David McCormack 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. 4: David McCormack, F, Kansas
Where he left off: He was the most improved player in the Big 12 last season, and he didn’t need the award to validate that (though that’s what happened when the postseason awards came around). He was also named All-Big 12 Second Team. Given his first two seasons in Lawrence, few were sure exactly how much progress he might make in the place of Udoka Azubuike. But, by March, there were no questions.
McCormack set a career-high in scoring, averaging 13.4 points per game, along with grabbing 6.1 rebounds per game. He was the Big 12’s leader in field-goal percentage, shooting 51.5 percent. In the NCAA Tournament, McCormack had a big game against Eastern Washington, scoring 20 of his 22 points in the second half of the Jayhawks’ first-round win over the Eagles. He emerged as the league’s top forwards, and one of the traditional back-to-the-basket big men left in the league.
Where he’s headed: It’s odd that McCormack didn’t test the NBA waters this summer. He didn’t need to go to the NBA after last season (it was a stacked draft with great college talent, and McCormack might have slid out of the draft entirely). But, he could have declared, kept his eligibility and gotten his report card. Then again, maybe he and head coach Bill Self have already talked and maybe McCormack already knows what he needs to get better at this season. He’s one of the few players in the league entering at least his fourth season in Big 12 play. If there’s one thing Self and NBA scouts probably want to see, it’s probably more consistency in rim protection.
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.
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 | No. 5 Avery Anderson III
Women’s Watch Lists: Lieberman |
You can find Matthew Postins on Twitter @PostinsPostcard.
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