Three years ago, Ohio State's Deshaun Thomas came off the bench as a freshman and played only 14 minutes per game.
In those minutes, Thomas got up a lot of shots—almost a third of his team's attempts—and he was surprisingly efficient. So the next season, when Thomas became one of the Buckeyes' go-to scorers and averaged 15.9 points per game, it was not all that surprising to Ohio State fans who watched him chuck as a freshman.
Finding role players who will become stars is not always as easy. Not many get that kind of green light in limited minutes, but they are out there, and a willingness to get up shots in limited minutes is key to evolving into that role. There are others who had the minutes and showed flashes, but a certain circumstance (or teammates...ahem...Russ Smith) prevented them from truly reaching their potential.
This list is 10 players with breakout potential. To make the list, each player had to meet three qualifications:
- Had to take at least 20 percent of his team's shots when he was on the floor.
- Double-digit scorers from this past season are not eligible.
- Has to be room for that player to evolve into a bigger role. (One exception was made and he comes in at No. 10.)
Here are your 2013-14 nominees for the Deshaun Thomas All-Stars.
All advanced statistics used in this piece come from KenPom.com.