April 12, 2024

CBS Sports All-America Teams 2023-24: College basketball’s best and most talented players

The five CBS Sports First Team All-Americans come from five different conferences. The most interesting thing about them is that only one of the five players was an undisputed First Teamer in the preseason five months ago.

That’s obviously Zach Edey.

Purdue’s seven-foot center, the reigning and soon-to-be two-time CBS Sports National Player of the Year, was expected to be the sport’s best player before the start of this season, and he is by a considerable margin of the sport. margin. He is joined on the First Team by Houston’s Jamal Shead, North Carolina’s RJ Davis, UConn’s Tristen Newton and Tennessee’s Dalton Knecht, the latter of whom is the biggest surprise compared to preseason expectations.

Knecht, who transferred to UT after two years at Northern Colorado that followed two years of junior college, wasn’t even on CBS Sports’ list of the top 100 and 1 college basketball players last October. His rise from relatively unknown mid-major scorer to SEC Player of the Year and likely lottery pick in the 2024 NBA Draft is a wild story that will be told many times between now and when he is selected by a franchise in June.

2023-2024 CBS Sports All-America First Team

Zach Edey | Purdue | Center | 7-4 | Senior

The most obvious choice since… Edey did the same thing last season. Yes, Purdue has the rare man who is both the best player in the sport and a multiple First Team honoree. That has been a dying breed in men’s basketball over the past decade. Edey, a consensus pick for this honor, leads the nation in scoring (25.0 ppg) and is the first player to do so and make a Final Four since Oscar Robertson in 1960. Edey also averages 12.2 rebounds, 2, 2 blocks and shooting 62.4% from the field. He is now one of four players to ever average more than 30 points and more than 15 rebounds in the NCAA Tournament after four games, joining three fellow legends: Wilt Chamberlain (Kansas, 1957), Jerry West (West Virginia, 1959) and Elvin Hayes (Houston, 1968). That’s not the only legendary company he keeps. With totals of more than 900 points and 450 rebounds this season, Edey became the first player to do so since Larry Bird in 1978-79. Purdue is 33-4 and will be playing in their third Final Four this weekend. Without Edey it doesn’t come close. In any case, his greatness is underestimated. –Matt Norlander

Dalton Knecht | Tennessee | Guard | 6-6 | Fifth year

Along with Edey, Knecht was our only other consensus pick for First Team All-America. He ignited Tennessee’s offense and became one of the best players Rick Barnes has coached in more than four decades in the business. Knecht finished eighth nationally (21.7 ppg) and turned himself into a viable lottery pick after transferring from Northern Colorado last offseason. He was the biggest reason why Tennessee went to the Elite Eight as a No. 2 seed (its best finish under Barnes), where it ultimately lost to Edey and Purdue and finished the season at 27-9. Knecht also averaged 39.7% from beyond the arc and pulled down 4.9 rebounds per night. He was the best transfer in the country; in the coming weeks, every coaching staff at a power conference program will be trying to find “the next Dalton Knecht.” Good luck with that. —MN

RJ Davis | North Carolina | Guard | 6-0 | Senior

Although top-seeded UNC’s season ended in the Sweet 16 against Alabama, and Davis had one of his worst games at that spot, there’s no denying the impact he had on the Tar Heels during his senior season. It was fellow countryman/former All-American Armando Bacot who was expected to be UNC’s MVP, but Davis stepped into the role of lead guard and returned Carolina to relevance, a year removed from its historic miss of the NCAAs after number 1 was in the rankings. the preseason. He averaged 21.2 points (39.8% from three-point range), 3.6 rebounds and 3.5 assists on a 29-win team. Crucially, the 6-foot-1 was unafraid and willing to take big shots in big moments – often making the right plays in many games. Davis was the catalyst for an ACC championship season. The question is: With one year of eligibility remaining, will he choose to return for a fifth year? —MN

Jamal Shead | Houston | Guard | 6-1 | Senior

A cruel twist on one of the strongest players in the sport. Shead’s sprained ankle late in the first half of Houston’s Sweet 16 loss to Duke was the event that ended the Cougars’ hopes of reaching their second Final Four in the past four tournaments. Considered one of the elite man-to-man defenders in the sport, Shead was a bulwark on the perimeter of the nation’s strongest defensive team. He averaged 12.0 points, 6.3 assists, 3.7 rebounds and 2.2 steals. Houston (32-5) was led by Shead’s ethos. His passing ability was also too often overlooked. According to KenPom.com, Shead’s assist rating was the fifth highest in the country at 40.2. Kelvin Sampson has coached the First Team All-American guards in back-to-back seasons. A year ago it was Marcus Sasser. This season, Shead. —MN

Tristen Newton | UConn | Guard | 6-5 | To graduate

There’s no way we’re going to put a First Team All-America on the roster and not include someone from the best team in the country – and that’s still playing for the national championship. Newton didn’t come that late either. Within the first few weeks of the season, Newton’s leadership and statistics supported the contention that he was UConn’s most important player. He’s also the Huskies’ most dangerous threat for a triple-double (and with three, he’s the school’s all-time leader). Newton averaged 15.0 points, 6.7 rebounds and 6.1 assists: the only man in the sport to average at least 15/6/6. Although surrounded by future first-round picks (Stephon Castle, Donovan Clingan), Connecticut’s modus operandi starts with Newton. He played on a Final Four stage a year ago and will bring his understated swagger to that featured floor this weekend. It wouldn’t be a surprise if the 35-win Huskies won two more games, adding Newton’s trophy case to Most Outstanding Player honors. —MN

2023-2024 CBS Sports All-America Second Team

Terrence Shannon Jr., | Illinois | Guard | 6-6 | Fifth year

Shannon finished second in the Big Ten this season with 23.0 points per game, behind only Player of the Year Zach Edey. He served as the catalyst for a top-five Illinois offense that took the program to its first Elite Eight since 2005. – Kyle Boone

Mark Sears | Alabama | Guard | 6-1 seniors

Alabama had the highest scoring offense in college basketball this season, and Sears was the straw that started the drink in Tuscaloosa. He averaged 21.5 points, 4.1 boards and 4.1 assists per game while shooting a career-best 43.4% from 3-point range. – K B

Tyler Kolek | Marquette | Guard | 6-3 | Senior

Kolek led college basketball in assists per game and number of assists this season in a career year in which he blossomed as the No. 1 playmaker for Marquette’s high-powered offense. He finished the year with career-highs in scoring (15.3 PPG), assists (7.7 APG) and rebounds (4.9 RPG) per game. – K B

Jaedon LeDee | San Diego State | Forward | 6-9 | Senior

In a deep and loaded Mountain West this season, LeDee stood out as the league’s top talent, stepping up to the plate when the lights were brightest. He finished as the MWC leader in points with nearly four points per game and recorded 58 points and 17 boards in SDSU’s first two tournament wins before being bounced by UConn. – K B

Kyle Filipowski | Duke | Center | 7-0 | Sophomore

Duke’s best team of the young Jon Scheyer era was a tribute to Filipowski’s development and star turn. The sophomore improved significantly as a shooter, shot blocker and passer while taking on an expanded role within the Blue Devils system. He finished in the top-10 in points, rebounds and blocks per game among all ACC players and was consistently Duke’s most reliable weapon. – K B

2023-2024 CBS Sports All-America third team

DaRon Holmes II, Dayton | Forward | 6-10 | Junior

Holmes carried Dayton to the second round of the NCAA Tournament by averaging 20.4 points, 8.5 rebounds and 2.1 blocks per game. The dynamic forward has been a star for three seasons, but took him to the next level as a junior. –David Cobb

Hunter Dickinson | Kansas | Center | 7-2 | Senior

After three standout seasons at Michigan, Dickinson averaged 17.9 points and 10.9 rebounds as one of the nation’s top transfers at Kansas. He gave the Jayhawks an element of interior play that they lacked in 2022-23. – DC

Baylor Scheierman | Creighton | Guard | 6-7 | Senior

Scheierman starred as a shot maker for Creighton in his second with the program after spending three years at South Dakota State. His well-rounded offensive game took the Bluejays to the Sweet 16. – DC

Caleb Love | Arizona | Guard | 6-4 | Senior

Love had a renaissance in Arizona, increasing his shooting percentage to 50.2% and averaging 18 per game after coming over from North Carolina. He led the Wildcats to a Pac-12 title and a Sweet 16 appearance. – DC

Donovan Clingan | UConn | Center | 7-2 | Sophomore

Clingan was at his best in the big postseason moments, producing 22 points and 16 rebounds in the Big East Tournament title game. He also finished with 22 points, 10 rebounds and five blocks in UConn’s Elite Eight win over Illinois. — DC

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *