Nation's best pure passers

T.J. McConnell among those who deliver ball on time, on target

Updated: May 5, 2014, 2:44 PM ET
By Seth Greenberg | ESPN Insider

T.J. McConnellStephen Dunn/Getty ImagesT.J. McConnell knows how to find his teammates anywhere on the court.

The ability to see plays early and deliver the ball on time and on target makes a great passer. Most fans just assume your best passer is your point guard, but in reality they are more often play starters. Elite offensive teams are typically great passing teams, and to be that you need multiple players who can see a play develop and make the right decision. But having the most assists doesn't always equate to the best passer. The pass that leads to the assist is just as important.

Who are the best pure passers in college basketball? Let's take a look.

Generation Next: Best freshman passers

Players to watch: Point guards


T.J. McConnell, Arizona Wildcats

McConnell is the perfect fit for Sean Miller's Wildcats. He is a pass-first point guard who plays for the good of the group. McConnell averaged 5.3 assists per game while having just under a 3-1 assist-to-turnover ratio. He does a good job of pitching the ball ahead in transition, but his greatest strength is as a game manager. He understands the flow and gets the ball to the right man at the right time in the right place.

McConnell can get in the lane and probe the defense to find the open man, whether it is a big stepping to the front of the rim or a kickout for an open 3-pointer. He is very good off the ball screen, and, if you down him, he does a good job of throwing the "pocket" pass to the big. In the Arizona motion offense, McConnell comes off the screen and uses his dribble to get angles to feed the post.