1. Tyler Haws
Ever wondered what the human carnation of “gettin’ buckets” looked like? Well your journey will take you to Provo, Utah, where another scoring dynamo has found his green light. The 6’5” guard scores in bunches and needs to average about 19 points per game to surpass his predecessor Jimmer on the BYU all-time scoring list. That shouldn’t be too tall of a task seeing as he has averaged 21 and 23 the last two seasons. Buckle up Cougar’s fans, the circus is back this year.
2. Jahlil Okafor
Coach K has clearly been catching up on all the Monty Python’s flying circus in his DVR, because after evaluating last year’s flaws as a team (defense, interior scoring, size) he chose to go with something completely different. Insert Okafor, a 7 ft 265 lbs true center with Hakeem’s feet and Tim’s Hands. Already wise beyond his years, with a polished offensive game, this weapon of defense destruction is poised to be the key cog in Duke’s attack.
3. Stanley Johnson
Stanley Johnson is a 6’7” 242 lbs Man-Child who doesn’t lack for confidence, as LeBron James found out at his skills camp when Johnson challenged him to some 1-on-1 . This Arizona team is huge with 7ft Zeus, the 6’10” Brandon Ashley back and the apparently clone-able 6’7 230 Rondae Hollis-Jefferson but the key cog in their attack will be Johnson. He will be in the Valley for a year disrespecting rims and opposing Centers’ domes alike, and then it’s off to being a top 5 pick so enjoy him while you can.
4. Georges Niang
This evolutionary Royce White can’t fly, well neither can the original Royce White- zing! But at 6’8, 240 with vision of a guard and the inside moves of a low post savant, Boris Niang is a joy to watch. Last season he put up 17-4-4 for Fred Hoiberg’s cast of misfits and this year he will be counted on to have an even bigger impact, you’re looking at the Big 12 Player of the Year.
5. Marcus Paige
Comparisons are one of my least favorite things that we do as a sports media, but they demand to be made because we all want some sort of structure to put what we are seeing or about to see into perspective. Baby faced, jump shooting assassin, who does his collegiate bidding in the state of North Carolina, does this description fit any one you know? Marcus Paige looks like the collegiate version of Steph Curry. Paige is a preseason All-American who will spend this year torching defenses from deep and threading the needle to facilitate to his talented group of teammates. If he improves upon his numbers from last year it could mean we are in for a 45%/40%/90% season from a 20 ppg scorer and that is downright Curry-esque.
6. Delon Wright
Delon Wright is a jack of all trades. A 6’5” 190 PG who can attack the rim, feed open teammates and defend 3 positions at the collegiate level. He averaged 15-7-5 last year and was the model of efficiency connecting on 62% of his two point shots, if he continues his improvement and adds a long range shot? Look out.
1. I’ve seen him, he is much closer to 225 Up