College Basketball 2011-12: Top 10 Double-Double Dudes
There are lots of players who can consistently score in double figures.
There are fewer players who can pull down 10 or more boards night in and night out.
But it is an exceptional player who can combine double figure scoring and rebounding at the same time.
Here are the top 10 players who will be next season's College Basketball Double-Double Dudes.
10. Adjehi Baru: College of Charleston
You might be thinking, "Who in the heck is Adjehi Baru?"
If you pay attention next year, you might find out fast about someone who could possibly become a top interior player.
Baru turned down schools like North Carolina, Ohio State and many, many others to go to bang for Bobby Cremins at College of Charleston.
Baru may be raw, but he has an incredible motor that will help him get things done from the very first games of his collegiate career.
ESPNU says that Baru "has a nasty disposition when patrolling the paint and takes it personally when someone scores inside."
9. Arsalan Kazemi: Rice
Arsalan Kazemi may have one of the most unique stories in college basketball though very few people have heard much about him (part of the consequence for playing on a tenth-place Conference USA team).
He is the first Iranian to play Division I basketball in the United States.
Kazemi plays with reckless abandon, showing little regard for life or limb.
Last year as a sophomore at Rice, Kazemi averaged 15.2 points and 11 rebounds with 18 double-doubles (in 32 games) to his credit. The same number as Ohio State's Jared Sullinger.
8. Reeves Nelson: UCLA
Reeves Nelson's game is old school.
He likes to go inside and bang, and he does a darn good job of it.
UCLA fans everywhere are glad that Nelson came back for another season.
Last year, Nelson averaged 13.9 points and 9.1 rebounds and had 14 double-doubles (eight in Pac-10 play).
Even though Ben Howland added the Wear twins (6'10" transfers from North Carolina), Nelson will still be a beast on the boards for the Bruins in the upcoming season.
7. T.J. Robinson: Long Beach State
T.J. Robinson is getting ready to re-write the Long Beach State basketball record book.
He goes into his senior season in LBSU's second place all-time in rebounds, seventh in field goals made and eighth in scoring and free throws made
He only needs 36 rebounds to become the all-time leader in LBSU history.
Last year, Robinson averaged 13.6 points and 10.1 rebounds per game and had 16 double-doubles.
6. Alex Oriakhi: UConn
While Alex Oriakhi's game is still developing, he was a force down the stretch in 2010-11, all the way to helping UConn win the NCAA championship.
Oriakhi is fierce on the boards and finishes very well at the rim.
On the season, Oriakhi averaged 9.6 points, 8.7 rebounds (second in Big East) and 1.6 blocks per game (seventh in Big East).
In the final game against Butler, he scored 11 points, grabbed 11 boards and four blocks.
With Kemba Walker gone, watch for Oriakhi to play a more significant role in the UConn offense and his overall game to take off.
5. Chris Gaston: Fordham
If you were second-year Fordham head coach Tom Pecora and you were looking to build a prototype for a rebounder's physique, you wouldn't have to look any further than your own locker room and find your power forward, Chris Gaston.
At 6'9" and 235 lbs, Gaston, a sophomore, is a physical force to contend with and carries a chip on his shoulder to boot.
Gaston is the nation's leading (returning) rebounder. He pulled down 11.3 boards per game, which is actually a hair less than he grabbed in his freshman year (11.4).
For his first two years at Fordham, he has also averaged 17 points per game.
4. Trevor Mbakwe: Minnesota
In spite of some off-court troubles, Trevor Mbakwe is one of the rising stars in the Big Ten.
In his first year at Minnesota (after two year at Miami Dade JC), Mbakwe led the conference in rebounding (first Gopher to that since Kris Humphries)
He averaged a double-double (13.9 and 10.5) on the season and led the nation in double-doubles (19).
Tubby Smith, with Mbakwe and Ralph Sampson III, may have one of this year's most imposing frontcourt tandems.
3. Terrence Jones: Kentucky
Terrence Jones exploded onto the college basketball scene last year and jumped into John Calipari's starting lineup from day one.
Jones, 6'8" and 244 lbs, had 25 points and 12 rebounds in his Kentucky debut in a win vs. East Tennessee State.
He averaged 15.7 points and 8.8 rebounds, logging 13 double-doubles.
If Jones improves on his fabulous freshman season, look for the Wildcats to make a deep run in next season's NCAA tournament.
2. John Henson: North Carolina
With each year in Chapel Hill, John Henson's game keeps getting better.
As a sophomore, Henson was named the 2010-11 ACC Defensive Player of the Year after averaging a Double-Double (11.7 points and 10.1 rebounds) last season.
He also blocked 118 shots last year, two short of Brendan Haywood's school record.
Henson improved play was one of the reasons why the Tar Heels made it all the way to the Elite Eight in this past NCAA tournament.
He will also play a significant role in whether UNC makes it all the way to this year's Final Four in New Orleans.
1. Jared Sullinger: Ohio State
Jared Sullinger is the Dude of all double-double dudes in College Basketball.
Last year, Sullinger was the Big Ten Freshman of the Year and the Big Ten Tournament MVP.
More than that, Sullinger was USBWA National Freshman of the Year and a consensus First Team All-American.
He averaged a double-double (17.2 and 10.1) putting up 18 DDs.
Sullinger is one of the best back-to-the-basket players in the country. He basically owns the paint on both ends of the court.
Because of Sullinger, look for the Buckeyes to challenge for "all the marbles" come March Madness time.