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Mid Major Conferences Preview

Sat, 11/12/2011 - 7:40am

The 2010-2011 season was filled with mid-major schools gaining national notoriety for performances in the 2011 NCAA Tournament and individual player performances throughout the season. Butler (8 seed) and Virginia Commonwealth (11 seed) stunned the country by advancing to the Final Four to face-off against each other for a chance to play in the National Championship Game against Connecticut (3 seed). Butler beat VCU, 70-62, and advanced to the title game, losing to Connecticut, 53-41, in one of the sloppiest National Championship games in recent memory.

Brigham Young University (“BYU”) guard, Jimmer Fredette, took home National Player of the Year honors while leading BYU to its highest ranking the national polls – #3 – and averaging 28.9 PPG throughout the season. “Jimmer-mania” helped increase the nation’s awareness of top mid-major players and NBA Draft prospects. Fredette was selected 10th overall in the 2011 NBA Draft.

To start the 2011-2012 season, several mid-major schools have been ranked in the Associated Press Top 25 poll (Memphis, Xavier, Gonzaga) while many others will be inching towards the Top 25 early on in the season. Matching last year’s NCAA Tournament performance by mid-major schools is a tough task, but a handful of teams look poised for impressive seasons.

1. Memphis Tigers

2010-2011 Record: 25-10 (10-6)

Will BartonWill BartonPostseason: Lost in 1st Round to Arizona (5 seed)

Preseason Associated Press Top 25 Ranking: 11

Memphis returns all five starters from last year’s team that featured four freshmen in the starting lineup. The team played inconsistently throughout the season and lost to the all three of the top teams they played in the regular season (Kansas, Georgetown, Tennessee). This year’s squad will still be young, but better. Both the frontcourt and backcourt have quality, athletic players that will help Memphis continue its reputation for having players with high levels of athleticism and versatility.

Swingman Will Barton (sophomore) is ready for a big season after showing signs of stardom last season with 12.3 PPG, 4.9 RPG, 2.8 APG, 1.5 SPG. His field goal percentage (42.8) and 3-point percentage (26.5) were subpar and he must improve his jump shot consistency if he’s going to be the “go-to” threat on offense for the Tigers. Guard Joe Jackson (sophomore) will be the “facilitator” again this year after averaging 3.1 APG, along with 9.9 PPG and 2.1 RPG. His 3.3 turnovers per game is a concern and needs improvement. Forward Tarik Black (sophomore) played very well in 2010-2011 with 9.1 PPG, 5.0 RPG and 1.6 BPG. He’s a defensive presence and he will be the anchor in the middle of this year’s team.

Forward Wesley Witherspoon (senior) may be the most promising candidate of the returning starters for Memphis, and he has to be more consistent and show more initiative on offense after only averaging 9.0 PPG last season. He was plagued by injuries last season and all but disappeared in the final eight games, averaging 4.6 PPG. Early on in the season, he had games of 24, 20 and 28 points. His 6’9,” 220 lb. frame and long arms make him one of the team’s best defenders and make him an attractive NBA Draft prospect.

Freshman Adonis Thomas will make an immediate impact on the court this season. Expect him to earn 25-30 minutes per game and to use his elite athleticism to become a key factor on offense. He has a 7-foot wingspan and an impressive vertical that will help him cover lots of ground on defense and chase down rebounds.

Key Departures: Will Coleman

Notable Newcomers: Adonis Thomas

Top Returning Players: Will Barton, Wesley Witherspoon, Joe Jackson, Tarik Black, Antonio Barton

2. Xavier Musketeers
2010-2011 Record: 24-8 (15-1)

Postseason Finish: Lost in 1st Round to Marquette (11 seed)

Preseason Associate Press Top 25 Ranking: 14

Xavier has been in the NCAA Tournament for six consecutive seasons, including an Elite Eight appearance in 2008 and a pair of Sweet 16 appearances in 2009 and 2010. Expect this year’s team to earn a high seed in the tournament in March. With three returning starters and a solid recruiting class, Xavier will be a tough outing for any opponent.

Tu Holloway (senior) is the focal point of the team. Every major college basketball publication has Holloway listed as a second or third team All-American as he hopes to build off of his 19.7 PPG, 5.0 RPG, 5.4 APG season in 2010-2011. Although Holloway’s field goal (42.4) and 3-point (34.5) percentages need to improve, his ability to impact the game through scoring, rebounding, passing, and on the defensive end will be a valuable asset to Xavier’s season.

Mark Lyons (junior) will also return as a starter for Xavier this season. Last season, Lyons was a consistent contributor on offense with 13.6 PPG, and he will likely see more touches this season while playing alongside Holloway in the Musketeer backcourt. Lyons’ field goal percentage (40.8) and 3-point percentage (33.6) need to improve in order for Xavier to be most successful this year. Center Kenny Frease (senior) provides needed size in the frontcourt at 7’0.” He is not the most athletic “big man” in the country, but his contributions on offense and rebounding will not go un-recognized.

Look for 6’9” forward, Jeff Robinson (junior) to be more involved this season as a starter, and expect to see top recruit, Dezmine Wells, play a significant role on the wing this season. Andre Walker (senior) and Erik Stenger (junior) must become consistent contributors.

Xavier will have big games this year against Georgia, Purdue, Butler, Cincinnati and Gonzaga before conference play starts in January.

Key Departures: Jamel McLean, Dante Jackson

Notable Newcomers: Dezmine Wells, Jalen Reynolds, Darwin Davis

Top Returning Players: Tu Holloway, Mark Lyons, Kenny Frease

3. Gonzaga Bulldogs

2010-2011 Record: 25-10 (11-3)

Postseason: Lost in 2nd Round to BYU (3 seed)

Preseason Associated Press Top 25 Ranking: 23

A school and program that was once known as a frequent NCAA Tournament “Cinderella” has become a mainstay in the NCAA Tournament with 13 consecutive NCAA Tournament appearances. Gonzaga is the strongest team in West Coast Conference, but the addition of BYU to the conference could alter Gonzaga’s long-standing conference dominance.

Center Robert Sacre (senior) will get the most touches on offense this year and his 7’0” frame should help him become one of the most dominant paint players in the West Coast Conference and in the country. In 2010-2011, Sacre averaged 12.5 PPG, 6.3 RPG, and 1.9 BPG. If he’s able to improve his output to 16-18 PPG, he could see his draft stock rise and get him into the second round.

Forward Elias Harris (junior) is the most talented player on Gonzaga’s roster. His 12.4 PPG, 6.0 RPG, 1.3 APG as a sophomore should increase in 2011-2012 as he and Sacre will be the two main offensive threats. In order to elevate his draft stock, Harris needs to play more consistently and not force shots. Against Kansas State and Memphis last season (both losses), he had 4 points (1-7 shooting) and 8 points (3-9 shooting), respectively. But he had 19 points (6-9 shooting) against Notre Dame and 22 points (8-12 shooting) against Oklahoma State, which resulted in two wins for Gonzaga. Harris’ consistency will be the key to his team’s success this year.

In addition to returning Sacre and Harris to the starting lineup, Gonzaga will also have swingman Marquise Carter (senior) coming back. Carter averaged 6.3 PPG, 1.6 RPG and 2.1 APG last year. Big man, Sam Dower (sophomore) will see increased minutes this season after averaging 14.1 minutes per game last season, in which he was productive (7.6 PPG, 3.3 RPG, 0.7 BPG). Freshman recruit Gary Bell (4-star recruit) from Kent, WA will likely be in the starting lineup and handle the majority of the point guard responsibilities.

Gonzaga’s schedule heats up in late November and early December with games against Notre Dame, Illinois, Michigan State and Arizona. The New Year’s Eve game against Xavier will be a huge mid-major contest, and two games against both BYU and St. Mary’s will define Gonzaga’s finish in the West Coast Conference.

Key Departures: Steven Gray

Notable Newcomers: Gary Bell, Guy Landry, Ryan Spangler, Kyle Dranginis

Top Returning Players: Robert Sacre, Elias Harris, Marquise Carter, Sam Dower

4. Temple Owls

2010-2011 Record: 26-8 (14-2)

Postseason: Lost in 2nd Round to San Diego State (2 seed)

Temple is one of the most intriguing mid-major teams this season. Temple enters the 2011-12 season after four consecutive NCAA Tournament appearances and will contend with Xavier for the Atlantic 10 conference title. The Owls return four starters from last season’s NCAA Tournament team, including leading scorer, Ramone Moore (senior, 15.2 PPG), and will combine a very solid backcourt with a quality group of frontcourt players.

Ramone Moore finished last season averaging 15.2 PPG, 4.2 RPG, 3.1 APG and 1.2 SPG while shooting 44.7 percent from the field and 38.3 percent from 3-point range. His ability to shoot from 3-point range will cause opponents to adjust their defensive strategies and pose potential matchup problems.

Juan Fernandez (senior) performed well last season (11.2 PPG, 2.9 RPG, 3.9 APG) and will handle the majority of the point guard responsibilities. Fernandez’ below average field goal percentage (35.5) and erratic scoring against top opponents will need to improve for Temple to reach its potential in 2011-12. Last season, Fernandez scored 20 points in games against Richmond and Villanova, but averaged 7.8 PPG in games against Texas A&M, Georgetown, Xavier, Duke, and separate game against Richmond.

Michael Eric (senior) is the team’s low-post threat at 6’11” and played decently in 2011-12 with 7.1 PPG, 5.9 RPG and 1.6 BPG. He’s more of a defensive player than an offensive specialist. Khalif Wyatt (junior) will provide added 3-point shooting ability for the Owls after shooting an impressive 42.1 percent from “3-point land.”

Temple will face several challenging non-conference foes this season: Villanova, Texas and Duke. In the Atlantic 10, February 11’s matchup against Xavier could be the deciding matchup for who takes the conference crown.

Key Departures: Lavoy Allen

Notable Newcomers: Will Cummings, Anthony Lee

Top Returning Players: Ramone Moore, Juan Fernandez, Michael Eric, Khalif Wyatt

5. UNLV Rebels

2010-2011 Record: 24-9 (11-5)

Postseason: Lost in 1st Round to Illinois (9 seed)

UNLV faces stout competition to win the Mountain West title this season with New Mexico and San Diego State entering the season with strong squads. Last year’s leading scorer, Tre’Von Willis, will be tough to replace, more so because of his ball-handling and passing ability than his scoring ability. Expect the Rebels to have a deep bench again this season, giving minutes to eight or nine players per game.

Chace Stanback (senior), a transfer from UCLA in 2008, is the team’s best player. The 6’8,” 210 lbs., Los Angeles product played very well last season, averaging 13.0 PPG, 5.9 RPG, 1.5 APG and 1.1 SPG. His ability to play the “2” or the “3” allows him to cause mismatches for opponents. In 2011-12, Stanback scored 25 points against Wisconsin and 22 points against San Diego State late in the season. He has the ability to be a 20 PPG scorer, but that will be determined by his performance in games against top opponents.

Anthony Marshall (junior) and Oscar Bellfield (senior) return to the starting lineup this season to complement Stanback, and both are expected to increase their offensive production with the losses of Tre’Von Willis and Derrick Jasper. Marshall and Stanback will both miss the season opener due to suspensions.

Quintrell Thomas (junior) and his 6’8” frame will be the key to UNLV’s season. He has the potential to be a 12-14 PPG and 8-10 RPG type of player, but he must stay out of foul trouble. With three 6’10” to 6’11” players on the roster (Carlos Lopez, Brice Massamba, Bryan Glenn), the team will have plenty of size.

UNLV’s best non-conference opponents will be USC, Wisconsin, Illinois and California. UNLV should win all those games, except against Wisconsin.

Key Departures: Tre’Von Willis, Derrick Jasper

Notable Newcomers: Bryan Glenn

Top Returning Players: Chace Stanback, Anthony Marshall, Oscar Bellfield, Quintrell Thomas

6. Belmont Bruins
2010-2011 Record: 30-5 (19-1)

Postseason: Lost in 1st Round to Wisconsin (4 seed)

Belmont lost five games last season – two games to Tennessee, one to Vanderbilt, one to Lipscomb, and one to Wisconsin in the NCAA Tournament. Only one of those losses was by more than 10 points (Wisconsin, 72-58). Outside of the slip-up against Lipscomb, Belmont dominated the Atlantic Sun Conference competition, including a 41-point conference championship game victory over North Florida. Three starters return from last season – Ian Clark (sophomore), Mick Hedgepeth (senior) and Scott Saunders (senior). Clark, Hedgepeth and Saunders were the top three scorers from the 2010-11 season.

The Bruins used a deep bench last year with 11 players playing in 34 or more games. As a team, Belmont averaged 80 PPG, 36 RPG and shot 46.2 percent from the field, but no single player averaged more than 12 PPG. Watch for Belmont to gain nationwide recognition this season as the unanimous favorite to win the Atlantic Sun Conference and as a credible mid-major team come tournament time.

Clark returns as the team’s leading scorer at 12.2 PPG. He shot 48.1 percent from the field and 42.9 percent from 3-point range. He is a great shooter and will contribute on offense, but he won’t fill up the stat sheet with rebounds or assists. Hedgepeth is a quality big man (6’9,” 235 lbs.) in the low-post (10.8 PPG, 5.9 RPG, 0.6 BPG) and if he is allowed to stay on the court more, his PPG and RPG will be inflated. Saunders, center, is 6’10” and 250 lbs. His size will be valuable when Belmont goes up against its challenging non-conference schedule.

The Bruins will be tested real fast this season. Their first two games will be against Duke and Memphis, but past those games, Belmont should be in good position to “run the table.”

Key Departures: Jordan Campbell, Jon House

Top Returning Players: Ian Clark, Mick Hedgepeth, Scott Saunders, J.J. Mann

7. New Mexico Lobos
2010-2011 Record: 22-13 (8-8)

Postseason: None

New Mexico earned a “3 seed” in the 2010 NCAA Tournament and followed-up that season with a disappointing 22-13 (8-8) record in 2010-11. Of their 13 losses, only four were by more than 10 points.

The 2011-12 team returns four starters, most notably 6’9” forward Drew Gordon, who finished last season averaging 13.0 PPG, 10.5 PRG and 1.3 BPG while shooting 52.7 percent from the field. Gordon started his college career at UCLA and transferred to New Mexico in 2010. He’s the best low-post presence in the Mountain West (13 double-doubles last season) and is projected to be a 2nd Round selection in the 2012 NBA Draft.

Joining Gordon will be forward A.J. Hardeman (senior), guard Phillip McDonald (senior) and guard Kendall Williams (sophomore), all returning starters. Hardeman will be expected to score more on offense to prevent double teams on Gordon, and McDonald should be one of the Lobos’ top perimeter defenders. Williams is the best shooter on the team (42.6 percent) and will be an important factor in the Lobos success in 2011-12. Expect Williams to shoot the ball more and take advantages of Gordon’s low-post presence.

New Mexico’s weak non-conference schedule should inflate the team’s record and help them enter the Top 25 soon. Games against Arizona State, USC and Oklahoma State will be the most challenging.

Key Departures: Dairese Gary

Top Returning Players: Drew Gordon, Kendall Williams, Phillip McDonald, A.J. Hardeman, Jamal Fenton

8. George Mason Patriots

2010-2011 Record: 27-7 (16-2)

Postseason: Lost in 2nd Round to Ohio State (1 seed)

The Colonial Conference has boosted its reputation among mid-major conferences in the country after sending two teams (George Mason, Virginia Commonwealth) to the Final Four since 2006. George Mason appears to be one of the strongest teams in the conference this year, returning four starters from last season’s NCAA Tournament team. Leading scorer, Cam Long, is gone. If George Mason can find a way to compensate for Long’s 15.1 PPG, George Mason could be dangerous.

Of the four returning starters, forward Ryan Pearson (senior) will be the main offensive weapon for the Patriots. Pearson is coming off a season of 14.2 PPG, 6.7 RPG, 1.2 APG and 0.9 SPG. His 51.1 field goal percentage shows his efficiency on the offensive end of the court. If Pearson can show that same level of efficiency this season, he could contend for the Colonial Conference Player of the Year.

At 6’9,” Mike Morrison is one of the tallest players on the roster. His rebounding contributions will be most important to the winning success of George Mason this year. George Mason has five players at 6’8” or above, which should build a strong force in the paint throughout the season. Look for freshman Erik Copes (6’8,” 244 lbs.) to get some minutes early on.

The non-conference schedule for George Mason lacks strong opponents, but a matchup against Virginia should be a good one. Two games against Virginia Commonwealth late in the season will likely define the team’s position in the conference tournament.

Key Departures: Cam Long, Isaiah Tate

Notable Newcomers: Erik Copes, Vaughn Gray

Top Returning Players: Ryan Pearson, Mike Morrison, Andre Cornelius

9. BYU Cougars
2010-2011 Record: 32-5 (14-2)

Postseason: Lost in Sweet 16 to Florida (2 seed)

Jimmer Fredette is gone and so are his 28.9 PPG. “Jimmermania” will be replaced by a team that will be in search for a “go-to guy” on offense and an improved unit on defense. BYU joined the West Coast Conference over the summer, a move that will put BYU in a position to remove Gonzaga as the long-standing West Coast power. BYU’s school enrollment is twice or three times as large as other West Coast Conference schools’ enrollments. The large difference will be noticed very quickly by West Coast schools who visit Provo, UT for games at BYU’s Marriott Center, which houses more fans than the enrollments of each individual West Coast school.

Three starters return from last year’s NCAA Tournament team that reached a #3 ranking in the AP Top 25 poll at one point during the season. Brandon Davis (junior) missed BYU’s NCAA Tournament games because of a school-imposed suspension related to BYU’s honor code. Davies’ return is needed in order for BYU to contend for a West Coast title. His height (6’9”) and 11.1 PPG, 6.2 RPG from last season will be welcomed and if he’s able to improve upon those numbers, BYU will be in good shape.

Also returning this year will be forward Noah Hartsock (senior), a 3-point sharpshooter that lacks post moves, especially for his size. Hartsock shot 43.3 percent from “3-point land” last season. Charles Abouo (senior) may be the most athletic player on the team, but he needs to develop an offensive game that betters his 7.2 PPG from last season. He is a “slasher,” who can get to the basket, and he must continue to develop that ability. The addition of freshman Damarcus Harrison, a 6’5” guard from Greenwood, SC, and freshman Anson Winder, a 6’3” guard from Las Vegas, NV, will boost the team’s overall athletic ability and give the Cougars a wing player with legitimate scoring skills. Chris Collinsworth (sophomore) will start this year and give height to the frontcourt.

BYU faces a tricky matchup with Utah State to open the season and will have tough games against Nevada, Oregon, Baylor and Virginia Tech outside of conference play. Expect BYU to contend with Gonzaga and St. Mary’s for the West Coast Conference title this year.

Key Departures: Jimmer Fredette, Jackson Emery

Notable Newcomers: Damarcus Harrison, Matt Carlino, Anson Winder

Top Returning Players: Brandon Davies, Charles Abouo, Noah Hartsock, Chris Collinsworth

10. Saint Mary’s Gaels

2010-2011 Record: 25-9 (11-3)

Postseason: None

Saint Mary’s was snubbed from NCAA Tournament play in 2010-11 and finished the season with a 25-9 (11-3) record. The Gaels dropped two of three games to Gonzaga and were beat by Kent State, 71-70, in the first round of the NCAA NIT Tournament. All of the starters from last year’s squad return this year, minus leading scorer Mickey McConnell (16.4 PPG), which makes Saint Mary’s a legitimate threat in the West Coast Conference and among all mid-majors.

The top player for this year’s team will be Rob Jones, a 6’6” forward who can score and rebound with the best of them. Jones’ stat line (13.8 PPG, 7.7 RPG, 1.7 APG, 1.1 SPG) shows his ability to contribute and the Gaels will need that contribution to get to “the dance” in 2011-12. In three of the five losses that Saint Mary’s had near the end of last season to San Diego, Utah State, and Gonzaga, Jones averaged 5.6 PPG and 6.3 RPG. He must play consistently better in big games.

Guard Matthew Dellavedova (junior) scored 13.4 PPG last season and should reach 16 to 18 PPG this year with more touches. He’s a quality shooter at 41.8 field goal percentage and 37.6 3-point percentage. Clint Steindl (senior) posted a modest 6.6 PPG in 2010-11 and his 6’7” frame on the wing should help him contribute more on the offensive and defensive ends of the court. Mitchell Young (junior) should fill the stat box this season at 6’9” and coming off of a 10.2 PPG and 5.1 RPG season.

Saint Mary’s will face a weak schedule until they play Baylor on December 22. The team’s weak schedule could be the reason they are left out of the tournament again this year if they have 8 to 11 losses.

Key Departures: Mickey McConnell

Top Returning Players: Rob Jones, Matthew Dellavedova, Mitchell Young, Clint Steindl, Stephen Holt

Mid-Majors Ranked 11-25:

11. Drexel
12. Butler
13. Creighton
14. Nevada
15. Wichita State
16. San Diego State
17. Harvard
18. Iona
19. Utah State
20. Old Dominion
21. Dayton
22. Detroit
23. Saint Louis
24. Kent State
25. Long Beach State

Top NBA Prospects:

1. Adonis Thomas, Memphis, SG/SF, Freshman, 6-6 220 lbs.

Thomas possesses more raw talent and pure potential than any other mid-major player. Thomas enters the season as Memphis’ prized recruit, ranking as the No. 17 overall recruit on Rivals.com and the No. 9 overall recruit on ESPN.com for the 2011 Recruiting Class. He can play either shooting guard or small forward. He’s athletic, versatile, quick and has shown elite jumping ability. If he can earn significant minutes on the court this season with Memphis’ stacked roster and score 10 to 14 PPG, watch for his stock to rise.

2. Alex Young, IUPUI, SG, Senior, 6-6 212 lbs.

Young is one of the nation’s best kept secrets. In 2010-11, Young averaged 19.7 PPG, 6.4 RPG, 2.4 APG, 1.4 SPG, and shot 47.6 FG%, 73.3 FT%, 33.3 3P%. He had 17 games with over 20 points and two games with over 30 points. He earned 1st Team All-Summit League honors by the coaches and the media, and enters the 2011-12 season as the Summit League’s Preseason Player of the Year, as voted upon by the league’s coaches and the media. Young is projected as a late first round pick in most 2012 NBA Mock Drafts. His stock should rise as the country becomes more aware of his scoring skills, versatility, and jumping ability.

3. Tony Mitchell , North Texas, SF, Freshman, 6-8 220 lbs.

Mitchell is a gifted athlete with outstanding shot-blocking ability. He originally signed with Missouri out of high school after being a highly touted member of the 2010 Recruiting Class (ranked No. 12 overall on Rivals.com). He was ruled academically ineligible prior to playing at Missouri, forcing him to miss the 2010-11 season. As a result, he spent last season playing with the U-19 Team USA squad, and he will start his college career at North Texas this season. Mitchell is an excellent athlete with long arms and an intense style of play. His offensive skills are raw and not refined, but if he’s able to show consistency on offense this year and score 15 to 18 PPG, he may find himself in the running to be selected late in the 1st Round of the 2012 NBA Draft.

4. Chris Johnson, Dayton, SG, Senior, 6-6 194 lbs.

Johnson is currently projected as an early 2nd round pick on our 2012 NBA Mock Draft. In 2010-11, he posted numbers of 11.9 PPG, 6.0 RPG, 1.6 APG, 0.9 SPG, and shot 40.4 FG%, 83.0 FT%, 37.9 3P%. He will be the main offensive threat for Dayton this season and should see his PPG climb this season. Improved field goal percentage could be the deciding factor in his draft stock in 2012. He plays sound defense and would fill-in very well as a perimeter defender on an NBA team.

5. Zeke Marshall, Akron, C, Junior, 7-0 235 lbs

Marshall is Akron's highest ranked ever recruit coming in as a top 50 prospect on some recruiting lists. He's slowly but steadily improved and now as a junior is showing signs that he's ready to break out as one of the nation's top centers. He's put some strength on his frame and has the length and athleticism to be an enforcer on the block. Marshall still needs to improve his post moves and mid-range jumpshot, but has first round potential if he rounds out his game.

6. Will Barton, Memphis, SG, Sophomore, 6-6 175 lbs.

Barton is a “wirey” and athletic shooting guard with a knack for scoring. He left high school ranked as the No. 5 overall recruit on ESPN and No. 11 on Rivals.com and went on to play at in all 35 games for Memphis last season, starting 25 games, and averaging 12.3 PPG, 4.9 RPG, 2.8 APG and 1.5 SPG. His shooting percentages and body must improve for him to legitimize himself as an NBA prospect in the 2012 draft. In 2010-11, he shot 42.8 percent from the field, 69.9 percent from the free throw line, and 26.5 percent from 3-point range. He makes spectacular plays on offense, but often forces shots that he should not take. By showing increased leadership, consistent shot selection, and by adding muscle to his frame, Barton could ultimately become a first round prospect. He enters the 2011-12 season on the John Wooden Award preseason watch list.

Other NBA Draft Prospects (Ranked 7-20):

7. Andrew Nicholson, St. Bonaventure, PF, Senior, 6-9 250 lbs.
8. Ray McCallum, Detroit, PG, Sophomore, 6-1 179 lbs.
9. Deonte Burton, Nevada, PG, Sophomore, 6-1 185 lbs.
10. Drew Gordon, New Mexico, PF, Senior, 6-9 245 lbs.
11. Dario Hunt, Nevada, PF, Senior, 6-8 230 lbs.
12. Wesley Witherspoon, Memphis, SF, Senior, 6-8 210 lbs.
13. Olek Czyz, Nevada, SF, Senior, 6-7 240 lbs.
14. CJ McCollom, Lehigh, PG/SG, Sophomore, 6-3 185 lbs.
15. Bradford Burgess, VCU, SG/SF, Senior, 6-6 225 lbs.
16. CJ Aiken, St. Joseph’s, SF, Sophomore, 6-9 190 lbs.
17. Tu Holloway, Xavier, PG/SG, Senior, 5-11 185 lbs.
18. Damian Lillard, Weber St., PG, Junior, 6-2 190 lbs.
19. Robert Sacre, Gonzaga, C, Senior, 7-0 255 lbs.
20. Elias Harris, Gonzaga, SF, Junior, 6-7 240 lbs.

LeroyJenkins
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Akron

Akron

AllDayyy
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Another well researched

Another well researched article from nbdraft. Rolls eyes

wutever
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Luke Hancock

Luke Hancock from George Mason University trasferred to Louisville .

omphalos
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Barton is being severely

Barton is being severely underrated here. He's already a first-round prospect in my opinion, and in any other draft would have a chance to go lottery.

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