Kris Joseph, Syracuse The Montreal native was the leading scorer on the ridiculously deep Orange, who boasted seven players who averaged at least 6.6 points per game this year. Joseph averaged 14.1 points, and is the team’s best three-point threat. The forward parlayed his senior season into a Wooden Award nomination. A good tournament run could make all the difference in Joseph landing a spot in the first round of the NBA Draft.
Andrew Nicholson, St. Bonaventure The Atlantic-10 player of the year, Nicholson had a season that was good enough to put him in the draft conversation. The Mississauga forward was a machine, averaging 18.1 points and 8.3 rebounds per game, plus nearly two blocks. Nicholson had 26 points, 14 rebounds and eight blocks Sunday, carrying the Bonnies over Xavie and clinching their first trip to the tournament since 2000.
Kevin Pangos, Gonzaga The Newmarket, Ont., guard exceeded expectations. There are not many freshmen that lead tournament-bound teams in scoring, but Pangos averaged 13.8 points per game, shot better than 40% from deep and had 30 or more points twice.
Myck Kabongo, Texas The Longhorns have had a rebuilding year following a mass exodus of players to the NBA, but Kabongo has slowly adapted to the NCAA game. A friend of draftees Tristan Thompson and Cory Joseph and a pupil of the under-siege Ro Russell, Kabongo averaged 9.8 points and 5.3 assists per game this year. “At times, I’m a little passive,” the first-year guard said. “To get other people their shots, I have to be more aggressive offensively.”
Brady Heslip, Baylor Meet the Bears’ designated shooter. Heslip, a sophomore guard from Burlington, Ont., is not going to fill up the stat sheet, but he can hit from long distance. He shot 43.0% from three-point range and 43.1% from the field. That is what happens when nearly 80% of your field-goal attempts come from three-point range.
Junior Cadougan, Marquette From Toronto, Cadougan was the Golden Eagles’ leading playmaker this year., with 5.5 assists per game. He is not much of a scorer, but remains an essential piece for Marquette. The junior guard’s experience will mesh well with seniors Jae Crowder and Darius Johnson-Odom, the team’s two leading scorers.
Laurent Rivard, Harvard The guard was a big part of Harvard’s big year. The Crimson Tide finished 12-2 in the regular season, and were even ranked for a short period. Rivard was Harvard’s third-leading scorer, as the Saint-Bruno, Que., native averaged 9.7 points per game.
Jason Calliste, Detroit The Titans won the Horizon League on the strength of a balanced attack. Calliste, a gaurd from Scarborough, was one of five players to average double digits in scoring, with 10.4 points per game. Calliste had 17 points as Detroit clinched its first tournament berth since 1999 with a win over Valparaiso.
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