Times have changed since the preseason. The last time we ranked the top 25 players in college basketball, we thought Michigan State might stick at No. 1 for a good long while, Florida would be a fixture in the top 25 all season and Virginia would be great on defense but would struggle to make shots.
Fine, we were spot-on with that last bit. The point is, the presence of actual basketball games changes our evaluations of teams and players dramatically. It's therefore high time that we update our rankings of the game's top 25 players.
Just a reminder, these are rankings based on college performance, and not a mock draft.
Here are the top 25 players of 2019-20 so far:
Thank you, Markus Howard, for giving us a fascinating controlled experiment on how NBA potential or its perceived lack can influence our perception of college performance. For instance, Howard is a 20-year-old senior listed at 5-foot-11. The next level, understandably, would prefer to risk a first-round pick on someone 18 months younger and five or more inches taller. So be it, yet here is Howard having a college season for the ages. He scored 40 or more points twice in his first six games, and, despite the new 3-point line, his accuracy from beyond the arc has gone up since last season. Howard can perhaps be usefully thumbnailed with a couple recent Oklahoma greats. Steve Wojciechowski's star is carrying a Trae Young-level workload while making a Buddy Hield-level share of his 3s. It's an amazing sight, even if no "how will it translate to the next level" talk ensues.