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Old Role: Beast on the blocks
New Role: All-around star
Why He's Succeeding: Adreian Payne was projected as a first-round draft pick after a solid junior year, but rather than bolt for the NBA, he made the rare (in modern times) choice to return to Michigan State.
Bleacher Report's C.J. Moore noted back in the summer that the 6'10" forward had the potential to be a superstar if he wanted to be, based on his ability to score, rebound and block at various times in games.
Now Payne is doing all of those things at the same time, and the result has been fun to watch.
Payne leads MSU with 18.1 points per game, nearly double his 10.5 average from a year ago. He's still dominating on the boards, too, with eight rebounds per game, and the blocks and other stat sheet stuffers are still there.
But most importantly, Payne appears to be embracing his role as a senior leader. This was evident in his career-high 33 scored on Saturday at Texas, which came thanks to a 10-of-13 shooting performance (mostly from the paint) and an 11-of-12 effort at the free throw line.
At 245 pounds, Payne has the bulk to knock people around and be a force inside, but he's also shown a nice mid-range shooting touch, thus making him a difficult matchup wherever he sets up on offense.