Top Backcourts Heading Into Next Season

Top Backcourts Heading Into Next Season
John Petty Jr. #23 of the Alabama Crimson Tide drives toward the hoop. Sarah Stier/Getty Images/AFP

College basketball 2021-22 season. Who has the best backcourts in college hoops?

The world of college basketball is shifting. Before, teams one in the paint with size and strength down low. Now, you have to be fast at every position. Spreading the floor wins championships, and that leads to elite guard play.

We’ve seen guards shine over the past few seasons, but it takes more than one player. It takes an entire backcourt. The traditional concepts about positions are melting, and you simply need players who can shoot the ball and defend. Multiple athletes controlling the offense is a plus, and they need to complement each other’s games.

Jalen Suggs #1 of the Gonzaga Bulldogs goes to the basket against MaCio Teague #31. Tim Nwachukwu/Getty Images/AFP

Some of the best teams last year had elite backcourts. Gonzaga and Baylor made it to the championship game thanks to great backcourts. Alabama was led by Herb Jones and a variety of perimeter shooters. However, all of these players are gone, and teams will have to reload.

As always, college basketball will have plenty of new faces in 2021-22. With that in mind, which teams will have the best backcourts in the sport? You’ll see a strong correlation between backcourt talent and overall success with these quality programs.

Alabama Crimson Tide

Nate Oats is building quite the program in Tuscaloosa. Alabama may be known as a football school, but they proved last year that they can handle their own in basketball. They won both SEC titles on their way to the Sweet 16, and they hope to have a better team this year.

Alabama lost Jones and Josh Primo, but they had one of the deepest backcourts in college basketball. Jahvon Quinerly led the team in points late in the season despite coming off the bench, and he should probably start this season. Jaden Shackelford led the team in points over the whole year, and he also decided to return this year.

Keon Ellis will fight for starter’s minutes after a solid offseason, and Alabama brings in multiple stars with the transfer portal and the traditional recruiting cycle. JD Davison will be one of the best freshmen in the country, and Nimari Burnett was a five-star guard who will hope to have a resurgence this year.

Nate Oats has a system that is perfect for guards to thrive. Quinerly will be the main name, and Davison will have plenty of highlights. With the return of Shackelford and the depth behind them, Alabama is poised to have one of the best backcourts in the country.

Purdue Boilermakers

This may be a stretch, and I’m not saying that Purdue has the best backcourt in the country. However, I will say that they have the best backcourt that no one is talking about. If you want to hear about how good Gonzaga and other teams are, there is content there.

Purdue has +1800 odds to win the national championship this year, and it is mostly because they bring back their four leading scorers from last years’ team.

Jaden Ivey and Sasha Stevanovic were quite the tandem last year. They didn’t shoot the lights out, but they were solid nonetheless. They were stout defenders, and Stevanovic averaged 40% from three.

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The Boilermakers also have depth at this position thanks to Eric Hunter. He led the team in steals and assists. This three-guard lineup was formidable, and the fact that they return three guards speaks to their experience. They will all be back this season, and they should all be better.

Kansas Jayhawks

Kansas wants to be back in the NCAA title discussion. If they plan to do that this season, it will be thanks to their backcourt.

The Jayhawks have seen plenty of stars come through the program at guard. They usually recruit them out of high school, but they brought Remy Martin in through the transfer portal. Martin will be one of the best point guards in the country, and he has the potential to be even better for Kansas than he was for Arizona State.

Martin has three years of starting experience and averaged over 19 PPG the past two years. He also distributes the ball well and is a stout defender.

Martin will likely start alongside Ochai Agbaji, Kansas’s leading scorer last year. With this backcourt, the Jayhawks should be able to take back the Big 12.