One of my favorite blogs to write before each college basketball season is that of assembling the “How Is That Guy Still in College” Team. These are the guys who you could swear have been in college for at least a decade but somehow they’re still contributing to College teams. Maybe they have tenure or something?
If you’re interested, here are some of the previous years’ teams.
Here is the 2017-2018 Squad.
Here is the 2018-2019 Squad.
Here is the 2019-2020 Squad.
I didn’t get to put together a team for last year’s 2020-2021 season, so I’m pumped to get to revisit one of my favorite blogs to write each year.. Players staying in College for four years had become something that was more and more rare but with the additional year of eligibility be offered due to the pandemic, we have a number of guys coming back for their 5th year. The amount of options this year was crazy and I could have legitimately put together 4 full teams no problem.
Before even including any games from this upcoming season, the below players have respectively played 118, 122, 119, 117, & 124 games in their college basketball careers already, averaging 82 games started amongst them. Without further ado, let’s take a look at these old/young guys.
Collin Gillespie, Villanova
Head Coach Jay Wright has a knack for being able to recruit 4-year point guards who excel in his system and are top echelon guards in College Basketball. He’s somehow able to get players who are great college players but who most likely fall into back-up point guards or role players in the NBA due to their lack of size, speed, or one reason or another. Kyle Lowry being the exception the rule with him never becoming an upperclassman and excelling in The League.
Randy Foye – 2002-2006
Mike Nardi – 2003-2007
Scottie Reynolds – 2006-2010
Corey Fisher – 2007-2011
Ryan Arcidiacono – 2012-2016
Jalen Brunson – 2015-2018
Collin Gillespie – 2017-2022
Wright somehow now gets a 5-year point guard with Collin Gillespie. Gillespie has already played in 118 games in his collegiate career with an another 30+ on the horizon for next season.
I’m so ready for this guy to get out of college but I know he’s going to come back as an Assistant Coach for Wright after playing a few seasons in either the G-League or Europe. I have always kind of liked this gif though…
…Just pretend this is the gif of Gillespie hugging Ed Cooley after coming out of the game the final time in the Pan-Am Games…Ok, good.
Nate Watson, Providence
Old school big men who shine in the post have a place at the next level but they do have a ceiling in a draft as far as how high they will be prioritized to be selected by teams. Nate Watson was essentially unstoppable in single coverage but much like players like Luka Garza, Ethan Happ, & Angel Delgado, their place in the draft won’t really be effected by staying in college an additional year or leaving to play professionally. Nate showed flashes of his midrange jumper last year and if he is able to extend that out a few more feet, that would be the element of his game that teams would be looking for.
Big Nate has been a mainstay in the Big East and with David Duke gone and as a Preseason First Team All-Big East selection, there should be National focus on the behemoth this season.
Fatts Russell, Maryland
With a name like Fatts Russell, it is pretty hard not to be immediately remembered when you first hear his name. Playing just down the highway at URI, Russell became “the guy” after Dan Hurley left the Rams to head to coach at UConn. Russell is a high volume guy by nature who should be able to get his with Terrapin guards Aaron Wiggins (33.0 mpg/14.5 ppg) & Darryl Morsell (29.4 mpg/9.0 ppg) gone. Senior guard and returning leading scorer Eric Ayala (15.1 ppg) should continue to play 2-guard with Russell taking lead guard responsibilities, especially with Maryland not having a single player average even 3 assists per game last season and Fatts averaging 3.7 apg and higher in each of his seasons at URI.
It’s hard to root against a guy named Fatts…unless he’s on URI. I can finally have fun watching him play somewhere else and as an additional bonus, URI won’t get to see the fruits of their labor come to fruition. Other Fats, take it away!
Charlie Moore, Miami
Apparently Charlie Moore is playing for The U this season. This will be his 4th team following stints with Cal, Kansas, and DePaul. Moore is a weird one because although he looks like he’s 12, he’s been around for what feels like 12 years, and has a name that sounds like he’s someone’s grandfather.
Moore began his college career in 2016…I repeat, 2016. He was in college at the same time as Markelle Fultz. Fultz just entered his 5th year in the NBA. I know it’s not possible, but I somehow fully expect Charlie Moore to be on a different college team next season.
Theo John, Duke
How did this guy get to go to Duke? I’m guessing he’s there to give some fouls and play solid defense. That’s not all that different than whatever Plumlee was on the team for the last 15 years. I’m just sorry that Big Nate is going to eat this dude’s lunch twice a year for the 5th year in a row. It was a tradition I looked forward to every single season.
Honorable Mentions: Jordan Bohannon (Iowa), Mitch Lightfoot (Kansas), Remy Martin (Kansas), Buddy Boeheim (Syracuse), Eli Brooks (Michigan), Garrison Brooks (Mississippi State), Jermaine Samuels (Villanova), Bryce Nze (Butler), Trent Frazier (Illinois), Josh Carlton (Houston), Makai Ashton-Langford (Boston College), Keyontae Johnson (Florida), Paul Scruggs (Xavier), Taz Sherman (West Virginia)