NCAA Basketball Stars Who Will Fill Up Stat Sheets in 2013-14 Season
For college basketball coaches, it is great to have players who excel in a particular area of the game.
It is even better when you have players who shine in multiple ways.
Here is a list of college hoops stars who will fill up stat sheets in the 2013-14 season.
These are versatile players whose contributions to their teams' success go beyond one, or even two, statistical categories.
They may or may not be their team's leading scorer or rebounder, but their value extends to the wide variety of ways that these players bring the action.
Player information is provided by Sports-reference.com
10. Derrick Marks (Boise State)
One of the big reasons Boise State basketball is on the rise is the all-around play of junior point guard Derrick Marks.
The 6'3" junior was the Broncos 2012-13 assists (3.9 APG) and steals (1.8 SPG) leader, as well as their No. 2 scorer (16.3 PPG).
Marks shot a blistering 83.7 percent from the free-throw line and 42.3 from beyond the arc.
He has been included in the this year's Bob Cousy Award (nation's top point guard) watch list.
9. Chaz Williams (UMass)
UMass' Chaz Williams has flown way under the radar for the first three years of his college hoops career.
As a freshman, he had a strong season at Hofstra before transferring to play for the Minutemen.
Not only is Williams a prolific scorer (1,462 points in three seasons), but he is also a skilled playmaker and a surprising rebounder.
Last year, the 5'9" floor general averaged 15.5 PPG, 4.2 RPG and 7.3 APG (No. 5 in the nation).
Going into his senior season, Williams has nabbed 201 steals (2.0 SPG).
8. Quinn Cook (Duke)
Duke's Quinn Cook went from having an uneven freshman season to being a distinguished floor leader as a sophomore.
Last year, he was the Blue Devils' assists (5.3 APG; No. 2 in the ACC) and steals (1.4 SPG; No. 4 in the ACC) leader, while scoring 11.7 PPG.
He was also the team's best free-throw shooter (87.7 percent).
At 6'1", Cook is undervalued as a rebounder. In the 2012-13 season, he pulled down 138 total boards (No. 2 on the team).
Because a high percentage of his rebounds come on the defensive end, Cook is able to turn and start Duke's fast break all by himself.
Cook's versatility will help bring together the Blue Devils for what could be head coach Mike Krzyzewski's 12th trip to the Final Four.
7. C.J. Fair (Syracuse)
Syracuse's C.J. Fair is ready to make a big impact on the ACC.
He was recently selected as the league's preseason player of the year.
Last year as a junior, Fair led the Orange in scoring (14.5 PPG) and rebounding (7.0 RPG). Because he is an explosive leaper, Fair led the team in offensive rebounds with 84.
He also had the team's best three-point shooting percentage (46.9 percent).
Because of Fair's extensive skill set, he can seamlessly move back and forth, if need be, between the two forward positions.
6. Semaj Christon (Xavier)
Most college basketball fans do not know much about Xavier's Semaj Christon.
His obscurity is a shame because this 6'3" guard had an excellent freshman season for the Musketeers.
He led XU in scoring (15.2 PPG), assists (4.6 APG) and steals (1.5 SPG).
Christon gets to the basket often and draws plenty of contact. He averaged 6.2 free-throw attempts per game.
Because of his versatility, Christon will log time at both guard positions.
If he can take his game to the next level, Xavier could realize an upper-tier finish in the new Big East.
5. Cory Jefferson (Baylor)
Baylor's Cory Jefferson had a break out junior season in 2012-13, but his best basketball may still be yet to come.
Last year, Jefferson had the best shooting percentage (61 percent) in the Big 12 and was the Bears' top shot blocker, their No. 2 scorer (13.3 PPG) and No. 2 rebounder (8 RPG).
He is especially effective on the offensive glass, grabbing 99 offensive boards (No. 1 in the Big 12).
Jefferson's return for his senior season changed Baylor's prospects in the Big 12 and beyond.
If Jefferson can further refine his game in 2013-14, look for Baylor to challenge for the league title and a deep March Madness run.
4. Isaiah Austin (Baylor)
Baylor's Isaiah Austin is the rare 7-footer who can step out to the perimeter and bury jumpers and three-pointers with the best of them.
In fact, ESPN's Ken Pomeroy pointed out that Jefferson "made 30 of 90 3s, and the 90 attempts were the second-most among 7-footers last season."
He was the Bears leading rebounder (8.3 RPG), their No. 2 shot blocker (1.7 BPG) and No. 3 scorer (13.0 PPG).
While he is far from being a traditional post player, Austin is an elite defender who can disrupt even the best frontcourt players in the Big 12 and beyond.
Because Baylor has Cory Jefferson to do work down low, Austin should be free to utilize his unique skills to create some serious mismatches as he faces up.
3. Russ Smith (Louisville)
Louisville's Russ Smith has made steady improvement from his freshman season.
He has become one of the best guards in the country, averaging 18.7 PPG (team leader), 3.3 RPG and 2.9 APG last season.
He led the Big East the last two seasons in usage percentage (34.5 in 2011-12; 33.2 in 2012-13).
On defense, Russ Smith puts intense pressure on his opponents. He is one of the top steals leaders in the nation, nabbing 170 steals over the last two seasons.
With Peyton Siva's departure, Smith will be able to show his playmaking skills this season, while continuing to put up a ton of points.
2. Doug McDermott (Creighton)
With Creighton's move to the Big East, Doug McDermott has the opportunity to prove, once again, what an exceptional player he is.
The two-time All-American is one of the best scorers in the country, averaging 22.9 PPG as a sophomore and 23.2 PPG as a junior.
He led the Missouri Valley Conference in field-goal shooting percentage in each of his first three collegiate seasons.
In 2012-13, McDermott shot 54.8 percent from the field and 49 percent from beyond the arc.
ESPN's Mike Hume described (subscription required) McDermott this way:
He is a Swiss Army knife of scoring moves. While his post-up and spot-up shots are his bread and butter, per Synergy Sports, McDermott averaged over a point-per-possession in six of his seven most frequent offensive situations -- post-up, spot-up, off-screen, cut, transition, isolation and putbacks (he recorded a "mere" 0.907 PPP in isolation).
1. Marcus Smart (Oklahoma State)
No college player will stuff the stat sheet in the 2013-14 season like Oklahoma State's Marcus Smart.
Last year, Smart made a clean sweep of most national freshman of the year awards.
He was named the 2013 Big 12 Player of the Year and a second team All-American.
Smart is a dominant force on both ends of the court. He averaged 15.4 PPG, 5.8 RPG and 4.2 APG in 2012-13.
Because he consistently gets to the rim, he gets fouled a lot and frequently goes to the line (6.5 FTAs per game).
All this would be impressive on its own, but Smart may be just as good, if not better, on the defensive end of the court.
The 6'4" point guard was No. 2 in the nation in steals (3.0 SPG).
Smart was the Pokes' top defensive rebounder. It doesn't take long to get the ball moving the other direction if your point guard is grabbing a bunch of boards, right?
Because Smart made the decision to return to OSU and play another year of college hoops, I want Smart to have a monster season.
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