1. Freshman Cole Anthony, North Carolina
Through his first three games in a North Carolina uniform, Anthony has averaged 27.3 points, 7.3 rebounds and 3.3 assists per game. He dropped 34 points on Notre Dame in 37 minutes on Nov. 6, proving he will be the Tar Heels’ workhorse all season long. With extreme athleticism and an outstanding three-point shot, Anthony is one of the most fun players to watch in college basketball. Barring injury, Anthony will be a lottery pick in next summer’s NBA Draft.
2. Senior Cassius Winston, Michigan State
Though Winston might not be known for his highlight dunks or acrobatic finishes, he is as fundamentally sound a player as there is in Division I hoops. The senior guard led Michigan State to the Final Four a year ago and has a good shot at making it back again this season. He is already off to a good start, averaging 17.5 points and 6.8 assists through his first four games. Winston is a smart, team player with an elite basketball IQ.
3. Freshman Nico Mannion, Arizona
Mannion is only averaging 25 minutes on the floor through his first collegiate games, but look for his time on the floor to increase as the season progresses. A guard with tremendous upside who impresses with his ball handling, passing ability and athleticism, Mannion is likely to be a first round draft pick in 2020. He poured in 23 points against Illinois in just his second college game. He’s also knocking down half of his three-point attempts. With an ability to score from just about anywhere on the floor, Mannion is a player worth watching this season.
Editor’s Note: “My Top Three” is a column focused on national sports. Facts not attributed are the opinions of the writer.