Every college basketball season turns on a few surprises, a few players who give their teams the spark that pushes them over the top—or who fail to do so. Just as Victor Oladipo did in 2012-13, some relative unknown is going to become a star by outplaying expectations, and he’ll carry his team up the rankings in the process.
One such pivotal player will be Ohio State guard Lenzelle Smith Jr. Entering his fourth year as a starter, Smith could continue to play the passive sidekick role that’s defined his college career or he could break out of that shell and become the No. 1 scorer that his obvious talent has the chance to make him.
Herein, more on Smith’s importance to the Buckeyes, along with crucial elements that will shape the season—for good or ill—for 19 more of the leading contenders in college hoops.