All hail those who complete the insane task of trying to rank the top 100 players in college basketball entering a season. And all hail Mike Rutherford, the intrepid college basketball editor, who did just that for SBNation.
This is something on our task list prior to the season, but our goal was just to hit the top 50 mid-major players based on the rankings that we have been doing for each of the conferences. But to do the top 100 in all of college basketball? That takes time, and more time, and then you ask someone to take a hammer to the clock over your shoulder, and you use the time while it is being fixed to get it done.
I could pour over the data, and the lists, and last year's lists, and more, until the season ends, and I don't think I would get to this point.
And oh, what a point it is. In fact, I think that some might want to strip Rutherford of his stewardship of the Card Chronicle after this. Why?
There are three mid-major players within the top five in the country. Add in Tony Mitchell in the top 10 and you have quite cluster of the next level talent at the top, showing just how wide open it could be for player of the year this season.
We have already looked at how Creighton's Doug McDermott might have a case for the overall player of the year. We even looked at how difficult it is to judge Murray State's Isaiah Canaan based on his growth pattern.
We didn't address C.J. McCollum's case, but we did almost make him a god in our preview of Lehigh.
Rutherford has already made the case for us though:
The two-time Patriot League Player of the Year would be a star for any team in the country. No one who watched him light up Duke in last year's NCAA Tournament would disagree.
There is a significant possibility that the top players in all of college basketball will be the ones that don't get the massive amounts of television time, that toil away in relative obscurity.
I mean, we know their names here at Mid-Major Madness. And the college basketball cognoscenti know who they are. But ESPN isn't going out of their way to show that early season Murray State - Old Dominion tilt (although they should...)
So get ready for the mid-major takeover (the top 100 is packed with guys we cover), and brush up on the big boys with Rutherford's list.