College Basketball 2012-13: 5 CBB Players with One More Chance to Break Out
ESPN.com's college basketball Class of 2009 was filled with such future stars such as John Wall, DeMarcus Cousins, Derrick Williams, Kawhi Leonard and many others.
In many cases, they have played an important role on their respective teams. However, to finish their college career strongly, they need to bump things up a notch and move away from the pack.
Here are five players who have one more chance for a breakout college basketball season in 2012-13.
Dexter Strickland: North Carolina
Dexter Strickland came to Chapel Hill as the No. 27 rated player in the Class of 2009.
He was known as an explosive athlete who could drive with the best SGs in the country.
At UNC, Strickland has developed the rep of being a great on-ball defender, usually guarding the Tar Heels opponent's best perimeter player.
He has yet to demonstrate consistent scoring ability, averaging 5.4 ppg as a freshman, and 7.5 ppg in both his sophomore and junior seasons.
Granted, playing alongside talented teammates like Harrison Barnes, John Henson, Tyler Zeller and Kendall Marshall doesn't always allow for a lot of scoring opportunities.
Last year, before going down with a season ending injury in late January, the 6'3" SG was shooting a flaming 57 percent from the field.
Maybe, as the Tar Heels reload in 2012-13, Strickland can elevate his offensive output and show that he can fill it up on a night-in, night-out basis.
Milton Jennings: Clemson
Most of Milton Jennings' college career has been completely off-the-radar.
Even though he laces 'em up in the ACC, only some hardcore hoops fans might be able to identify where he has played the last three seasons.
After being rated the No. 2 SF (and overall No. 26 rated player) in the Class of 2009, the 6'9" 225 lbs forward has logged three average years at Clemson.
Last year, he averaged 9.7 PPG and 5.6 RPG. Not bad, but definitely not great.
In the middle of last season, Jennings was suspended indefinitely for failing to meet team academic standards.
After spending two games in street clothes, he came back and averaged nearly 13 points and seven rebounds in the final eight games of the season.
Clemson coach Brad Brownlee hopes that Jennings and his senior front court running mate, Devin Booker, will keep moving in this same positive direction from start to finish in 2012-13.
Dante Taylor: Pitt
Panther fans were licking their chops when Dante Taylor committed to come play for head coach Jamie Dixon.
The 6'9" 240 lbs PF was the No. 16 overall player in the Class of 2009 (No. 5 PF). He was the first McDonald's All-American signed at Pitt in over 20 years.
Unfortunately, Taylor has never come close to reaching his potential.
In his first three seasons he has never averaged as much as six points or five rebounds in any season.
Taylor has only scored in double figures 13 times and had two double-doubles in his collegiate career.
Dixon is trying to get the Pitt program back on track.
What kind of team will the Panthers have this year if Taylor "gets it together" and teams up with New Zealand stand-out big man Steven Adams and Central Michigan transfer Trey Zeigler...Wow!!!
Alex Oriahki: Missouri
Alex Oriakhi has been a physical freak since he was the No. 20 rated player (and No. 5 center) in the Class of 2009.
Last season was supposed to be Oriakhi's year.
After helping the Huskies win it all as a sophomore in 2011, the 6'9" 240 lbs center was supposed to become a featured frontcourt player for UConn in 2011-12.
He was going to build off of his 9.6 PPG and 8.7 RPG second-season.
But, Andre Drummond showed up and Jim Calhoun left for medical reasons for more than a month.
UConn went from being a national contender to a team that barely made the 2012 NCAA Tournament.
As a junior, Oriakhi regressed, only averaging 6.8 PPG and 4.8 RPG and playing 21 minutes per game.
To add insult to injury, UConn was banned from playing in the 2013 NCAA Tournament, and Oriakhi left Storrs for his senior year.
Now a Missouri Tiger, Oriakhi is ready to join a collection of returning stars and incoming transfers to give it one more try as a collegiate player.
Mizzou head coach Frank Heath has a big job ahead of him to effectively combine all of this talent.
Hopefully, Oriakhi will explode and have a monster senior season.
Abdul Gaddy: Washington
Abdul Gaddy came to the University of Washington as the nation's No. 2 PG (and No. 14 overall player) in the Class of 2009.
Gaddy's combined three-year run has been less than awe-inspiring.
He has never averaged more than 8.5 PPG (sophomore season) or 5.2 APG (junior season).
The 6'3" Seattle-native regressed from shooting 40 percent from beyond the arc as a sophomore, to knocking down only 33 percent of his threes as a junior.
In the last six games of the Huskies' 2011-12 season, Gaddy averaged nearly 10 points and eight assists per game.
With the departures of Tony Wroten and Terrence Ross, Gaddy not only has the opportunity but the responsibility to step up as a senior, delivering both scoring and play-making alike.