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Predicting College Basketball's Top 100 Players for the 2012-13 Season

Jesse KramerCorrespondent INovember 6, 2012

Predicting College Basketball's Top 100 Players for the 2012-13 Season

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    The 2012-13 college basketball season is right around the corner, and, although there are many people complaining about a lack of talent, there is still a good share of very talented players out there.

    These players range from relative unknowns in small conferences to national sensations like Mike Moser, Nerlens Noel and Cody Zeller.

    Here is a look at the top 100 Division I players for this season.

100. Kendrick Perry, Junior, Youngstown State

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    2011-12 Stats: 16.8 points, 3.9 assists, 2.4 steals

    Kendrick Perry enters this season relatively unknown, despite being one of the best players in the Horizon League last year. The junior led the conference in scoring while shooting 48.2 percent from the field. He was also in the top five in steals and assists.

    Perry was also an extremely consistent player, considering he was an underclassman. He scored in double figures in all but four games and was always packing the stat sheet.

99. Will Cherry, Senior, Montana

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    2011-12 Stats: 15.8 points, 3.3 assists, 2.6 steals

    Will Cherry put up terrific numbers throughout his junior year. However, when he finally got a chance to strut his stuff for the world, he struggled. In Montana's NCAA tournament game against No. 4 seed Wisconsin, he scored nine points on 3-of-14 shooting and had only two rebounds.

    Montana is once again the favorite to win the Big Sky, so Cherry should get another shot to redeem himself in front of a national audience.

98. Torrey Craig, Junior, USC Upstate

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    2011-12 Stats: 16.4 points, 7.7 rebounds

    Thanks to Torrey Craig's outstanding sophomore season, USC Upstate  had the second-best turnaround in NCAA Division I last year with an increase of 14 wins.

    Despite being only a sophomore, he won the Atlantic Sun Player of the Year award.

    Craig was No. 1 in the conference in scoring, No. 2 in rebounding and in the top 10 with 1.1 blocks per game.

    Craig scored in double digits in close to every game last season and notched a career-high 30 points against Florida Gulf Coast in February.

97. O.D. Anosike, Senior, Siena

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    2011-12 Stats: 15 points, 12.5 rebounds

    Statistically, O.D. Anosike was the best rebounder in NCAA Division I last year.

    He also increased his scoring by nearly 70 percent, turning him into a double-double machine. After a slow start to the 2011-12 season, Anosike rattled off double-doubles in 17 consecutive games. He finished the season with 23.

    Don't be surprised if he makes national headlines with a 20 point-20 rebound game at some point this year.

96. George Beamon, Senior, Manhattan

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    2011-12 Stats: 19 points, 5.6 rebounds, 42.7 3P%

    After transforming from a benchwarmer to Manhattan's leading scorer between his freshman and sophomore seasons, George Beamon improved once more in his junior season and led the MAAC in scoring with 19 points per game.

    He has scored in double digits in 48 consecutive games, the longest active streak in Division I.

    Beamon was the fourth-best three-point shooter in the MAAC last season, and he was also in the top 10 in steals at 1.5 per game.

    Manhattan's offensive system makes it difficult for a single player to take over a game, but Beamon's scoring abilities should not go unnoticed—they are among the best at the mid-major level.

95. Steven Adams, Freshman, Pittsburgh

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    New Zealand native Steven Adams will get immediate playing time with the Pittsburgh Panthers. Adams was ranked No. 6 in the Class of 2012 by ESPN and is reported to have a great motor and a solid repertoire of inside moves.

    In the 2012 Adidas Nations Tournament, he averaged 22 points and 16.8 rebounds over five games.

    Although Pitt freshman generally do not make too huge an impact, Adams will be an exception.

94. Shane Gibson, Senior, Sacred Heart

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    2011-12 Stats: 22 points, 4.7 rebounds

    Few people know who Shane Gibson, but he was the No. 5 scorer in Division I last season and the second-best returning scorer.

    He scored in double figures in every game last season and had four games with 30 or more points.

    Not only does he score a lot, but he scores efficiently: He shot 51 percent from the field and 43.3 percent from beyond the arc in 2011-12.

    This season, he will likely reach 2000 points for his career.

93. Preston Medlin, Junior, Utah State

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    2011-12 Stats: 17 points, 4.4 rebounds, 3.4 assists

    Preston Medlin had a breakout sophomore season for Utah State last year. He was No. 3 in the WAC in scoring, No. 2 in three-point shooting and in the top 10 in assists.

    The 6'4" guard is one of the best unknown players in the country, but he could get some attention if Utah State finds its way back to the NCAA tournament.

92. Mike Rosario, Senior, Florida

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    2011-12 Stats: 6.6 points, 1.4 rebounds

    Billy Donovan did the seemingly impossible with Mike Rosario last year.

    Rosario was a high-volume scorer in his two seasons with Rutgers, but he was a ball hog and an inefficient scorer who shot just 38.5 percent from the field.

    His scoring average dropped dramatically to 6.6 points as a bench player in his first year with Florida, but that number should once again rise as he gets more playing time this year.

    Last year, Rosario played behind a loaded backcourt of Erving Walker, Kenny Boynton and Bradley Beal.

    This year, he will most likely be starting alongside Boynton.

91. Brandon Davies, Senior, Brigham Young

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    2011-12 Stats: 15.2 points, 7.7 rebounds

    In his junior year, Brandon Davies led Brigham Young back to the NCAA tournament, where the Cougars defeated Iona behind Davies' 18 points and 15 rebounds.

    Davies finished last season with nine double-doubles, including a 21-point, 22-rebound effort in a win over San Diego. 

90. DeAndre Kane, Junior, Marshall

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    2011-12 Stats: 16.5 points, 5.4 rebounds

    DeAndre Kane finished No. 10 in Conference USA in scoring as a freshman. Last year, he finished No. 2. This year, he is the frontrunner for the conference's scoring title, and he is also a favorite for the C-USA Player of the Year award.

    Kane is a talented scorer who could post upwards of 20 points per game this season.

89. Colt Ryan, Senior, Evansville

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    2011-12 Stats: 20.5 points, 4.2 rebounds, 3.3 assists

    Colt Ryan made the Missouri Valley's all-conference first team last year after dominating the competition. The only team that had any chance of stopping him last year was Drake, which held him to six and seven points in the teams' two meetings.

    Against every other MVC team, Ryan scored in double figures.

    Ryan had already shown that he could score during his first two seasons with the Aces. However, last year he also showed his ability to be an all-around player. Although he never posted a double-double last season, he had as many as nine rebounds and nine assists in single performances.

88. C.J. Aiken, Junior, St. Joseph's

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    2011-12 Stats: 10.9 points, 5.1 rebounds, 3.5 blocks

    For the second consecutive season, C.J. Aiken averaged 3.5 blocks per game. Although Kentucky freshman Nerlens Noel is supposed to be an amazing shot-blocker, Aiken is the best proven one in college basketball. Aiken had nine blocks in a single game twice last year.

    Although he is still far from a great scorer, he did improve last year, scoring 10.9 points per game on 53.6 percent shooting.

87. Fuquan Edwin, Junior, Seton Hall

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    2011-12 Stats: 12.5 points, 6.2 rebounds, three steals

    Last year, Fuquan Edwin emerged as one of the best defenders in college basketball. With Anthony Davis gone to the NBA, Edwin could actually be the No. 1 defensive player in Division I. He led the nation in steals last year with three per game.

    Edwin is also a strong offensive player, but he still needs to improve. He averaged 12.5 points last season and scored 20 or more points five times.

86. Jamelle Hagins, Senior, Delaware

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    2011-12 Stats: 12.4 points, 11.1 rebounds, 3 blocks

    There were not many bigs who put up better all-around numbers than Jamelle Hagins last year. Hagins led the CAA in rebounding and was No. 2 in blocks and No. 3 in field-goal percentage at 54.8 percent.

    At one point last season, Hagins had a double-double in seven consecutive games. Delaware has a legitimate shot to go to the NCAA tournament this year, and Hagins will be leading the charge.

85. Kaleb Tarczewski, Freshman, Arizona

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    2011-12 Stats (St. Mark's HS): 20.7 points, 10.2 rebounds, 2.7 blocks

    Kaleb Tarczewski is a traditional back-to-the-basket center. He was a consensus top-10 recruit and was ranked No. 4 in the Class of 2012 by ESPN.

    According to ESPN, Tarczewski has "excellent hands and finishes drop off passes and clear paths above the rim."

84. Jerian Grant, Junior, Notre Dame

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    2011-12 Stats: 12.3 points, 5.0 assists

    In his first year with Notre Dame, Jerian Grant made an immediate impact. He was second on the team in scoring, and he led the Fighting Irish in assists and steals (1.3 spg).

    Although his 35.4 three-point percentage was plenty respectable, his overall field-goal percentage of 38 was subpar. This is understandable, considering it was his first year at the Division I level.

    But now that he has a year of experience, he needs to become a more efficient scorer. 

83. Cleveland Melvin, Junior, DePaul

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    2011-12 Stats: 17.5 points, 7.4 rebounds

    Cleveland Melvin should be a Big East first-team selection at the end of the season.

    At 6'8", he has the size to go with a nice post game and mid-range game. He was also a solid defender last year with 1.1 blocks per game.

    But because he plays for DePaul, he has remained under the radar. If he played for nearly any other Big East team, his name would already be known around the nation.

    Melvin posted six double-doubles last year, his most impressive being an 18-point, 15-rebound outing against St. John's.

    In all but two games, he scored in double digits. Against Chicago State, he scored a season-high 30 points on 12-of-22 shooting.

82. Tray Woodall, Senior, Pittsburgh

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    2011-12 Stats: 11.7 points, 6.1 assists

    Tray Woodall will be one of the top point guards in college basketball this year. He is the second-best returning assist man in the Big East behind only Vincent Council, and his 11.7 points per game and 38.6 three-point percentage make him a solid scoring threat.

    Last year, Woodall averaged 14.1 points and 8.3 assists while posting four double-doubles through the first seven games before an injury sidelined him for 11 of the next 12 games.

    If he can return to his November 2011 form, he could emerge as the No. 1 point guard in college basketball.

81. Drew Crawford, Senior, Northwestern

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    2011-12 Stats: 16.1 points, 4.7 rebounds

    Drew Crawford stepped up his scoring game last season. He increased his scoring average above 16 points per game and also improved his shooting percentage to 48.4 percent. In 33 games, he scored 11 or more points 28 times.

    Crawford is Northwestern's most talented player this year, and he has the ability to carry the Wildcats to their first-ever NCAA tournament.

80. D'Angelo Harrison, Sophomore, St. John's

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    2011-12 Stats: 16.8 points, 3.9 rebounds

    D'Angelo Harrison proved his scoring ability as a freshman, but his efficiency is in question. He averaged nearly 17 points per game, but his field-goal percentage hovered just above 37 percent.

    With Moe Harkless gone to the NBA, Harrison is now the biggest threat on St. John's.

    Towards the end of the year, Harrison started playing slightly more efficient basketball, averaging 20.1 points on 39 percent shooting.

79. Chris Gaston, Senior, Fordham

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    2011-12 Stats: 17.1 points, 9.9 rebounds

    Chris Gaston has been a force in all three of his years as a Fordham Ram. Gaston averaged 18 points and 11.4 rebounds as a freshman, 15.9 points and 11.3 rebounds as a sophomore and 17.1 points and 9.9 boards as a junior.

    Last year was his best overall. He became a much better defensive player, averaging 1.6 blocks and 1.3 steals. In addition, he turned the ball over only 2.7 times per game, compared to 3.5 as a sophomore and 4.5 as a freshman.

78. De'Mon Brooks, Junior, Davidson

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    2011-12 Stats: 15.7 points, 6.2 rebounds

    De'Mon Brooks had a breakout sophomore season, leading Davidson to a NCAA tournament bid. Brooks, a versatile 6'7" forward, has emerged as an NBA prospect.

    He posted a pair of double-doubles last year and was an extremely efficient scorer at 53 percent from the field. He also added a three-pointer to his game, making 21-of-57 attempts from beyond the arc.

    Make note that he did all this in only 22.8 minutes per game. With another year of experience and more playing time, he will emerge as one of the top mid-major players in the nation.

77. Marshawn Powell, Junior, Arkansas

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    2011-12 Stats: 19.5 points, 6 rebounds

    Marshawn Powell played in only two games last year before a season-ending injury. But in those two games, he dominated. In addition to averaging 19.5 points, he made 15 of his 21 field-goal attempts.

    As a freshman, Powell showed his potential with averages of 14.9 points and 6.7 rebounds per game. If he can return to form, he will be a force for Arkansas this year.

76. Frantz Massenat, Junior, Drexel

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    2011-12 Stats: 13.7 points, 4.8 assists

    Frantz Massenat was a good point guard as a freshman, but he did not do much scoring. Last year, he fixed that problem, as he more than doubled his scoring output.

    The Drexel guard averaged 13.7 points, 3.1 rebounds and 4.8 assists as he led his team to the NIT quarterfinals last year. In the process, he scored in double figures in all but seven games. In three NIT games, he averaged 15 points and 8.7 assists.

75. Kevin Dillard, Senior, Dayton

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    2011-12 Stats: 13.3 points, 6.0 assists

    Kevin Dillard had to sit out for a year after transferring to Dayton from Southern Illinois, but he did not skip a beat. He averaged career highs in points, assists, steals and blocks. He posted three double-doubles with points and assists.

    Dillard is right up there with Chaz Williams as the best point guard in the Atlantic 10. 

74. Ryan Harrow, Sophomore, Kentucky

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    2010-11 Stats (with NC State): 9.3 points, 3.3 assists

    Ryan Harrow was a top-50 recruit coming out of high school. He had a strong freshman year with North Carolina State, but, as with many freshmen, he struggled from the field, shooting just 39 percent.

    Now, with an extra year of experience and the coaching of John Calipari, he should be a valuable weapon for the Kentucky Wildcats.

73. Anthony Bennett, Freshman, UNLV

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    2011-12 Stats (Findlay Prep): 15.8 points, 9.8 rebounds

    Anthony Bennett will make an immediate impact in UNLV's frontcourt. Bennett, a top-10 recruit, is a versatile forward with a big body. He will be a force in the post and could also do some damage on the perimeter.

    ESPN ranked him as the No. 1 power forward in the Class of 2012.

72. Kyle Wiltjer, Sophomore, Kentucky

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    2011-12 Stats: 5 points, 43.2 3P%

    Kyle Wiltjer got drowned out by all of the star power on Kentucky last year. Although the 6'10" Wiltjer had a solid freshman year, very few were able to pick up on his talent.

    Wiltjer had a few huge games in the regular season. Against Loyola (MD), he scored 24 points on 7-of-11 shooting, and he had four additional games where he scored in double figures.

71. Rotnei Clarke, Senior, Butler

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    2010-11 Stats (with Arkansas): 15.2 points, 43.8 3P%

    Rotnei Clarke was among the best three-point shooters in the nation in 2010-11. During three years at Arkansas, he averaged more than 90 three-pointers made per season and shot better than 42 percent on treys. He even made as many as 13 three-pointers in a single game.

    This year, in addition to being a sharpshooter, Clarke will see a lot of time at point guard for the Butler Bulldogs.

70. Anthony Collins, Sophomore, South Florida

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    2011-12 Stats: 9 points, 5.2 assists

    Anthony Collins was a crucial part of South Florida's success last season. As a freshman, Collins averaged more than five assists per game while also contributing nine points per game.

    Although his 3.4 turnovers per game were a little high, he was efficient putting the ball in the basket with a field-goal percentage of 50.8.

    Over the final 15 games of the season, Collins averaged 12.2 points and 5.5 assists.

69. Tim Hardaway Jr., Junior, Michigan

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    2011-12 Stats: 14.6 points, 3.8 assists

    Tim Hardaway Jr. had a great sophomore season, but it was somewhat overshadowed by Michigan's freshman phenom, Trey Burke.

    Hardaway had six outings with 20 or more points, including a season-high 26 points against Penn State.

    Hardaway struggled in his final two games of last season, posting only 13 points against Ohio State in the Big Ten tournament and then 14 points against Ohio in the NCAA tournament. He shot a combined 8-of-24 from the field in those two games.

68. Archie Goodwin, Freshman, Kentucky

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    Archie Goodwin, who was ranked the No. 15 recruit in the Class of 2012 by ESPN, will start for Kentucky this year and could lead the Wildcats in scoring. Goodwin is a versatile scorer who can play either shooting guard or small forward.

    ESPN compared Goodwin to Joe Johnson of the NBA's Brooklyn Nets.

67. Reggie Bullock, Junior, North Carolina

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    2011-12 Stats: 8.8 points, 5.1 rebounds

    Reggie Bullock has the potential to lead North Carolina in scoring this year. The 6'7" shooting guard averaged 8.8 points last year and shot 38.2 percent from beyond the arc. 

    Last season, he struggled at times to find a groove. But if he becomes more consistent, he can be one of the top scorers in the ACC. Over a five-game stretch in December, he averaged 12.4 points and 5.8 rebounds.

66. Kentavious Caldwell-Pope, Sophomore, Georgia

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    2011-12 Stats: 13.2 points, 5.2 rebounds

    Kentavious Caldwell-Pope is Georgia's top returning scorer. Last year, he was second on the team with 13.2 points per game. He also led the Bulldogs in rebounding with 5.2 boards and steals with 1.8. 

    However, he was not the most efficient scorer. He shot below 40 percent from the field and just a hair over 30 percent on three-pointers. That being said, he was only a freshman last year, and he should be more efficient after having an entire offseason to continue working on his game.

65. Khalif Wyatt, Senior, Temple

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    2011-12 Stats: 17.1 points, 3.3 assists, 2.2 steals

    Khalif Wyatt had a breakout junior season last year. In 33 minutes per game, he averaged 17.1 points, 3.3 assists and 2.2 steals while shooting 47.9 percent from the field and 37.9 percent on three-pointers.

    Wyatt was also a 85.6-percent free-throw shooter. Against Central Michigan, he shot 10-of-10 from the stripe, and against Massachusetts he made 17-of-18 attempts.

64. Michael Dixon, Senior, Missouri

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    2011-12 Stats: 13.5 points, 3.3 assists

    On last year's stacked Missouri team, Michael Dixon scored 13.5 points in 26.7 minutes per game, and he didn't even come fully into his own until late January. 

    Over the final 14 games of the season, Dixon averaged 16.4 points and 4.3 assists per game.

63. Erik Murphy, Senior, Florida

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    2011-12 Stats: 10.5 points, 4.5 rebounds, 42.1 3P%

    Erik Murphy may not be the most athletic player, but he is still a very valuable part of Florida's team. He has a high basketball IQ and was an outstanding shooter for a big man last year at 42.1 percent.

    He had five games last year where he made four or more three-pointers.

62. Ray McCallum, Junior, Detroit

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    2011-12 Stats: 15.4 points, 4.5 rebounds, 4 assists

    Ray McCallum followed up a very good freshman season with another great sophomore season. McCallum scored in double digits in all but five games last season and had five or more assists in 13 games.

    In the NCAA tournament, McCallum posted eight points, five rebounds, five assists and three steals. He also had very strong outings against St. John's, Notre Dame, Alabama and Mississippi State during the regular season.

    McCallum is the type of player that could put up a triple-double this year.

61. Keion Bell, Senior, Missouri

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    2010-11 Stats (with Pepperdine): 18.9 points, 4.1 rebounds

    Keion Bell was one of the nation's most prolific scorers in 2010-11, when he was with Pepperdine. He scored in double figures in all but two games and had two games with more than 30 points.

    Obviously, the SEC is a big step up from the WCC, but Bell should still be able to score in bunches with his new club. In addition to putting up points, expect him to be a lockdown defender on the perimeter.

60. Alex Oriakhi, Senior, Missouri

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    2011-12 Stats (with Connecticut): 6.7 points, 4.8 rebounds

    Alex Oriakhi had a disappointing junior season with Connecticut as he watched his playing time cut with the arrival of freshman phenom Andre Drummond, now in the NBA.

    Oriakhi chose to transfer to Missouri, and he will have the chance to shine for Frank Haith and the Tigers.

    Remember, although Oriakhi did not do much last year, he led Connecticut's national championship team in 2011 with 8.7 rebounds per game and 1.6 blocks per game.

59. Keith Clanton, Senior, Central Florida

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    2011-12 Stats: 14.5 points, 8.1 rebounds

    Despite Central Florida's postseason ban, Keith Clanton chose to remain with the Knights for his final year of eligibility.

    Last season, he showed that he was arguably the best big man in Conference USA. In 2011-12, Clanton had 10 double-doubles, and he will remain a double-double machine in 2012-13.

58. Mark Lyons, Senior, Arizona

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    2011-12 Stats (with Xavier): 15.1 points, 2.8 assists

    Mark Lyons left Xavier following his junior season and ended up at Arizona, where he is immediately eligible. With the Musketeers, he scored in double digits in most games and had as many as 27 points in a single game.

    He will help the Wildcats solidify their backcourt after losing Josiah Turner, Kyle Fogg and Brendon Lavender. 

    At Xavier he was a shooting guard, but at Arizona he will play more point guard. 

57. Brandon Triche, Syracuse

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    2011-12 Stats: 9.4 points, 2.6 assists

    Brandon Triche's numbers from last year do not make him look like a top-60 player. However, you have to remember that he was playing behind Kris Joseph, Dion Waiters and Scoop Jardine.

    With those three gone, Triche becomes Syracuse's main scoring threat, and you can expect him to deliver.

    Last season, he had seven games with 15 or more points.

56. Sean Kilpatrick, Junior, Cincinnati

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    2011-12 Stats: 14.3 points, 4.6 rebounds

    Sean Kilpatrick led Cincinnati in scoring last year with 14.3 points per game. He scored in double digits in all but eight games last season and had six games with 20 or more points.

    Also, in 34.5 minutes per game, he averaged only 1.5 turnovers.

55. Aaric Murray, Junior, West Virginia

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    2010-11 Stats (with La Salle): 15.2 points, 7.7 rebounds, 2.3 blocks

    Aaric Murray was an absolute monster in his two seasons with La Salle, and it was clear that he was talented enough to play at a level higher than that of the Atlantic 10. With West Virginia, he gets that change in the Big 12.

    Murray could have the biggest impact of any transfer this year, as he helps West Virginia compete in its first year in a new conference.

54. Solomon Hill, Senior, Arizona

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    2011-12 Stats: 13 points, 7.7 rebounds

    Solomon Hill will be a very important piece to Arizona's success this year. The Wildcats are a very young team in the frontcourt, with freshmen Kaleb Tarczewski and Brandon Ashley as their two best forwards.

    However, Hill will still be in the starting lineup, and he will provide invaluable experience to Sean Miller's youngsters.

53. Brandon Paul, Senior, Illinois

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    2011-12 Stats: 14.7 points, 4.7 rebounds

    Brandon Paul led Illinois in scoring last year as a junior, but his shooting percentage remained below 40 percent. In 32 games, he had only four outings where he made more than half of his field-goal attempts.

    To truly be one of the best players in college basketball, he has to become a more efficient scorer and not let inefficiency dampen his overall scoring output.

52. Reggie Johnson, Senior, Miami

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    2011-12 Stats: 10 points, 7.2 rebounds

    Reggie Johnson was outstanding as a sophomore. He averaged 11.9 points and 9.6 rebounds while shooting close to 60 percent from the field. However, his production fell during his junior season as he struggled with a knee injury.

    If he can return to his pre-injury form, he will be one of the top big men in the ACC.

51. Allen Crabbe, Junior, California

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    2011-12 Stats: 15.2 points, 5.7 assists

    Allen Crabbe was consistently scoring in double figures last season. He recorded 20 or more points seven games, and he had a double-double on three occasions.

    The key for Crabbe is finding more consistency. He had a few stretches in which he really struggled shooting the ball. Early in the year, he had three straight games with less than 10 points where he combined for 6-of-29 shooting (20.7 percent). Eliminating those types of stretches is crucial.

    If he does, he is a potential Pac-12 Player of the Year.

50. Jeronne Maymon, Senior, Tennessee

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    2011-12 Stats: 12.7 points, 8.1 rebounds

    After transferring from Marquette, Jeronne Maymon did not do much for Tennessee as a sophomore. His 2.6 points and 2.8 rebounds per game were insignificant.

    But last year, he broke through with nine double-doubles, including a 32-point, 20-rebound game against Memphis.

    Pairing him with Jarnell Stokes gives Tennessee one of the best frontcourts in college basketball.

50. Vincent Council, Senior, Providence

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    2011-12 Stats: 15.9 points, 7.5 assists, 4.1 rebounds

    Vincent Council led Providence in scoring, assists and steals last season. However, he also turned the ball over more than anyone and had the worst field-goal percentage of anyone who was consistently in the rotation (39.1 percent).

    Even though he is not an efficient scorer, he is clearly one of the top distributing point guards in the country. He is the nation's top returning distributor.

48. Matthew Dellavedova, Senior, St. Mary's

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    2011-12 Stats: 15.5 points, 6.4 assists

    Matthew Dellavedova continued to emerge as one of the best mid-major point guards last year. His 6.4 assists per game were good for No. 1 in the WCC and No. 9 in the nation.

    Dellavedova had three double-doubles last season. The most notable was against Weber State, when he had 25 points and 11 assists.

    Dellavedova also gained valuable experience with the Australian Olympic team this summer. In a game against Russia, he posted 10 points, six rebounds and seven assists.

47. Isaiah Austin, Freshman, Baylor

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    Isaiah Austin is one of the best big men in college basketball this year.

    At 7'1", he is mobile, can score inside and has great range.

    Baylor coach Scott Drew told CBSSports.com's Gary Parrish that Austin is one of Baylor's best shooters and can also handle the ball.

46. Shabazz Napier, Junior, Connecticut

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    2011-12 Stats: 13 points, 5.8 assists

    Shabazz Napier put together a solid sophomore season. He led Connecticut in assists and steals and was No. 2 on the team in scoring.

    However, he struggled from the field at 38.9 percent, and his turnover numbers were a little too high for comfort at 2.8 per game.

    Although he sometimes played under control, Napier had 11 games with four or more turnovers. Napier showed signs of promise during the second half of the season in this regard, though. From January 21 on, he had only two such performances.

45. Elijah Johnson, Senior, Kansas

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    2011-12 Stats: 10.2 points, 3.5 assists

    Elijah Johnson is Kansas' top returning scorer, and he proved how valuable he is during the Big 12 and NCAA tournaments.

    In two Big 12 tournament games, he averaged 20.5 points on 52 percent shooting. In the NCAA tournament, he averaged 13.3 points and 4.5 assists. 

44. Elias Harris, Senior, Gonzaga

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    2011-12 Stats: 13.1 points, 8.5 rebounds, 41.4 3P%

    Elias Harris picked some of his numbers back up last year after a disappointing sophomore season. His scoring average increased by nearly a point per game, and his rebounds increased by 2.5. His three-point shooting percentage also increased from 35.3 to 41.4.

    However, his shooting percentage continued to dip, this time from 51.7 percent to 50.2.

43. Mason Plumlee, Senior, Duke

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    2011-12 Stats: 11.1 points, 9.2 rebounds

    Mason Plumlee thought about the NBA after last season but wound up returning to Duke for his senior season. He fell less than a rebound shy of a double-double per game last year and was one of the more efficient scorers in the ACC at 57.2 percent from the field.

42. Chaz Williams, Junior, Massachusetts

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    2011-12 Stats: 16.9 points, 6.2 assists, 2.2 steals

    Chaz Williams was virtually unknown before last season.

    Williams spent his freshman season with Hofstra and averaged 9.8 points, 4.2 rebounds and 4.2 assists.

    After sitting out a year upon transferring to Massachusetts per NCAA rules, Williams finished in the top 10 in scoring in the Atlantic 10 and led the conference in assists.

    For a 5'9" guard, he also had a more than respectable 4.4 rebounds per game.

    In Massachusetts' run to the NIT semifinals, he led the team with 21.8 points per game.

41. Jack Cooley, Senior, Notre Dame

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    2011-12 Stats: 12.5 points, 8.9 rebounds

    During his first two seasons at Notre Dame, Jack Cooley was simply a Luke Harangody look-alike.

    Last year, his game took a tremendous jump. He averaged 12.5 points, 8.9 rebounds and 1.6 blocks while shooting 62.5 percent from the field—the best mark in the Big East.

40. Jarnell Stokes, Sophomore, Tennessee

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    2011-12 Stats: 9.6 points, 7.4 rebounds

    Jarnell Stokes did not start playing last season until mid-January, but he proved to be a key part of Tennessee's success once he entered the rotation.

    He averaged 9.6 points, 7.4 rebounds and 1.4 blocks while shooting 53.4 percent from the field. This 6'8" sophomore should produce a bunch of double-doubles in the 2012-13 season.

39. Lorenzo Brown, Junior, NC State

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    2011-12 Stats: 12.7 points, 6.3 assists

    Lorenzo Brown is one of the best playmakers in college basketball. At 6'5", he has great height for a point guard. That is what helps him be a good scorer and rebounder in addition to being the best distributor in the ACC, now that Kendall Marshall is in the NBA.

    In three NCAA tournament games last season, Brown averaged 13 points, 7.3 rebounds and six assists.

38. Christian Watford, Senior, Indiana

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    2011-12 Stats: 12.6 points, 5.8 rebounds, 43.7 3P%

    Christian Watford became famous for his game-winning three-pointer against the Kentucky Wildcats, but there is more to his game than a single shot.

    He averaged 12.6 points last season and shot 43.7 percent from beyond the arc. At 6'9", his high release makes him difficult to defend on the perimeter.

37. Alex Poythress, Freshman, Kentucky

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    2011-12 Stats (Northeast HS): 30.1 points, 11.1 rebounds, 4.3 blocks

    Alex Poythress racked up achievements during his senior year of high school. He had 21 double-doubles in 30 games, was Mr. Basketball in Tennessee and played in both the McDonald's All-American game and the Jordan Classic.

    Poythress should start for John Calipari's Kentucky Wildcats, and he will be yet another one of Coach Cal's freshman phenoms.

36. Kenny Boynton, Senior, Florida

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    2011-12 Stats: 15.9 points, 2.7 assists, 40.7 3P%

    Kenny Boynton was simply a chucker during his freshman and sophomore seasons. As a rookie, he made less than 30 percent of his treys, and two years ago he made only 33.1 percent despite shooting 6.5 per game.

    Last year, all his chucking paid off as he broke the 40-percent mark. Still, you would like to see his shot selection improve a little more, considering he still had a number of games where he shot poorly from beyond the arc.

35. Tim Frazier, Senior, Penn State

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    2011-12 Stats: 18.8 points, 4.7 rebounds, 6.2 assists

    Tim Frazier exploded out of nowhere to become one of the best all-around point guards in college basketball. Frazier averaged only 6.3 points and 5.1 assists as a sophomore, but, last year, all of his major statistics increased.

    Unfortunately, that includes turnovers.

    Frazier's 3.7 giveaways per game were simply too many. In order to truly be a premier point guard, he has to learn to play under control.

34. Patric Young, Junior, Florida

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    2011-12 Stats: 10.2 points, 6.4 rebounds

    Patric Young had a breakout a sophomore season after averaging only 3.4 points and 3.8 rebounds as a freshman. He is very athletic, and, at 6'9", he can impose his will in the post.

    If Young can develop a better mid-range game, he will be one of the best offensive big men in the country. He already made a big jump from his freshman to sophomore seasons, and he needs another jump to live up to his potential as an elite big man.

33. D.J. Cooper, Senior, Ohio

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    2011-12 Stats: 14.7 points, 5.7 assists, 2.3 steals

    After a stellar freshman season in which Ohio upset Georgetown in the NCAA tournament, D.J. Cooper's name was nationally known.

    Ohio then had a worse season during his sophomore year, so his nation's second-best assist average of 7.5 per game went relatively unnoticed.

    Then, Cooper reemerged last year by helping Ohio advance to the Sweet 16, where the Bobcats nearly upset No. 1 seed North Carolina.

    Cooper can do a little bit of everything on the basketball floor.

    For sure, he can score and distribute. He plays good defense with 2.3 steals per game, and, for someone who is only 5'11", he is a solid rebounder with 3.7 per game.

32. Ben McLemore, Freshman, Kansas

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    Ben McLemore had to sit out last year, but, as a partial qualifier, he still got to practice with a Kansas team that advanced to the national championship game of the NCAA tournament. He was a top-50 recruit in the Class of 2011, and he already has experience going up against players like Tyshawn Taylor and Thomas Robinson.

    He has the potential to lead Kansas in scoring this season.

31. Marcus Smart, Freshman, Oklahoma State

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    Marcus Smart is Oklahoma State's biggest addition of the offseason. He is expected to have a huge impact for the Cowboys from Day One. Alongside Le'Bryan Nash, he makes them a NCAA tournament contender.

    Smart, a top-10 recruit in the Class of 2012, should play a mix of shooting guard and point guard this year.

30. BJ Young, Sophomore, Arkansas

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    2011-12 Stats: 15.3 points, 41.3 3P%

    BJ Young initially declared for the NBA draft but then smartly chose to return to Arkansas for his sophomore season. With Young, the Razorbacks have the opportunity to get to the NCAA tournament and make a run.

    In 25.2 minutes per game, he was in the top 10 in the SEC in scoring while shooting better than 50 percent from the field.

29. Peyton Siva, Senior, Louisville

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    2011-12 Stats: 9.1 points per game, 5.6 assists per game

    Peyton Siva is one of the more perplexing talents in college basketball.

    Siva clearly has the talent to be one of the best point guards in Division I. He was No. 4 in the Big East in assists with 5.6 per game last year, and he has solid scoring ability—mainly around the rim but also from three-point range.

    Siva shot 40.4 percent from three-point land as a freshman, but those numbers fell to 27.2 as a sophomore and then 24.6 as a junior. If this number rises back up to the mid-30s this year, it will be a significant improvement to his offensive game.

    But even if he does not find a way to become a more talented scorer, he needs to learn how to play more under control if he wants to fully tap into his point guard potential.

    His 3.4 turnovers per game were simply too many.

    On many occasions, Siva tried to do too much. That is why his turnover numbers were out of control and also why his shooting percentage dropped to 40.2 percent.

28. Rodney McGruder, Senior, Kansas State

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    2011-12 Stats: 15.8 points, 5.2 rebounds

    Rodney McGruder continued to improve during his junior season.

    After a breakout sophomore year, his scoring average increased to 15.8 per game last year. His free-throw percentage increased to above 80 percent, and his field-goal percentage jumped above 46.

    He shined on the big stage in the NCAA tournament last year, scoring 30 points in a second-round game against Southern Miss.

27. Myck Kabongo, Sophomore, Texas

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    2011-12 Stats: 9.6 points, 5.2 assists

    Myck Kabongo immediately emerged as one of the best freshman point guards in Division I last year. In the second game of his career, he posted 18 points, seven rebounds and nine assists against Rhode Island. He finished the season with 12 games of seven or more assists.

    Now, he returns as the Longhorns main man for the 2012-13 season.

26. Le'Bryan Nash, Sophomore, Oklahoma State

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    2011-12 Stats: 13.3 points, 5 rebounds

    Le'Bryan Nash had a strong freshman showing, but it was considered disappointing in a day when highly touted freshman are expected to be immediate stars.

    Nash struggled with inconsistent shooting from the field, but he was near unstoppable when he was on his game. In Oklahoma State's upset of then-No. 2 Missouri, Nash put together his best performance of the season, with 27 points on 12-of-18 shooting.

    But he also had a few awful outings, most notably his 2-for-15 game against New Mexico and his 3-for-15 stinker against rival Oklahoma.

25. Chane Behanan, Sophomore, Louisville

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    2011-12 Stats: 9.5 points, 7.5 rebounds

    Chane Behanan was as important as anyone in Louisville's run to the Final Four last season.

    Behanan stepped up his game in the postseason and averaged 13.2 points and eight rebounds over the Cardinals' five NCAA tournament games.

    During the regular season, he was not as consistent, but he still showed flashes of his talent.

    He scored his career-high 23 points against Rutgers in February. Behanan also had 11 rebounds in that game, making it one of his seven double-doubles last season.

    In his sophomore season, Behanan could be the type of player that averages a double-double.

24. Otto Porter, Sophomore, Georgetown

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    2011-12 Stats: 9.7 points, 6.8 rebounds

    Otto Porter was one of the best freshmen in the Big East last season. He scored in double figures 15 times and averaged 12.5 points, eight rebounds and two steals in the NCAA tournament.

    Some of his inconsistency should disappear now that he has matured from a freshman to a sophomore.

23. Nate Wolters, Senior, South Dakota State

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    2011-12 Stats: 21.2 points, 5.1 rebounds, 5.9 assists

    Nate Wolters was the only player in college basketball last year to average 20 points, five rebounds and five assists.

    During the 2011-12 season, he scored in double figures every time he hit the floor. Nine times, he scored 25 points or more.

    But he is not only a scorer.

    Wolters is arguably the best point guard at the mid-major level now that Scott Machado has graduated from Iona.

    Wolters had a pair of double-doubles last year: 32 points and 11 assists against Western Michigan and 21 points and 12 assists against Oakland. In the game versus Oakland, Wolters fell only two rebounds short of a triple-double.

    Wolters shot a respectable 44.8 percent from the field as a junior, but his three-point percentage dropped 16 points to 24.1 percent. If he cannot bring his long-range shooting percentage back up, he should stop shooting treys in order to maximize his efficiency. 

22. Kyle Anderson, Freshman, UCLA

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    Kyle Anderson joins Shabazz Muhammad at UCLA to make the best freshman duo in the country. Anderson is a point forward, and he is expected to share time as the Bruins' point guard with North Carolina transfer Larry Drew.

    Anderson has the potential to be one of the top distributors in the nation despite standing at 6'8".

21. Andre Roberson, Junior, Colorado

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    2011-12 Stats: 11.6 points, 11.1 rebounds

    Andre Roberson is probably the best unknown player in college basketball this season. He averaged a double-double as a sophomore and helped Colorado to the third round of the NCAA tournament.

    He was also one of the better defenders in the Pac-12 with averages of 1.9 blocks and 1.3 steals per game.

20. Jeff Withey, Senior, Kansas

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    2011-12 Stats: 9 points, 6.3 rebounds, 3.6 blocks

    Jeff Withey had been a non-factor for Kansas in his first two years, but last year he was the third most important player in the Jayhawks' run to the national championship game.

    His 3.6 blocks per game were fourth in the nation, and he had as many as 10 in a single game.

19. Gorgui Dieng, Junior, Louisville

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    2011-12 Stats: 9.1 points, 9.1 rebounds, 3.2 blocks

    Gorgui Dieng emerged as the best defensive force in the Big East last season. Dieng led the conference and was No. 8 nationally in blocks with 3.2 per game.

    But his defensive prowess is not the extent of his abilities.

    Dieng also averaged close to a double-double with more than nine points and nine rebounds per game. With another offseason under his belt, both of those numbers could rise to double figures. As a sophomore, he had 11 double-doubles.

    Dieng struggled with foul trouble last season, though. He had four or more fouls in 19 games.

18. Trevor Mbakwe, Senior, Minnesota

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    2011-12 Stats: 14 points, 9.1 rebounds

    Trevor Mbakwe averaged a double-double in 2010-11, and he was close to averaging one through the first seven games of last season before an injury sidelined him for the year. He was also among the nation's most efficient scorers at 60.4 percent from the field.

    As long as he hasn't lost a lot of his explosiveness after coming off an injury, Mbakwe's inside game is among the best in the nation. 

17. Michael Snaer, Senior, Florida State

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    2011-12 Stats: 14 points, 3.8 rebounds, 40.4 3P%

    Michael Snaer transformed into a leader for Florida State last season. He was a consistent scorer (minus his NCAA tournament goose egg against Saint Bonaventure), and hit a number of clutch shots for the Seminoles.

    With the departures of Bernard James, Luke Loucks and Deividas Dulkys, he will take on an even bigger role during his senior season.

16. Pierre Jackson, Senior, Baylor

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    2011-12 Stats: 13.8 points, 5.9 assists

    Pierre Jackson made an immediate impact in Baylor's backcourt in his first year as a Division I competitor. He was one of the most explosive players in the Big 12, scoring as many as 35 points in a single game. Against Missouri, he posted 20 points and 15 assists.

    He also proved that he is ready for the big stage. In the NCAA tournament last year, he averaged 17.5 points, 6.8 assists and 2.8 steals.

15. Tony Mitchell, Sophomore, North Texas

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    2011-12 Stats: 14.7 points, 10.3 rebounds, 3.0 blocks

    Tony Mitchell initially committed to Missouri but wound up at North Texas. In the Sun Belt, he was unstoppable—but we have not yet gotten to see him against any great competition. The best team he faced last year was LSU. Against the Tigers, he posted only 11 points and five rebounds.

    However, his overall stats made him one of the best freshmen in the nation. He averaged a double-double, shot 56.7 percent from the field and made 18-of-41 three-pointers.

    If he chooses to go pro after this season, he should be a lottery pick.

14. Jamaal Franklin, Junior, San Diego State

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    2011-12 Stats: 17.4 points, 7.9 rebounds

    During San Diego State's historic 2010-11 season, Jamaal Franklin played only 8.1 minutes per game and averaged 2.9 points, which is why his breakout sophomore season was somewhat unexpected.

    Although many thought UNLV's Mike Moser (more on him soon) was the best player of the conference, Franklin was the one who earned Mountain West Player of the Year honors after leading the conference in scoring.

    Expect him to average about 19 points and nine rebounds this season.

13. Mike Moser, Junior, UNLV

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    2011-12 Stats: 14 points, 10.5 rebounds

    Mike Moser played his freshman season at UCLA and did virtually nothing for the Bruins. In 4.7 minutes per game, he averaged only 0.6 points and 0.5 rebounds. He then transferred to UNLV, and his career took off.

    Last year, he averaged a double-double for the Rebels and led them to the NCAA tournament. He proved to be an absolute monster against all levels of competition, and that is why he is a potential 2012-13 All-American.

12. Trey Burke, Sophomore, Michigan

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    2011-12 Stats: 14.8 points, 4.6 assists

    Trey Burke was nothing short of outstanding in his freshman season with Michigan. He was No. 2 in the conference in assists and No. 11 in scoring. Now, with a year of experience at the collegiate level, expect his numbers to jump.

    His shooting percentages were mediocre last year, though—43.3 percent from the field and 34.8 percent from beyond the arc. As he continues to mature, those numbers will rise to a more elite status.

11. C.J. Leslie, Junior, NC State

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    2011-12 Stats: 14.7 points, 7.3 rebounds

    After putting up great numbers for the second consecutive year, C.J. Leslie has garnered attention as one of the best, if not the best, player in the ACC.

    Leslie, who averaged 11 points and 7.2 rebounds as a freshman but shot only 43 percent from the field, improved his game as a sophomore and chose to come back to school despite being a potential lottery pick.

    He scored in double figures close to every game last season and finished with eight double-doubles. In the NCAA tournament, he averaged 15.7 points over three games.

10. Deshaun Thomas, Junior, Ohio State

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    2011-12 Stats: 15.9 points per game, 5.4 rebounds per game

    Deshaun Thomas more than doubled his scoring output from his freshman to sophomore seasons. Although such a huge jump is not expected once again this year, his scoring average should still increase now that Jared Sullinger and William Buford are gone from Ohio State.

    Thomas has already proven that he is ready for the big time. In five NCAA tournament games last season, he averaged 19.2 points and 7.6 rebounds.

9. Isaiah Canaan, Senior, Murray State

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    2011-12 Stats: 19 points, 3.6 assists, 45.6 3P%

    Isaiah Canaan was good, but nothing too special, in his first two seasons as a Racer. Last year, however, he broke onto the national scene with 19 points and 3.6 assists per game, leading Murray State to a two-loss season and earning second-team AP All-American honors.

    Canaan is dangerous because of his ability to play both on and off-ball guard. He was No. 2 in the Ohio Valley in both assists and three-point shooting percentage.

    The area he still must improve is his assist-to-turnover ratio. Although 3.6 assists to 2.7 turnovers is not terrible, you would like to get the ratio above 1.5.

8. Nerlens Noel, Freshman, Kentucky

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    2011-12 Stats (Tilton HS): 12.6 points, 7.2 rebounds, 3.9 blocks

    Nerlens Noel was ranked No. 1 in the Class of 2012 by ESPN, but there are some questions about his offensive game. He averaged a solid 12.6 points per game as a high school senior, but if his scoring game is as unpolished as some scouts have said, he will take a backseat to UCLA's Shabazz Muhammad (if eligible) as the top freshman.

    Regardless, his defensive game is the best among any freshman. Kentucky junior Jon Hood said that Noel is a better shot-blocker than Anthony Davis, who led Division I with 4.7 blocks per game last year and was the No. 1 pick in the 2012 NBA Draft.

7. James Michael McAdoo, Sophomore, North Carolina

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    2011-12 Stats: 6.1 points, 3.9 rebounds

    James Michael McAdoo's numbers from last year are far from overwhelming, but that is mainly because he was a freshman playing behind a loaded frontcourt of Tyler Zeller, John Henson and Harrison Barnes.

    This year, McAdoo is a top candidate for ACC Player of the Year. Instead of playing only 15 minutes per game, he should play closer to 30 minutes, and his numbers will reflect the jump in playing time.

    Even in his relatively limited time last season, he showed signs of what is to come this year. Against Maryland, he posted 14 points and eight rebounds. In four NCAA tournament games, he averaged 11.8 points, four boards, two blocks and 2.3 steals.

6. C.J. McCollum, Senior, Lehigh

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    2011-12 Stats: 21.9 points, 6.5 rebounds, 2.6 steals

    C.J. McCollum will be remembered as the greatest basketball player in Lehigh history. He has already scored over 2,000 points and has a good chance of passing Lehigh all-time leading scorer Daren Queenan's 2,703 career points.

    McCollum already has a pair of Patriot League Player of the Year awards under his belt, two conference tournament titles and one NCAA tournament victory.

    He can score off the drive and with his mid-range jumper, but his three-point shot is still below average (34.1 percent).

    In addition to scoring, he plays great defense, can rebound extremely well for a guard and can also distribute the basketball, as shown by his 3.5 assists per game last season.

5. Phil Pressey, Junior, Missouri

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    2011-12 Stats: 10.3 points, 6.4 assists, 2.1 steals

    It is difficult to discern who is the best raw point guard in the country, but Phil Pressey is undoubtedly the best for Missouri's system.

    In Missouri's fast-paced system with multiple talented scorers, Pressey has a very good chance to lead the nation in assists, and he will almost definitely lead the Big 12 in that category once again.

    Pressey is also a very good defensive guard. He led the Big 12 in steals last year and was No. 2 in the conference as a freshman with two per game.

    Most importantly, Pressey proved that he can have a huge, positive impact on a game without even scoring—in fact, he doesn't even have to attempt a shot.

    In a 88-59 rout of Binghamton last season, Pressey had 11 assists and three steals without shooting the basketball.

4. Aaron Craft, Junior, Ohio State

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    2011-12 Stats: 8.8 points, 4.6 assists, 2.5 steals

    Aaron Craft is the premier point guard in college basketball this year.

    He has already cemented his reputation as possibly the best backcourt defender in the nation. His 2.5 steals per game were in the top 10 in Division I, and anybody who watched Ohio State play could easily tell how huge his impact he was on every game.

    Last season, he also improved his offensive game, averaging close to nine points on 50 percent shooting. He has supposedly been working more on his scoring game this offseason.

3. Shabazz Muhammad, Freshman, UCLA

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    2011-12 Stats (Bishop Gorman HS): 29.4 points, 10.1 rebounds, 2.4 steals

    Shabazz Muhammad, although ranked No. 2 behind Nerlens Noel in ESPN's recruiting rankings, will be the best freshman in Division I this year—if he is ruled eligible.

    Muhammad has explosive speed and athleticism that puts him ahead of everyone else among this year's freshmen. He has a relatively complete offensive game for a rookie. Against other high school prospects in games like the Jordan Classic, he showed his ability to drive to the hoop and to shoot with solid range.

    A common comparison for him thus far has been James Harden, who used to play for Arizona State and now plays in the NBA for the Houston Rockets. 

2. Doug McDermott, Junior, Creighton

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    2011-12 Stats: 22.9 points per game, 8.2 rebounds per game

    Doug McDermott was only a sophomore last year, but he was the best all-around player at the mid-major level.

    This year, he will be one of the best players at any level.

    McDermott played well against good competition in the regular season. He went for 25 points and nine rebounds against Iowa, 25 points and 12 rebounds against San Diego State and 27 points, five rebounds and five assists against Northwestern.

    In the NCAA tournament, McDermott averaged 18 points per game and 9.5 rebounds per game.

    McDermott found ways to help his team in a variety of ways offensively.

    He developed a strong post game but also improved his outside shot. His three-point percentage increased from 40.5 percent as a freshman to 48.6 percent as a sophomore.

1. Cody Zeller, Sophomore, Indiana

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    2011-12 Stats: 15.6 points, 6.6 rebounds

    Cody Zeller is widely regarded as the best Division I player for the 2012-13 season.

    As a freshman, he was in the top 10 in the Big Ten in points, rebounds, steals (1.2 per game) and blocks (1.4 per game). He led the conference in field-goal percentage at 62.6 and earned a spot on the All-Big Ten second team.

    Zeller is the frontrunner for National Player of the Year. In cbssports.com's "Critical Coaches" during the offseason, 35 percent of Division I coaches voted Zeller as the most coveted player for the 2012-13 season.

     

     

     

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