Archive - 2013 - Article
The SEC won't be nearly as relevant from a National perspective as it was a season ago. The two teams at the top are as good as any team in the country but after that, there's a long list of teams with more questions than answers. There are as many as 5 coaches that could be on the hot seat this season and with quite a few teams void of any NBA type talent, it could be a long season for many programs in the conference. On the bright side, the there is no shortage of NBA talent on rosters that look to finish at the top of conference as Kent
As the Big 12 enters year two sporting it’s new ten team format, the players at the top remain the same. Returning co-champion ,Kansas, as well as Oklahoma State, Baylor and Iowa State are back again vying for a spot at the top, while 2012 Big 12 co-champion K-State and Oklahoma hope to make some noise and get back to the big dance. The middle and bottom of the conference are filled with programs trying to change course, but the middle is fairly wide open and many teams have enough talent to knock off just about anyone on any given night.
This season is the American Athletic Conference’s debut, and the AAC is looking to take its place among the nation’s elite basketball conferences. Following the Big East’s split in March, the conference’s “football schools” (Cincinnati, Louisville, Rutgers, South Florida, and UConn) combined with four Conference USA schools (Central Florida, Houston, Memphis, and Southern Methodist), and Temple to create the AAC.
Every year a number of prospects go from unheralded role players to full blown superstars. Last season, Indiana's dynamic shooting guard Victor Oladipo went from a virtual unknown to becoming the #2 pick in the 2013 draft.
Projecting breakout players for the upcoming college basketball season first and foremost requires setting a criteria. Our criteria includes being a legitimate NBA prospect, a returning player (non freshman or Juco transfer) and becoming a star on the national level. Here are our top breakout candidates for the 2013-14 season:
The ACC failed to match its golden standard last season, finishing 4th in conference RPI. With the addition of three Big East stalwarts, a vengeful return to prominence appears obligatory. The league has five teams situated in the Preseason top-25, and three inside the top 11. From an individual standpoint, the depth of talent is strong; not necessarily overflowing with surefire lottery selections, but a saturation of future draftees.
1. Duke Blue Devils
Key Departures: Seth Curry, Mason Plumlee and Ryan Kelly
Imagine being a freshman basketball player at a high profile Division I school. During your freshman year you've played sparingly. You've played a total of 125 minutes, most of which in the first seven games of the season, and in arguably the biggest game of your program's history, at least in the last decade or two, your coach gives you the signal to check into the game. Your task? Try and stop a consensus First Team All-American, Big 12 Player of the Year and eventual #5 overall pick in the NBA Draft.
Last year's freshman class was considered to be lacking in star power and depth. Nevertheless, five were chosen in the lottery, with eight one-and-done players being taken in the 2013 NBA Draft. Anthony Bennett received the call as top pick, making it four consecutive freshmen chosen first overall and six in the last seven drafts.
Star power is abundant at the top of this year's freshmen class and there are a number of lottery hopefuls. This crop of incoming players might be the deepest since those eligible for the 2008 Draft.
Our first look at an extended mock lottery with the season about a month away. We will update this with our first full mock draft around the start of the season. You will remember last November we went out on a limb putting Cody Zeller first, over higher rated players on many pundit's lists such as Nerlens Noel and Shabazz Muhammad. After a somewhat disappointing season, Zeller didn't end up going first, but he did go fourth and ahead of those two.
Wayne Selden, 6-5, 225, SG, Kansas, Fr.
Selden was the most impressive player and prospect at adidas Nations. "Mature" is the best way to describe his game, as both his demeanor and skill level are very advanced for a player entering his freshman season.