We are a couple weeks removed from the end of the men’s and women’s college basketball seasons. Now that we have had time to fully digest what we saw around the country in the 2021-22 season, now feels like a good team to construct our men’s and women’s All-America teams.
We do have a little bit of a twist for this exercise. Instead of a men’s All-America team and a women’s All-America team, we are going to combine them into one squad and take the five best overall players in the country this year. Other than that, there are no restrictions. You can make your team all Big Ten players, all guards, all seniors, or all transfers. Just be sure to have some good reasoning with your selections.
Today’s question: Who is your college basketball men’s and women’s All-America team?
We’d love to hear your choices. Either respond to us on Twitter at @Landgrant33 or leave your choice in the comments.
Brett’s All-America team:
Keegan Murray - (G/F) - Iowa
Oscar Tshiebwe - (F) - Kentucky
Aliyah Boston - (F) - South Carolina
Caitlin Clark - (PG) - Iowa
Ochai Agbaji - (F) - Kansas
Even though Iowa wasn’t able to win a game in this year’s NCAA Tournament, don’t let that take away from the great season that Keegan Murray had for the Hawkeyes. The sophomore averaged 23.5 points and 8.7 rebounds per game this season. The only game that Murray didn’t reach double figures in scoring came when he scored nine points in the 73-53 loss to Iowa State. Murray’s season-high in scoring came on Feb. 13 against Nebraska when he netted 37 points.
It feels criminal that Kentucky had Oscar Tshiebwe and still lost in the first round of the NCAA Tournament. It’s hard to blame Tshiebwe for some of the setback the Wildcats suffered this year, as he scored 30 points during the regular season in a loss to Arkansas, as well as in the NCAA Tournament against St. Peter’s. There were only two games this season where Tshiebwe didn’t record a double-double. The Kentucky big man took home most of the major awards this year, winning the Naismith Award, Wooden Award, and was named AP Player of the Year.
Aliyah Boston was just as dominant on the hardwood as Oscar Tshiebwe was this year. Boston averaged 16.8 points and 12.5 rebounds per game this season. The South Carolina forward recorded 30 double-doubles in the last 32 games of the season, including scoring 28 points and grabbing 22 rebounds in the Sweet Sixteen victory over North Carolina. Boston not only won the Wooden & Naismith Awards this season, but was also named the NCAA Tournament’s Most Outstanding Player, as she led the Gamecocks to their second women’s basketball title in school history.
Even though Aliyah Boston dominated women’s college basketball this season, Caitlin Clark got most of the headlines. Clark averaged 27 points per game this yea, and in Iowa’s first game of 2022, making her the fastest Big Ten women’s basketball player to reach quadruple digits, as Clark did it in 40 games. Clark is well on her way to reaching 2,000 career points next season, especially after scoring at least 40 points in four games this year. One of those games came against Ohio State, when Clark scored 43 points in a 92-88 loss to the Buckeyes.
Rounding out my five All-Americans is Ochai Agbaji. The Kansas standout might not have quite the numbers as some of the others on this list, but what Agbaji has that three others on my All-America team doesn’t have is a national title. Agbaji looked as if he was running on fumes late in the season, but that’s because he carried the Jayhawks for most of the season. While Tshiebwe took home most of the college basketball hardware this year, Agbaji was named Big 12 Player of the Year, and the Final Four’s Most Outstanding Player.
Meredith’s All-America team:
Armando Bacot - (F) - North Carolina
Aaliyah Boston - (F) - South Carolina
Caitlin Clark - (PG) - Iowa
Jaden Ivey - (G) - Purdue
Ayoka Lee - (C) - Kansas State
Anchoring at center is Ayoka Lee, who averaged a double-double this season with 22 points and 10 rebounds per game. She also shot 56% from the field on the season. However, you probably recognize her name from that time she scored 61 points against Oklahoma in January.
Leading at point guard is none other than Caitlin Clark, who is absolutely my favorite overall player in basketball this year. Off the court, Clark has capitalized on NIL initiatives approaching $1 million. On the court, the sophomore averaged 27 points, eight rebounds and eight assists per game. Oh, and she regularly makes half court shots.
Across from Clark at the other guard position is fellow Big Ten star Jaden Ivey. If the sophomore’s three-pointer against St. Peter’s (arguably the shot of the tournament) isn’t enough for you, then his 17 points, five rebounds and three assists per game might be. However, what Ivey is at his core is a player who wills his team to wins, like we saw in the second round of this year’s tournament against Texas. And he came up just a hair short against St. Peter’s.
At forward, Armando Bacot, is on this list purely because of his performance throughout the NCAA Tournament, though his regular season stats are nothing to turn up your nose at. Through six tournament games, Bacot is the only player ever in men’s tournament history to record a double-double in every single game. He was phenomenal when it counted most — his team’s final result notwithstanding.
Finally, also at forward, is the national player of the year (she literally swept all five such honors ahead of the NCAA Tournament), Aaliyah Boston. The 17 points per game might not seem impressive compared to the likes of Lee and Clark, but the nearly 13 rebounds are. She also scored a double-double in five of six tournament games. Her defensive prowess is one of the reasons the Gamecocks allowed just 54 points in the first two rounds of the NCAA Tournament. Incredible.