Monday, October 18, 2010

Biggest Shoes to Fill


Players leave their teams after every season, whether it was a matter of eligibility running out or the player taking the early-entry route. It's the way college basketball is. However, the impact of some of the missing players on their old team will vary from player to player. This year, there is an obvious absence of several of the best players from the last few years. Which shoes to fill will have the biggest impact on the upcoming season?

Jon Scheyer, Duke: Sounds strange, but in terms of pure point guard skills, freshman Kyrie Irving might be an upgrade over Scheyer in the starting lineup.

Greivis Vasquez, Maryland: Vasquez was the heart and soul of last year’s team, but Adrian Bowie and Cliff Tucker will need to step up.

Deon Thompson/Ed Davis, North Carolina: Tyler Zeller and John Henson might provide a more talented duo, but they need to produce.

Jordan Crawford, Xavier: Crawford carried the Musketeers at times last season; shooter Brad Redford and athletic Mark Lyons will fill in.

Greg Monroe, Georgetown: This could be the key to the Hoyas’ season, as they are loaded on the perimeter. Nate Lubick and Henry Sims are the best candidates.

Lazar Hayward, Marquette: It’s tough to bet against the Golden Eagles, but they need to replace Hayward. JC transfer Jae Crowder could be the guy.

Wesley Johnson, Syracuse: Sixth man extraordinaire Kris Joseph will move into the starting lineup, and could be one of the best scorers in the league.

Scottie Reynolds, Villanova: Reynolds was so clutch over his career, but sophomores Maalik Wayns and Dominic Cheek can produce on the perimeter.

Da’Sean Butler/Devin Ebanks, West Virginia: Bob Huggins will find someone to step in for these two; sophs Deniz Kilici and Dalton Pepper will get first shot.

Tweety Carter, Baylor: This is a bigger hole than the one Ekpe Udoh left down low, as Baylor will turn to freshman Stargell Love to take the reins.

Sherron Collins/Cole Aldrich, Kansas: If cleared, Josh Selby provides a big-time scorer at the point, while Markieff Morris will start next to his brother.

Denis Clemente, Kansas State: If KSU replaces Clemente, it can win the title. Jacob Pullen gets first shot; if not him, 6-6 Shane Southwell gets a crack.

Raymar Morgan, Michigan State: The Spartans will need production from its frontcourt outside of Draymond Green. Can Delvon Roe stay healthy?

Robbie Hummel, Purdue: After Hummel tore his ACL again on Saturday, Purdue’s title hopes went up in flames. Patrick Bade and freshmen need to step up.

Evan Turner, Ohio State: Turner was a do-it-all player last season, but the Buckeyes will miss his point guard abilities the most. Frosh Lenzelle Smith and Aaron Craft could see time early, or versatile David Lighty can slide down.

Darington Hobson, New Mexico: If the Lobos are to compete in the Mountain West, transfers Drew Gordon (UCLA) and Emmanuel Negedu (Tennessee) need to provide scoring punch.

Quincy Pondexter, Washington: Pondexter could absolutely fill it up; freshman Terrence Ross can score and Justin Holiday defends extremely well.

Everyone, Kentucky: The lineup will see an overhaul with seven newcomers, led by Brandon Knight and Enes Kanter, moving into Lexington.

Gordon Hayward, Butler: Last season’s NCAA Tournament darlings will go with freshmen Khyle Marshall and Erik Fromm to try to emulate Hayward’s offense.

Matt Bouldin, Gonzaga: Bouldin was one of the best go-to-guys in the country last season; JC transfer Marquise Carter could be the team’s best perimeter scorer.

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