The Big Ten: Top Young Stars to Watch
Everyone knows that Eric Gordon is the best freshman baller in the Big Ten. The problem is, the future professional's outstanding play has been taking attention away from the rest of the conference's young stars.
Here's a rundown of some other Big Ten newbies worth watching.
Robbie Hummel and E'Twaun Moore, Purdue
The Boilermakers have come out of nowhere this season to reach the top of the Big Ten standings and these two guys are a big part of the reason.
Moore is a sharpshooter with high percentages from every part of the floor. He leads Purdue in scoring with 11.9 points per game in just 29 minutes per game.
Hummel is a guy who can do almost anything. His ability to score from anywhere and rebound the way he does betrays his slender frame. An incredible basketball player, his only weakness may be his inability to guard larger forwards on defense.
Manny Harris, Michigan
Harris is the leader of a young Michigan team.
Although he is a bit reckless at times (lots of missed FGs), he's hard to stop when he gets hot. His aggressiveness ends up paying off when he decides to take it to the rim and draw contact.
Harris leads the Wolverines in points and assists per game. Anyone who watched Michigan's upset of Ohio State can see the potential of Harris and his other young teammates.
Michigan could be next year's Purdue.
Kalin Lucas, Michigan State
Lucas is quite simply one of the fastest point guards in college basketball right now. He's a human blur whose drives to the hoop are incredibly fun to watch.
Travis Walton's inability to produce at the point guard position has made Lucas' contributions all the more important to the Spartans.
Talor Battle, Penn State
When Geary Claxton went down with an ACL tear earlier this season, many wrote off the Lions' postseason chances. Talor Battle wasn't one of those people.
While PSU's NIT hopes are still in question, Battle has fought hard in every game, playing outstanding defense while rising to the occasion as a secondary scoring option behind Jamelle Cornley. Battle's three-point shooting could still use some work, but like Lucas, his ability to attack the basket gives his team another much-needed scoring threat.
Kosta Koufos, Evan Turner, and Jon Diebler, Ohio State
Thanks to these three, the Buckeyes could be the dominant team in the Big Ten sometime in the near future. Koufos is already adept at scoring inside, and he's not afraid to pull the trigger from outside either.
Still, Koufos is at his best when posting up or shooting mid-range jump shots. His seven rebounds per game leads Ohio State.
Turner and Diebler are role players for Ohio State, but they play those roles very well. Turner is a swingman-type small forward who is at his best when driving to the hoop, but can also shoot the three.
Meanwhile, Diebler is all about shooting the three. While he has gone through some rough shooting patches, Diebler has shown potential as of late, hitting on 12/26 shots in his last four games.
I'm sure there's some young talent that I'm missing here. Feel free to chime in with your own thoughts. Just remember that when Eric Gordon leaves for the NBA, these are the guys left behind to carry the Big Ten into the future.
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