The Catch and Shoot’s Ultra Early preview of the 2014-15 season continues with the Mid-Major All-American teams.
With three All-America teams, here are the 15 mid-major players to keep a close eye on next season.
Fred VanVleet, Wichita State
- VanVleet led Wichita State to a 35-1 record, and he’s back for his junior season. The point guard averaged 11.6 points and 5.4 assists last season and is widely regarded as one of the best players at his position.
Keifer Sykes, Green Bay
- Sykes, the reigning Horizon League Player of the Year, averaged 20.3 points, 4.4 rebounds and 4.9 assists. He may be small at 5’11”, but he’s got some amazing hops.
Ron Baker, Wichita State
- Baker was another major piece for Wichita State last season. He averaged 13.1 points and 3.1 assists while making about two 3-pointers per game.
Tyler Haws, BYU
- Haws the second-best scorer nationally among players returning to college next season. He averaged 23.2 points, and the only returning player with a better average was Niagara’s Antoine Mason. Haws is one of the best jump shooters in the college basketball.
Alan Williams, UC Santa Barbara
- Williams is a statistical monster, averaging 21.3 points, 11.5 rebounds and 2.4 blocks. He recorded 16 double-doubles last season.
Elfrid Payton, Louisiana-Lafayette
- Payton is a point guard who could have a future in the NBA. He averaged 19.2 points, 6.0 rebounds, 5.9 assists and 2.3 steals last season while shooting 50.9% from the field
D.J. Balentine, Evansville
- Good luck stopping Balentine, coaches. He is coming off a breakout sophomore season where he averaged 22.8 points and 4.2 assists. He also shot 39.8% from 3-point range. He scored at least 15 points in all but four games.
Kevin Pangos, Gonzaga
- Pangos has had a great career at Gonzaga, and that should continue into his senior season. He averaged career-highs of 14.4 points and 3.6 assists last season and kept up his stellar 3-point shooting at a 41.2% clip.
R.J. Hunter, Georgia State
- Hunter, a 6’5″ shooting guard, is a phenomenal scorer. He averaged 18.3 points on 44.4% field-goal shooting and 39.5% 3-point shooting. He also posted 1.9 steals per contest.
Shawn Long, Louisiana-Lafayette
- Long is Louisiana-Lafayette’s second star and another NBA prospect. Long, a XX forward, has averaged a double-double in each of his collegiate seasons. Last season, he recorded 18.6 points, 10.4 rebounds and 2.7 blocks per game. He also shot 54.2% on 2-pointers and 42.3% on 3-pointers.
Siyani Chambers, Harvard
- Chambers has led Harvard to NCAA Tournament wins in back-to-back seasons. And he can do it again for the Crimson in 2015. Chambers can score and distribute, and he is a hard-nosed defender.
Tekele Cotton, Wichita State
- Cotton is as good of a defender as you will find in the Missouri Valley, but he is also a very good offensive player. He averaged 10.3 points per game last season and shot 37.1% from 3-point range.
Isaiah Williams, Iona
- Williams’ numbers from last season do not tell the full story because he was Iona’s fifth option. He averaged 11.3 points while shooting 53.4% from the field and 42.7% from beyond the arc. He could be one of the breakout stars in mid-major world in 2014-15.
Seth Tuttle, Northern Iowa
- Tuttle is a nightly double-double threat with a solid mid-range game. He averaged 15.4 points and 8.0 rebounds per game last season while shooting 52.0% from the field.
Jameel Warney, Stony Brook
- Warney could be playing in the Big Ten if he wanted, but instead he chose Stony Brook, where he has excelled in his first two seasons. He posted 14.5 points and 8.0 rebounds per game last season. He also ranked in the nation’s top 15 at 62.3% from the field.