By Jason Bleznick
By Tim Donohoo
The Big East Conference season is sure to offer some great matchups with abundance of talent throughout the league. Here is a rundown of the Top 20 to watch this year.
Jeremy Lamb, 6-5 sophomore guard, Connecticut:
Grabbed all tournament honors at the Big East Tournament, West Regionals and Final Four. He is lanky and explosive. A sure future NBA prospect. One of the top players in the country and a stellar shooting guard. Was the best player on the U.S. squad at this summer’s FIFA U19 World Championships in Latvia. Averages 11ppg and 4rpg.
Ashton Gibbs, 6-2 senior guard, Pittsburgh:
An excellent scorer who returns for his senior year. Can hit from long range. The key will be his conversion to the point guard position. Averages 16ppg, 2rpg and hits on 49 percent from long distance. Needs to be a little more productive to become the complete player.Pitt has never reached the Final Four. One of the best shooting guards in the country. An All America candidate who needs to step it up a notch with six incoming freshmen on the squad this season in a transition year. Two time All Big East pick. (more…)
By Jason Bleznick
The 2012 recruit class might be one of the most important in college history. I say this because when the NBA lockout is resolved the draft will be stock piled of the best talent from 2011 and 2010. I see that the majority of the top tier talent will declare for the draft; which will leave the incoming freshman all by themselves. These 18yr olds will have the entire NCAA fan base watching them.
By Michael Almonte
What do Michael Jordan, Pervis Ellison, Grant Hill, Mike Bibby, and Carmelo Anthony all have in common? All these stars made huge contributions in their freshmen season on teams that ultimately won the National Championship. Which freshmen this year will join that list?
1. Josiah Turner 6’3, Freshmen, PG, Arizona
This newcomer will have an immediate impact on a talented team and remind Arizona fans of another freshmen point guard Mike Bibby who led Arizona to a National Championship in his first year back in 1997.
2. Austin Rivers, 6’4, Freshmen, SG, Duke
Rated as the No. 1 player coming out of high school, can Rivers live up to the hype and deliver this year? Expect a mega season and incredible performances throughout the season from this gifted baller.
3. P.J. Hairston, 6’6, Freshmen, SG, North Carolina
Look for Hairston to remind North Carolina fans of Marvin Williams back in 2005 as a solid sixth man who played an important role during that championship season. This sharp shooter can pull the trigger from anywhere on the court and put up numbers. (more…)
By: Nicholas Garton
By Tim Donohoo
Alec Burks and his 20 point per game average has departed from the Colorado Buffaloes starting five for 2011-12; however, the folks in Boulder are optimistic that 6-7 sophomore guard, Andre Roberson can fill the void. The Wagner High School prospect out of San Antonio will be the Colorado “go to” man on the hardwood this season as CU begins year one in the Pac 12 Conference out West.
Roberson set freshman school records for rebounds (297) and blocked shots (42), becoming the first Colorado freshman to lead the team in rebounding, steals (51) and blocked shots. This feat placed him in select company along with Michael Beasley (Kansas State), Antoine Wright (Texas A&M) and Kevin Durant (Texas) as the only players in Big 12 Conference history to accomplish this as freshmen. (more…)
By Sommers Price
1. Jared Sullinger- Sophomore Center-Ohio State University
Sullinger’s combination of strength, skill, and tenacity cements his spot atop these rankings. Some would consider the rising sophomore “bad game proof”, as his relentless play inside and uncharacteristically high free throw percentage can make up for “off” nights. He passed up the chance to be the headliner of this year’s draft class immediately after his team’s loss to Kentucky displaying a refreshing desire to win and compete for a national championship.
2. Harrison Barnes- Sophomore Forward-University of North Carolina
Barnes has the honorable distinction of being the best player on what I would consider the best team college basketball has to offer. After a slow start amidst astronomical expectations (first team all American) Barnes heated up in ACC play, ultimately leading the Tar Heels to a surprising conference championship. Barnes has a quiet killer instinct and no noticeable weaknesses in his silky smooth game. Look for him to make a serious run at National player of the year and a deep run into the tournament. (more…)