Top 25 players for the 2019-20 college basketball season

Al Goldis/AP Photo

In this last fleeting moment before actual basketball, let's look at our expectations regarding star players for 2019-20.

This set of rankings will quickly be rendered a moot point by happenings on the court, so it's good to get this down on the record now. After all, last year at this time Zion Williamson was being voted second-team All-ACC.

Just a reminder, these are rankings based on expected college performance, and not a mock draft.

Here are my preseason selections for the top 25 players in college hoops.

1. Cassius Winston, Michigan State Spartans

You can make a case that we were insufficiently impressed by what Winston did last season. Yes, he'd been effective as a sophomore in 2017-18, but that was when he was playing alongside Jaren Jackson and Miles Bridges. Then Winston went out and topped that performance in 2018-19, despite the absence of the injured Josh Langford. It appears that Winston and the Spartans will have to do without Langford for a bit longer. Tom Izzo is fortunate he can call upon a 6-foot-1 senior point guard who takes care of the ball and serves as an accurate volume shooter within an exceedingly accurate attack. As this top-25 list said last season, Winston is prolific, trustworthy and essential.