College basketball's top 100 players for 2013-14: No. 100-81

Jamie Squire

The first helping of SB Nation's top 100 countdown features a solid mix of mid-major stars and (old) Big East veterans.

Whenever there's an undertaking as easily debatable as this one, at least a brief explanation of the formula used is required. Let me first clarify that for these rankings I did not consider pro potential. The only two factors utilized were past performance and predicted future performance at the college level, with more emphasis placed on the latter.

Now let's continue with the first helping of a list that I'm certain will spark zero controversy.

100. Kyle Vinales, JR, G, Central Connecticut State

Following a sophomore season in which he ranked eighth nationally in scoring (21.6 ppg), Vinales announced in April that he planned to transfer. He took visits to a number of schools, including La Salle, Kent State and Buffalo before ultimately committing to Toledo...and then decomitting the next day. When all was said and done, Vinales wound up choosing to stay at Central Connecticut State for at least one more year. He became the fastest Blue Devil to hit the 1,000-point mark during last season, and is on pace to shatter the school's all-time scoring record.

99. Corey Hawkins, JR, G, UC Davis

One of the Left Coast's hidden gems, Hawkins led the Big West and ranked 12th in the nation in scoring (20.3 ppg) in his first season at UC Davis. The Arizona State transfer also ranked 2nd in the league in in free-throw percentage (.842), 6th in defensive rebounds (4.8 drpg), 7th in steals (1.5 spg), 10th in field goal percentage (.474) and three-point field goal percentage (.400), and 15th in total rebounding (5.6 rpg). Hawkins eclipsed the 30-point mark five times last season, including a 40-point explosion against Hawaii.

98. Mike Tobey, SO, C, Virginia

Tobey's pedestrian freshman numbers (6.8 points/14.0 minutes) don't seem to warrant inclusion on this list, but every now and then the 6'11 center showed the potential to be a premiere ACC big man. A summer spent putting on muscle and playing for Team USA in the U-19 World Championships should help speed up that evolution.

97. Derrick Marks, JR, G, Boise State

The Chicago native is described by teammates as a "silent assassin" who proved throughout last season that he's at his best when the lights are the brightest. He dropped 24 in a four-point loss to Michigan State, 35 in Boise's historic win at Creighton, and 38 and 27, respectively, in March victories over tourney-bound Colorado State and San Diego State. Marks has to cut down on his fouls and turnovers (3.4 per game) in order for the Broncos to have a shot at overtaking New Mexico and UNLV in the Mountain West.

96. Jakarr Sampson, SO, St. John's

The 2013 Big East Rookie of the Year flirted briefly with taking his game to the NBA, but ultimately chose to play at least one more season for Steve Lavin. He led the Johnnies in rebounding (6.6 rpg) and was second in scoring (14.9 ppg) in 2012-13. With the return of Sampson and leading scorer D'Angelo Harrison as well as the additions of JuCo All-American Orlando Sanchez and top 30 recruit Rysheed Jordan, hopes are high that St. John's can make it back to the big dance for the first time since 2011 and win a game there for the first time since 1999.

95. Tyreek Duren, SR, G, La Salle

A first team preseason All- Atlantic-10 selection, Duren will be asked to shoulder much of the load left behind by leading scorer Ramon Galloway. The only Explorer to start all 34 games last season, he was just a combined 2-for-13 from the field in Ls Salle's first two NCAA Tournament wins before dropping 19 in the team's round of 32 victory over Ole Miss. He finished the season second on the team in scoring at 14.2 ppg.


94. Jerami Grant, SO, F, Syracuse

After playing an extremely limited role during the first half of the season, Grant proved he was a Big East (now ACC) caliber player when he was asked to step up during starting guard James Southerland's suspension. He scored in double figures in back-to-back wins over Villanova and Louisville, and netted 14 in a win over his brother Jerian's Notre Dame squad. He enters his sophomore campaign as the biggest x-factor on a Syracuse squad that features a mix of proven veterans like C.J. Fair and Rakeem Christmas, and some highly-touted newcomers like point guard Tyler Ennis.

93. Wayne Blackshear, JR, F, Louisville

The fact that he was a starter on a national championship team should be enough to defend this inclusion, but if you need more, the multiple reports of the former McDonald's All-American being fully healthy for the first time since arriving at Louisville should suffice. It's hard to believe that Blackshear, who was once labeled as Rick Pitino's most important U of L recruit ever, could wind up as the forgotten man on a championship squad, but that's exactly what happened last season. He'll again be competing for minutes on the wing with Luke Hancock, the Final Four's Most Outstanding Player, but if he can get back the confidence and aggression that made him the 2011 Chicago Sun Times Player of the Year (over Anthony Davis), then he could be due for the breakout season that many predicted would come last year.

92. Brandon Young, SR, G, DePaul

The rare unheralded Big East star, Young is the only player in the history of DePaul basketball with at least 1,200 points, 400 assists and 100 three-pointers. He was the token great player on a bad Blue Demon team in 2012-13, hitting double figures in 30 games and leading the squad in scoring, assists, steals and minutes played. He'll be very good again in his senior season, and DePaul will likely be very bad again in his senior season.

91. JayVaughn Pinkston, JR, F, Villanova

After a college career that started off on a rocky note when he was suspended for what was supposed to be his freshman season following an assault arrest, Pinkston has emerged as Jay Wright's most consistent performer. The undersized power forward has earned a reputation for outworking bigger bodies around the basket, and finished his sophomore campaign as 'Nova's leading scorer (13.3 ppg) and second-leading rebounder (5.0 rpg). He'll have to play even grittier in 2013-14, as the Wildcat frontcourt looks to adjust to life without Mouphtaou Yarou.

90. Dorian Finney-Smith, SO, F, Florida

The 6'8 forward averaged a modest 6.3 points and 7.0 rebounds as a Virginia Tech freshman two years ago, but the talk in Gainesville all offseason has been that he has looked like Florida's best player. With point guard Scottie Wilbekin still suspended indefinitely and McDonald's All-American Chris Walker not enrolling until the second semester (at the earliest), Billy Donovan has to hope that the summer hype surrounding Finney-Smith turns out to be justified.

89. Javon McCrea, SR, F, Buffalo

McCrea enters his final season at UB as the school's fifth all-time leading scorer with 1,467 career points. Last season, the two-time first team All MAC forward set the school's single-season scoring record and finished second in the MAC in scoring (18.0), tied for third in rebounding (7.9), third in field goal percentage (.557) and second in blocked shots (89). He'll undoubtedly be the focal point of first-year head coach Bobby Hurley's offense.

88. Will Sheehey, SR, F, Indiana

The Big Ten's Sixth Man of the Year last season, Sheehey returns to Bloomington as the Hoosiers' leader and most established scoring threat. Sheehey, who averaged 9.5 points per game and 3.5 rebounds per game for last year's star-studded IU squad, was hampered this summer by a groin injury but began practicing with the rest of his team earlier this month.

87. Anthony Drmic, JR, F, Boise State

The second Bronco to crack the top 100, Drmic led Leon Rice's team in scoring last season at 17.7 points per game. The second team All-Mountain West selection scored in double figures in 27 of 32 games and hit at least one three-pointer in 29 of 32 games. He opted not to spend the summer playing for the Australian National team as he'd done in years past, instead working on adding muscle to his 196-pound frame.

86. George Beamon, SR, G, Manhattan

The preseason Player of the Year in the MAAC played in just four games for the Jaspers in 2012-13 before suffering a season-ending ankle injury. A year after ranking in the nation's top 25 in scoring, Beamon was averaging 16.8 points and 2.3 steals before the injury. The return of Beamon is the biggest reason many people expect the Jaspers to compete for the MAAC title in year three of the Steve Masiello era.

85. Scottie Wilbekin, SR, G, Florida

Perhaps the hardest player on this list to rank because of both his up-and-down play on the court and unclear future off it. In June, WIlbekin was "suspended indefinitely" for the second time in seven months, a status which remained until he was "partially reinstated" last week. The long and short of is that Wilbekin will likely be "fully reinstated" by the time season rolls around, but who knows what kind of playing shape he's kept himself in over the summer, and who knows whether he'll be able to keep himself in his coach's good graces. Wilbekin was terrific for stretches and maddeningly awful during others in 2012-13, ultimately finishing his junior season with averages of 9.1 points and 5.0 assists. His assist total ranked second in the SEC.

84. Wesley Saunders, JR, G, Harvard

The unanimous first team All-Ivy League selection scored in double figures in 29 of 30 games while leading the Crimson to the third round of the NCAA Tournament and a third straight Ancient Eight championship. He led the conference in scoring (16.2 ppg) and was also tops in steals (55), third in field goal percentage (52.2) and minutes played (37.3), and was seventh in assists (3.5).


83. James Young, FR, F, Kentucky

Though John Calipari says that two NBA scouts recently told him that Young was "the best player in the country right now," he's still just the fourth-most heralded member of his recruiting class...on his own team. The 6'6 forward is also not the last member of said class that you're going to see on this list.

82. Jake Odum, SR, G, Indiana State

The senior guard became the first Indiana State player since 2001 to earn first team All-Missouri Valley accolades when he received the honor after last season. He averaged 13.6 points, 4.5 rebounds, 4.6 assists and 1.5 steals last year, and is a top candidate for MVC Player of the Year honors now that Creighton and Doug McDermott have moved on to the Big East.

81. Nick Johnson, JR, G, Arizona

After a solid first two seasons in which he made a name for himself as one of the nation's best defenders, 'Zona fans are hoping that this is the year Johnson breaks out and becomes more of a national name. The Wildcats lost their top three outside threats from a team that didn't shoot the ball particularly well to begin with, an area where Johnson will be relied upon heavily to pick up the slack.

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