Grayson Allen, Josh Hart lead SI’s 2016â17 preseason All-America Team
Sports Illustrated's 2016–17 preview is guided by data from our College Basketball Projection System, a collaboration between economist Dan Hanner and SI's Luke Winn and Jeremy Fuchs. We project teams on a player-by-player, lineup-based level and then simulate the season 10,000 times to generate our 1–351 national rankings and conference forecasts.
These are our picks for first- and second-team All-America, based on the model's projections.
Guard: Grayson Allen6' 5″ junior, DukeProjected raw stats: 20.1 ppg, 4.7 rpg, 3.1 apg
Projected advanced stats: 128.7 Offensive Rating on 25% usage
Allen is the preseason frontrunner for national player of the year, and the centerpiece of what SI projects to be the nation's best offense—and its No. 1 team. He can become the latest in a line of super-efficient seniors to win the Wooden or Naismith awards, following Oklahoma's Buddy Hield, Michigan State's Denzel Valentine, Wisconsin's Frank Kaminsky and Creighton's Doug McDermott.
Guard: Markelle Fultz6' 4″ freshman, WashingtonProjected raw stats: 18.2 ppg, 6.0 rpg, 5.2 apg
Projected advanced stats: 114.6 Offensive Rating on 27% usageFultz's Huskies don't project to make the NCAA tournament, but the numbers he's likely to average in an up-tempo offense, plus his status as a potential No. 1 overall NBA draft pick in 2017, can lift him to All-America status even on an NIT team. Don't be surprised if he has multiple points-rebounds-assists triple-doubles this season.
Guard/Forward: Josh Hart6' 5.5″ senior, VillanovaProjected raw stats: 16.0 ppg, 6.5 rpg, 2.0 apg
Projected advanced stats: 124.2 Offensive Rating on 23% usageIt's unlikely that Hart will be able to match the scoring average of Duke's Grayson Allen, but the Villanova wing can make a national player of the year case with his all-around value. Hart figures to be a high-efficiency scorer and high-impact defender on a team that will contend for a repeat national title.
Forward: Dillon Brooks6' 7″ junior, OregonProjected raw stats: 17.2 ppg, 5.7 rpg, 2.9 apg
Projected advanced stats: 117.0 Offensive Rating on 26% usageBrooks is still recovering from a left foot injury (and subsequent surgery) that kept him sidelined for the summer and early fall, and it would not be surprising if he sat out part of the Ducks' November schedule. When he is on the floor, though, he's a do-everything wing and the best player on the best team on the West Coast.
Forward: Ivan Rabb6' 11″ sophomore, CalProjected raw stats: 18.3 ppg, 9.7 rpg, 1.1 apg
Projected advanced stats: 119.7 Offensive Rating on 26% usageNo player looks more ready to make the leap from freshman role player to sophomore star than Rabb, who passed on the chance to be a first-round pick in the 2016 NBA draft. He's the major-conference big man whom SI projects to average closest to 20 points and 10 rebounds per game, on a Cal team that's top-20 quality.
Guard: Monte Morris6'3″ senior, Iowa StateProjected raw stats: 15.5 ppg, 4.0 rpg, 6.3 apg
Projected advanced stats: 121.4 Offensive Rating on 24% usageMorris will be transitioning from a pass-first point guard role—one that he's played exceptionally well for three years in Ames—to a situation where he's the Cyclones' No. 1 option on offense. He's adept enough in the pick-and-roll to handle it, and to carry an undersized Iowa State team back to the NCAA tournament.
Guard: Malik Monk6' 3″ freshman, KentuckyProjected raw stats: 16.0 ppg, 2.1 rpg, 2.5 apgProjected advanced stats: 117.1 Offensive Rating on 25% usageKentucky is (as always) loaded with talented underclassmen, but Monk is its one pure scorer, and his recruiting pedigree, NBA draft stock and AAU advanced stats all suggest he can put up big numbers in what will likely be his one-and-done year of college. The majority of Monk's points are likely to come on basket-attacks or in transition, but his three-point shot is also developing into a weapon.
Forward: Josh Jackson6' 8″ freshman, KansasProjected raw stats: 15.7 ppg, 6.8 rpg, 1.7 apgProjected advanced stats: 119.0 Offensive Rating on 23% usageAs a one-and-done freshman small forward at Kansas in 2013–14, Andrew Wiggins averaged 17.1 points and 5.9 rebounds in 32.8 minutes per game. We think Jackson—who's a strong enough defender to earn coach Bill Self's trust early in the season—can play Wiggins-level minutes and have Wiggins-level stat lines.
Forward: Nigel Hayes6' 8″ senior, WisconsinProjected raw stats: 15.9 ppg, 5.9 rpg, 2.8 apgProjected advanced stats: 113.3 Offensive Rating on 27% usageThis is a bounce-back projection for Hayes, who struggled with his three-point shot as a junior but still found plenty of ways to be valuable for a Wisconsin team that made a run to the Sweet 16. As Hayes (most likely) improves from long range and his supporting cast gets more experienced, he should be the offensive leader for a team with two other stars in Bronson Koenig and Ethan Happ.
Forward: Jaron Blossomgame6' 7″ senior, ClemsonProjected raw stats: 18.9 ppg, 7.5 rpg, 1.5 apgProjected advanced stats: 120.0 Offensive Rating on 25% usageIf Blossomgame leads Clemson into the top 25 —which is certainly within reach, as the Tigers start at No. 34 in SI's projections—he could finish the season as a first-teamer. As a 40%-plus three-point shooter who can also score on the interior, rebound and defend, he's one of the nation's best all-around forwards.
G: Frank Mason, 5' 11″, senior, Kansas
G: Dennis Smith Jr., 6' 3″, freshman, NC State
F: Alec Peters, 6' 9″ senior, Valparaiso
F: Jayson Tatum, 6' 7″ freshman, Duke
G: Allonzo Trier, 6' 5″, sophomore, Arizona (* if eligible)
G: Maurice Watson Jr., 5' 10″, senior, Creighton
G: Jaylen Adams, 6' 2″, senior, St. Bonaventure
G: Jack Gibbs, 6-foot, senior, Davidson
G: Melo Trimble, 6' 3″, junior, Maryland
F: Trevon Bluiett, 6' 6″, junior, Xavier