10 College Basketball Players To Watch That Aren't Freshmen
November 14, 2013 - 9:42 pm
Marcus Smart, Oklahoma St. (Sophomore)
If there was a player that could have made the leap to the pros last season that didn’t, it’s Oklahoma State’s Marcus Smart. Projected as a lottery pick last season, he’ll challenge the baby big three for that number one spot in the draft. Smart’s a wide bodied guard with great court vision and textbook skills that allow him to score when he needs to.
Glen Robinson III, Mich. (So.)
The son of Glen “Big Dog” Robinson, is proving that his bite is just as bad as his pop’s. Robinson III is a versatile forward who will take over leadership roles for the revamped Michigan Wolverines program that nearly won a national title last season. With his size and scoring ability, he’s a lock as a first round draft pick.
Jerami Grant, Syracuse (So.)
NBA lineage is all over the college landscape and Jerami Grant is a key example of how ill it is to with the genetics lottery. The son of former NBA player Harvey Grant and nephew of NBA Bulls legend, Horace Grant, Jerami has the potential to be better than both. His natural scoring ability and athleticism make him a coaches dream. He’s so raw, so talented and so ready to lead Syracuse this season.
Kyle Anderson, UCLA (So.)
If Wiggins and Parker are dubbed the next LeBron and Carmelo, meet the next Magic Johnson. Comparisons aren’t always fair and aren’t always spot on, but how else can you describe a 6-9 point guard who’s more likely to throw a no-look-pass than a monstrous dunk? The New Jersey native is sure to lead the way for the kids from Westwood this season. Don’t be surprised when you hear his name among the Naismith award finalists this season. He’s that real.
Mitch McGary, Mich. (So.)
Dubbed the poor man’s Kevin Love, Mitch McGary is a strong, 6-10 rebounding machine. With a decent mid-range, McGary is pro ready. His size makes him a bit of a tweener, but there’s no question of how much game he has.
Doug McDermott, Creighton (Sr.)
The small forward from Creighton has a legit shot to be the best player in the country at season’s end. He can run, he can score and you’d be hard pressed to find a better shooter in any gym than McDermott. Every season there’s a mid-major player with high-major talent who wins over scouts with his ability. That title of Mr. Mid-Major goes to him this year.
James McAdoo, UNC (Jr.)
Days have been better for the Tar Heels and James McAdoo is the brightest spot they’ve had in the post Harrison Barnes era. McAdoo is a combo forward that won’t always wow you athletically, but will win you over with his scoring, rebounding and defensive ability. His 7-foot-1 wingspan allows him to play bigger than he is and UNC will need all he has this season.
Perry Ellis, Kansas (So.)
How do you remind NBA scouts that you’re not just a role player when Andrew Wiggins and Jabari Parker are playing? Have arguably a better stat line and carry your team to a victory, that’s how. Ellis’ 24 points and nine rebounds against Duke surely made his stock rise. Expect more of the same from the Jayhawks most consistent piece.
Russ Smith, Louisville (Sr.)
Russ-tastic? Russ-diculous? There’s really no way to describe the one man full-court press that is Louisville senior guard Russ Smith. At least not one he or a fan hans’t come up with already. He’s a little undersized for a shooting guard and since he’s a better scorer than he is a playmaker, that might hurt him on the next level. However, he’s too good not to take a risk on and GM’s know that.
Willie Cauley-Stein, Kentucky (So.)
The most raw athlete on this list just happens to be 7-feet tall. WCS might be the key to a Kentucky title if he can remain the defensive presence he was last season.The former football player still shows an underdeveloped offensive game, but is the perfect player to mold. Let’s see just how much he’s developed after a season under Coach Calipari.