Four All-Americans give the Big Ten the toughest All-Conference team, led by Melo Trimble who hopes to lead Maryland to a Big Ten and national title. Most of the talent is concentrated in the 10 preseason All-Conference teams listed below, but All-Americans Fred VanVleet and Ron Baker of Wichita State lead the “best of the rest” from the other 23 conferences.
Reid Forgrave of Fox Sports picks Wichita State’s Fred VanVleet as Player of the Year, while NBC Sports and CBS Sports pick Kris Dunn. The Big Lead and ESPN pick LSU’s Ben Simmons. The selections were based six player ratings with 150 points awarded for a first place vote, 149 for second etc., with the top player at each position placed on each All-Conference Team.
An updated list of teams projected to make the tournament and their seeds will be kept up at the Best Returning Players blog.
Kris Dunn of Providence in the Big East received 890 of a possible 900 points for the top spot, followed by Trimble with 868 points for second.
Big Ten (No. 1 All-Conference Team, 3991 Points)
Melo Trimble, Maryland, PG, 2nd highest national rating, 868 of 900 points, Big Ten POY, 2nd Team All-American
Nigel Hayes, Wisconsin, PF, 10, 817, 3rd Team All-American
Denzel Valentine, Michigan St., SF, 13, 792, 2nd Team All-American
Caris LeVert, Michigan, SF, 16, 768, 3rd Team All-American
Yogi Ferrell, Indiana, PG, 21, 746
The two conferences facing off in the Gavitt Tip-off games, the Big Ten and Big East, are the only two conferences with five different teams represented on their All-Conference team.
SEC (No. 2 All-Conference Team, 3911 Points)
Ben Simmons, Louisiana St., SF, 3, 862, SEC POY, 1st Team All-American
Skal Labissiere, Kentucky, C, 5, 848, 1st Team All-American
Jamal Murray, Kentucky, SG, 15, 784
Tyler Ulis, Kentucky, PG, 17, 768
Damian Jones, Vanderbilt, PF, 29, 649
While the SEC is not as strong top-to-bottom, Kentucky always makes it tough to make the All-Conference team.
ACC (No. 3 All-Conference Team, 3744 points)
Marcus Paige, North Carolina, PG, 6, 845, ACC POY
Malcolm Brogdon, Virginia, SG, 12, 795, 2nd Team All-American
Brandon Ingram, Duke, SF, 18, 760
Demetrius Jackson, Notre Dame, SG, 19, 758
Anthony Gill, Virginia, PF, 37, 586
Marcus Paige finished as the 6th best player in the compilation of the six rankings before breaking his hand. We dropped him from the All-American team since he will miss most of the non-conference games, but he should play the entire All-ACC season and have an edge for Conference Player of the Year.
Big 12 (No. 4 All-Conference Team, 3661 Points)
Buddy Hield, Oklahoma, SG, 7, 842, Big 12 POY, 1st Team All-American
Monte Morris, Iowa St., PG, 24, 723
Rico Gathers, Baylor, C, 25, 710
Georges Niang, Iowa St., SF, 26, 705
Perry Ellis, Kansas, PF, 27, 681
Hield ranks 7th overall, but as the top shooting guard in the country is listed as 1st Team All-American.
Big East (No. 5 All-Conference Team, 3371 Points)
Kris Dunn (POY), Providence, PG, 1, 890, Big East and National POY
D’Vauntes Smith-Rivera, Georgetown, PG, 20, 747
Jalen Brunson, Villanova, PG, 33, 610
Kellen Dunham, Butler, SF, 39, 568
Henry Ellenson, Marquette, PF, 40, 556
In addition to the best player in the country in Dunn, the Big East boast four of the top 40. The bad news for point guards in the conference is they need to play six games against one of the top three point guards in the country, plus the player who was selected as co-POY in the conference last year in Villanova’s Ryan Arcidiacono. That means eight games against an unbelievable point guard with the Big East’s home-and-home set up with every team.
Pac-12 (No. 6 All-Conference Team, 3300 Points)
Jaylen Brown, California, PF, 9, 820, Pac-12 POY, 2nd Team All-American
Jakob Poeltl, Utah, C, 14, 791, 2nd Team All-American
Gary Payton, Oregon St., SG, 23, 731
Tyrone Wallace, California, PG, 48, 483
Ivan Rabb, California, PF, 50, 475
While Payton just missed All-American in the composite, Value Add calculates he will be the 2nd best player in the country.
West Coast (No. 7 All-Conference Team, 2447 Points)
Kyle Wiltjer, Gonzaga, PF, 4, 854, West Coast POY, 1st Team All-American
Domantas Sabonis, Gonzaga, C, 22, 736, 3rd Team All-American
Kyle Collinsworth, Brigham Young, PG, 28, 667
Przemek Karnowski, Gonzaga, C, 126, 98
Jared Brownridge, Santa Clara, SG, 129, 92
American Athletic (No. 8 All-Conference Team, 1725 Points)
Nic Moore, Southern Methodist, PG, 46, 499, American Athletic POY
Daniel Hamilton, Connecticut, PF, 54, 436
Sterling Gibbs, Connecticut, SG, 58, 401
Amida Brimah, Connecticut, PF, 87, 197
Markus Kennedy, Southern Methodist, PF, 88, 192
With probation hitting SMU, the American Athletic needs to hope transfer Sterling Gibbs can lead the All-Conference trio to another magical UConn run. The conference is having an incredible football season, but it could be a tougher basketball season.
Atlantic 10 (No. 9 All-Conference Team, 1339 Points)
DeAndre Bembry, St. Joseph’s, SG, 49, 480, A10 POY
E.C. Matthews, Rhode Island, SF, 59, 386
Hassan Martin, Rhode Island, PF, 77, 255
Jack Gibbs, Davidson, PG, 100, 151
Patricio Garino, George Washington, SF, 149, 67
Dunn’s quest for National Player of the Year could be sidetracked when as an underdog in the intrastate battle with Martin and Matthews from Rhode Island.
Mountain West (No. 10 All-Conference Team, 1281 Points)
Malik Pope, San Diego St., C, 53, 460, Mountain West POY
Stephen Zimmerman, Nevada Las Vegas, C, 69, 328
James Webb, Boise St., C, 78, 230
Anthony Drmic, Boise St., SG, 99, 152
Winston Shepard, San Diego St., PF, 117, 111
Boise State’s duo of Webb and Drmic can challenge traditional powers San Diego State and UNLV.
Best of the Other 23 Conferences
Fred VanVleet, Wichita St., PG, 8, 833, Missouri Valley POY, 1st Team All-American
Ron Baker, Wichita St., SG, 11, 811, Missouri Valley, and 2nd Team All-American
Jameel McKay, Stony Brook, C, 56, 425, American East
Jalan West, Northwestern St., PG, 60, 384, Southland
Shawn Long, Louisiana Lafayette, C, 79, 228, Sun Belt
A.J. English, Iona, PG, 81, 223, Metro Atlantic Athletic
Maodo Lo, Columbia, SG, 82, 220, Ivy League
John Brown, High Point, C, 95, 162, Big South
Terry Tarpey, William & Mary, PG, 103, 143, Colonial Athletic Association
Alec Peters, Valparaiso, PF, 107, 133, Horizon League
The top five players from the other 23 conferences would rank as the seventh best conference, led by Wichita State’s All-American duo. Value Add Basketball actually ranks several of these players higher than the overall composite.