6. Kofi Cockburn Illinois
Cockburn was a dominant force this past season with his imposing physicality in the post making him a matchup problem. First off, his ability to establish post positioning is great, especially in high-low situations. Additionally, the efficiency around the basket is great at 65.4% from the field being a dependable threat. Also, he plays with a good motor and makes a major impact on the boards on both ends of the floors. Continued, he is solid in ball screen action with being able to finish well on dives or lobs to the basket. Furthermore, he is able to draw a lot of contacts, therefore he must shoot a higher percentage than 55.3%. The ability to go to his drop step or jump hook is really difficult to stop when he gets two feet in the paint. Also, being able to pass effectively out of double teams would go a long way to Illinois overall production offensively. Now defensively, he brings physicality in the post and does a good job altering shots. The growth for him defensively would be his mobility being able to get out on the perimeter way more than he currently does. Cockburn will be one of the most dominant players in college basketball.
7. Trevion Williams Purdue
Williams had a very good junior season for Purdue and is one of the best bigs in the country. First off, Williams has the ability to establish really good post positioning with good hands for post entries. Furthermore, he has good touch around the basket going with jump hooks and drops steps with having good footwork. Next, he must improve his ability to pass out of the post when double teams come to take advantage of defensive positioning. Continued, he has really good strength and when he establishes two feet in the paint his efficiency around the basket is very good. Also, he is a dominant force on the boards being a major factor in contributing toward easy second-chance opportunities. Additionally, the motor Williams plays with is consistent and the ability to continue to get in better shape has gone with his improvement. Now defensively, he needs to improve his post defense with disrupting post-up opportunities. Along with, continuing to improve his overall mobility defensively in the paint and in ball screens. Williams will be one of the best bigs in the country and looking to lead Purdue towards a Big Ten Title and a Final Four
8. E.J. Liddell Ohio State
Liddell had a very good sophomore season for Ohio State becoming one of the best bigs in the country. He can be really good in high-low situations having post positioning and finishes with great touch. Also, he extended his ability to shoot the three by stretching out bigs and being a threat as the trail, shooting 33.8% from three. Additionally, he’s effective on the offensive boards with his activity providing second chance opportunities. Continued, he gets really good positioning in the post and attacks with good feel finishing through contact as well. His mobility offensively makes Liddell a tough matchup defensively for opposing bigs and he can match their size. The improvement for Liddell would be continuing his shooting ability and being able to attack off the dribble. As for defensively, he brings the physicality in the post and can alter shots around the rim. The continued improvement of his mobility and ability to get out on the perimeter is the next for Liddell. Liddell will be one of the best players in college basketball and looking to lead Ohio State towards a Big Ten Title.
9. Collin Gillespie Villanova
Gillespie had a great senior season until it was cut short due to a torn MCL and now will look to return Villanova to a Final Four. He brings the Villanova identity with being great with the basketball-playing under great control, as well as being able to get into the lane on jump stops to make shots and distribute to others. Additionally, he does a great job of posting up guards for scoring opportunities or passing out of the post. Next, he’s a really good shot-maker from the perimeter off the catch at 37.6% from three. Continued, he’s a good distributor to others, however, he could continue to elevate in that area to be more dynamic with the basketball. His movement on the perimeter is really good with spacing the floor and being shot ready at all times. Also, he is solid in transition with being able to make plays on the perimeter and getting others involved. Now defensively, he could be more effective on the basketball with his lateral movement. As well as, being more active in basketball. Collin Gillespie will be one of the best players in college basketball attempting to lead Villanova to a National Championship.
10. Julian Champagnie St. John’s
Champagnie will be one of the best forwards and players in college basketball entering next season. Furthermore, he brings great versatility on both ends and is highly productive on the boards. Next, he has continued to improve his ability to make perimeter jumpers shooting 38.0% from three. Additionally, he has really good size and gets to the basket effectively finishing consistently. Also, he does a good job of facing up on the perimeter to either attack or creates separation for his jump shot. Continued, he has the ability to finish through contact effectively and brings consistent energy off the ball. The area where Champagnie could continue to develop his ability to make shots off the bounce and his quickness with the ball. As for defensively, he has good size and can guard out on the perimeter and in the interior. Now, he could continue to develop his lateral quickness to guard even better on the perimeter. Julian Champagnie will be the catalyst for St. John’s looking to be an NCAA tournament season coming season.
Images Courtesy of, Sports Illustrated
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