Leading up the season we are doing a countdown of the Top 100 players in college basketball. These rankings are based on a poll made up of 14 CPP writers. These writers span from UCLA to Seton Hall so there is very little bias. Each day we will release the latest player on our ranking with a small write-up. Be sure to check out the rest of the Top 100 articles! Today is our last Top 100 article! Here is the final completed list.
2016-17 Stats (Michigan State): 16.9 PPG, 2.1 APG, 8.3 RPG, 38.9 3P%
Why They Are Here?
Miles Bridges is #1 on our list because simply he is the best player in college basketball. Bridges had a monster freshman year where he showed a little bit of everything. Tom Izzo trusts Bridges and wants the ball in his hands. That was evident last season and that trust will only grow with a full offseason of strength training and development.
If you have followed the site for a while you know that I was not as high on Bridges coming into the season. He is an undersized 4 in college that was not a knockdown shooter. I believed the hype revolved around his highlight tapes that mostly featured dunks. My critiques of Bridges were somewhat right as he struggled in non conference play to consistently knock down threes and drive into the lane. As the season went on, Bridges picked his spots better and shot much better from deep.
This season, I am very high on Bridges. Opting out of the NBA Draft was a smart move and the value of a full offseason with Tom Izzo. Bridges should become a more consistent player and be more of the point forward that Izzo imagined when Bridges stepped on campus. Expect to see Bridges be a high level scorer at all three levels as well as an elite defender and rebounder. There is no one in the country that has his athleticism and polished skills on both ends.
Role on This Year’s Team:
Last year, Bridges was left to carry a heavy load due to some underperforming and injuries to the front court. Eron Harris has graduated but the injured front court players return and will be joined by a loaded freshman class. Bridges will now be able to play more as a 3 on the wing this season which will be a huge benefit to him. Bridges will be asked to do everything for Tom Izzo. He will guard the opponents best player while having the ball in his hands a lot on the offensive side of the ball. The players around Miles will provide a nice boost to take attention away from him. This is Bridges’s team and they will go as far as he can take them.
College Season/NBA Prospect:
Bridges return to college was surprising as he was considered a lottery pick in last year’s draft. Coming back will only help Bridges’s stock as he will be a better player on a better team. NBA scouts will get to see Bridges play more on the wing which will be where Bridges plays a the next level. Expect Bridges to be a Top 10 pick next June. The year of maturity and development will pay huge dividends for Miles and NBA teams will be fighting to get him on their team.