The 2018–19 college basketball season is in its final stretch. The regular season is over, and March Madness is just around the corner, with a new chapter of NCAA tournament legend waiting to be written. This has been a big year for college basketball's biggest stars, starting with the man himself, Zion Williamson.
It's hard to narrow down the best of the best, but we asked our staff to each vote on 10 players worthy of All-America honors, the results being broken into a first team, second team and third team. The results are below.
An asterisk (*) next to a player's name indicates that he was a unanimous first-team selection.
Zion Williamson, Duke*: Williamson had one of the best college hoops seasons in recent memory, even despite the late-season injury that sidelined him for six games. He leads the NCAA in both box plus/minus and win shares per 40 minutes, and was recently named the runaway 2019 ACC Player of the Year. On the season, he's filled up the stat sheet, averaging 21.6 points, 8.8 rebounds, 2.2 assists, 2.2 steals and 1.8 blocks while shooting 68.3% from the field and 75.3% on two-pointers, the latter of which is third nationally. To get a sense of just how dominant Williamson has been on offense, consider that his offensive rating of 129.7 leads all players used on at least 28% of possessions, per kenpom, with the next-closest player checking in at 124.8.
Jarrett Culver, Texas Tech: Culver has made one of the biggest sophomore leaps in the country this year, helping the Red Raiders turn into a surprise Final Four and national title contender. He's equally valuable on the offensive and defensive end for Texas Tech, averaging 18.2 points, 6.2 rebounds, 3.6 assists and 1.3 steals while ranking third nationally in defensive win shares. Culver's offense early on in the season is what kept the Red Raiders afloat until the rest of the team caught up, helping them complement their elite, stingy defense with more balance and consistency on the other end.
Ja Morant, Murray State: Morant isn't just a mid-major star—he belongs in the same breath as the rest of the nation's best, and has the stats to back it up. The 6'3" sophomore guard is averaging 24.6 points and 5.5 rebounds while leading the nation in assists with 10 per game—a full 2.3 more than anyone else in the country—and ranking second in win shares. He does it all for the Racers and recently helped power them back to the NCAA tournament, where he and Murray State will get a chance to impress a national audience as a likely popular Cinderella pick.
Grant Williams, Tennessee: Williams has frustrated many an opponent this season with his foul-drawing abilities, and if you pick up a Tennessee game at any random point there's a fair chance you'll find him at the line, where he converts at 83.3% (in an overtime win over Vanderbilt, he went an astounding 23 for 23). He's averaging 19.7 points, 7.7 rebounds and 3.3 assists as a junior while ranking sixth in win shares, and was recently named SEC Player of the Year by conference coaches for the second straight year.
Cassius Winston, Michigan State: A big second half helped Winston become our lone first-team departure from our midseason All-America team, as he spearheaded the Spartans' charge to a share of the Big Ten title. Winston's role and importance has only increased as the year has gone on, as Michigan State has dealt with a season-ending injury to starter Joshua Langford and recent injury to star center Nick Ward. And even when opponents knew they could beat the Spartans if they limited Winston, the junior point guard still rose to the occassion, most notably by totaling 50 points and 18 assists in a pair of wins over rival Michigan. On the season, he's averaging 19 points and 7.6 assists while shooting 41.3% from three.
Brandon Clarke, Gonzaga: Clarke is perhaps the most underrated player in the country, and a huge part of why Gonzaga is a national title contender (its Tuesday loss to Saint Mary's nonwithstanding). The former San Jose State transfer is averaging 16.6 points, 8.4 rebounds, 3.2 blocks and 1.2 steals and shooting 69.2% from the field, which all adds up to the nation's third-most win shares—especially impressive considering he's surrounded by so much other great talent on the Bulldogs. Clarke's Player Efficiency Rating and box plus/minus rating trail only Duke's Zion Williamson.
R.J. Barrett, Duke: Barrett has been overshadowed at times this season by the legend of Zion, but he's had no problem taking up the mantle as opponents' biggest focus in his star teammate's absence. The former No. 1 recruit in the 2018 class averaged 26.2 points in the six games Williamson missed and is averaging 23.4 points, 7.5 points and 4.2 rebounds on the year, putting together a heck of a freshman season in his own right.
Markus Howard, Marquette: The most explosive scorer in college hoops, Howard has had eight 30-plus-point games in his junior season (including a career-high 53!), and is averaging 25.0 on the year, which ranks sixth nationally. He shoots 43.1% from the field and has great range from the perimeter, where he connects on 41.6% of his triples. He's also automatic at the free throw line, where he's sank 90.2% of his attempts.
Ethan Happ, Wisconsin: Happ's lengthy college career is finally coming to a close, but not without one last excellent season by the senior. His range hasn't improved, but he's still superb at what he does, which is dominate the paint on both ends. Averaging a double double at 17.8 points and 10.4 rebounds, the 6'10" center even collects 4.7 assists per game thanks to his passing ability out of the post. Meanwhile, he leads the country in defensive win shares and recently had a four-steal outing against Penn State.
Carsen Edwards, Purdue: Another star from the Big Ten, Edwards is one of the nation's top scorers at 23.4 points per game. He's the clear leader of the Boilermakers and the biggest reason why they surprised many this season in winning a share of the conference title. The junior is always a threat to get hot and take over a game and has failed to reach double-digit points just once this season.
Rui Hachimura, Gonzaga: Hachimura teams with Clarke (see above) to make up one of the nation's very best frontcourts. He averages 20.4 points and ranks eighth in win shares.
De'Andre Hunter, Virginia: Hunter has had a breakout sophomore year after his successful sixth man freshman campaign, averaging 15.2 points, 5.2 rebounds and 2.2 assists while draining a stellar 47.3% of his three-pointers.
Ty Jerome, Virginia: Another key cog for the Cavaliers, Jerome does a little bit of everything, averaging 13.5 points, 5.3 assists, 4.1 rebounds and 1.4 steals while shooting 42.6% from the perimeter.
PJ Washington, Kentucky: A monster stretch during SEC play propelled Washington onto this list, and the sophomore's dominant performances helped Kentucky round into its national title-contending form this season.
Dedric Lawson, Kansas: Many things haven't gone right for the Jayhawks this season, but one that has is Lawson. The former Memphis transfer is averaging a double double at 19.1 points and 10.6 rebounds and has been a steadying presence for Kansas in the paint.