Sports Illustrated determined the 15 best players in college basketball over the past 10 years and separated them into first, second and third team. Dallas Mavericks 2nd year guard, Jalen Brunson made NCAA All-Decade Second Team.
There have not been very many men’s college basketball teams to win two championships in a four-year span. Since the reign of the 1960’s and 70’s by UCLA, there have only been a handful of schools to win multiple championships in a four-year period: Duke (1991 and 1992), Kentucky (1996 and 1998), Florida (2006 and 2007), UConn (2011 and 2014) and Villanova (2016 and 2018).
Since this is all about teams of the decade, that leaves only players from UConn or Villanova with a shot at two titles. For UConn, eligible players include Tyler Olander, Niels Giffey and the one that actually has a case, Shabazz Napier. For Villanova, Phil Booth, Mikal Bridges, Donte DiVincenzo and Dallas Mavericks guard, Jalen Brunson, all make the eligible list.
Despite some great play from both Bridges and DiVincenzo in the 2018 tournament, Brunson was the star of that team and he was a major contributor in 2016 as well. Brunson’s accolades go far further than just titles, too. Aside from the NCAA All-Tournament team, Brunson was also selected as the Naismith and Wooden Award winner, given to the best player in college basketball.
Because of his incredible play, Brunson earned a spot on the Sports Illustrated All-Decade second team. He made the team alongside some really impressive players. The rest of the second team includes Jimmer Fredette, Frank Kaminsky, Jahlil Okafor and Jared Sullinger. The first team had Anthony Davis, Zion Williamson, Buddy Hield, Kemba Walker and Doug McDermott.
Napier made third team with Frank Mason, Draymond Green, Denzel Valentine and Fred VanVleet. Along with naming the All-Decade teams, Sports Illustrated also ranked the championship teams. The 2018 Villanova Wildcats were ranked 2nd behind only the 2012 Kentucky team led by Anthony Davis.
The Mavs somehow snagged Brunson in the 2nd round of the 2018 NBA Draft, despite all of his many accomplishments in college. He is ready to start his 2nd season in the NBA and could be a key player for a Mavs team hoping for a playoff berth.