It's been quite the college basketball season on and off the court. While it appears it has come to an end in the wake of the coronavirus (COVID-19), it's still a good time to honor those players who stood out in 2019-20.
Here's our men's college basketball All-American team. All statistics are through the end of the regular season (March 8).
The Big Ten Player of the Year and a candidate for national Player of the Year, the 6-foot-11 Garza seriously stepped up his game in 2019-20. Averaging 23.9 points and 9.8 rebounds (by far both career highs), Garza has been a dominant force for the Hawkeyes. Garza also recorded 55 blocks during the regular season, six more than the total from his first two seasons.
The front-runner for national Player of the Year, Toppin essentially came out of nowhere to put together a stellar season. After putting up 14.4 points and 5.6 boards as a freshman, the 6-foot-9 Toppin averaged 20.0 points and 7.5 rebounds during the regular season and has been a human highlight reel when it comes to his penchant for dunking the basketball.
Its hard not to root for the 7-foot Azubuike, who played just nine games last season because of a hand injury. Healthy and on top of his game, Azubuike earned Big 12 Player of the Year honors while averaging 13.7 points and 10.5 rebounds — both career highs — during the regular season for the No.1 Jayhawks. He also led the country, shooting 74.8 percent.
Some will argue that Udoka Azubuike's teammate Dotson was the best player on the Kansas squad. That might be true, considering Dotson averaged a team-leading 18.1 points, to go along with 4.1 rebounds and 4.0 points this season. The Jayhawks needed a leader this season, and Dotson was that guy as only a sophomore. There is a lot to like about his game.
Pritchard was an easy choice for Pac-12 Player of the Year, averaging 20.5 points and shooting 46.8 percent — both career highs — during the regular season. He also averaged 5.5 assists to join Damon Stoudamire, Jason Terry and Gary Payton as the only players to lead the conference in points and assists. In the last four games of the regular season, Pritchard averaged 27.5 points and shot 50.7 percent.
The Big East Player of the Year, Powell helped the Pirates to a share of the conference regular-season title. One of the nation's most prolific scorers, Powell averaged 21.0 points, down 2.1 from last season, but is the true MVP of his team. Powell was at his best away from home, averaging 23.6 points over Seton Hall's 12 regular-season road contests.
A transfer from Washington State, Flynn was a big reason San Diego State spent most of the season undefeated and ended at 30-2. During the regular season, Flynn was simply fantastic while averaging 17.6 points, shooting 44.1 percent from the field, 85.7 from the free-throw line, and shelling out 5.1 assists and pulling down 4.4 boards to also put his name in the national Player of the Year conversation.
The nation's top scorer at a career-high 27.8 points per game, Howard has enjoyed a remarkable career at Marquette and this season has essentially been a one-man gang for the middling Golden Eagles. On 15 occasions during the regular season, Howard scored 30 or more points, with a high of 51 coming against USC in November. He averaged 32.0 points and shot 21-of-39 from three-point range over the final four regular-season contests.
Not only did Jones take home ACC Player of the Year honors, but he was also named the top defender in the conference. Jones, perhaps the forgotten Duke freshman at times last season, was a true star in 2019-20. He averaged 16.2 points and 6.4 assists. Two of his best games of the season came against Michigan State on Dec. 3 (20 points, 12 assists) and the regular-season finale vs. North Carolina (21 points, 11 assists).
The runaway winner of the ACC Freshman of the Year, Carey averaged a team-high 17.8 points and 8.8 rebounds in his first season with the Blue Devils. He shot 57.7 percent from the floor and also averaged 1.0 assist per contest. Carey ended the regular season on a strong note with 25 points and 10 rebounds against rival North Carolina.
A national Player of the Year candidate to start the season, Nwora hit a bump in mid-February but still finished the regular season averaging a career-high 18.0 points and 7.7 rebounds. His shooting was down slightly from last season but still at 44 percent. In the last two games of the regular season, the runner-up for ACC Player of the Year totaled 38 points and 23 rebounds.
An All-Big Ten first-team selection, the man known as "Stix" averaged 15.5 points, 10.5 boards and 2.4 blocks during a career regular season for the co-Big Ten-champion Terrapins. The 6-foot-10 Smith was even better down the stretch, averaging 17.5 points and 11.3 rebounds in the final four games of the regular season. He was also named to the Big Ten's All-Defensive Team.
It was a special season for the Bears, and Butler can be thanked for leading the way. Averaging a team-best 16.0 points and 3.1 assists, Butler is a versatile guard who can be extremely active on both ends of the floor. Over the final seven games of the regular season, Butler averaged 19.1 points while shooting 44.8 percent.
One of the bigger individual surprises of the 2019-20 season, Quickley went from being an role-playing freshman to the Wildcats' leading scorer at 16.1 points. The 6-foot-3 guard, one of the most exciting players in the country, also pulled down 4.2 rebounds per game — a career best for a guy who spent most of the first half of the season coming off the bench.
The trials that Winston endured this season have been well documented. While mourning the death of his brother, Winston endured some early inconsistency from himself and the Spartans, but he showed his spirit and mettle to help the squad share the Big Ten regular-season title. Winston averaged 18.6 points on 44.8 percent and 5.9 assists on the season and 20.8 on 62.3-percent shooting — and 17 of 24 from three-point range — and 6.8 assists in the final five games of the regular season.
A first-team All-Big East selection, Bey made giant strides from a solid freshman season when the signs of his potential stardom were starting to show. The 6-foot-8 Bey averaged 16.1 points while shooting 45.1 percent from three-point range for Villanova, which managed a share of the Big East title. He went 8-of-10 from distance while scoring a career-high 33 points in a January win over Georgetown.
A lot of attention at Dayton is given to Obi Toppin, and rightfully so. But there are many associated with the Flyers, and college hoops pundits, who believe the team's true leader and backbone is Crutcher. While the 6-1 guard is not getting much consistent All-American love, he's certainly worth the honor. Crutcher averaged a career-high 15.1 points while shooting 46.8 percent from the field and 42.4 from beyond the arc. He's also averaging nearly five assists.
Joining teammate Jalen Smith as a first-team All-Big Ten selection by the league coaches, Cowan posted a team-leading and career-high 16.3 points for Maryland during the regular season in 2019-20. Cowan, a 14.5 point-career scorer for the Terrapins, was 119 points shy of 2,000 for his career and set the school mark with 579 all-time made free throws.
It was a rough season for the Golden Gophers, but not because of what the 6-foot-10 Oturu was doing. The sophomore was second only to Luka Garza in the Big Ten during the regular season, averaging 20.0 points. His 11.4 average rebounds marked the best in the league. Had Minnesota been a better team, Oturu might have been a first-team All-Big Ten pick, but he settled for second.
The 6-foot-11 Serbian certainly stepped up his game in 2019-20. After averaging just 6.5 points and 2.7 rebounds while coming off the bench in all 32 games as a freshman, Petrusev was named West Coast Conference Player of the Year for averaging 17.8 points on 56.5-percent shooting and 7.8 rebounds during the regular season for the second-ranked Zags.
A first-team All-Big Ten pick by both the coaches and media, Stevens has been a major reason why Penn State enjoyed a stellar season and even spent time as a top 10 team in 2019-20. The 6-foot-8 Stevens' scoring was down from 2018-19 (19.9 ppg), but he still ranked among the league's best at 17.6 points per game while shooting 42.3 percent. He also pulled down nearly seven rebounds per contest.
Zegarowski did not lead the Bluejays in scoring, but many believe he is the backbone of the squad — and one that took a hit with Zegarowski's knee injury that required arthroscopic surgery. He averaged 16.1 points and shot 48.8 percent — 42.4 percent from beyond the arc. It will be interesting to see how Zegarowski can build off his breakout season come 2020-21.
Jeff Mezydlo has written about sports and entertainment online and for print for more than 25 years. He grew up in the far south suburbs of Chicago, 20 minutes from the Mascot Hall of Fame in Whiting, Ind. He’s also the proud father of 11-year-old Matthew, aka “Bobby Bruin,” mascot of St. Robert Bellarmine School in Chicago. You can follow Jeff at @jeffm401.