Sit down and look at 3,000 players and try to figure out who the best 50 on that list are. That is what we have attempted to do over the last three months at Mid-Major Madness.
Through all the previews and top 10 lists, we listed out pieces of what we thought was important for the season opening tonight. All the while, this list of the top 50 mid-major players was in the back of our minds. How do you get down to the best of the best?
The cuts at the bottom are easy. The picks at the top are simple.
And then you get to the last few names. Do you go with size over speed? Should I really project some major breakout for a player that everyone else hypes, and yet we can't see it?
There is no easy answer. I am not even sure I haven't forgotten someone, even though I spent days trying to ensure I started with the right "finalists".
So here you are. The top 50 players in mid-major college basketball, from 50-1.
THE HARDEST CHOICES
50. Anthony Ireland, Loyola Marymount, Jr.
49. Devon Saddler, Delaware, Jr.
48. Alan Williams, UCSB, So.
47. Tommy Brenton, Stony Brook, Sr.
46. Zeke Marshall, Akron, Sr.
45. Anton Grady, Cleveland State, So.
44. Kendrick Perry, Youngstown State, Jr.
43. Kevin Foster, Santa Clara, Sr.
42. Seth Tuttle, Northern Iowa, So.
41. Jake Cohen, Davidson, Jr.
40. Torrey Craig, USC Upstate, Jr.
39. Jamal Olasewere, Long Island, Sr.
38. Kerron Johnson, Belmont, Sr.
37. Vander Joaquim, Hawaii, Sr.
36. TaShawn Thomas, Houston, So.
35. Javon McCrea, Buffalo, Jr.
34. Tarik Black, Memphis, Jr.
33. DeAndre Kane, Marshall, Jr.
32. James Ennis, Long Beach State, Sr.
31. O.D. Anosike, Siena, Sr.
30. Velton Jones, Robert Morris, Sr.
29. Mike Muscala, Bucknell, Sr.
28. Will Cherry, Montana, Sr.
27. Preston Medlin, Utah State, Jr.
26. Adonis Thomas, Memphis, So.
25. Julian Boyd, Long Island, Sr.
24. Jake Odum, Indiana State, Jr.
23. Robert Covington, Tennessee State, Sr.
22. Keith Clanton, Central Florida, Sr.
21. Alec Brown, Green Bay, Jr.
20. Frantz Massenat, Drexel, Jr.
CONFERENCE POY CONTENDERS
19. Chris Udofia, Denver, Jr.
18. Augustine Rubit, South Alabama, Jr.
17. Gregory Echenique, Creighton, Sr.
16. Brandon Davies, BYU, Sr.
15. Ray McCallum Jr., Detroit, Jr.
14. Ian Hummer, Princeton, Sr.
13. Ryan Broekhoff, Valparaiso, Sr.
12. Colt Ryan, Evansville, Sr.
11. Kevin Pangos, Gonzaga, So.
10. De'Mon Brooks, Davidson, Jr.
9. D.J. Cooper, Ohio, Sr.
8. Matthew Dellavedova, St. Mary's, Sr.
7. Elias Harris, Gonzaga, Sr.
6. Nate Wolters, South Dakota State, Sr.
5. Jackie Carmichael, Illinois State, Sr.
4. C.J. McCollum, Lehigh, Sr.
3. Tony Mitchell, North Texas, So.
2. Isaiah Canaan, Murray State, Sr.
1. Doug McDermott, Creighton, Jr.