Friday, October 10, 2008

Player Rankings: Break-Out Performers


Every season, there are players who were role players the year before who improve greatly the next season and end up being a star. Sometimes, it is the work they put in over the summer, and other times, the players just did not get the opportunity the year before. Either way, here are 12 players who could make the jump and have an outstanding season.(Note: The only stipulation is that the player could not have averaged more than 20 minutes per game, or started the majority of his team’s games.)

J.P. Prince, Tennessee: One of the most versatile players in the SEC, Prince is poised for a huge season. He can do nearly everything on the court, and can play several positions.

Cole Aldrich, Kansas: This one was too easy. Aldrich played well in the NCAA Tournament last year, and will get every opportunity to be the team’s go-to-guy inside this season.

Ron Anderson, Kansas State: The forward had a solid finish to the season, and will need to step up in the frontcourt to make up for the loss of Michael Beasley and Bill Walker.

Gary Johnson, Texas:
If Johnson gets a starting nod up front, his physicality and ability to play around the rim will be a nice complement to Damion James and Connor Atchley.

Terrence Oglesby, Clemson: With Cliff Hammonds graduating, there is an open spot in the lineup for Oglesby, one of the best three-point shooters in the country.

Chris Wright, Georgetown:
The Hoyas need someone to step in at point guard for Jonathan Wallace, and Wright showed flashes of his ability last season as a back-up.

Krisof Ongenaet, Syracuse: The likely replacement for Donte Greene, Ongenaet is not a finesse player in the mold of Greene, but he is an outstanding rebounder and a hustler.

Joe Mazzulla, West Virginia: Had a great finish to last season and performed very well in the NCAA Tournament. Will move into the starting lineup at point guard.

Chris Allen, Michigan State:
20 points against Memphis in the NCAA Tournament was a precursor to this year, when the athletic Allen will start filling it up consistently.

LeKendric Longmire/Kamyron Brown, Oregon: Longmire came on strong down the stretch, while Brown started the season well. One of them will need to step up and become a factor.

Landry Fields, Stanford:
He has the size and talent to become a threat in the Pac-10, but he needs to develop some consistency and assert himself at both ends of the floor.

Stefan Welsh, Arkansas: With the loss of seven of their top nine players from last season, the Razorbacks need people to step up. Welsh has shown flashes in the past; he has talent.

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