UK's Orton to Test Waters:10 Players That Could Breakout as Sophomores
This Basketball season has been marked by the play of the Freshman.
Freshmen phenoms such as John Wall, Demarcus Cousins, and Derrick Favors have dominated the basketball landscape with acrobatic layups, throw down slams, and ridiculous blocked shots.
But by this time next year, all three of these "One and Dones" will be driving their luxurious sports cars to work every day, not even thinking about what could have been in their sophomore seasons.
Here is a list of 10 freshmen that could have breakout sophomore seasons.
As a seemingly unwanted recruit from Missouri, Colorado's freshman Alec Burks was one of the biggest surprises in a strong year for freshman.
In his first year on campus, the former Missouri High School player of the year started 30 games for the Buffaloes averaging 17 points and five rebounds per game.
Though his Buffaloes spent most of the year as a bottom dweller in the Big 12, Burks' play was rewarded by being named Big 12 Freshman of the Year.
Best Game of the Season: In the last game of the year against Texas Tech, Burks finished with his second career double-double, scoring 24 points and grabbing 10 boards.
Room for Improvement:Defense. Burks lacks the strength to keep his man away from the basket.
Why He Will Breakout:As he showed in his freshman season, Burks has the ability to create various scoring opportunities for himself, including a good mid-range jumper.
In Boynton's Freshman year he did more than enough to live up to his expectations coming out of high school.
The freshman started in 33 of the Gators' 34 games, leading the team in scoring with 14 points per game, and in minutes, averaging 32 per contest.
His outstanding play throughout the year earned him a spot on the SEC 2010 All-Freshman Team, a team that included Kentucky's John Wall, Demarcus Cousins, and Eric Bledsoe.
Best Game of the Season: Boynton's best game of the year came in his first NCAA Tournament game against BYU. Although it eventually ended in a double overtime loss, Boynton continually hit big threes to keep the Gators alive, ultimately scoring 27 points.
Room For Improvement: Consistent Three Point Shot. Although, Boynton did have games where he lit it up from beyond the arc (BYU), he ended the season shooting under 30 percent from three point land.
Why He Will Breakout: Boynton's hot streak to end his freshman year will carry over to his sophomore season. Not only will he become a better shooter, but with all five starters returning, Boynton won't have to throw up as many forced shots.
Watford might be the first guy on the list that you have yet to hear about, but most of that has to do with the state of Indiana basketball.
In his first year as a Hoosier, the 6'9" Watford started all of Indiana's 31 games finishing third on the team in scoring (12 ppg.) and first in rebounds, averaging six boards per game.
Watford's three point shot, to go along with his athletic ability, helped him become Indiana's go to guy following the injury of Maurice Creek.
After the season, Watford was named as a member of the 2010 Big Ten All Freshman Team.
Best Game of the Season: In a huge early season win over Pittsburgh, Watford put up a then career high 18 points and grabbed five rebounds.
Room For Improvement: Rebounding. Although Watford led Indiana in rebounding, Watford should be able to do more with his athletic 6'9" frame.
Why He Will Breakout: During the off season Watford is sure to gain some muscle to his athletic, but lanky build. If Watford can do this he could become a defensive nightmare in the post, and on the perimeter.
Let me quote Kansas State Forward Jamar Samuels regarding Wally Judge
"This guy is a freak".
Coming out of high school, Judge, a 6 9" Power Forward from Wash. D.C, was named a McDonald's All-American, meaning he could go almost anywhere he wanted.
Before committing to K-State he had to turn down offers from prestigious powers Georgetown, Ohio State, and West Virginia.
If you look at Judge's stats from his freshman campaign there is a good chance you won't be overwhelmed.
In only 11.3 minutes a game, Judge put up 3.3 points per game and grabbed three rebounds.In the first three rounds of the NCAA Tournament, Judge upped his minutes to 19 per game, helping his Wildcats reach the Elite Eight.
Best Game of the Season: Career high 15 points and seven rebounds in a 87-74 win over Alabama.
Room for Improvement: Stop Fouling. In eleven of Kansas State's 37 games Judge finished with at least four fouls, a big reason for his lack of playing time.
Why He Will Breakout: The one thing Kansas State really didn't have this year was a dominant big man and I see Judge feeling that role. If he can stay out of foul trouble and utilize his athleticism in the post he will certainly be a force to be reckoned with.
John Henson's Freshman year probably didn't go exactly as he planned.
For one, Henson's Tar Heels came off a National Championship season by going 20-17 and finishing 10th in the ACC, though finishing the season with a nice run to the NIT Final.
To make matters worse, Henson averaged a low five points per game in only 16 minutes per game.
Best Game of the Season: Henson's best game of the year came in a lopsided 82-50 lost to hated rival Duke. Henson tied his career high in points, scoring 14 points, and adding eight rebounds in 23 minutes of play.
Room for Improvement: Strength. Like many young, post players coming to the college game, Henson needs to add some muscle to that 6'10" body. Because of his slim frame opponents have little trouble blocking him out down low.
Why He Will Breakout: With the departures of starting forwards Deon Thompson, to graduation, and Ed Davis, to the NBA, there will be a golden opportunity for Henson to become the "main man" in North Carolina's inexperienced front court.
In a mediocre season for Arizona, Derrick Williams' play was one of the few bright spots in a year that most Wildcats' fans would like to forget.
The 6'8" 235 lb. forward from Los Angeles made an immediate impact on a young Arizona team.
He led the Wildcats in scoring and rebounding as a Freshman, averaging 16 points and seven rebounds per game.
Williams impressed so much that he was named to the College Insider Freshman All-American Team, as well as being named the Pac 10 Freshman of the Year.
Best Game of the Season: In a loss to UNLV, Williams put up a career high 28 points, and battled for 12 rebounds.
Room For Improvement: Jumper. For now Williams can rely on his athleticism, but he will need to develop a consistent mid range jumper to get ready for the NBA.
Why He Will Breakout: Williams is a defensive nightmare for players at his position with his speed, athleticism and an improving outside shot.
In Williams' first year as a Turtle, the 6'10" freshman from Connecticut played a significant role in Maryland's 2009-2010 season.
At the start of the season Williams earned a spot in Maryland's starting lineup,averaging 10 points, and nine rebounds in 25 minutes per contest.
After conference play ended, Williams was honored by being chosen as a member of the ACC All Rookie Team, even receiving a vote for ACC Rookie of the Year.
Best Game of the Year: Like Boynton, Williams' best game of his young career came in his first tournament game against Houston. In 33 minutes of play, Williams went 9-14 from the floor, scoring 21 points and grabbing 17 rebounds in a 89-77 victory.
Room For Improvement: Weight. If Williams can slim down his 260-pound frame, he will have more stamina, resulting in more minutes each game.
Why He Will Breakout: With the departure of "Mr Everything" Greivis Vasquez, Williams will be the player pointed upon to lead the Terrapins 2010-2011 offense.
Coming out of high school, Triche was a highly underrated recruit with his only big time offer coming from Syracuse.
In his freshman season, Triche proved that he was a definite steal for Coach Boeheim, averaging eight points per game, and shooting the "trifecta" at a hot 40 percent, becoming a key role player for the Orange.
Following the season, Brandon Triche was recognized by earning a spot on the Big East All Rookie Team.
Best Game of the Season: In an early non conference game against Oakland, Triche went off for a career high 27 points, going 6-6 from behind the three point line.
Room For Improvement: Passing. If Triche wants to continue to be the starting point guard at Syracuse, he needs to work on his ability to dish it off to teammates.
Why He Will Breakout: After the graduation of Syracuse sharpshooter Andy Rautins and departure of Wesley Johnson, Triche will be given the opportunity to prove himself as a scorer. Triche presents not only contributes with a consistent jump shot, but also has great length in Boeheim's 2-3 zone.
If They Stay: Daniel Orton
Over the last couple of weeks there have been some surprising rumors swirling around that Orton is considering entering the NBA Draft and on Wednesday those rumors were found to be no longer rumors.
It's certainly not Orton's lack of talent that makes it hard to believe that he would opt to turn pro, but his lack of playing time.
In Orton's freshman season he came off the bench for the Wildcats in every game of the season, averaging only three points and three boards a game in only 13 minutes per contest.
If he does decide to stay in the draft he would not be the first non-starter to do so.
Atlanta Hawks' Marvin Williams and Golden State's Corey Magette chose to leave before ever cracking the starting lineup and have fared pretty well.
Game of the Season: In a blowout win over Rider, Orton set a career high with 14 points and added six rebounds.
Room For Improvement: Consistency. Orton needs to prove that he can play consistent basketball when given quality minutes.
Why He Will Breakout: Because of the probable departures of star frontcourt players Patrick Patterson and Demarcus Cousins, Orton should be given the chance to prove how NBA ready he really is.
Will He Stay: Yes. I don't see Orton's stock being overwhelmingly high for the 2010 draft, so I think he will return after seeing where he is projected.
If They Stay: Avery Bradley
After an impressive freshman year at Texas, Avery Bradley has decided to enter the draft, for now. Most experts expect Bradley to be drafted late in the first round.
In his first year as a Longhorn, Bradley started 32 of Texas' 34 games, averaging 12 points per game, second on the team to only Damion James.
Best Game of the Season: In a 103-86 win over Colorado, Bradley went 12-14 from the field, including 3-3 from behind the arc, scoring a career-high 29 points.
Room For Improvement: Driving to the basket. Bradley tends to settle for the outside shot, instead of driving to the basket and forcing contact.
Why He Will Breakout: Bradley possesses a natural knack for getting the ball in the basket from any angle. If he decides to stay he will also be helped out in the post by fellow freshman Jordan Hamilton.
Should He Stay: No. He is predicted as a first round pick and with the graduation of Dexter Pittman and Damion James, Bradley should leave while he has the chance.
Will he stay? No.
Honorable Mention: Peyton Siva
Peyton Siva came to Louisville known for ability to be a true point guard.
However, in his freshman year, Siva was more of a role player, waiting his turn behind Edgar Sosa and other back court players.
With the graduation of senior guards Sosa, and Jerry Smith, Siva is expected to become the man to lead the Cardinal's back court in the 2010 season.
Best Game of the Season: In a 77-74 loss to West Virginia, Siva put up a career high 14 points and dished out four assists.
Room For Improvement: Free throw shooting. If Siva does plan to lead Rick Pitino's offense in the 2010-2011 campaign, he will definitely have to work on his shooting from the charity stripe. Siva's 61 percent from the line, as a point guard, will not cut it.
Why He Will Breakout: Given more minutes, Siva's high basketball I.Q and consistent three-point shooting will make him one of the premier point guards in the Big East.
Honorable Mention: Maalik Wayns
Following the loss of star point guard Scotty Reynolds, Villanova is in need of a new player to run the back court and that player is expected Maalik Wayns.
In his freshman season, Wayns did not seem to play much of a role for the Wildcats, but its hard to get minutes when you are behind Scottie Reynolds.
In 2009-2010 campaign, Wayns averaged six points a game, not bad considering he only averaged about 15 minutes per game.
Best Game of the Season:In a 99-72 win over Depaul, Wayns went 8-12 from the floor scoring a career high 18 points in the lopsided victory.
Room For Improvement. Outside Shot. Unlike Reynolds, Wayns has yet to develop a good shot from the perimeter.
Why He Will Breakout: As a point guard, Wayns already has a real distributors' mind set, but if he can combine that with a good shot from the outside he will be hard to stop.