Top 100 Returning College Basketball Players

Game night!

I’ve looked at a large number of “Top 100 player” articles over the last month – almost all of which I lamented about too few mid major or small school players included, and too many freshmen.

So, here’s my list, as objective a list as I can compile – using my player ratings from the last two seasons. Remember, ratings are adjusted for SoS, pace, playing time relative to quality of teammates, etc.:


Wanting to heavily weight the last season, I used the following formula to create the ranking:


I want to remind people to look at every rating as having as much as a 5% deviation either direction. I will never say a player who has a 143 rating was definitely better than one with a 139. But, I am completely confident a player with a 143 rating had a better season than one with a 126.

The bottom of this list includes a bunch of players tightly grouped, any of which people could argue are better than any other in that group. There are many just outside the top 100 with ratings well within 5% of 131 HnI (the rating at #100). But, I have to rank them – so I stick with the exact results.

I included rating breakdowns, to make it easily to see what TYPE of player each guy is – to understand what they do well (or not so well) statistically.


How the Top 100 broke down:

The six guys that stood at as the front runners for POY: Kris Dunn (Providence), Kyle Wiltjer (Gonzaga), Fred VanVleet (Wichita State), Jameel Warney (Stony Brook), Anthony Gill (Virginia), and Gary Payton (Oregon State).

Four of those guys seem to get a ton of pub, while Gill doesn’t get nearly as much as his teammate (32nd ranked Malcolm Brogdon) – and Warney is still a mystery to many, despite my ratings loving him above almost all other small school players the last three seasons. Gill and Warney won’t win POY – even if they possibly improve on their past exceptional play. VanVleet might get overshadowed by his better scoring #12 ranked teammate Ron Baker.


Number in the Top 100 by conference:

13 ACC

11 Big 12 & Big Ten

8 Big East & AAC

7 Pac 12 & SEC

6 A-10

5 Missouri Valley & West Coast Conference

3 Southland

2 Mountain West, MAC, ConfUSA, Ivy, Sun Belt

1 CAA, Horizon, AEC, Big South, Big Sky, WAC


Teams with more than one player:

4 Virginia

3 Gonzaga, Iowa State, North Carolina, Villanova, Wichita State

2 Baylor, Cincinnati, Connecticut (both transfers – see later), Indiana, Kansas, Maryland, Michigan State, Notre Dame, Oklahoma, SMU, Stephen F. Austin, Texas A&M

Got to address my fellow Arizona alums & fans here – don’t fret, two Arizona players didn’t make the list due to too few minutes. Dusan Ristic had a 132 rating, which would have put him at #97, ironically just in front ot the guy he backs up – Kaleb Tarczewski.  Parker Jackson-Cartwright would have been #59, with his 138 rating.  Gabe York and transfer Mark Tollefsen just missed the list with a 131 &  128 rating respectively, while transfer Ryan Anderson was within 5% deviation of the Top 100 with his 124 rating.


Eight transfers made the list:

#10 Damion Lee – Louisville from Drexel

#23 Maurice Watson Jr. – Creighton from Bostun U.

#25 Shonn Miller – UConn from Cornell

#66 Sterling Gibbs – UConn from Seton Hall

#72 Ricky Tarrant – Memphis from Alabama

#87 Jermaine Ruttley – Arkansas-Little Rock from Florida A&M

#93 Anton Grady – Wichita State from Cleveland State

#99 Kenny Kaminski – Ohio from Michigan State

St. John’s Durand Johnson would have been 86th with a 133 rating, but with just 317 minutes with Pitt in 2013-14 – he didn’t make the playing time cut.


Feel free to hit me up on twitter and ask about the rating of ANY returning player(s) you’d like – I’ll quickly compute it and answer back.

Because of so many tranfers, going pro early, torn ACLs, suspensions, guys with same name, etc. – I had to methodically work this list from the highest rated players down to make sure I didn’t include someone not playing this coming season – or miss someone who is coming back after missing last season. So, I didn’t compile EVERY guy – would have taken forever. But, I’ll do requests.