Sporting News 2021-22 college basketball All-America teamMike DeCourcy
March 7, 2022
If you saw this coming, perhaps you might consider helping out everyone with a stock tip or two.
The one unanimous All-American for The Sporting News in 2021-22 spent the previous season averaging just 19 minutes in the 10 games he played before deciding to look for a new home. The player who came within a single vote of unanimity started one game all last season and took just a half-dozen shots per game.
And a year later, Oscar Tshiebwe of Kentucky and Johnny Davis are such dominant figures that Tshiebwe appeared on the first team of every ballot from the voters on our blue-ribbon, national panel of college basketball experts, and Davis missed on only one.
They have been essential figures on elite teams, with the Badgers winning a share of the Big Ten Conference regular season championship and Kentucky entering the SEC Tournament with 25 victories and the most impressive performance by any team, the Wildcats' dominance of Big 12 co-champ Kansas at Allen Fieldhouse.
They are not the only great players this season, though. There are guys on this year's third team who might have been first-teamers in other years. There just wasn't enough room. There may be "no great teams" in college hoops this season, but there is a galaxy of star players.
Here is The Sporting News All-America team:
Johnny Davis, Wisconsin6-5, 194, So. G
Key stats: 20.0 ppg, 8.1 rpg, 44.6 pct. FG
Defining game: 37 points, 14 rebounds, 2 blocks, 2 steals in 74-69 victory at Purdue.
Overview: After a promising freshman season that portended a fine career for the Badgers, Davis has jetted past "fine" with a stunning season that saw him put up 30 in his first game, against 2021 Final Four entrant Houston, and go on to record a total of 15 20-point games. He also is an exceptional defender who can guard multiple positions and has a rare gift for rebounding for a player who spends so much time on the perimeter at both ends.
Oscar Tshiebwe, Kentucky6-9, 255, Jr. C
Key stats: 17.3 ppg, 15.3 rpg, 60.pc6 t. FG, 1.5 bpg
Defining game: 17 points, 14 rebounds, 4 steals in 80-62 victory at Kansas.
Overview: He is not an elite scorer but nonetheless anchors the UK attack. He has some issues to repair on defense, but without his presence and his dominance of the boards, the Wildcats would be a defensive sieve. In his first season since transferring from West Virginia, Tshiebwe has been everything to Kentucky at both ends of the floor. Most of all, he has rebounded at a level unseen in Division I basketball since the 1970s.
Ochai Agbaji, Kansas6-5, 215, Sr. G
Key stats: 19.8 pg, 5.2 rpg, 47.7 pct. FG, 41.1 3-PT
Defining game: 37 points, 7 rebounds, 7-of-12 3-point shooting in 94-92 double-overtime victory over Texas Tech.
Overview: Those who watched Agbaji face Michigan State in the opening game at the Champions Classic knew they were seeing a different player from the one who wore a Jayhawks uniform over the previous three years. He was embracing the responsibility of serving as KU's primary option, the player who had to score or occupying the opposing defense if KU was going to win. He has produced five games of 25 points or more and hasn't once missed double figures in scoring for the Jayhawks.
Keegan Murray, Iowa6-8, 225, So. F
Key stats: 23.2 ppg, 8.6 rpg, 55.4 pct. FG
Defining game: 28 points on on 10-of-15 shooting in 86-60 victory over Michigan State.
Overview: It's not that Murray does not score from 3-point range; he's hitting 38.5 percent of his attempts. It's that he has scored 676 points while accumulating only 150 of those from behind the 3-point line. He is an amazing finisher around the rim, hitting 63.9 percent on 2-point tries. With a couple blocks per game on average, he also has added considerable bite to the defense in a program that occasionally struggles in that area.
Kofi Cockburn, Illinois7-0, 285, Jr. C
Key stats: 21.0 ppg, 10.6 rpg, 59.7 pct. FG
Defining game: 37 points, 12 rebounds, 16-of-19 shooting in 80-67 victory over Wisconsin..
Overview: Cockburn is the sort of physically overpowering center we rarely see in college basketball any longer, a low-post force who demands double (and even triple) teams and manages to find a way to defeat them. He has recorded 14 double-doubles. If he were born in an earlier era, when this degree of size, strength and inside dominance was more valued at the professional level, he probably would have spent this past year excelling in the NBA. The League's loss has been the Illini's gain.
The 4 outlets used by the NCAA to determine its consensus All-America teams:
National Association of Basketball Coaches
United States Basketball Writers Association
Murray is also a finalist for:
Karl Malone Power Forward of the Year
Lute Olson National Player of the Year
The Full Story:
Kentucky center Oscar Tshiebwe and Wisconsin wing Johnny Davis were the dominant candidates in the voting for The Sporting News All-America squad for the 2021-22 season.