Top 5 College Basketball Players To Watch in 2024

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Top 5 College Basketball Players To Watch in 2024As the college basketball scene heats up, scouts, coaches, and fans turn their eyes to the rising stars of the sport. The year 2024 is particularly ripe with talent, showcasing players who not only dominate the college leagues but also show immense potential for the professional arena.

Here, we delve into the top five players who have been not just making waves with their exceptional skills on the court but also displaying the leadership, work ethic, and passion that sets them apart as ones to watch in the coming seasons.

Zach Edey, Purdue

Standing at a towering 7-foot-4 and weighing 300 pounds, Zach Edey of Purdue has become the center of attention in college basketball. Edey is putting up staggering numbers: averaging 23.2 points and 10.2 rebounds per game and maintaining an impressive 62% shooting from the field. These stats aren’t just impressive; they’re indications of a player who is defining an era of basketball with his generational talent.

As the NCAA Tournament draws near, the burning question on everyone’s mind is whether Edey can channel his dominance into leading Purdue to their first Final Four appearance since 1980. The pressure is unprecedented, and the spotlight on the Boilermakers will be intense when March Madness kicks off. The anticipation is profound, and Edey’s quest for redemption is a storyline poised to captivate the nation.

Hunter Dickinson, Kansas

Hunter Dickinson’s choice to transfer to Kansas has been nothing short of transformative for the Jayhawks. Hailing from a strong Michigan program, Dickinson was the centerpiece of a high-stakes recruitment battle, ultimately choosing the Jayhawks over other basketball powerhouses such as Kentucky, Villanova, and Maryland.

Standing out with his commanding presence on the court, he averages a robust 18.5 points and 12.5 rebounds per game. Moreso, his 61% shooting from the floor, bolstered by an impressive 52% from beyond the arc, showcases his multifaceted skill set.

Dickinson is the engine driving the 12-1 Jayhawks, a team that, despite its success, seems to fly under the radar, though undoubtedly deserving of more spotlight as a reigning national championship contender.

Kevin McCullar Jr., Kansas

Indeed, Kansas makes a second appearance on our list, a testament to the depth of talent within the Jayhawks’ roster. Fifth-year senior Kevin McCullar Jr., with his 6-7 frame, has emerged as a standout player in his final collegiate season. McCullar is posting impressive averages of 20.4 points, 6.9 rebounds, and 4.6 assists per game, highlighting the versatility and maturity in his gameplay.

His remarkable improvement from beyond the arc, where he has elevated his 3-point shooting from just over 29% to 38%, has been crucial for Kansas, especially as the team encountered scoring challenges from the perimeter. McCullar’s ability to step up when the pressure mounts attests to his crucial role in Bill Self’s team, ensuring they remain competitive and formidable in every matchup.

Isaiah Stevens, Colorado State

If Isaiah Stevens isn’t already on your radar, it’s time to take note. As the driving force behind a formidable Colorado State team that boasts a 13-1 record, Stevens has been nothing short of spectacular—a sentiment echoed by analysts who recognize the impact of his veteran presence.

Amassing over 2,000 career points, Stevens leads the Rams with averages of 17.3 points and a staggering 7.3 assists per game. Standing out in his fifth season, he has become somewhat of an anomaly in an era where long-term collegiate commitment is rare, underscoring his dedication to both his personal development and the success of the team.

Stevens’ journey harks back to an era when players grew with their program, and his decision to stay in Fort Collins may well lead Colorado State to new heights—potential history in the making for a team that hasn’t tasted the sweetness of the Sweet 16 since 1969.

His steadfast loyalty to the Rams and his consistent excellence on the court serve as a beacon of inspiration, proving that with talent, tenacity, and unwavering commitment, even the so-called underdog programs can defy expectations and capture the national spotlight.

Tyler Kolek, Marquette

Tyler Kolek’s presence on the court is nothing short of mesmerizing, with a flair for the dramatic that has endeared him to Marquette fans and made him a marked man on the road in the Big East. His on-court persona has cast him as one of the villains of college basketball, a role he relishes, especially when silencing away crowds with his electrifying performances. Averaging 15.3 points and 6.3 assists per game, Kolek has been instrumental in Marquette’s impressive 40-10 run over the past two seasons.

His ability to shine in the clutch was on full display when he scored 24 points in a pivotal win at Illinois; yet, it was his masterful 28-point, eight-rebound, and six-assist onslaught against Texas that solidified his reputation as a big-game titan. As the pressure mounts and the lights grow brighter, Kolek thrives, feeding off the intensity and using it to fuel his competitive fire. If Marquette is to end their Sweet 16 drought this year, look for Kolek to lead the charge, his swagger and skill guiding the Golden Eagles as they navigate the treacherous waters of March Madness. With Kolek at the helm—the “head of the snake”—the potential for Marquette to make a deep tournament run is undeniable.

The Bottom Line

Players like Zach Edey and Tyler Kolek not only represent the pinnacle of college basketball prowess but also the heart and spirit that make March Madness a truly unique and unpredictable spectacle.

As March Madness approaches, the NCAAB betting odds begin to take center stage for sports enthusiasts and gamblers alike. Oddsmakers meticulously analyze every stat, injury report, and historical performance to set the lines that will draw in bets from all over the country. But as the saying goes, anything can happen in March, and the magic of college basketball lies in its ability to defy expectations and surprise us with unforgettable moments. Will these five players lead their teams to glory? Only time will tell!