Heading into the season, a certain level of hype surrounded a single freshman, Ben Simmons who was tabbed a Preseason All-American. Of course, a handful of other talented players including Buddy Hield made the cut as well. As we fast forward to the present day, much of the opinion has changed. However, one name remained...
On Tuesday, the Associated Press released the 2015-16 All-American Team headlined by none other than Buddy Hield, the Big XII Player of the Year and unanimous selection. The accolade marks the first time an Oklahoma Sooners made the list since Blake Griffin in 2009. Connecting on 46.4% of his shots from beyond the arc, most of the time with a defender draped around him, who can blame the AP for selecting Hield?
Joining him as the only other unanimous selection, Denzel Valentine garnered Big 10 Player of the Year honors before a shocking early exit from the NCAA Tournament. Valentine averaged 19.4 points per game along with 7.6 rebounds and 7.4 assists. The value of this single player on the Michigan State Spartans roster is simply undeniable.
In this day and age, seeing four seniors listed as First Team All-Americans has become an extreme rarity. However, with the addition of Brice Johnson and Malcolm Brogdon to the list, this season marks such an occasion. The only underclassman making the cut was Kentucky's Tyler Ulis.