The point guard is the most specialized position in basketball. Point guards must involve their teammates, handle the ball successfully and keep the offense in rhythm.
Whether this rhythm is made by them scoring (à la Derrick Rose) or by passing (Rajon Rondo), point guards facilitate the offense around them. They are the only player on offense that is almost guaranteed a touch every time down the floor.
Needless to say, they're pretty important.
In the college game, you'll rarely see the gaudy statistics across the board that some NBA guards put up. Some point guards, like Kendall Marshall, specialize in passing the rock. Others, like Aaron Craft of Ohio State, play sticky defense and simply get the offense going.
Here are the 10 best point guards in college basketball.
Dee Bost, Mississippi State
Trey Burke, Michigan
Trae Golden, Tennessee
Terrell Stoglin, Maryland
Jordan Taylor, Wisconsin
Tyshawn Taylor, Kansas
Maalik Wayns, Villanova
Nate Wolters, South Dakota State
Tony Wroten, Washington
Season Statistics (Boynton): 18.7 PPG, 2.6 RPG, 3.1 APG
Season Statistics (Walker): 12.9 PPG, 3.0 RPG, 5.0 APG
It must be nice being in Billy Donovan's shoes. Having these two elite guards gives them unrivaled depth in the backcourt.
As seen in the stats, Erving Walker plays more of the point guard position and Kenny Boynton plays the 2. However, they are interchangeable. Both can bring the ball up the floor and if one gets in foul trouble, the other can fill in easily.
Season Statistics: 12.9 PPG, 4.6 RPG, 6.7 APG
When I looked up assist leaders in the ACC, I was very surprised to see Lorenzo Brown right behind Kendall Marshall. A closer look showed me that Brown also leads the ACC in steals.
Couple that with solid scoring and rebounding, and there is no doubt that Brown is one of the best point guards in the nation.
Season Statistics: 18.5 PPG, 3.2 RPG, 4.1 APG
Isaiah Canaan is a scoring point guard for one of the last undefeated teams in the nation. He shoots well from the field (48.6 percent) and does just as well from beyond the arc (48.6 percent on 54-for-111 shooting).
Canaan is a fun player to watch and he rarely has an off game. He's scored fewer than 10 points only once this year.
Season Statistics: 8.1 PPG, 3.2 RPG, 5.3 APG
Although Aaron Craft may not impress with gaudy scoring numbers, he is arguably one of the best defensive point guards in the nation. He averages 2.5 assists per game, tops in the Big Ten, and his 5.3 assists per game is second in his conference.
Craft makes this list because of his impact on both sides of the ball.
Season Statistics: 16.0 PPG, 3.3 RPG, 5.2 APG
Tu Holloway is one of the better scorers in the nation, as well as the rock of Xavier's basketball team. In Xavier's five games after Holloway's suspension, Holloway averaged 18.8 points per contest. His team went 1-4 in that time.
He's the main reason his team was ranked in the top 10 in Weeks 5 and 6, and he should continue to impress in conference play.
Season Statistics: 25.5 PPG, 5.8 RPG, 3.5 APG
Damian Lillard? Who?
Lillard averages more points per game than anyone in the nation. He shoots well from everywhere—he shoots 46.6 percent from the field, 45.7 percent from three-point range and 90.8 percent from the line.
He may not get the publicity, but Lillard is arguably the best scoring point guard in the nation.
Season Statistics: 13.1 PPG, 4.7 RPG, 10.3 APG
Scott Machado leads the nation in assists. He is a "must see" on all levels—he can score, pass and throw it down pretty well for a 6'1" point guard.
If you haven't heard of him, do yourself a favor and click that link. He is a top five point guard in the NCAA right now.
Season Statistics: 5.8 PPG, 2.6 RPG, 9.6 APG
Kendall Marshall is another great passing point guard, averaging the second-most assists in all of college basketball. Granted, he is passing to better players than Scott Machado, but his court vision is unparalleled.
Just in this clip alone, Marshall throws two beautiful passes that only a few other point guards would even attempt.
Season Statistics: 13.9 PPG, 4.0 RPG, 6.2 APG
Shabazz Napier benefited greatly from Connecticut's championship run last year. Playing alongside Kemba Walker gave Napier the experience and confidence to succeed.
His numbers this year have drastically increased with his increased role, and that should continue in Big East play.
Season Statistics: 16.4 PPG, 3.4 RPG, 7.4 APG
Jordan Theodore has quietly put together a great senior year. He has had six games with 10 or more assists and four games with over 20 points. He is 10th in the Big East in points per game and first in assists.
Theodore can score, assist and rebound well for a guard. He plays over 36 minutes per game, making him one of the most valuable point guards on this list.