Projecting 2013-14 Stats for College Basketball's 10 Best Wing Players
When the 2013-14 college basketball season begins, it will be immediately obvious that there is a ton of talent on the wing.
Players that have awesome perimeter skills will be in abundance. Many of these superb athletes will be able to play multiple positions.
Let's take a quick look at the possible stats for the top 10 wings in college basketball.
Here we go!
10. Alex Poythress (Kentucky)
Al Messerschmidt/Getty Images
Projected Stat Line: 12 points, 6 rebounds and 1 assist per game
Alex Poythress has all the tools to be one of the best small forwards in the country. He showed flashes of excellence during his freshman season, averaging 11.2 points and 6 rebounds per game.
The competitiveness of Kentucky’s talented roster could be just what the 6’7” wing needs to stay focused and motivated. If not, Poythress, like any other Wildcat, will see his role and his minutes diminish or even vanish.
9. Sam Dekker (Wisconsin)
Ed Zurga/Getty Images
Projected Stat Line: 13 points, 5 rebounds and 2 assists per game
Sam Dekker is getting ready to go from Wisconsin’s complementary second option to its go-to guy.
His UW bio states that Dekker was “one of just four true freshmen to start under Bo Ryan (joining Devin Harris, Alando Tucker & Josh Gasser).”
Last year, the 6’7” rising sophomore was the Badgers’ FG percentage leader (47.8 percent) and top three-point shooter (39.1 percent) who played significant minutes, while averaging 9.6 points per game. This year, he could be one of the best shooters in the Big Ten.
8. T.J. Warren (NC State)
Joe Robbins/Getty Images
Projected Stat Line: 16 points, 6 rebounds and 1 assist per game
T.J. Warren is the only returning player among NC State’s top six scorers from last year’s 24-11 team.
Warren led the Atlantic Coast Conference last year in field-goal percentage (62.2 percent). The 6’8” forward showed that he can hit shots from beyond the arc (51.9 percent from three-point range).
He will have a great opportunity to build off his solid freshman numbers (12.1 points and 4.2 rebounds per game) as he spearheads the Wolfpack attack that could be one of the youngest teams in the nation.
7. Luke Hancock (Louisville)
Andy Lyons/Getty Images
Projected Stat Line: 12 points, 4 rebounds and 3 assists per game
But, at the Final Four, the 6’6” wing showed his true colors, averaging 21 points and earning the tournament's Most Outstanding Player award.
While Louisville is still loaded, Hancock should be a featured option in its attack. His three-point shooting (39.9 percent last year) will help to keep the floor spread and the Cardinals’ opponents from packing the lane.
6. Cleanthony Early (Wichita State)
Kevin C. Cox/Getty Images
Projected Stat Line: 17 points, 6 rebounds and 1 assist per game
Very few college basketball fans (outside the Missouri Valley Conference) knew much about Wichita State’s Cleanthony Early before last year’s March Madness.
But the 6’8” small forward showed the world that he was able to compete with anyone in the country. Early put up 21 points against Pitt, 16 against Gonzaga and 12 versus Ohio State, leading the Shockers to the Final Four. In the national semifinals against Louisville, he had 24 points and 10 rebounds in a losing effort against the eventual national champs.
Early will again be WSU’s leading scorer and should have Gregg Marshall’s squad right in the thick of the MVC race. Do not be surprised if he leads them again to another deep NCAA tournament run.
5. Aaron Gordon (Arizona)
Jonathan Daniel/Getty Images
Projected Stat Line: 15 points, 6 rebounds and 3 assists per game
Some might question Arizona’s Aaron Gordon on this list. NBCSports.com's Rob Dauster asserts that Arizona would be “better if Gordon plays the four.” However, Sean Miller has shown over the years that he is more than capable of maximizing his players' capabilities for the best of his team.
Gordon may be one of the biggest physical freaks among this quality collection of wings and small forwards. He not only has some of the most outrageous hops of any player in the nation, but Gordon is also a quick jumper who gets above the rim in the blink of an eye.
Gordon showed his outrageous skills as this year's McDonald's All-American game MVP, when he scored 24 points and grabbed eight rebounds in the game.
4. Glenn Robinson III (Michigan)
Streeter Lecka/Getty Images
Projected Stat Line: 16 points, 7 rebounds and 2 assists per game
After laboring last season as Michigan’s PF, Glenn Robinson III should have ample opportunity to slide back over to his natural small forward position in the 2013-14 season.
As a freshman, GR3 was able to use his elite-level athleticism to slash and gash the Wolverines’ opponents. Usually giving up inches and pounds, he could out-quick almost anyone he faced. He was a menace on the offensive glass.
If Robinson can effectively move over to the wing, another Final Four trip for Big Blue is certainly possible.
3. Rodney Hood (Duke)
Projected Stat Line: 14 points, 7 rebounds and 2 assists
Rodney Hood has been chomping at the bit to get onto the floor at Cameron Indoor Stadium. After transferring from Mississippi State after his freshman season, Hood has been patiently working on his game and is ready to unleash a torrent of talent on the Atlantic Coast Conference.
In his one and only season at MSU, he averaged 10.3 points, 4.8 rebounds and 2 assists per game on his way to being named to the SEC All-Freshman team.
Hood and Duke’s all-everything recruit, Jabari Parker, will create one of the best forward combinations in 2013-14 college hoops.
2. P. J. Hairston (North Carolina)
Projected Stat Line: 17 points, 6 rebounds and 2 assists
After a disappointing freshman season, P.J. Hairston led the Tar Heels last year in scoring with 14.6 points per game.
He is a deadly outside shooter who can create his own shot. His range extends well beyond the arc. He is more than capable of finishing in traffic and making opponents pay if they put him on the line. When Hairston gets in a groove, he is as good a shooter as anyone in the country.
If he can clear up his off-the-court troubles, Hairston will be positioned for a monster junior season.
1. Andrew Wiggins (Kansas)
Projected Stat Line: 17 points, 6 rebounds and 3 assists
Even though Kansas’ Andrew Wiggins will have a massive target on his chest every time he steps on the court, he will still be the best SF in this upcoming season.
Wiggins has all the tools to be an instant star for Jayhawks head coach Bill Self. He can beat players with his raw athleticism or dominate them with his razor-sharp perimeter skills.
There will be small forwards that occasionally put up more points or grab more rebounds than Wiggins. But no one will have the kind of impact that he has on his team, the Big 12 or on college basketball.