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Starting Five: Top sleeper All-America players
Posted By HOOPSWORLD On August 9, 2013 @ 1:00 pm In Wirenews | Comments Disabled
by Scott Gleeson, USA TODAY Sports
Is it March yet? Hardly. With the NCAA tournament far in the rearview mirror and Midnight Madness several months away, USA TODAY Sports examines several story lines for the 2013-14 college basketball season.
If the college basketball season could be summed up in one word, it would be unpredictable. Sure, you can tell when teams look like a championship team (a la Louisville last season). But who saw Florida Gulf Coast beating Georgetown? Or Harvard knocking out New Mexico? Who thought Kentucky wouldn’t even make the NCAA tournament?
The same goes for star players. There are the easy forecasts — Doug McDermott, Russ Smith — and then there are the unpredictable breakout standouts. Before the beginning of last season, Gonzaga’s Kelly Olynyk was simply a name on a loaded Zags roster. Indiana’s Victor Oladipo was merely a sidekick (if that) to returning All-American Cody Zeller. In the end, Olynyk had an All-American season and Oladipo rode the momentum from his sensational junior season to become the No. 2 NBA draft pick.
Then there are surprises like Marshall Henderson, who led the SEC in scoring and became the league’s best player. With some players, you can sense a breakout season. Such was the case with Georgetown’s Otto Porter, who went from up-and-coming sophomore to Big East Player of the Year. Players like Michigan’s Mitch McGary and Glenn Robinson III show that same potential.
Regardless of whether it’s a team or player, the unpredictable is the key ingredient in why college hoops becomes so addictive come March. So who are this upcoming season’s Cinderella men? Here’s a peek at some under-the-radar players with All-America potential reminiscent of last year’s crop of emerging talents:
1. Jahii Carson, Arizona State: He was one of the most underrated players in the nation last season after averaging 18.5 points, 5.1 assists and 3.7 rebounds a game last season as a freshman — on the way to six school records. Because the Sun Devils didn’t make the NCAA tournament, Carson’s speedy play never met the national spotlight. At 5-10, he’s undoubtedly one of the fastest coast-to-coast players in the … [For more on Starting Five: Top sleeper All-America players, click here.]
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