As expected, the Associated Press’s list of preseason All-Americans was a bit power conference heavy. This did not sit well with us. Nor should it with you.
The writers here at Mid-Major Madness each submitted their own lists of the best mid-major players in the country, and this is what we came up with:
Player of the Year: Jock Landale, Saint Mary’s
Landale is the best player in the West Coast Conference. Full stop. He exploded onto the scene a year ago, averaging 16.9 points and 9.5 rebounds per game. Landale will dominate the WCC, most likely averaging a double-double this season. He is on many preseason awards watch lists, including the Oscar Robertson Award and the Kareem Abdul-Jabbar Award. Naturally, he is the preseason WCC Player of the Year.
Freshman of the Year: Brandon McCoy, UNLV
The UNLV stud comes in as a five-star prospect and the 14th-best freshman in the country, according to 247sports. McCoy stands 6’11 and can play a multitude of positions. The McDonalds All-American will make an immediate impact in the Mountain West this year.
First Team All-Mid-Major Madness:
Jock Landale, Saint Mary’s
Jaylen Adams, Saint Bonaventure
Mike Daum, South Dakota State
Brandon Goodwin, Florida Gulf Coast
E.C. Matthews, Rhode Island
The First Team is led by two A-10 guards in Rhode Island’s E.C. Matthews and St. Bonaventure’s Jaylen Adams. Adams is the prototypical point guard, but, like, way better. He averaged 20.6 points and an Atlantic 10-leading 6.5 assists. While Matthews had a solid year for the Rams, his numbers will only go up with the departure of Hassan Martin.
Mike Daum is force to be reckoned with, having Dauminated for the Jackrabbits since he stepped on campus in 2015-16. He has a career average of 20.2 ppg, and scored 25.1 per game a year ago. Brandon Goodwin has balled since his transfer to Dunk City. With 18.5 points per game last season and 4.0 assists, he will continue to blossom for FGCU.
Second Team All-Mid-Major Madness:
Chris Clemons, Campbell
Peyton Aldridge, Davidson
Chandler Hutchison, Boise State
Alize Johnson, Missouri State
Giddy Potts, Middle Tennessee
Campbell guard Chris Clemons is one of the feistiest players in all of the college basketball. At 5’9, he still averaged over 20 a game in the Big South. Peyton Aldridge was a beast a year ago for Davidson with 20.5 ppg and 8.2 rpg. The absolute best big man in the Atlantic 10 has the potential to move up to the first team by the end of the year, but could be held back by a mediocre Davidson squad.
Chandler Hutchison broke onto the scene last season, tripling his points per game and doubling both assists and rebounds. The 37 percent three-point shooter will do wonders at Boise State once again. Alize Johnson had a stellar junior campaign at Missouri State. The Bears big man shoots 40 percent from deep and Draft Express projects him as a mid-major player to watch out for at the next level. One of the best names in all of sports, Giddy Potts leads a talented Middle Tennessee team. Potts’ 5:1 assist-to-turnover ratio is one of the best of any returner in the country.
Third Team All-Mid-Major Madness:
Makai Mason, Yale
Tyler Hall, Montana State
Kevin Hervey, UT-Arlington
James Thompson IV, Eastern Michigan
Jordan Caroline, Nevada
After missing all of the 2016-17 season with a broken foot, Makai Mason is fully cleared to play for Yale this season. His most notable game came in the 2016 NCAA Tournament when the Bulldogs upset Baylor behind his 31 points. Coincidentally, due to Ivy League rules forbidding redshirts, Mason will suit up in Waco for the 2018-19 season as a grad transfer.
Hall is a dynamic scorer (20.9 career PPG) that figures to break the Montana State and Big Sky career scoring records this season. UTA big man Kevin Hervey returned strong last year from an ACL injury that costed him much of 2015-16. He averaged 17.1 points and 8.5 rebounds for a team that went 14-4 in the Sun Belt.
Eastern Michigan has a great center in James Thompson IV, who has averaged a double-double the last two seasons, while Nevada’s Jordan Caroline can put up big numbers on any night, like his 45-point outing against New Mexico.