Avery Anderson III is a part of our Heartland College Sports Big 12 men’s Top 25 returning players countdown as we get closer to the 2021-22 college basketball season opener.
No. 5: Avery Anderson III, G, Oklahoma State
Where he left off: Perhaps no Oklahoma State player benefited more from playing with Cade Cunningham last season than Anderson, who emerged by March as a player to be reckoned with in the Big 12. He earned All-Big 12 Championship Team honors after helping lead the Cowboys to the title game. He scored 17 points in the win over West Virginia and 20 points in the win over Baylor. That came on the heels of his ‘coming out’ game on the national stage, as he scored 31 points on the road against West Virginia in a game in which Cunningham was unable to play.
In his final six games, he averaged 19.2 points per game. For the season, he averaged 12.2 points per game, nearly tripling his scoring output from his freshman season. He even finished in the Top 10 in the Big 12 in steals per game (1.48).
Where he’s headed: Anderson tested the NBA waters after last season, but that was in an effort to get his report card. Anderson may have developed into a Top 5 player entering this season without Cunningham on the roster, but it’s clear that Anderson benefited from playing alongside him. No player on this roster has ‘alpha dog’ written all over him quite like Anderson, who has the same lean frame and athletic ability as Cunningham. Anderson can act as primary ball handler, wing defender and play 30 minutes per game every game. One thing he could get a bit better at is the 3-point line. He shot nearly 36 percent last season. If he can push that to 40 percent, there’s a place for him on the All-Big 12 First Team.
Top 25 criteria: ONLY players that played in the Big 12 last season were considered. Rankings are based on where players left off at the end of last season, as we are not able to make assumptions about the improvements players have made this offseason.
Heartland College Sports Big 12 Basketball Preview
Top 25 Returning Players: No. 25 Jonathan Tchamwa Tchatchoua| No. 24 Christian Braun | No. 23 Rondel Walker | No. 22 Umoja Gibson | No. 21 Matthew Alexander-Moncrieffe | No. 20 Nijel Pack | No. 19: Marcus Santos-Silva | No. 18 Mike McGuirl| No. 17 Jalen Bridges | No. 16 Kalib Boone | No. 15 Kevin McCullar | No. 14 Isaac Likekele | No. 13 Adam Flagler | No. 12 Jalen Coleman-Lands | No. 11 Sean McNeil | No. 10 Taz Sherman | No. 9 Matthew Mayer | No. 8 Jalen Wilson | No. 7 Courtney Ramey | No. 6 Mike Miles
You can find Matthew Postins on Twitter @PostinsPostcard.
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