One of the recent clichés in college basketball is that the four-year senior is disappearing.
True, underclassmen led the way for Final Four squads for Duke and Kentucky, but the postseason award circuit has its share of seniors. Three of the last five national players of the year were seniors. After no seniors were on the 2013 consensus All-America team, five were on the teams in 2014 and 2015.
Seniors this season might lead the way for Naismith and Wooden Awards. This week, we’ll take a look at our “All-Class” teams for 2015-16, starting with the seniors. Each of our starting five on the All-Senior squad could be viable player of the year.
The following article and more can be found in the Athlon Sports College Basketball Preview magazine, available now.
Podcast: Who should be No. 1 in College Basketball in 2015-16?
G Yogi Ferrell, Indiana
Ferrell ranked in the top 10 in scoring (16.3 ppg), assists (4.9), free throw shooting (86 percent), 3-point shooting (41.6 percent) and minutes played (34.9 per game). He's a versatile scorer who could lead one of the best offensive teams in the Big Ten.
*In the original post, Providence guard Kris Dunn was listed in error as a guard on the All-Senior team. He is a redshirt junior. Ferrell was moved to the first-time in his place. Michigan's Caris LeVert replaced Ferrell on the second team.
G Buddy Hield, Oklahoma
He’s a fast-talking Bahamian named Buddy who happens to be the reigning Big 12 Player of the Year. The Sooners will take aim at the Big 12 title behind Hield, who led the league at 17.4 points per game.
G Marcus Paige, North Carolina
Paige battled a foot injury that cut his numbers for most of the season. He found his stroke in the final month of the season, averaging 17.1 points and 4.8 assists while shooting 45.8 percent in the final eight games.
F Georges Niang, Iowa State
Niang returns as Iowa State’s go-to player again. Though his scoring dipped by more than a point per game (15.3 ppg), he improved his 3-point shooting (40 percent) and free throw shooting (80 percent) dramatically in 2014-15.
F Kyle Wiltjer, Gonzaga
Wiltjer could make a run at National Player of the Year honors after averaging 16.8 points per game and finishing ninth nationally in offensive rating. The question is how he fares without playmaking point guard Kevin Pangos.
G Gary Payton II, Oregon State
G Fred VanVleet, Wichita State
G Caris LeVert, Michigan
F Perry Ellis, Kansas
C A.J. Hammons, Purdue