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Ranking the top 25 players in college basketball two months into the 2019-20 season

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Toppin throws down an emphatic hammer (0:18)

Obi Toppin gets free down the lane and throws down a strong one-handed hammer. (0:18)

Welcome to the first top-25 ranking of players of the decade. It's still a bit early to characterize the college basketball of the 2020s, but, if I had to hazard a guess, I would say 2s. Good 2-point scorers are found in abundance in this top 25.

Why is that, exactly? The interior space created by the new 3-point line has perhaps benefited the best scorers inside the arc but, of course, it has not lifted 2-point accuracy across Division I.

It's all a bit perplexing, really. So, yes, even after two weeks, the 2020s remain something of a mystery.

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

Here are the top 25 players of the 2020s so far.


1. Obi Toppin, Dayton Flyers

Did you have Dayton as one of your top 15 teams in the country in the preseason? Neither did I, and that's why Toppin is the best player in the country. The Flyers are on track for a top-four seed in the NCAA tournament because of their offense (UD leads the nation in 2-point accuracy by a mile), and, with all due respect to Jalen Crutcher & Co., that sublime offense is primarily a Toppin creation.

One rule of thumb in basketball analysis is that we should be impressed whenever we see a volume dunker. (This isn't rocket science.) Toppin and Udoka Azubuike are the only players on this list averaging three dunks per game, and, to paraphrase a famous line about Ginger Rogers versus Fred Astaire, Toppin is doing it at 6-foot-9 and in the Dayton rotation. In addition, Anthony Grant's sophomore is a serviceable 3-point shooter who defends the rim and shares the ball. Toppin even recorded five steals in just 19 minutes in his most recent outing, against UMass, before rolling his ankle. Fortunately, he was able to return and score 20 against VCU in the Flyers' 14-point win at home over the Rams.