, especially when Bryce Aiken has missed time. At 15.9 points per game, he’ll need to be at his best for Seton Hall to advance.

9. TCU Horned Frogs- Mike Miles, G

TCU’s leading scorer is Miles, who also averages 1.3 steals per game. Between himself and Damion Baugh, they have a solid backcourt to go to.

5. Houston Cougars- Kyler Edwards, G

The Cougars have dealt with injuries, but Edwards helped them win the AAC. His tournament experience from his time at Texas Tech could come in hand for a tournament run.

12. UAB Blazers- Jordan Walker, G

Walker will have the ball in his hands a lot for the Blazers. He averages 20.4 points and 4.8 assists per game and will have to play well for the Blazers to pull off the upset.

4. Illinois Fighting Illini- Kofi Cockburn, C

Cockburn is one of the best big men in college basketball. He averages a double-double in points and rebounds. With the way college basketball has evolved, there won’t be many teams that can match his size and physicality.

13. Chattanooga Mocs- Malachi Smith, G

The Mocs have a few good players, but Smith averages 20.1 points per game. He is a pure shooter who will make sure that Illinois chases him off the perimeter.

6. Colorado State Rams- David Roddy, G

Roddy is a bigger guard who does a little bit of everything for the Rams. He averages 19.4 points and 7.6 rebounds per game. Michigan will want to shut him down with their length.

11. Michigan Wolverines- Hunter Dickinson, C

While Michigan hasn’t had quite the year that most expected, Dickinson has played well. He puts up 18.3 points and 8.3 rebounds per game and could be a matchup problem for a lot of teams in the tournament.

3. Tennessee Volunteers- Kennedy Chandler, G

Chandler helped the Volunteers win the SEC Tournament. He averages 13.8 points and 4.6 assists to lead the team. His speed allows him to get by defenders and make plays for his offense.

14. Longwood Lancers- Justin Hill, G

At 14.2 points and 4.2 assists per game, Hill is the go-to-guy for the Lancers. Expect him to be the one generating the offense against Tennessee.

7. Ohio State Buckeyes- E.J. Liddell, F

Liddel leads the Buckeyes in points, rebounds and blocks. He is a star, who should have the ball in his hands near the end of games, unlike in previous NCAA Tournaments.

10. Loyola-Chicago Ramblers- Lucas Williamson, G

If it feels like Williamson has been there for awhile, it’s because he has. The fifth-year senior leads the Ramblers in points, rebounds and steals. He’ll be eyeing one last tournament run.

2. Villanova Wildcats- Collin Gillespie, G

Another fifth-year senior will be leading his team. Gillespie runs the show for the Wildcats, averaging 15.9 points and 3.3 assists per game.

15. Delaware Blue Hens- Jameer Nelson Jr., G

There are a few sons of former NBA players in this tournament. Nelson Jr. scores 13.7 points and grabs an impressive 1.6 steals per game.

Midwest Region

1. Kansas Jayhawks- Ochai Agbaji, G

Agbaji is a knockdown shooter who has really improved over his college career. He averages nearly 20 points per game and really has kept the Jayhawks running while other players have struggled or been injured.

16. Texas Southern Tigers- Brison Gresham, F

Not one player averages double figures for the Tigers, but Gresham does lead the team in rebounds and blocks. His 2.2 blocks per game could really help during the play-in game.

16. Texas A&M Corpus Christi Islanders- Terrion Murdix, G

There are players for the Islanders who score more, but Murdix gets 1.9 steals per game, which can be game-changing. He also averages 3.8 assists per game.

8. San Diego State Aztecs- Matt Bradley, G

The Aztecs have one guy who averages double figures in scoring. Bradley puts up 17 points a game and is one of the only offensive threats that San Diego State can consistently rely on.

9. Creighton Blue Jays- Ryan Hawkins, F

With point guard Ryan Nembhard out for the season, the Blue Jays will need everyone to pick it up. Hawkins is the leading scorer and rebounder, so a lot of the onus falls on him moving forward.

5. Iowa Hawkeyes- Keegan Murray, F

Murray is a player who saw a huge jump in production this season. He averages 23.6 points and 8.6 rebounds to prove he is one of the best players in the country. Don’t get confused when watching Iowa play though, as his brother is also a solid player on the team.

12. Richmond Spiders- Jacob Gilyard, G

Gilyard runs the show for the Spiders, registering 13.3 points and 5.4 assists per game. The most impressive thing about his game is his ability to generate steals, as he leads the country with 3.1 per game.

4. Providence Friars- Nate Watson, C

The Friars have been tagged as a “lucky” team, but they have won a lot of games thanks to the inside presence of Watson. He scores 13.8 points per game.

13. South Dakota State Jackrabbits- Baylor Scheierman, G

Scheierman is the leading rebounder for South Dakota State, but he is also a knockdown 3-point shooter. He could give Providence some problems.

6. LSU Tigers- Xavier Pinson, G

Head coach Will Wade has been fired for NCAA infractions, which means LSU will be more player-led this season. Xavier Pinson can be an x-factor for the Tigers and really needs to step his game up now.

11. Iowa State Cyclones- Izaiah Brockington, G

Brockington leads the Cyclones in scoring at 17.2 points per game. He also is the team’s leading rebounder and has helped Iowa State win a lot of big games this season.

3. Wisconsin Badgers- Johnny Davis, G

Not many thought that Wisconsin would be so good this season. A lot of the credit goes to Johnny Davis, whose growth has been very apparent. At 19.7 points per game, he is in the running for National Player of the Year.

14. Colgate Raiders- Nelly Cummings, G

Cummings is one of five Raiders scoring in double figures. He leads the way with 14.5 points per game.

7. USC Trojans- Isaiah Mobley, F

Evan Mobley may be impressing in the NBA now, but his brother is at USC leading the team in scoring, rebounding and blocks.

10. Miami Hurricanes- Charlie Moore, G

Kameron McGusty and Isaiah Wong are good scorers, but Moore sets the table for them. He averages 4.5 assists and 2.0 steals per game for the Hurricanes.

2. Auburn Tigers- Jabari Smith, F

Smith is a potential top pick in the 2022 NBA Draft. He is athletic and can shoot. The only question is whether Auburn’s guards consistently feed him the ball enough for the team to go on a long run in march.

15. Jacksonville State Gamecocks- Darian Adams, G

Jacksonville will need Adams to play well, as he is the team’s leading scorer at 15.6 points per game.

East Region

1. Baylor Bears- James Akinjo, G

After starting his career at Georgetown, Akinjo transferred to Arizona and now Baylor. He has found success, as he leads the Bears in points (for qualified players), assists and steals. The Bears will go as far as Akinjo takes them.

16. Norfolk State Spartans- Joe Bryant Jr., G

Bryant Jr. is a high-usage player for the Spartans. At 3.3 assists per game and 3.0 turnovers per game, protecting the ball will be the most important thing for him.

8. North Carolina Tar Heels- Armando Bacot, F

Even though North Carolina didn’t have their best season, Bacot impressed by leading the team in points, rebounds and blocks. After averaging a double-double this season, the Tar Heels need to feed him the ball consistently in the NCAA Tournament.

9. Marquette Golden Eagles- Justin Lewis, F

Lewis leads the team in both points and rebounds in just his second season at Marquette. He’ll have a tough matchup against North Carolina’s forwards.

5. Saint Mary’s Gaels- Tommy Kuhse, G

Saint Mary’s has a well-balanced scoring offense. Kuhse sets them up for success with 3.6 assists per game and also is the team’s second-leading scorer.

12. Wyoming Cowboys- Hunter Maldonado, G

Maldonado stuffs the stat-sheet more than most players in the big dance. He averages 18.4 points, 6.3 assists and 1.2 steals per game. Graham Ike is also fun to watch, but Maldonado’s ability to make plays gives him the edge here.

12. Indiana Hoosiers- Trayce Jackson-Davis, F

While Xavier Johnson might be the more important player for Indiana’s success, Jackson-Davis has been a beast down low for the Hoosiers. His 18.1 points and 8.2 rebounds per game are very impressive for the Big Ten.

4. UCLA Bruins- Johnny Juzang, G

Juzang was on fire last NCAA Tournament and the Bruins will need him again this year. He averages 16 points per game and is capable of leading UCLA to another Final Four.

13. Akron Zips- Ali Ali, F

Along with having a cool name, Ali leads the Zips in scoring and assists. His ability to stretch the floor could give the Zips a chance against the Bruins.

6. Texas Longhorns- Timmy Allen, F

The Longhorns have a lot of good guards, but Allen leads the team in scoring, rebounding and steals. His older brother Teddy is also on this list.

11. Virginia Tech Hokies- Keve Aluma, F

Aluma has good footwork, which helps him lead the Hokies in scoring and rebounding. After a good ACC Tournament run, the Hokies will look to keep the momentum going.

3. Purdue Boilermakers- Jaden Ivey, G

Any NBA Draft fans will know Jaden Ivey already. He has drawn comparisons to Ja Morant (rightfully or wrongfully) already for his athleticism and offensive prowess. If he can step it up on defense, the Boilermakers can go deep in March.

14. Yale Bulldogs- Azar Swain, G

Swain leads the Bulldogs at 19.2 points per game. He is also the team’s leading rebounder. For the Bulldogs to advance, he may need to hit his scoring average.

7. Murray State Racers- K.J. Williams, F

Murray State only has two losses on the season and Williams is a huge reason why. He leads the team in scoring, rebounding and steals as a forward. Williams could be a huge matchup problem for San Francisco.

10. San Francisco Dons- Jamaree Bouyea, G

Bouyea is an electric guard for the Dons. He has the team lead in points, assists and steals. The senior is crucial to the Dons chances of advancing.

2. Kentucky Wildcats- Oscar Tshiebwe, F

College basketball hasn’t seen a rebounder like Tshiebwe in a long time. He averages 17 points and 15.1 rebounds per game. Not only is he a candidate for National Player of the year, but he is also the key to a potential Final Four run for the Wildcats.

15. Saint Peter’s Peacocks- KC Ndefo, F

Ndefo is an interesting player, as he is a forward that leads the Peacocks in steals and blocks, while also ranking second in points, rebounds and assists.

 

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