Skip to main content

Athlon Sports' 2021-22 College Basketball Preseason All-America Team

Kofi Cockburn, Illinois Fighting Illini Basketball

Illinois center Kofi Cockburn led the Big Ten in rebounding and was a second-team All-American last season

Of the consensus 2021 first-team All-Americans, all five have either graduated or left early for the NBA. That can only mean one thing: lots of turnover in college basketball. But the Athlon Sports' college basketball All-America team is still loaded with familiar names.

Headlining the group are two consensus second-team All-America players from last season, Illinois center Kofi Cockburn and Gonzaga forward Drew Timme. Cockburn tested the transfer portal before returning to Champaign, where he led the Big Ten in rebounding (9.6) and was fifth in scoring (17.6). Timme, meanwhile, is a Naismith College Player of the Year favorite after nearly leading Gonzaga to an undefeated season in 2020-21.

Related: Top 25 for 2021-22

Rounding out the group is a pair of third-year swing men — Indiana's Trayce Jackson-Davis and UCLA's Johnny Juzang — and freshman big man Paolo Banchero out of Duke. In all, 12 different programs were represented on our three teams, as Gonzaga, Purdue, and UCLA each got a pair of picks.

First-Team All-Americans

Paolo Banchero, Fr., F, Duke

Banchero is expected to be the star of Coach K's final season at Duke, as the 6'9" native of Seattle was the second overall recruit in the nation. Banchero can score from anywhere on the court and is expected to be a high pick in the 2021 NBA Draft.

Kofi Cockburn, Jr., C, Illinois

With first-team All-America guard Ayo Dosunmu off to the NBA, Cockburn has the spotlight to himself at Illinois. He's incredibly efficient down low (65.4 percent field-goal percentage), and Illini head coach Brad Underwood thinks Cockburn will extend his range this season.

Trayce Jackson-Davis, So., F, Indiana

Jackson-Davis is a Big Ten Player of the Year favorite as the conference's returning leading scorer (19.1). He is a constant double-double threat (9.0 rpg) and is looking to build his NBA résumé under new Indiana head coach Mike Woodson.

Johnny Juzang, Jr., G, UCLA

Juzang surprised many when he returned to UCLA after leading the Bruins to a surprise Final Four run. He paced the team with 16.0 ppg and is unlocking his potential as the 33rd overall recruit in the nation when he signed out of high school with Kentucky. 

Drew Timme, Jr., F, Gonzaga

Timme is known for his iconic mustache as much as his wide array of post moves, and he's one of the premier players at drawing fouls. He may well be the face of college basketball this season after leading Gonzaga with 19.0 points and 7.0 rebounds on 65.5 percent shooting.

Related: 2021-22 NCAA Tournament Projections

Second-Team All-Americans

Max Abmas, Jr., G, Oral Roberts
Buddy Boeheim, Sr., G, Syracuse
Chet Holmgren, Fr., C, Gonzaga
Jaden Ivey, So., G, Purdue
E.J. Liddell, Jr., F, Ohio State

Third-Team All-Americans

Julian Champagnie, Jr., G/F, St. John's
Collin Gillespie, Sr., G, Villanova
Jaime Jaquez Jr., Jr., G/F, UCLA
Scotty Pippen Jr., Jr., G, Vanderbilt
Trevion Williams, Sr., F, Purdue