What is #CBBrank?
#CBBrank is the Twitter hashtag to use if you want to get involved in the discussion or just follow along.
How did we rank the players?
We asked 26 of ESPN's college basketball writers, editors and analysts to rate players based on expected performance for the 2015-2016 season. Players were rated on both quality and quantity of contributions to their team's ability to win games.
Though he's yet to play a minute of basketball against Division I competition, Ben Simmons is our choice as the best player in the land. (No pressure, young man.) The preseason SEC Player of the Year is billed as the "quintessential point forward" and has even been proclaimed "tank-worthy" in NBA terms. If you wish to see the 6-foot-10 Simmons playing the college game, you are strongly advised to catch him this season.
A deft point guard and disruptive defender with NBA size, Dunn is arguably the one player listed here who possessed both the ability and eligibility to be drafted in the 2015 first round. Coach Ed Cooley's junior is working to improve his shooting stroke and has struggled at times with turnovers, but his defense and effectiveness as a distributor have put Dunn on track to be a 2016 lottery pick.
Valentine didn't even make first- or second-team All-Big Ten last season, a state of affairs our esteemed panel of voters clearly regards as a shocking oversight. With his 42 percent 3-point shooting and an outstanding assist rate for a small forward, Valentine is one of the biggest reasons why Michigan State reached the Final Four for a seventh time under Tom Izzo last April.
As a freshman, Trimble attempted no fewer than 240 free throws, connecting on 207 of them (86 percent). That, plus 41 percent shooting from beyond the arc, makes coach Mark Turgeon's combo guard an incredibly effective source of points within the Maryland offense.
Apparently that Kentucky roster was pretty loaded in 2014-15, because a sophomore point guard who's yet to make his first career start checks in at No. 5. Of all the returning players listed here, Ulis stands alone in terms of career winning percentage (38-1, .974).
You can make a case that no college player last season had more of an impact on offense than Wiltjer, who stands a fair chance of closing out his college career with a Wooden Award. His shots simply go in, and they do so from both sides of the arc.
The reigning Big 12 Player of the Year leads an Oklahoma team aiming for the highest NCAA tournament seed the Sooners have seen since the days of Blake Griffin. Lon Kruger's senior is a dual-threat wing who's equally comfortable in the paint or on the perimeter.
Representing the USA in the Pan American Games last summer, Baker was given more minutes by coach Mark Few than the likes of Maryland's Melo Trimble or Virginia's Malcolm Brogdon. He and Fred VanVleet give Wichita State an excellent chance of reaching a third Sweet 16 in four years.
Paige is fairly renowned as a point guard, but perhaps this underestimates his importance to the famously perimeter-averse Tar Heels purely as a scorer. Last season he made more 3-pointers than the rest of the UNC roster combined. Without Paige, Carolina would be a far easier team to guard.
Last season, Poeltl was the only player in the nation to rank above Jahlil Okafor in both 2-point accuracy and offensive rebound percentage. This season, in the wake of Delon Wright's departure, Larry Krystkowiak's sophomore will assume an even larger role in Utah's offense.
After some doubt, Labissiere is eligible to play, meaning the Wildcats will have the services of the top-ranked freshman big man in the nation. He could be the No. 1 overall pick in next summer's NBA draft.
Hayes added perimeter range to his abilities last season, and while he was at it he improved his accuracy at the line and even his rebounding as well. Bo Ryan's junior trajectory has been impressive, and Hayes will be called upon to do much more now that Frank Kaminsky and Sam Dekker are gone.
Projected as a 2016 first-round pick, Jackson will have a chance to show what he can do this season as a featured scorer. The past history of coach Mike Brey's featured scorers suggests the results could be very impressive indeed.
In terms of "pure" point guard stats (assists and turnovers), VanVleet might just be as good as it gets in Division I. And even that doesn't take into account his consistently strong defense.
As a 6-foot-8 wing, Niang does most of his damage in the paint, but he's perfectly happy to step outside and nail a 3 when the opportunity presents itself.
LeVert is healthy, and coach John Beilein is happy. With the senior wing back at full speed, the Wolverines' offense may prevail once again through accuracy and a lack of unforced errors.
Some Virginia players are better on defense than others, but all Cavaliers defend. Brogdon defends, carries the largest workload in coach Tony Bennett's offense and does his best work at the line (where he shoots 87 percent for his Cavaliers career).
The most explosive athlete in the 2016 draft pool according to Chad Ford, Brown may follow the footsteps of Arizona's Stanley Johnson and be a dominant Pac-12 small forward as a freshman.
The 6-foot-5 Murray reclassified to join the 2015 recruiting class in June, and the Canadian gives UK a high-volume perimeter scoring threat with a pure shooting stroke.
Over the course of his career Ferrell has effortlessly navigated the transition from pass-first to scoring point guard. Now a senior, he's one of the nation's elite backcourt players.
You may know Collinsworth for his record-setting ways in the field of triple-doubles, but even when he gets "just" nine assists the 6-foot-6 senior is at all times a rare combination of passing, foul-drawing and rebounding.
Bulldogs coach Ben Howland made an immediate impact in Starkville, Mississippi, by signing the 6-foot-3 Newman, a one-and-done-level freshman who's expected to put points on the board from day one as a 2-guard.
Ellis fills a large role on offense for his elite team and perhaps does so with less fanfare than any player on this list. Look in the dictionary under "underrated" and you'll see a picture of coach Bill Self's senior.
Though he made just one start as a freshman (against Texas Southern), Sabonis is a highly effective scorer at the rim and a tenacious rebounder. The 6-foot-11 power forward will likely be a first-round pick in 2016.
In his freshman season Jackson connected on just 30 percent of his occasional 3-point attempts as a 6-foot-8 small forward, but he's a proven scorer in the paint who can crash the glass at both ends of the floor.
Morris may be the best (and least heralded) pass-first point guard in the nation, one who takes excellent care of the rock, involves his teammates on offense, hits his shots from both sides of the arc and harasses opponents on D.
In three seasons at Boston College, the 6-foot-9 Anderson excelled at drawing fouls and tending to his responsibilities on the defensive glass. He'll give Sean Miller's frontcourt a boost on offense.
Taylor was a highly ranked recruit who has struggled to find the range from either side of the arc in two seasons as a scoring point guard. Still, the potential is there, and his passing is already quite good.
In an attempt to put some meat on his 6-foot-9 frame, Layman's been placed on a 7,000-calorie diet by the Maryland staff. Assuming the new pounds don't get in the way, the senior should once again be an accomplished scorer from both the perimeter and the paint.
Jones is an excellent interior scorer, and coach Kevin Stallings has surrounded him with deadly perimeter shooters. The Commodores junior has already declared his intention to enter the 2016 NBA draft.
For the most part Baylor coach Scott Drew has elected to bring Prince off the bench, but don't be fooled by the senior's status as a "reserve." In truth the 6-foot-7 wing-slash-stretch-4 is one of the best players in the Big 12.
A projected 2016 lottery pick, Ellenson might be termed Steve Wojciechowski's foundational recruit at Marquette. The 6-foot-10 freshman is touted as a skilled big man with perimeter range.
Kansas coach Bill Self says he may give Mason some help by starting two point guards (Mason and Devonte' Graham). And while it may be difficult to discern in KU's consistently interior-oriented offense, the junior appears to have developed into a fine perimeter shooter.
Last seen going off for 16 points in just 21 minutes against Wisconsin in the national championship game, Allen most likely would have started and made first-team all-conference last season anywhere in the nation except Duke or Kentucky. The 6-foot-5 sophomore's a potential 2016 first-round pick.
Rabb's a 6-foot-11 freshman whose potential and athletic ability may allow him to go the one-and-done route. Cal fans and pro scouts alike are eagerly awaiting his debut, the latter to see the state of his reportedly still developing offensive game.
It's a testament to Payton's considerable skills as a defender and penetrator that the point guard for easily the Pac-12's worst offense last season clocks in so high (and quite rightly) on this list.
Barber nourishes a healthy and justified reputation as one of the fastest players in college basketball. While assists aren't especially plentiful in coach Mark Gottfried's scheme, all you need to know about the Wolfpack's playmaker is that he led NC State to the 2015 Sweet 16.
To the extent that the balanced Tar Heels rotation has a featured scorer, it's Johnson. Adjusting for playing time, he's more likely to shoot than any teammate, and the 6-foot-9 senior connected on 57 percent of his 2s last season.
The 6-foot-5 Selden may see more time at small forward this season, as Kansas goes without a one-and-done player at that position for the first time in a while. Note however that as a sophomore in 2014-15 Selden shot just 35 percent on his 2s in conference play.
Auguste's a capable rebounder who's merely a career 60 percent shooter at the line. But coach Mike Brey's consistently effective offense really puts the 6-foot-10 senior in an ideal position to score around the basket.
Projections of the 2016 NBA draft tend to have Mike Krzyzewski's freshman roughly 35 spots higher than this, based on the very concept of a skilled 6-foot-9 small forward. Our august panel of voters, on the other hand, is apparently more attuned to Ingram's listed weight of just 190 pounds.
Gill's excellent offensive rebounding is quite a feat in a system renowned for never allowing opponents to score in transition. The 6-foot-8 senior also led the Cavaliers in fouls drawn per 40 minutes last season.
Arguably the best pure shooter in the Big East, Smith-Rivera is automatic at the line and hit 43 percent of his 3s in conference play last season.
Last season the 6-foot-5 Wallace was the first, second and even third option for a Cal offense that struggled through an 18-15 campaign. If his workload is lightened this season, the senior may register a big jump in efficiency.
Assuming his off-court issues are resolved, and he plays a full season or something close to it, Gathers is the best offensive rebounder in major-conference basketball.
Brunson was named MVP of the FIBA U19 world championships in Greece, after he led the USA to a gold medal in July. In the title game against Croatia the 6-foot-3 point guard recorded 14 points, seven assists and zero turnovers.
The 6-foot-11 Stone has reportedly dropped 21 pounds to get in shape for the Big Ten. In diametric contrast to many freshman post players, the potential 2016 lottery pick is said to be a polished scorer who needs work on D.
Along with Melo Trimble, Denzel Valentine and Nigel Hayes, Hammons was named a unanimous preseason All-Big Ten selection. The 7-foot senior is the rare nonfreshman who's both a featured scorer and an elite rim protector.
House had a three-game stretch last February in which he scored 73 points on just 40 shots from the field. If the 6-foot-7 wing stays healthy, the Aggies have a shot at their first NCAA tournament bid since 2011.
Wherever Moody goes, stats are sure to follow because the 5-foot-10 combo guard takes a high number of shots, draws many fouls and records plenty of steals. His 90 percent accuracy at the line last season makes him the best returning free throw shooter in major-conference basketball.
After knee surgery in the offseason, Blackmon is now "full-go" according to coach Tom Crean. The 6-foot-4 sophomore functions as a dual-threat wing in IU's potent offense.
Few players epitomize the college-to-pro dichotomy better than the 7-foot-1 Karnowski, who elicits polite silence from scouts but inflicts unspeakable damage on opposing defenses in the West Coast Conference.
Harris has two seasons of eligibility remaining, having sat out 2014-15 following his transfer from West Virginia. He gives coach Tom Izzo a 6-foot-3 shooting guard who can both hit 3s and draw fouls.
Last season a high proportion of Williams' shot attempts came at the rim, and he converted those opportunities often enough to contribute to an excellent Hoosiers offense as an interior-oriented 6-foot-7 power forward.
Dunham's 3-point shooting improved significantly last season, to the point where coach Chris Holtmann may want to consider having the 6-foot-6 wing show even more of a perimeter orientation.
Welcome to the top-100 party, Atlantic 10. Matthews is a 6-foot-5 wing who functions as the featured scorer for coach Dan Hurley's defensively distinguished Rams.
There's hope in Bloomington, Indiana, that the 6-foot-10 Bryant will provide the Hoosiers with a badly needed defensive presence in the paint as a freshman. He could potentially be a first-round pick in 2016.
Koenig stepped in at point guard last January when Traevon Jackson suffered an injury, and the Badgers didn't miss a beat. Coach Bo Ryan's offense is in good hands.
A few weeks ago McKay took to Twitter to register his displeasure at being absent from this or that preseason player ranking. No such snub here -- the 6-foot-9 senior will have to draw his motivation from elsewhere.
Rathan-Mayes hit just 28 percent of his (far too numerous) 3-point attempts last season, but in every other respect the 6-foot-4 sophomore shows signs that he's a scoring point guard to watch.
Listed as a point guard, Briscoe is a 6-foot-3 freshman joining a team that already has a pretty good one of those (see above, No. 5). Nevertheless John Calipari will find minutes for a talent like Briscoe, projected as a 2016 first-round pick.
Think of Lee as a Melo Trimble who rebounds. Last season at Drexel, the 6-foot-6 Lee drew nearly as many fouls per 40 minutes as Trimble while shooting even better at the line (89 percent).
Bird's a junior who missed 10 games last season because of a stress fracture. When at full speed, the 6-foot-6 wing is capable of feats such as his 21-point effort (on just 14 shots) at Utah last February.
He's hardly a household name, but a 6-foot-10 sophomore like Pope who shows glimpses of perimeter range stands a fair chance of being a 2016 lottery pick.
Cousins had a season for the ages shooting 3s in 2014-15, connecting 45 percent of the time from beyond the arc as a 6-foot-4 shooting guard.
At 6-foot-10, Ellis is very good at both offensive rebounding and shot-blocking. As a senior he may carry a larger load on offense for the Bearcats.
Meeks is strong rebounder at both ends of the floor who also blocks an occasional shot. The junior's currently listed at 260 pounds, which if correct represents a 30-pound reduction since his freshman season.
After missing 29 games last season due to knee injury, Poythress still takes an occasional "planned day off" to ride a stationary bike. If he's healthy, he gives coach John Calipari a 6-foot-8 wing who has shown he can score inside the arc.
Whether you classify him as a wing or a stretch-4, Copeland has shown promise. As a 6-foot-9 freshman he hit 39 percent of his rare 3s while holding his own on the defensive glass.
Listed at 6-foot-4 and 225 pounds, Jones led Butler in assists yet didn't attempt a single 3 last season. The senior is unique, and his ability to draw fouls, deliver the rock and rebound makes the Bulldogs a better team.
Tarczewski draws as many fouls as he commits and shot 70 percent at the line last season. During his career in Tucson, Arizona, the 7-foot senior has been helpful on the glass while making his 2s as the Wildcats' fourth or fifth option on offense.
In his senior season, the reigning co-Big East Player of the Year will team with freshman Jalen Brunson (see above, No. 46) in a Wildcats backcourt seeking coach Jay Wright's third consecutive league title.
Williams is a 6-foot-9 junior who draws fouls and expects to be "the man" this season in Morgantown, West Virginia. Take it from, well, the man himself: "As humble as I can say it, everything is going to be through me this year."
If not for a questionable call by the NCAA selection committee in March 2014, a questionable call by a ref in the 2015 round of 64 and an enforcement call by the Committee on Infractions this fall, Moore's decision to transfer to SMU from Illinois State in 2012 might have worked out much differently.
Lee has played less than 600 total minutes across two full seasons at UK, yet he's talented enough to make this list. According to John Calipari the 6-foot-9 junior is "still defining who he is."
A highly rated 6-foot-4 shooting guard, Blakeney has already made headlines for reportedly talking to the NCAA about what transpired during a Louisville recruiting visit in 2014. For his part, Tigers coach Johnny Jones says whatever occurred when his freshman visited Louisville is now "between him and God."
Thornton is the heir apparent at point guard in Durham, North Carolina. The 6-foot-2 freshman finished high school early to reclassify and join Duke's recruiting Class of 2015.
Young even by the standards of freshmen, the 6-foot-10 Jeter arrived at Duke still a few weeks shy of his 18th birthday. He's described as a high-potential prospect who'll team with Amile Jefferson and Marshall Plumlee to replace some of what was lost with Jahlil Okafor's departure.
After just one season Hamilton has already shown he's a skilled passer and outstanding defensive rebounder from the wing, but even with a listed height of 6-foot-7 he made just 40 percent of his 2s.
As a freshman, Robinson was given long looks as a wing-slash-stretch-4 despite hitting just 26 percent of his 3s. His effectiveness as a scorer inside the arc, however, suggests that at 6-foot-8, he may be simply a power forward.
McClellan was outstanding in 2014-15, scoring effectively both from the perimeter and in the paint while also shooting 82 percent at the line. The 6-foot-5 senior gives every indication that he could handle an even larger load of possessions.
Spangler is easily the best rebounder on a highly ranked team that doesn't rebound very well. He possesses an importance that exceeds his national profile by a healthy margin.
The 7-foot Zimmerman is the fourth consecutive UNLV player to receive Mountain West Preseason Freshman of the Year honors, following in the footsteps of Anthony Bennett, Kendall Smith and Rashad Vaughn.
Drmic missed almost all of last season with injuries to his ankle and back. In 2013-14 the 6-foot-6 scorer shot 38 percent from beyond the arc in MWC play.
Though Duke of course went on to win the national title, Rodriguez wrecked the Blue Devils in Durham last January. He recorded 24 points and five steals in a 90-74 Miami win.
Dorsey is a highly rated 6-foot-4 freshman who should have plenty of opportunities to score in a backcourt that just lost Pac-12 Player of the Year Joseph Young.
Functioning as the co-featured scorer in a consistently overmatched offense, Shields was uniformly outstanding inside the arc last season as a 6-foot-7 wing.
At 6-foot-9, Long terrorizes the Sun Belt with his rebounding, ability to get to the line and especially his scoring around the basket. He's also made 38 percent of his occasional 3s over the past two seasons.
Pinson suffered a broken foot last January, and though he returned to action, he saw a total of just 24 minutes the entire month of March. When he was healthy, the 6-foot-6 wing crashed the glass and showed some impressive passing skills.
If he stays out of foul trouble (a big "if"), the 6-foot-10 Reynolds can dominate a game. In fact the junior will have the opportunity to do just that for coach Chris Mack now that Matt Stainbrook has departed.
Bembry is a 6-foot-6 combo guard who does it all for the Hawks, up to and including points, assists, steals and even defensive rebounds.
After stops at Texas and Seton Hall, Gibbs is about to take the floor for his third major-conference program. The 6-foot-2 combo guard's passing and perimeter range should provide a boost to the UConn offense.
Beasley is a 6-foot-5 guard-slash-wing who arrives billed as a scorer who can both shoot and attack the rim.
Good news for Purdue fans: Swanigan's been cleared by the NCAA and is eligible to play. The 6-foot-9 freshman gives Matt Painter still another big body to put alongside A.J. Hammons and Isaac Haas.
At 6-foot-8 Webb is quite simply a statistical freak, an outstanding defensive rebounder and 41-percent 3-point shooter who also happens to connect 68 percent of the time inside the arc.
Shepard is just a career 24 percent 3-point shooter, but as something of a point-forward for Steve Fisher, the 6-foot-8 senior carries the primary load on offense for an Aztecs program that's consistently excellent on D.
Kansas coach Bill Self has an overabundance of talent to slot next to Perry Ellis this season, and Bragg, a 6-foot-9 freshman, will compete for those minutes along with Cheick Diallo, Landen Lucas and Hunter Mickelson.
Sulaimon, a Duke transfer (by way of dismissal) is a career 39 percent 3-point shooter who will give opposing defenses -- already preoccupied with the likes of Trimble, Layman and Stone -- still another challenge.
In the midst of the Gators' worst season in years, the 6-foot-8 Finney-Smith was a bright spot in 2014-15, nailing 3s and serving as UF's de facto featured scorer.