With college basketball season less than 24 hours away, everybody is finalizing their preseason predictions. On Thursday, the preseason top-50 list for the annual Naismith Award, given to the national player of the year, was released.
The whole list can be found here, but we want to show some love to the players from mid-majors that made the cut:
Jack Gibbs, Davidson
Gibbs was named to this same list last year, and for good reason. He was sixth in the country in scoring at 23.5 points per game, and could go even higher this year. If Davidson hopes to make noise in March, Gibbs will be the one leading the charge (Steph Curry comparison anyone?).
E.C. Matthews, Rhode Island
After sitting out last year with a torn ACL, Matthews is poised to lead one of the best mid-majors in the country. The Rams are ranked in the Top 25 in both preseason polls, and are a popular dark horse pick by many in the national media. The Atlantic-10 POY race between Matthews and Gibbs will be a joy to watch.
Alec Peters, Valparaiso
Yep, Peters is still around, and yes, he’s still good. The senior came back for one final ride with the Crusaders, and it should be no surprise he’s on this list. Peters has been one of the most consistent players in college basketball, and his swan song could be his best year yet.
Nigel Williams-Goss, Gonzaga
The Bulldogs are back with a reloaded roster, and Williams-Goss might be the best of the bunch. The do-it-all point guard is eligible this year after sitting out last year per NCAA transfer rules. Don’t be surprised if he’s a nightly triple-double threat and a name you hear on the second weekend of the tournament.