Now that we have all seen Kentucky freshman phenom and future NBA draft No. 1 pick John Wall do his thing on the national stage, it's finally time for that question...who's next?
These next five guys are players we should watch and be ready for in the upcoming year.
1. Harrison Barnes (North Carolina)
No scout can mention the high school class of 2010 without starting to drool when they hear this guy's name. If this were baseball, people would be calling him a five-tool player because he has it all: size, handle, shot, athleticism, and post game...name it, Barnes has it.
Also, after he slams a windmill jam on your head, don't look for him to stand over you gloating about it—he'll be back on the defensive end waiting to do it all over again. This is the kind of guy every college coach dreams about getting. Roy Williams will build his program around Barnes whether he stays for one year or four.
2. Jelan Kendrick (Memphis)
If you were to put a definition of Southern-style basketball in the dictionary, you would see a picture of Jelan Kendrick. Jelan embodies the swagger, smoothness, and attitude of Southern basketball.
Not only is Jelan a natural scorer with the ability to play both small forward and shooting guard, but he also has the passing skills to be a point if he wanted to. His skill set makes him so unique that there is no reason why he cannot step onto the court next year and be one of the premier players in college basketball. Think Terrence Williams of Louisville last year but better.
New Memphis coach Josh Pastner will reap the rewards of recruiting this kid next year.
3. Reggie Bullock (North Carolina)
WOW! That's all that anyone can say after watching Bullock's high school highlight tape. Unlike Kendrick, whose position remains uncertain at the college level, Bullock has the size, athleticism, and stroke that make him a prototypical NBA shooting guard. Bullock has the ability to create his own shot at any time, whether it's a jump shot off the dribble or taking it to the rack.
What really separates Bullock from other players in this class is his ability on the break. Bullock's pass fakes in the open court are a thing of beauty, and his ability to maneuver himself in the air makes him even better. Bullock is the perfect fit for Roy Williams' up-tempo style.
4. Josh Selby (Uncommitted)
This is another guy who brings the wow factor to the table. Selby is a 6'2" guard from Baltimore who can get to the tin whenever he pleases. His handle and driving ability are unparalleled in his class. Selby possesses the same freakish athleticism that No. 1 recruits Derrick Rose and John Wall had before him, as he is able to throw down the highlight reel dunk on the break and in the half court set.
The only thing holding this guy back is his jump shot form; it needs some work in order to become more consistent. However, all things considered, any college coach would be more than happy to welcome this kid onto his team.
5. Kyrie Irving (Duke)
As boring as it sounds, Coach K has done it again. He has managed to find another great player that will fit perfectly into the system and do things the "Duke" way. Irving is a 6'2" combo guard who can both fill it up and dish.
Irving will bring some much-needed athleticism to the Duke team and will be able to step straight into the void that Jon Scheyer leaves next year. I can see him being a guy that Coach K molds into a Jason Williams-type player if he decides to stay for four years.
As you watch the rest of this college basketball season, just remember, there's always next year, and there are always more players. That, to me, is the best thing about college basketball.
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