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The Tufts Daily
Where you read it first | Saturday, April 20, 2024

Moments ‘til Madness: Midseason All-America Predictions

Putting together the best starting lineup in college basketball (as of now).

"Moments 'Til Madness " Column Graphic
Graphic by Gretta Goorno

Now that we are just over halfway through the regular season, it’s fitting to start predicting who will grace the 2023–24 All-America First Team in college hoops. While a lot could change, here are my picks for the time being, along with an honorable mention.

Senior center Zach Edey, No. 2 Purdue University

Yet again, Edey has set himself apart from the competition. Averaging 22.9 points per game and 11.1 rebounds per game, he’s been able to maintain his dominance over the sport. Purdue currently sits at second in the Big Ten, but I expect them to finish atop the league. Edey seems like the clear National Player of the Year.

Senior center Hunter Dickinson, No. 3 University of Kansas

As the highest-rated transfer coming into the year, it’s no surprise that Dickinson is on this list. The Jayhawks’ big man is efficiently scoring around 19 points every night, along with being a defensive anchor on the other side of the court. Kansas has had some struggles lately with a bad loss to UCF, but they are still tied for first in the Big 12 and No. 3 in the nation thanks to Dickinson.

Senior guard Dalton Knecht, No. 6 University of Tennessee

The story every year with Tennessee is that they have one of the top defenses in the country but lack offensive production; Knecht could be the player that ends this narrative. The transition from mid-major to SEC basketball has seemed to be very easy for the University of Northern Colorado transfer, giving the Volunteers 18.5 points per game while shooting above 40% from three. In his last three games, he exploded, putting up a total of 103 points with an absurd average of 34.3 points.

Senior guard RJ Davis, No. 4 University of North Carolina

After missing the NCAA Tournament last season, UNC looks like the team everyone expected to see in 2023, led by RJ Davis. He’s putting up a career-best 20.4 points per game and is their go-to guy in the clutch. If this team finds itself in the Final Four come March, it will be because of their point guard’s great playing so far this season.

Senior guard Tristen Newton, No. 1 University of Connecticut

Leading the best team in the nation as of now, UConn’s point guard Tristen Newton has taken on his larger role this season and shown that he has what it takes to be the best player on a contending team. Newton averages just under 15 points per game and 6.1 assists per game. Although he’s been less efficient as of late, he’s been able to distribute the ball tremendously well all season and is one of their most important defenders.

Honorable Mention: Sophomore center Kyle Filipowski, No. 7 Duke University

Filipowski decided to stay at Duke this summer, even with first-round projections for the 2023 NBA Draft, and it seems to be paying off. Easily the best player on this Blue Devils team, he’s averaging 18.2 points per game and 8.9 rebounds per game. Without him, Duke would be nowhere near the top ten of the AP Poll.