NCAA Men's Tournament 2021: The All-Tournament Team Through Elite 8
Drew Timme's huge performance in the Elite Eight both propelled the Gonzaga Bulldogs to the Final Four and locked up his place on the All-Tournament team so far.
Timme headlines the first-team group alongside UCLA star Johnny Juzang and Houston standout Quentin Grimes. All three players are in the Final Four, as are two players on the second team—Baylor's Davion Mitchell and Gonzaga's Corey Kispert.
The remaining group is players—including Oral Roberts teammates Max Abmas and Kevin Obanor—who thrived until elimination.
While the choices are subjective, key factors are total production and overall impact. Given the current round of the tournament, volume has a considerable influence. No player who appeared in only one or two March Madness games is on the list.
Davion Mitchell, Baylor
The backcourt of Jared Butler, MaCio Teague and Davion Mitchell has pushed Baylor to the Final Four. Mitchell, though, has showed the explosiveness and defensive intensity that makes him a nightmare to handle on both ends—and he's not even hitting threes right now. He's provided 13.5 points, 4.8 assists and 2.0 steals per game. Mitchell, a 45.0 percent long-range shooter, is just 4-of-12 from beyond the arc in the tournament.
Ethan Thompson, Oregon State
Houston quieted Ethan Thompson and beat the Beavers in the Elite Eight, but he put together a superb run. The senior averaged 18.0 points, 7.0 rebounds and 4.0 assists while guiding Oregon State to its first appearance in the Elite Eight since 1982. Thompson shot 88.2 percent at the free-throw line in March Madness.
Corey Kispert, Gonzaga
Corey Kispert has the unique distinction of shooting better from long distance. Inside the arc, he's at 45.0 percent in the NCAA tournament. From the perimeter, the senior has nailed 50.0 percent of his 7.5 attempts per game. Kispert enters the Final Four with 17.3 points and 5.8 rebounds per game.
Kevin Obanor, Oral Roberts
For only the second time, a No. 15 seed reached the Sweet 16. Kevin Obanor played a leading role in that Cinderella story, providing 23.3 points, 11.0 rebounds and 1.7 steals and burying 43.5 percent of his 7.7 three-point attempts per game. Obanor, incidentally, had exactly 11 rebounds in all three games.
Isaiah Mobley and Evan Mobley, USC
Why not both? Isaiah Mobley is the less-heralded brother but assembled a strong tournament. He collected 16.0 points, 6.5 rebounds and 2.8 assists per game, shooting 54.5 percent from three and 61.0 overall. Evan Mobley, the Pac-12 Player of the Year, added 13.5 points, 9.5 rebounds, 4.0 assists and 2.0 blocks per game. They carried USC to its first Elite Eight appearance in 20 years.
Max Abmas, Oral Roberts
Mere inches separated Max Abmas from a legendary moment.
In the Sweet 16, Oral Roberts trailed No. 3 seed Arkansas 72-70 with 3.1 seconds remaining. Abmas took the inbounds pass, sprinted to the three-point line and had a decent look at a buzzer-beater. Unfortunately, however, it glanced off the rim.
"When it left my hands, it felt good," Abmas told reporters afterward. "And it ended up coming up short."
The miss should not overshadow his incredible March Madness, though. Abmas racked up 26.7 points and 4.7 assists per game, finishing with a 40.0 three-point clip on 8.3 attempts per night.
Quentin Grimes, Houston
Quentin Grimes has been a constant threat on the perimeter.
In four appearances, he's buried 43.6 percent of his 9.8 three-point attempts per game. Grimes has tallied four triples in each contest en route to a team-high 18.0 points per game.
Grimes, who transferred from Kansas, had a crucial stretch in the Elite Eight victory over Oregon State. He scored 10 of his 18 points during the last six minutes of the game, breaking a 55-55 tie and putting Houston in the lead for good.
Together with DeJon Jarreau and Marcus Sasser, Grimes has guided Houston to its first Final Four berth in 37 years.
Justin Smith, Arkansas
During the first round, Justin Smith shredded the box score. He piled up 29 points, 13 rebounds, five steals and two blocks in Arkansas' comeback win over Colgate.
That's an awfully high bar to set, yet he continued to stand out.
In the round of 32 opposite Texas Tech, Smith made a key defensive play. He contested Kyler Edwards' potential game-tying layup at the buzzer and sealed Arkansas' two-point win. Smith had 12 points and 14 rebounds in the Sweet 16 against Oral Roberts.
Smith ended the NCAA tournament—Arkansas bowed out to Baylor in the Elite Eight—with 17.8 points, 9.8 rebounds, 1.8 assists, 2.0 steals and 1.0 blocks per game.
Johnny Juzang, UCLA
UCLA became the sixth double-digit seed to reach the Final Four since the March Madness field expanded to 64 teams in 1985. And it wouldn't have been possible without Johnny Juzang.
In the First Four against Michigan State, he scored 23 points. Juzang followed that up with 27 points to upset BYU. After putting up 17 on Abilene Christian, he had a quieter showing with 13 while fouling out against Alabama—but UCLA still won.
And it set the stage for Juzang's heroics.
While his teammates shot a combined 10-of-35 and totaled 23 points against Michigan, the Kentucky transfer went 11-of-19 and netted 28. Juzang hit a crucial floater with a minute to play, and the Bruins ultimately held on for a 51-49 win.
Entering the Final Four, Juzang has tallied 21.6 points per game while shooting 35.3 percent from three and 47.7 percent overall.
Drew Timme, Gonzaga
When Gonzaga cruised past Norfolk State, Drew Timme had a solid showing. He posted 10 points, six rebounds and five assists.
Since then, though, he's been spectacular.
Timme shredded Oklahoma for 30 points, finishing 9-of-12 from the field and 12-of-14 at the free-throw line. He added 13 rebounds and four assists in the comfortable 16-point win.
During the Sweet 16 against Creighton, he made 10-of-14 shots for 22 points and chipped in six rebounds and four assists. Timme then assembled his most complete game of the season, recording 23 points, five rebounds, four assists and three steals to help Gonzaga steamroll USC and punch a Final Four ticket.
Timme—who's averaging 21.3 points, 7.5 rebounds and 4.3 assists—is undoubtedly the front-runner for Most Outstanding Player of the 2021 men's tournament.