Five Tweaks to the CBS 100 From a B1G Perspective

Posted by Brendan Brody on October 28th, 2016’s Gary Parrish and Matt Norlander published their preseason top 100 (and one) list of the best players in college basketball on Wednesday. Fifteen Big Ten players made the list, with many of the usual suspects appearing at some point in the countdown. The full list is available here, with the stated premise being “it’s a huge game of pickup hoops, you keep picking guys in order of who you think is best.” Here are the five small revisions that one humble Big Ten basketball scribe would offer to Parrish and Norlander.

  • Too Low: Vince Edwards, Purdue (#84): Edwards is one of the most underappreciated players in the Big Ten and nationally. He made steady progress in numerous facets of the game during his sophomore season, specifically in increasing his three-point percentage by eight points to a legitimate 40.7 percent. He led the Boilermakers in assists from the forward spot and can guard both wings and post players. He should be 10 to 15 spots higher.
Vince Edwards is the 84th best player in the land according to CBS. (Jerry Schultheiss).

Vince Edwards is the 84th best player in the land according to CBS. (Jerry Schultheiss).

  • Too High: Bronson Koenig, Wisconsin (#32): It is certainly understandable that Koenig was selected this high because he has a pedigree of two Final Fours and a Sweet Sixteen to his credit. But with NPOY Frank Kaminsky and Sam Dekker gone from last year’s squad, he struggled shooting (39.2% FG) and distributing (15.1% assist rate) the ball. He belongs on the list as a top 100 player, but he should not have been listed as the sixth-best player in the Big Ten.

  • Potential to Rise: Eron Harris, Michigan State (#49): This is a bit of a projection as Harris was typically the third or fourth offensive option last season in Tom Izzo’s offense. But with the losses of three double-figure scorers to graduation, it’s reasonable to believe that Harris will revert to his scoring prowess as a sophomore at West Virginia (17.2 PPG). His late-season shooting from last year (53.3 percent from three-point range over his last 12 games) also suggests that he is ready to break out.
  • Potential to Fall: James Blackmon Jr., Indiana (#41): Blackmon is a prolific shooter and scorer who carries a 40.9 percent mark from deep, and an effective field goal rate of 53.6 percent. There are realistic questions about whether he’ll return as the same player after last season’s knee injury and if the loss of Yogi Ferrell will diminish his many clean looks.
  • Spot-On: Malcolm Hill, Illinois (#28), OG Anunoby, Indiana (#57): Both Hill and Anunoby are the clearest spots on the list where the CBS guys were right on the mark. Hill has been grossly underrated on bad Illinois teams, leading the team in points, rebounds, and assists last year. If the Illini turn out better than last season, his profile will rise to another level. Anunoby is a definite NBA prospect who played that way with a corresponding increase in minutes late last season. He has the potential to do many of the same things that Troy Williams did for the Hoosiers last season from the wing, albeit with a higher ceiling. Still, how much higher can you really rank someone who only played 13.7 MPG as a freshman?
Brendan Brody (307 Posts)

Brendan Brody is in his fourth season covering the Big Ten for RTC. Email him at, or follow him on twitter @berndon4.

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