NCAA: Top Five Players By Position
Senior NBA Writer & College Basketball Editor
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The start of the 2011-2012 college basketball season is quickly approaching and it’s expected to be one of the best years ever in terms of overall talent. The potential of a lockout in the NBA this season, which has actually come to fruition, scared away many of the top prospects from entering the draft this past summer. They’re joined by a stellar 2011 recruiting class loaded with star potential. Having broke down the top five players by position thoroughly earlier this summer, we’ve made some minor adjustments to that list and created a cheat sheet of sorts below giving you an idea of who to watch once the season gets underway.
1. Marquis Teague (Kentucky, Fr.) – 6’2, 165 lbs.
A crafty ball handler taking over one of the highest-profile positions in college basketball. Playing in a point guard’s dream with an incredible set of weapons.
2. Myck Kabongo (Texas, Fr.) – 6’1, 160 lbs.
Exciting playmaker who will have the green light to do as he pleases. May have to score in abundance in order for team to be competitive.
3. Tu Holloway (Xavier, Sr.) – 6’0, 185 lbs.
Coming off of a breakout junior campaign. Should be able to showcase his passing skills more this year with a healthy supporting cast.
4. Kendall Marshall (North Carolina, So.) – 6’3, 170 lbs.
A reliable floor general who knows how to run a team. Above average playmaking skills make up for subpar athleticism.
Ray McCallum (Detroit, So.) – 6’1, 179 lbs.
Underrated, well-rounded guard who plays with a maturity beyond his years. Has to make the most of games against high majors.
1. Jeremy Lamb (UConn, So.) – 6’5, 185 lbs.
Really came into his own down the stretch of last season. Will be the primary option in the backcourt this season.
2. Austin Rivers (Duke, Fr.) – 6’4, 195 lbs.
Dynamic player who can score with anyone. Coach K should really help him improve as a defender and ball handler.
3. Bradley Beal (Florida, Fr.) – 6’4, 177 lbs.
May possess the purest stroke in the country. Will likely defend the opposition’s top backcourt player on a nightly basis.
4. William Buford (Ohio State, Sr.) – 6’5, 185 lbs.
Became more efficient as a junior. Has the opportunity to really showcase himself with the departure of David Lighty and Jon Diebler.
5. John Jenkins (Vanderbilt, Jr.) – 6’4, 215 lbs.
Stellar shooter who helped his stock a great deal as a sophomore. Improvements on all-around game will determine whether or not he continues to rise.
1. Harrison Barnes (North Carolina, So.) – 6’8, 210 lbs
Close to living up to the excessive hype received before freshman year. The complete package both on and off the floor.
2. Michael Kidd-Gilchrist (Kentucky, Fr.) – 6’7, 210 lbs.
An explosive athlete even by NBA standards who makes defense a priority. Lack of a jump shot the only thing keeping him away from being unstoppable.
3. Khris Middleton (Texas A&M, Jr.) – 6’7, 215 lbs.
Prototypical small forward who should thrive in newly-implemented up tempo system. Very tough and gritty on the defensive end.
4. Adonis Thomas (Memphis, Fr.) – 6’6, 210 lbs.
Freakish athlete with ridiculous upside. Transition from being a post player previously still in the early stages.
5. Jeff Taylor (Vanderbilt, Sr.) – 6’6, 200 lbs.
Questionably passed on definitely being a first round pick in the 2011 draft. Could remain one with the development of consistency on his jump shot.
1. Anthony Davis (Kentucky, Fr.) – 6’10, 200 lbs.
Viable option to go number one overall. Long, athletic, versatile and imposing on both ends of the floor.
2. Jared Sullinger (Ohio State, So.) – 6’9, 280 lbs.
Physically overwhelming in the paint while also possessing great footwork. Showcasing an improved face up game would help stock.
3. Perry Jones (Baylor, So.) – 6’11, 235 lbs.
Has top-pick potential with the ability to do just about anything on the basketball floor. Questions about effort is only real negative.
4. Terrence Jones (Kentucky, So.) – 6’8, 244 lbs.
A leader for the Wildcats this season. Has to improve on consistency from freshman year.
5. Thomas Robinson (Kansas, Jr.) – 6’8, 220 lbs.
Has patiently made the most of limited minutes, but will now have a prominent role. Expected to really breakout.
1. Andre Drummond (UConn, Fr.) – 6’11, 251 lbs.
Amongst the most physically gifted centers that college basketball has seen in recent memory. A dominant force when assertive and aggressive.
2. Tyler Zeller (North Carolina, Sr.) – 6’11, 220 lbs.
Steadily improving with a great feel for the game. Runs the floor as good as any big man in college basketball.
3. Patric Young (Florida, So.) – 6’9, 220 lbs.
Didn’t live up to expectations as a freshmen, but had a strong summer with USA basketball. Quite imposing defensively and on the boards.
4. Festus Ezeli (Vanderbilt, Sr.) – 6’11, 255 lbs.
Took a huge step forward as a junior. Has to stay out of foul trouble and show that he’s still improving.
5. Joshua Smith (UCLA, So.) – 6’9, 280 lbs.
Tons of potential that is probably just a serious weight program away from being realized.
Want more? Make sure to checkout DraftExpress’ top 100 prospects, which includes in-depth scouting reports on them all!