College Basketball 2012-13: 5 Most Frightening Frontcourts in CBB
Successful college basketball teams are not one-size-fits-all.
But, it sure helps to have a collection of interior players who own the glass and instill fear in the opposing team.
Here are the five most frightening frontcourts in 2012-13 college basketball.
While these teams have more going for them than just size and length in the paint, we will most likely watch these programs deep into March because of the dominating force of their PFs and Cs.
5. Arizona Wildcats
What a difference a season (and a top-five recruiting class) makes.
Last year, Arizona had one of the most undersized frontcourts in the nation.
Now, with the addition of three top-20 bigs, the Wildcats have become a little scary.
U of A head coach Sean Miller has options of how he wants to go. If he wants to go more athletic, he can start 6'8" Brandon Ashley and 6'10" Grant Jerrett up front. If he wants to super-size the frontline, he can go with 7'0", 255-lb Kaleb Tarczewski alongside either Ashley or Jerrett.
Miller can also bring 6'9" sophomore shot-blocker Angelo Chol off the bench.
The Cats may mix and match combinations for the first several pre-conference games before they settle on a who they'll go to war with in the Pac-12.
Regardless, very few teams will be able to match up with Arizona's size and skill down low.
4. NC State Wolfpack
NC State may not have the biggest frontcourt in the ACC, but they do have the best.
The Wolfpack return both of their frontcourt starters from last year's Sweet 16 squad.
C.J. Leslie (6'9", 200 lbs; 14.7 ppg, 7.3 rpg, 1.6 bpg) is the early front-runner for the ACC Player of the Year.
Richard Howell (6'8", 257 lbs; 10.8 ppg, 9.2 rpg, 1.0 spg) is the top returning ACC rebounder.
Thomas de Thaey (6'8", 244 lbs) and Jordan Vandenberg (7'1", 264 lbs.) will bring size and muscle off the bench.
While second-year head coach Mark Gottfried has so much talent and depth, NC State's success in 2012-13 depends on what their bigs do.
The Pack is back!
3. UNLV Runnin' Rebels
If you look in a dictionary for the definition of the word "loaded," you might find a picture of the UNLV frontcourt there for reference.
Mike Moser is a double-double machine who had a monster redshirt sophomore year (6'8", 210 lbs; 14.0 ppg, 10.5 rpg, 2.3 apg, 1.9 spg, 1.0 bpg) for the Rebels.
Moser is definitely the kind of player around who second-year head coach Dave Rice can build this year's Rebels.
UNLV has the last two No. 1 PF's in the country on their roster.
Fab freshman Anthony Bennett (6'8", 240 lbs) has a college-ready body and possesses a great combination of power and finesse.
No one quite knows how good Pitt transfer Khem Birch (6'9", 220 lbs) can become. He is an excellent shot-blocker with a huge upside.
If need be, Rice can also bring in Carlos Lopez (6'11", 215 lbs; 5.4 ppg, 2.7 rpg) and Quintrell Thomas (6'8", 245 lbs) off the bench.
If they can put all the pieces together, UNLV can be one of the best teams not only in the West, but in the entire nation.
2. Kentucky Wildcats
It doesn't seem to matter which Wildcats move on to the NBA, John Calipari keeps reloading his roster in order to have a frontine that fills their opponents with fear.
While Noel (6'10", 228 lbs) is no Davis, he brings a rugged, defensive presence that will limit most penetration for fear of getting their shot thrown back. Having Noel in the paint allows for Kentucky's athletic perimeter players to hold nothing back in relentlessly applying pressure on the ball.
Cauley-Stein has already shown that it will be hard to keep him off the court. His length and athleticism will help him to be another mistake-eraser in the paint.
Sophomore PF Kyle Wiltjer (6'10", 239 lbs) adds another dimension to the Cats frontcourt. Wiltjer's off-the-charts basketball IQ helps him to outsmart opponents instead of outjumping them. He also can step out and knock down shots from beyond the arc like Nowitzki.
1. Louisville Cardinals
Rick Pitino loves for his Cardinals to play physical basketball, and he has the menacing frontcourt that will allow for Louisville to be one of the most dominant defensive teams in the country.
Gorgui Dieng (6'11", 245 lbs; 9.1 ppg, 9.1 rpg, 1.0 apg, 3.2 bpg) has developed into an enforcer on the defensive end and one of the elite shot-blockers in college basketball.
What Chane Behanan may lack in size (6'6", 250 lbs), he makes up for it with sheer power. Watch for Behanan to have a monster season in 2012-13.
Freshman PF Montrezl Harrell (6'8", 245 lbs) is a man. He will come in and contribute immediately.
Zach Price (6'10", 235 lbs) and Stephen Van Treese (6'9", 245 lbs) add more muscle coming off the bench.
Though Louisville may struggle to score from time to time, they will ride their ability to shut down opponents all the way to Atlanta with a chance to win it all this spring.