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Top 10 College Basketball Small Forwards 2023 Rankings

Ranking the best NCAA Small Forwards of 2023 with names such as Jalen Wilson, Cam Whitmore, Jaime Jaquez Jr. and more


By admin | February 9, 2023

The 2022-23 NCAA Basketball season is nearing the final stretch run as teams around College Basketball look to build their resumes up.

The same can be said for the best small forwards in College Basketball as they look to build their resumes to compete to take home the Julius Erving award handed out to the best small forward.

As you look at the Top 10 NCAA Small Forward 2023 rankings list each of the 10 players landing on the list are well deserving of being mentioned for the award.

Landing atop the list is the Kansas Jayhawks junior small forward Jalen Wilson. Wilson, who is putting together his best season of his career with the Jayhawks has slowly emerged as one of the best players in the country as well as the best small forward in the country.

In addition to Wilson, the list of the Top small forwards in College Basketball include freshman small forward Brandon Miller of the Alabama Crimson Tide, Emoni Bates of the Eastern Michigan Eagles, Tyler Burton of the Richmond Spiders, and Jaime Jaquez Jr of the UCLA Bruins. Here is a look at the Top 10 NCAA Small Forward 2023 Rankings.

Honorable Mention

Tyler Wahl

School: Wisconsin Badgers

Just missing the top 10 on the Top 10 NCAA Small Forward 2023 Rankings list is the Wisconsin Badgers senior small forward Tyler Wahl.

Wahl who is from Lakeville, Minnesota is in the middle of his second straight season averaging at least 11.4 points per game while also averaging over five assists.

On the year Wahl is shooting 41 percent from the field while averaging 11.8 points per game, 1.2 steals, 2.1 assists, and 5.6 rebounds per game.

Josiah-Jordan James

School: Tennessee Volunteers

Another small forward just missing the Top 10 NCAA Small Forward 2023 Rankings list is the Tennessee Volunteers senior small forward Josiah-Jordan James.

James, who may also be referred to as a guard, has the size at 6 foot 6 inches to play either position while being strong on both ends of the basketball floor.

James is currently averaging 10 points per game over just 15 games this season while posting 5.3 rebounds, 1.7 assists, and nearly one steal per contest for the solid Volunteers basketball program.

Top 10 College Small Forwards

10. Baylor Scheierman

School: Creighton Bluejays

In at number 10 on the Top 10 NCAA Small Forward 2023 Rankings list is the Creighton Bluejays senior small forward Baylor Scheierman.

Scheierman is a versatile small forward who can play the guard position as well as up as a power forward. After finishing last season with a career high 16.2 points per game, Scheierman has taken a step back this season while still managing to average at least 13 points per game.

Meanwhile the Blue Jays small forward is shooting 44.6 percent from the field while also shooting 38.8 percent from behind the three-point line.

9. Cam Whitmore

School: Villanova Wildcats

The big question with Cam Whitmore is will he be back for his sophomore season, or will he be entering the 2023 NBA Draft?

Only time can tell us that as the Villanova Wildcats talented freshman small forward is versatile while showing his potential to be a top tier forward in College Basketball.

Whitmore who is from Odenton, Maryland is currently averaging 12.3 points per game on the year to go with 5.4 rebounds, and 1.5 steals per contest.

At home on the year Whitmore has averaged 16.1 points per game to go along with 5.6 rebounds, one assists and 1.6 steals per contest.

8. Matthew Cleveland

School: Florida State Seminoles

As Whitmore has been brilliant as a freshman, Matthew Cleveland of the Florida State Seminoles has been even more impressive in his sophomore season.

The Seminoles small forward has taken a big step forward in his second season while improving in nearly every aspect of his basketball game while also improving his play on the defensive end of the floor.

Cleveland is currently averaging 14.2 points per game on the season to go along with 1.9 assists, 7.7 rebounds and just below one assists (.9), and one blocked shot per game (.7).

In addition, Cleveland has shot 46.2 percent from the field and 37.8 percent from behind the three-point line.

7. Julian Strawther

School: Gonzaga Bulldogs

Landing just ahead of Matthew Cleveland on the list of the best small forwards in College Basketball is the Gonzaga Bulldogs junior Julian Strawther.

Strawther, who some expected to enter the 2022 NBA Draft returned for his junior season a decision that has rewarded him while allowing him the opportunity to showcase his talents on the hardwood.

The Bulldog’s star is currently averaging career highs in scoring (14.4 points per game) as well as in rebounds (6.8 rebounds per game).

Strawther has been solid from the field all season while shooting a career high 41.9 percent from behind the three-point line and 47.6 percent from the field.

6. Kevin Obanor

School: Texas Tech Red Raiders

In at number six on the Top 10 NCAA Small Forward 2023 Rankings list is the Texas Tech Red Raiders senior small forward Kevin Obanor.

Obanor who has solid size for the small forward position has posted a strong five-year career with the Red Raiders while building himself into a well rounded forward.

Obanor has averaged at least 10 points per game since arriving including 15.3 points per game this season.

Obanor has also been strong on the defensive end of the floor as well as on the glass averaging 6.3 rebounds, and one steal per contest this season.

5. Jaime Jaquez Jr.

School: UCLA Bruins

Rounding out the top five on the Top 10 NCAA Small Forward 2023 Rankings list is the UCLA Bruins star Jaime Jaquez Jr.

After a strong run through the NCAA tournament last season expectations were set high for this 2022-23 UCLA Bruins team as well as Jaquez Jr.

The Bruins senior small forward who has the ability to run the offense as well as play the guard position is averaging 16.3 point per game this season while also adding 7.7 rebounds, 1.7 steals, and 2.5 assists per game.

His play as well as the play of his teammates have the Bruins sitting atop the Pac-12 Conference while charging for a top 1-2 seed in the March Madness tournament in March.

4. Tyler Burton

School: Richmond Spiders

One small forward making a case among the best small forwards this season has been the Richmond Spiders senior small forward Tyler Burton.

After seeing his scoring increase in each of his previous two seasons, Burton is currently averaging a career high 19.0 points per game while ranking among the top five in scoring among all small forwards.

The Spiders small forward has also been brilliant on the glass for the team this season adding 7.7 rebounds per game to go along with 1.5 assists, and 1.6 steals.

In all Burton has posted at least 20 points in 11 contests this season including a career high 38 points back in November.

3. Emoni Bates

School: Eastern Michigan Eagles

As you look at the top three small forwards in all of College Basketball each are well deserving of a mention among the top spot with only one player being able to take home that spot.

That said, Emoni Bates of the Eastern Michigan Eagles is as good as any small forward in the country while also being mentioned as one of the top lottery potential picks during the 2023 NBA Draft.

Bates has taken tremendous strides forward this season moving from just 9.7 points per game as a freshman to 21 points per game this season. Bates has also seen his rebounding improve to 5.5 rebounds per game this season as well as his shooting.

The Eagles small forward has improved his overall field goal percentage to 43.8 this season while his three-point mark has risen to 36.9 percent.

2. Brandon Miller

School: Alabama Crimson Tide

One and done is the exact phrase that is being used for the Alabama Crimson Tide freshman small forward Brandon Miller.

Miller, who many expect to jump ship to the NBA this season is averaging 18.8 points per game to go along with 8.2 rebounds, two assists and nearly one steal/blocked shot per game.

The Crimson Tide star has posted five double doubles this season to go along with eight games with at least 20 points including three 30 plus performances this season against talented division I basketball programs.

1. Jalen Wilson

School: Kansas Jayhawks

As all eyes have been on the talented freshman this season, the Kansas Jayhawks talented small forward Jalen Wilson is turning in a brilliant season while building his resume to be the top overall pick during the 2023 NBA Draft.

After averaging just 11 points per game in each of the past two seasons, Wilson is posting a career high 21.5 points per game this season while seeing his three-point shooting improve to 35.5 percent this season.

In addition, Wilson has averaged a career high 8.6 rebounds per game and 2.5 assists this season. Entering play to start the first full week of February, Wilson has posted at least 20 points in five straight games for a Jayhawks team looking to repeat as National Champions.

How would you rank these college basketball Small Forwards for the 2022-2023 NCAA season? Rank below to be added in the NCAA Power Rankings

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Players Count 10
  1. Darren Buchanan Jr

    Small Forwards
  2. JT Toppin

    Small Forwards
  3. Rob Dillingham

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  4. Addyson Brown

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  5. Carlton Carrington

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  6. Jermaine Samuels

    Small Forwards
  7. Harrison Ingram

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  8. Marcus Bagley

    Small Forwards
  9. Emoni Bates

    Small Forwards
  10. Patrick Baldwin Jr.

    Small Forwards
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