Vaughn Dalzell breaks down his list of the 10 best College Basketball players in the 2023 NCAA Tournament, including Purdue's Zach Edey and Alabama's Brandon Miller, plus some honorable mentions like Oral Robert's Max Abmas and Marquette's Tyler Kolek.
Ten Best Players in NCAA Tournament
1. Zach Edey, Purdue:
2022-23 Stats:: 22.3 PPG, 12.8 RPG, 2.1 BPG
The Boilermakers' 7-foot-4, 295-pound center will take home the Naismith College Basketball Player of the Year Award after a dominant season with Purdue. Edey double-doubled 26 out of 33 games this season and finished top 20 in points, rebounds and blocks per game. Edey is the best defensive player in the country and all-around talent, plus crushes every other player on this list in terms of usage rate (32.9%), offensive rating (125.9), offensive (21.8%) and defensive rebounding percentages (27.2%), plus block percentage (7.1%).
2. Brandon Miller, Alabama:
2022-23 Stats: 19.6 PPG, 8.3 RPG, 2.1 APG
Miller took home SEC Player of the Year and Freshman of the Year honors with Alabama. The superstar freshman has the Kevin Durant/Brandon Ingram type build and style that can terrorize opponents. Miller scored 20 or more points in 14 out of 34 games and dropped 30-plus points four times (41 points is a season-high). Miller is the best three-level scorer in the country and it actually isn't close.
3. Trayce Jackson-Davis, Indiana:
2022-23 Stats: 20.8 PPG, 10.9 RPG, 2.7 BPG
Jackson-Davis is a monster and double-doubled 17 times out of 33 games this season, scoring 20-plus points 16 times and 30 or more points five times. The Hoosiers' big man is hitting 57.8% from the field, the second-highest of his career, along with a career-high 3.6 combined steals and blocks per game. TJD would have either won the Naismith or came in second if Edey wasn't there. The same goes with the Big Ten Player of the Year award.
4. Oscar Tshiebwe, Kentucky:
2022-23 Stats: 16.5 PPG, 13.5 RPG, 56.3%
Tshiebwe leads Kentucky in usage rate (24.2%), plus offensive and defensive rebounding percentages along with the best true shooting percentage (60.9%) and second-best effective field goal percentage (56.3%). The Wildcats big man posted a double-double in 19 out of 30 games and recorded two 20-point and 20-rebound games, including 37 points and 24 rebounds versus Georgia. Foul trouble is the only way to stop him.
5. Jalen Wilson, Kansas:
2022-23 Stats: 20.1 PPG, 8.4 RPG, 2.3 APG
Wilson has scored at least 20 points 20 times this year and dropped 30-plus points twice. Last year as a junior with the Jayhawks, Wilson averaged 11.1 points and 7.4 rebounds in the team's title run, so his improvement to 20.1 points and 8.4 rebounds per game in his senior season is very impressive in the Big 12 (+10.0 PPG, +1.0 RPG), which is the best conference in all of basketball.
6. Drew Timme, Gonzaga:
2022-23 Stats: 20.9 PPG, 7.3 RPG, 3.2 APG
This is Timme's final season with Gonzaga in what seems like he's been there forever. Timme has scored 20-plus points in 16 out of 33 games, double-doubled eight times and dropped 30-plus points four times. The Bulldogs forward leads the team and WCC in usage rate for a qualified player (30%) and ranks fourth on the team for best true shooting percentage (63.1%). Timme is the man for the Bulldogs and his mustache almost got him the No. 5 ranking.
7. Jaime Jaquez, UCLA:
2022-23 Stats: 17.3 PPG, 8.1 RPG, 2.3 APG
Jaquez scored at least 20 points in 12 out of 34 games this year and double-doubled nine times as a senior. The Bruins guard attempted at least 15 shots in 15 games and leads the team in usage rate (26.9%). He is the engine that makes this UCLA Bruins team go and with Jaylen Clark and Adem Bona out, Jaquez will see all of his numbers increase in March, especially his usage rate.
8. Kyle Filipowski, Duke:
2022-23 Stats: 15.4 PPG, 9.0 RPG, 1.6 APG
Flisowski double-doubled in 16 out of 34 games this season and dropped 20 points or more in six of those contests. The star freshman posted a 29.1% usage rate in his first year with Duke, which is right below Drew Timme of Gonzaga's usage rate and over 5% higher than Alabama's Brandon Miller. The scary part is, Filipowski has gotten better as the seasons gone on and he's currently playing his best ball of the year right now as the alpha on Duke's roster.
9. Kendric Davis, Memphis:
2022-23 Stats: 22.1 PPG, 5.6 APG, 3.7 RPG
Davis has one hell of a story on how he got to Memphis from SMU and considering everything Davis has going on like having a 1-year old kid in first year on campus at Memphis, Davis is an absolute dog. The 6-foot senior guard has six-straight games of 20-plus points and dropped 30 or more points five times this year with 41 points as a season-high. Davis scored 20-plus points in 23 out of 33 games and double-doubled three times with Memphis after averaging 19.0 and 19.4 PPG in the last two seasons with SMU.
10. Azuolas Tubelis, Arizona:
2022-23 Stats: 19.8 PPG, 9.3 RPG, 2.0 APG
This was tough but Tubelis is a remarkable talent that is one of the best paint scorers in the country. Tubelis leads Arizona in usage rate (28.1%), second in offensive rating (117.7), third in true-shooting percentage (61.8%) and a top-three offensive and defensive rebounder in terms of percentage for the Wildcats. The 6-foot-11 big man increased his scoring from 13.9 PPG to 19.8 PPG (+5.9) and his rebounds from 6.2 RPG to 9.3 RPG (+3.1) over five more minutes per game. There were a lot of players that could've been No. 10, but Tubelis can do it all for his size.