College Basketball Talk published its list of the top 15 backcourts (plus honorable mentions) earlier this week, which included several mid-majors: Gonzaga, Rhode Island, Saint Mary’s and San Diego State.
You won’t find any qualms with those groups here; they’re all deserving. But here are a few other mid-major backcourts that figure to be among the best in the country this upcoming season.
Dayton: Charles Cooke (senior), Scoochie Smith (senior), Kyle Davis (senior), Trey Landers (freshman)
Cooke is one of the best two-way players in the country and his decision to return to school was monumental news for Archie Miller and the Flyers. Smith has been the primary ballhandler for two great Dayton teams, and was not happy about being left off the Bob Cousy preseason watchlist. Davis is one of the best defenders in the A-10, while Landers is a three-star prospect that can spell Smith at the point.
UT-Arlington: Erick Neal (junior), Jalen Jones (senior), Drew Charles (senior), Kaelon Wilson (junior)
Star forward Kevin Hervey isn’t the only reason UT-Arlington sits at #67 in the initial KenPom ratings. The Sun Belt favorite also returns an excellent backcourt, led by a dynamic distributor in Neal (6.2 assists per game). Jones and Charles are both long distance threats for a squad that no power conference team will want to see in March.
Eastern Michigan: Ray Lee (senior), Willie Mangum IV (senior), Ty Toney (senior), Tim Bond (junior)
The Eagles - much like UT-Arlington - have a deep, talented backcourt supporting a great big man (James Thompson IV). The three seniors each scored at least 11.0 points per game last year, with Lee and Toney being free throw generating machines. The experienced backcourt makes Eastern Michigan the favorite in the MAC’s West Division.
William & Mary: Omar Prewitt (senior), Daniel Dixon (senior), David Cohn (junior), Connor Burchfield (junior).
The Tribe are still seeking their first NCAA invite, and have a good chance because of this group. It does hinge on defining Prewitt as a guard, but that should be fair since the CAA’s returning leading scorer (17.8 ppg) does plenty of damage from the wing. Cohn is a steady hand (144 assists/50 turnovers) and Dixon has averaged double digit scoring the past two seasons.
UNC Wilmington: Chris Flemmings (senior), Denzel Ingram (senior), C.J. Bryce (sophomore), Jordon Talley (junior)
Kevin Keatts and the Seahawks, who got the CAA’s bid last year, may be standing in the way of that Tribe narrative. They’ll be strong again, primarily because of a deep, experienced backcourt. Flemmings is a former Division II player that immediately became one of the league’s best scorers (16.2 ppg). Talley and Bryce should be ready to take on bigger roles with Craig Ponder gone.
Fort Wayne: Mo Evans (senior), John Konchar (sophomore), Bryson Scott (junior)
Losing Max Landis is big, but Evans and Konchar are a terrific offensive duo that should keep the Mastodons atop the Summit League. Former top-100 prospect and Fort Wayne-native Bryson Scott is eligible after transferring from Purdue.