2022-23 CBS Sports Preseason All-America Teams: College Basketball’s Best and Most Talented Players

I’ve long believed that All-America teams should be made up of five players who could theoretically play together – meaning you need at least one lead guard and no more than two bigs. (Fill in the rest as you please.) But the fact that name, image and likeness rights are becoming a reality for student athletes while NBA franchises no longer value traditional bigs has created a scenario where many great college centers best returning players (and millionaires) serve as sports centers.

So forget my previous rules.

Because the top three players returning to college basketball this season are all big – namely Oscar Tshiebwe (Kentucky), Drew Timme (Gonzaga) and Armando Bacot (North Carolina). It would be foolish to vote any of them to anything but a First Team All-American. And our voters’ ballots reflected that, which is why the three frontcourt stars — from three of last season’s top five teams — represent 60% of the CBS Sports All-America First Team. Marcus Sasser (Houston) and Jamie Jaquez (UCLA) completed the first team.

Our three All-America teams are made up of 15 players from seven different leagues – AAC, ACC, Big Ten, Big 12, Pac-12, SEC and WCC. Among the power conferences, only the Great East lacks a representative. Timme is the lone repeat offender of the First Team All-American preseason. Hunter Dickinson (Michigan) and Trayce Jackson-Davis (Indiana) — two other established figures at the Division I level — are second-team preseason All-Americans for the second straight year. – Gary Parish

note: The CBS Sports Preseason All-America Teams were chosen by college basketball writers at CBS Sports and 247Sports, and by CBS and CBS Sports Network broadcasters.

2022-23 CBS Sports Preseason All-America First Team

Drew Timme | Gonzaga | F | 6-10 | sir

For the second straight season, Timme is a unanimous selection by CBS Sports for the preseason First Team All-America. Now in his fourth season, Timme is perhaps the most recognizable face of any college basketball player. Gonzaga’s big man comes off a junior campaign in which he averaged 18.4 points, 6.8 rebounds and 2.8 assists for the No. 1 overall seed in the NCAA tournament. With Chet Holmgren in the NBA, Timme should ramp up his production again. He’s building one of the greatest careers in college hooping in recent history, and Gonzaga’s national championship hopes rest in large part on Timme’s creative creativity and dominance. – Matt Norlander

Oscar Tshiebwe | Kentucky | F | 6-9 | sir

The reigning national player of the year is the central force in Kentucky’s pursuit of its first national title in more than a decade. Tshiebwe became the first Kentucky player in program history to win all major NPOY awards by becoming the first player in more than four decades to average more than 15.0 points and 15.0 rebounds. Tshiebwe’s line: 17.4 points, 15.1 rebounds, 1.6 blocks at 60.6% shooting. Winning the International Player of the Year award in consecutive seasons is a rarity. If Tshiebwe can do that, he will be the first in men’s basketball since Ralph Sampson of Virginia in the early ’80s. — MN

Armando Bacot | North Carolina | F/C | 6-11 | sir

Another no-brainer in our First Team. CBS Sports was one of only two major outlets to name Bacot a 2021-21 season-ending All-American when he made our third team. A major reason for this was his increased play in the NCAA tournament. Leading UNC to the title game, Bacot made history by becoming the first player in tournament history to hit a double-double in six tournament games. He averaged 16.3 points, 13.1 rebounds and 1.7 blocks. His 31 double-doubles were the most in a single season in NCAA history. Carolina will be looking to win a title with Bacot at its heart. – MN

Marcus Sasser | Houston | G | 6-2 | sir

Not only is Houston heading into the season with the highest preseason hopes of all time, but it also has a legitimate claim to having the best guard in the sport. Sasser is a mutual threat. As a 6-foot-2 combo guard, he averaged 17.7 points, 2.8 rebounds, 2.6 assists and 2.2 steals for a Cougars team that could be even better than the 32-6 -Group of last season. Sasser shot 43.7% from 3-point range…but he only played the first 12 games because of a broken foot. Now in full health, he is expected to be the alpha on college basketball’s most robust team. – MN

Jaime Jaquez Jr | UCLA | G/F | 6-7 | sir

Our vote for last place on our First Team was close, but Jaquez won for a UCLA team we favored to win the Pac-12 based on his expected value and statistical jump. Jaquez averaged 13.9 points, 5.7 rebounds and 2.3 assists for the Bruins last season. He and Tyger Campbell are UCLA’s two recurring starters. So expect Jaquez’s stats to balloon as the Bruins attempt to maintain their reputation as the top 10-15 team in the country. Jaquez is a bruin through and through, and like Sasser, he is now perfectly healthy after suffering an injury a season ago. Jaquez is listed as a guard/forward but in reality he is the best option for playing the 2, 3 or 4 in college hoops. – MN

The Hoosiers are hoping for a big season behind centerpiece Trayce Jackson-Davis.

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2022-23 CBS Sports Preseason All-America Second Team

Trayce Jackson-Davis | indiana | F | 6-9 | sir

Indiana finally made it to the Big Dance last season for the first time since 2016, behind a stellar year from Jackson-Davis, who posted career-highs in scores, assists and blocks on a 40-minute basis while posting a career-high 58, 9% from the field. With four returning starters for an IU team with high expectations, Jackson-Davis, who flirted with the NBA before deciding to give it another try, should go into the season as a preseason favorite to win Big Ten Player of the Year to become. — Kyle Boone

Hunter Dickinson | Michigan | C | 7-1 | jr

While Michigan took a step back from a 23-5 season last season and narrowly squeezed into the NCAA tournament field, Dickinson quietly sensationalized as a sophomore, finishing in the top 5 of the Big Ten in goals , rebounds and blocks. Now in his third season, the burly big man competes in 2022-23 as the leading recurring goalscorer and rebounder in the Big Ten — a league teeming with frontcourt talent. – KB

Kendric Davis | Memphis | G | 6-0 | R-Sr.

Fresh from a career year at SMU when he was AAC Player of the Year, Davis heads to conference opponent Memphis, where he provides the Tigers and coach Penny Hardaway with their first superstar point guard in years. Having finished all-bottom in turnover ratio in each of the last three seasons for the past three seasons, he’s not only a stabilizing force at point guard, but also a talent that makes the difference, as a goalscorer and creator. – KB

Caleb Love | North Carolina | G | 6-4 | jr

Love was a NCAA sophomore supernova for North Carolina on his way to the title game, scoring 30 points in the Sweet 16 at UCLA and 28 points in the Final Four against rival Duke. He remains the most microwaveable bucket-getter in the ACC heading into his junior season and should continue to thrive for the Tar Heels, who play in a more natural off-ball role alongside fellow backcourt RJ Davis. – KB

Nick Smith | Arkansas | G | 6-5 | Mrs.

Arkansas operates one of the most guard-friendly systems in the country with Eric Musselman, and Smith, the No. 1 recruit in the 2022 cycle, is stepping into what is arguably the greatest opportunity for any newcomer to the sport. The team lost 87% of their goals and 78% of their assists from last season’s team that advanced to the Elite Eight. Smith should shoulder a significant burden in both categories as he seeks to propel the Razorbacks to the top of the SEC. — KB

Baylor’s Adam Flagler and UNC’s Caleb Love, two of our All-Americans, met at the 2022 NCAA tournament.

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2022-23 CBS Sports Preseason All-America Third Team

Zach Edey | Purdue | C | 7-4 | jr

Purdue’s towering center averaged 14.4 points, 7.7 rebounds and 1.2. blocks last season and should only improve those numbers if he plays more minutes following the Trevion Williams departure. -David Cobb

Adam Flagler | Baylor | G | 6-3 | R-Sr.

Flagler played a key role for Baylor’s national title team in 2021 and stepped into a starring role last season while averaging a team-high 13.8 points on 38.7% 3-point shooting. – direct current

Keyonte George | Baylor | G | 6-4 | Mrs.

Ranked No. 9 overall prospect in the Class of 2022, George should be one of the nation’s most prolific freshmen when he enters a Baylor rotation replacing James Akinjo, Kendall Brown, Jeremy Sochan and Matthew Mayer. – direct current

Mike Miles Jr | TCU | G | 6-2 | jr

Miles is no longer flying under the national radar after helping TCU to their first NCAA tournament win since 1987. He is the Big 12’s leading recurring scorer and a big reason the Horned Frogs ranked 14th in last season’s AP Top 25 poll. – direct current

Dereck Lively II | Duke | C | 7-1 | Mrs.

As the nation’s No. 2 in freshman stepping into a Duke lineup that only returns one contributor, Lively will have an immediate chance to shine on the national stage amid the Blue Devils’ coaching change from Mike Krzyzewski to Jon Scheyer. – direct current


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