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AT Media's Mid-Season All-American team

Credit: Purdue Athletics

We've officially reached mid-January, and as wild as it sounds, we are really just about five weeks from March and six weeks away from Selection Sunday.

In other words, the college hoops season is going by... WAY TOO FAST!

With that said, most teams have now hit the midway point of their regular seasons, and because of it, now feels like as good of a time as any to honor the best players in the sport so far.

Today, we honor our Aaron Torres Media Mid-Season All-American teams. The teams were voted on by Aaron Torres and Torres Media College hoops writer Zac Krull.

Here are our Mid-season All-Americans!

First Team

Mike Miles, G, TCU

If we had to start a college basketball team around any guard in the sport right now, Miles would be the guy. The 6’2” junior from Highlands, Texas decided to return to TCU for one more season, following the Horned Frogs heartbreaking Round of 32 loss to No. 1 seeded Arizona in the NCAA Tournament last season.

Miles already has two years of college basketball experience under his belt and after averaging double digits scoring in each of his first two seasons, that momentum has continued in 2023. Miles is averaging a career high 19 points per game, which ranks second in the Big 12 Conference behind only Kansas' Jalen Wilson. In addition, there isn’t a team in college that plays better in transition than TCU, and Miles is a big reason why.

We saw that Saturday against Kansas when the Horned Frogs put up 83 points at Phog Allen Fieldhouse, with Miles contributing 15 points in a historic win - it was TCU's first ever victory over Kansas in Lawrence.

Brandon Miller, F, Alabama

Miller has been the best and most consistent freshman in college basketball this season, and it doesn’t hurt that he is playing for one of the best teams in the country. Alabama is off to a 17-2 start, which is the best start of a Crimson Tide team we’ve seen in recent memory, including the 2021 season when they won the SEC regular season and tournament titles.

Miller has had two of his best performances in his most recent games, including a 31-point effort against LSU two Saturday's ago. He then followed it up with 30 more at Vanderbilt last Tuesday.

Miller is leading the SEC in scoring with 19.5 points and 3.3 three-pointers made per game and has been one of the breakout stars we’ve seen in college basketball this season.

Jalen Wilson, F Kansas

One of the major concerns for Kansas going into the season was how they would replace Ochai Agbaji, Christian Braun, David McCormack and Remy Martin, after losing all four after the Jayhawks' run to a title last April. Wilson’s production this season has allowed Kansas to get out to a hot start this season (even if they're struggling of late). The senior from Denton, Texas has emerged as a star, currently leading the Big 12 Conference in scoring. He had never scored more than 11.8 points in any season prior to 2022-2023.

Even with Kansas' recent struggles, Wilson has been phenomenal - dropping 38 points for the Jayhawks against Kansas State last week, with 30 against TCU on Saturday.

Drew Timme, F, Gonzaga

One common theme with the players on this list is that a lot of them have quite a bit of college basketball experience on their resume. That is the case with Timme, as he is attempting to become a three-time All American and cement himself as one of the better players in college basketball history.

The impressive thing about Timme’s journey is the fact that he’s improved while putting up consistently good numbers throughout his college career. The kid that was ranked No. 47 in the high school Class of 2019 per ESPN, is now averaging 21.5 points per game, on 61 percent shooting from the field, which both lead the West Coast Conference. Even in a somewhat “down” season for Gonzaga, where they likely won’t get the No. 1 overall seed in the NCAA Tournament like each of the last two seasons, the Bulldogs are still in position to earn a top three seed in the NCAA Tournament. Timme has scored in double figures in 20 of the Zags 21 games so far this season, including 29 points in Gonzaga’s signature victory of the season over Alabama.

Unlike the last two seasons this Gonzaga team doesn’t have a clear-cut NBA lottery pick like Jalen Suggs or Chet Holmgren, which means there is a lot more pressure and focus on Timme to produce. In today’s era of college, it is very rare for a player to contribute consistently from freshman year to senior year but Timme fits that description.

Zach Edey, C, Purdue

After starting off the season unranked, Purdue has consistently played really good basketball dating back to November, and Edey is a massive reason why. The 7’4” Junior from Toronto, has developed into an impossible force to stop, averaging an inconceivable 21.5 points and 13.2 rebounds per game, which leads the Big Ten Conference in both categories. With two starting freshman guards around Edey in the backcourt, the big man has become Purdue’s clear No. 1 option on offense.

Edey has scored 20 or more points in 13 of Purdue’s 20 games so far this season and has been money in the clutch. The big man scored the game winning basket for Purdue on Monday at Michigan State with two seconds left, when everyone in the building knew the ball was coming his way. Edey’s story is something that should be spoken about more, considering he didn’t start playing the game of basketball until age of 15 for an organized team.

Second Team

Jalen Pickett, G, Penn State

Another fifth-year senior, Pickett began his career at Siena (where he played for Aaron Torres Media's Jamion Christian!) before arriving at Penn State a year ago. And like others on this list, he was a solid contributor last year, before turning into a bonafide star in 2022-2023.

Pickett is averaging a staggering 17.4 points per game, while also averaging seven assists and and seven rebounds per game, all while shooting 36 percent from three-point range.

In the process, he has become a star of a surprising Penn State team that is in position to make the tournament this season.

Keyontae Johnson, G/F, Kansas State

There isn’t a better story on this list than Johnson, who has regained form as one of the premier players in the country, just two years after collapsing on the court during his time at Florida. Prior to the start of the 2020-2021 season, Johnson was labeled as the Preseason SEC Player of the Year. However, just a few months later Johnson’s basketball future became unknown.

Now he's back playing - obviously, based on this list - at All-American level.

In the process he has helped the Wildcats become one of the best teams and stories in the country, with a home win over Kansas last week, and a win over Texas Tech that now has the Wildcats in sole possession of first place in the Big 12. Johnson scored 24 points to help beat Kansas, as he is now averaging 18.5 points, 7.4 rebounds and 2.4 assists on the season. His scoring ranks third in the Big 12 behind two of the other plays mentioned here in Wilson and Miles.

Jaime Jaquez, F, UCLA

Jaquez has been at UCLA every step of the way with Mick Cronin, with both arriving prior to the 2019-2020 season. The 6’7” senior from Camarillo, California has been a major factor for each of the last two UCLA teams that have made deep runs in the NCAA Tournament, but this is now Jaquez's team, and the Bruins are really starting to come into their own.

Despite Jaquez going for a combined 35 points in UCLA’s early season marquee games against Illinois and Baylor in Las Vegas, the Bruins dropped both of those games, and were a little bit off the radar. That changed in the middle of December, when UCLA delivered marquee victories over Maryland and Kentucky in the span of less than a week and they won 14 straight before a loss at Arizona on Saturday.

Jaquez’ offensive efficiency rating is higher than it’s ever been in his college career, which is impressive considering he’s attempting shots at a much higher volume compared to any other point in his UCLA career. The unquestioned Pac 12 Player of the Year if the season ended today, Jaquez does more of the little things to help his team win than anyone else on this list.

Trayce Jackson Davis, F/C, Indiana

While Davis isn't on our first-team All-American list, you could argue that right alongside Edey, he is as important to his team as anyone on this list. In a season where Indiana has lost starting point guard Xavier Johnson, star freshman Jalen Hood-Schifino and starting forward Race Thompson to injuries at various points this season (Johnson and Thompson are still out), Jackson-Davis has been the Hoosiers' stabilizing force.

He's averaging a team-high 19.4 points per game and 10.1 rebounds per game, and is coming off arguably the two best games of his career: He 35 points and nine rebounds at Illinois last Thursday, before adding 31 and 15 in a win over Michigan State at home on Sunday.

Azuolas Tubelis, F, Arizona

After a disappointing end to the the 2021-2022 season, Tubelis has been the steadying rock for an Arizona team that has spent most of the season in the Top 10.

The 6'10 junior from Lithuania is averaging 19.9 points per game and nine boards, scoring in double-figures in each Wildcats game this season. He is coming off two monster performances in a sweep of the Los Angeles schools last weekend - dropping 15 points and 17 boards against USC on Thursday and following it up with a 14 point, 10 rebound effort against UCLA on Saturday.

Third Team

Markquis Nowell, G, Kansas State

Nowell, like Johnson above, is one of the best stories on a team which is, itself, one of the best teams in college basketball.

The fifth-year senior spent the first three years of his career at Little Rock, then was solid last year in Manhattan under previous coach Bruce Weber.

This year though he's blown up, averaging 16.7 points per game, while also averaging 8.2 assists per game. That assist total is second in college hoops, He also had a pair of 30-point games early in the year in two huge victories that put K-State on the map.

That included an incredible 36-point,14-assist performance in an overtime win at Baylor back on January 7th.

Kendric Davis, G, Memphis

The SMU transfer was labeled as one of the best players available in the portal this offseason, and hasn’t disappointed. Davis is currently leading the American Athletic Conference in scoring at 21.2 points per game and assists with 5.8 per game. The Memphis offense revolves around Davis, and without him the Tigers and their NCAA Tournament aspirations would be in major trouble. That included a clutch late shot last Sunday against Temple.

Even when Memphis struggles, Davis plays his best - included a 42-point performance last Tuesday in a win over UCF. This was the fifth-best single-game output in program history, falling just one point short of former Memphis Tigers’ Jeremiah Martin’s AAC single-game record of 43 set in 2019.

Terquavion Smith, G, NC State

This is certainly a sad one, as Smith was taken off the court on a stretcher after a hard fall in Saturday's game against North Carolina. The good news is that head coach Kevin Keatts recently told reporters that - despite the scare - Smith is fine and is expected to return to the court this week.

And man, when he's on the court has he been good, as the Wolfpack have been one of the best stories in the sport. After bypassing the NBA Draft last year, the 6'4 junior is averaging 19.1 points and 4.7 assists per game all while shooting 36 percent from behind the three-point line.

We certainly hope Smith a speedy recovery, and hope he can return to a Wolfpack team that.

Kris Murray, F, Iowa

While Kris Murray did show plenty of flashes last season for Iowa, there weren't a lot of people expecting him to put up similar production as his older brother Keegan heading into this season. That is exactly what has happened, as Kris is currently averaging 21.2 points and nine rebounds per game. He currently finds himself second in the Big Ten in scoring, and top five on the glass.

Most importantly, he's a rock for a team that needs it. The Hawkeyes lost two of the four games he was unable to play, and he has stepped up in the absence of teammate Patrick McCaffrey, who is currently away from the team.

Armando Bacot, F North Carolina

While North Carolina’s season hasn’t necessarily lived up to the lofty expectations, Bacot continues to show that he is one of the better players in the country and his worth to the Tar Heels. The big man’s toughness was on full display in the National Championship game last season, when he had 15 points and 15 rebounds, when playing on an ankle that was clearly not 100%.

That consistent production has continued into this season but he is still elite, as Bacot is currently averaging a 17.6 point and 11.2 rebound double-double per game, while shooting an extremely efficient 57.9 percent from the field. Bacot had 20 points and 16 rebounds on 8-11 from the field to lift North Carolina over Boston College last Tuesday, and a frustrated Boston College Head Coach Earl Grant didn’t have an answer on how to contain him. “"He's just not a normal player. It's hard to describe just how valuable and how great he is as a player and as someone to coach. One of the things as a coach that you really really want is you want when you go to practice and you go to games, you want consistency.”

That is exactly what Bacot has shown so far, and when you don’t know what you’re going to get from North Carolina’s Guards on a night-in, night-out basis that consistency really matters. Bacot had a five game stretch from December 17th to January 7th, that featured him scoring over 20 points in each game, all against Power 6 level competition.

Follow Zac Krull on Twitter @ZacKrull_

Follow Aaron on Twitter @Aaron_Torres


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