clock menu more-arrow no yes

Filed under:

College basketball's top 100 players for 2013-14: No. 80-61

New, comments

The second chunk of the top 100 features a healthy mix of proven veterans, predicted breakout stars and highly-touted freshmen.


Previously: No. 100-81

80. Jamil Wilson, SR, F, Marquette

The leading returning scorer for the Golden Eagles posted solid averages of 9.7 points and 4.9 rebounds while playing 25.2 minutes per game last season. The combo guard has stepped up as the team's unquestioned leader during the offseason, and appears ready to assume a much larger role now that the tremendously-named duo of Junior Cadougan and Vander Blue has moved on.

79. Perry Ellis, SO, F, Kansas

Ellis struggled to find his role on the last year's veteran-laden Jayhawk squad, which left the McDonald's All-American averaging just 5.8 points per game. That mark is still good enough to make him Bill Self's leading-returning scorer for 2013-14. A reported increase in both range and confidence have more than a handful of experts predicting that Perry will lead KU in scoring as a sophomore.

78. Kaleb Tarczewski, SO, C, Arizona

The 7-footer personified a freshman class that came in with enormous expectations last season but largely failed to live up to the hype in their first try. Tarczewski looked lost for the majority of the 2012-13 season, never scoring more than 12 points and grabbing double-digit rebounds in only four games. Sean Miller has spent a solid chunk of the summer raving about the improvements the big man has made, improvements which were on full display when he missed just one shot and scored a team-high 18 points in Arizona's Red-Blue scrimmage last weekend.

77. Jerrelle Benimon, JR, F, Towson

Towson was one of the best stories in college basketball last season, setting the record for the biggest turnaround in Division-I history by posting an 18-13 record just one year after going 1-31. One of the biggest reasons was the addition of Benimon, who averaged 17.1 points and 11.1 rebounds in his first season since transferring from Georgetown. The 2013 CAA Player of the Year will look to do the unthinkable and lead the Tigers into the NCAA Tournament now that their one-year ban for sub-par APR scores is a thing of the past.

76. Chris Walker, FR, C, Florida

The second Gator on this list who is incredibly difficult to place because of his off-the-court issues. It's those issues which have left Walker guaranteed to not have any impact on the court until at least the second semester of the season. In fact, Walker isn't even enrolled at UF right now as he attempts to get his academic record in good enough standing to join the team in December. The five-star big man was a huge land for Billy Donovan, but you wonder if he'll be too far behind to have a significant impact on this season even if he is able to join the team before conference play.

75. Sam Thompson, JR, F, Ohio State

Already one of college basketball's most exciting players, Thompson is poised to make a name for himself this season as more than just a highlight dunk or block waiting to happen. He shot better than 40 percent from beyond the arc last season, but attempted only 57 three-pointers. Establishing himself as a more consistent outside threat will help take a lot of the pressure off guys like Aaron Craft and Lenzelle Smith, and it will create more space for LaQuinton Ross. Oh, and he can also do this:

74. Anthony Ireland, SR, G, Loyola Marymount

No team in the country relies on a player more than Loyola Marymount relies on Ireland. The 5'10 senior was on the floor 93 percent of the time the Lions played in 2012-13, and took 31 percent of his team's shots during those minutes. He made the most of those opportunities, averaging 20.2 points per game and failing to score more than 15 points just six times all season.

73. Fuquan Edwin, SR, G, Seton Hall

Edwin will be asked to take on an even larger role than he assumed a year ago when averaging 16.5 points and 5.8 rebounds. He'll also be asked to gel with freshman backourt mate Jared Sina, another player who is capable of posting some big numbers. If that repore works out, Edwin and company are hopeful that the new Big East will allow for a better conference mark than the 3-15 one the Pirates posted a season ago.

72. Roy Devyn Marble, SR, G, Iowa

Marble enters his senior season as the face of Fran McCaffery's resurgent Hawkeye program. He's showcased the ability to play the one, the two or the three at various points in his career, but will likely spend the bulk of his 2013-14 as McCaffery's point guard. Marble, whose father Roy is Iowa's all-time leading scorer, has increased his scoring average in all three seasons, and heads into his final year as a Hawkeye with 1,134 career points.

71. Geron Johnson, SR, G, Memphis

Josh Pastner took a flyer on the oft-troubled Johnson - who recently said he'd be in the military right now if Memphis hadn't given him a chance - and it's paid off. Johnson averaged 10.4 points and was second on the team in assists (3.3 apg) in his first season at Memphis, but his largest impact probably came on the defensive end where he averaged almost two steals per game. Even with senior guards Joe Jackson, Michael Dixon and Chris Crawford in the fold, there are plenty of folks in The Bluff City who believe Johnson could be the best of the bunch.

70. Tyler Ennis, FR, G, Syracuse

The freshman from Canada played extremely well during Syracuse's four-game exhibition tour in August, and knows he'll be relied upon heavily on a team without any other true point guard. His outside shot is streaky at best, but Ennis has the quickness, the poise and the pieces around him to run the show effectively for Jim Boeheim right out of the gate.

69. Branden Dawson, JR, F, Michigan State

Coming off major knee surgery, Dawson appeared a step slow and a bit hesitant throughout his sophomore season, where he averaged 8.9 points for the Spartans. According to coach Tom Izzo, the mental handcuffs that slowed the once-explosive Dawson down have finally been removed.

"When I watched him this summer, he was finishing so much better," Izzo says in the team's media guide. "I think we will see a lot different kid this year. He's also worked on his shot a lot. He's still got work to go, but he's making strides."

68. T.J. McConnell, JR, G, Arizona

While most of the buzz in Tucson is surrounding the Wildcat freshmen, it's the addition of McConnell, a junior transfer from Duquesne, which could be the most vital for Sean Miller's team. Miller hopes that McConnell can provide the level-headedness that the scoring-mined Mark Lyons often lacked at the point last season. In 2011-12, his final season at Duquesne, McConnell averaged 11.4 points, 5.5 assists and 4.4 rebounds. He shot over 50 percent from the field, including 43 percent from deep, and his assist-to-turnover ratio of 2.5-to-1 in 2010-11 was sixth-best by a freshman in NCAA history.

67. Sam Dekker, SO, F, Wisconsin

After coming off the bench to average 9.6 points per game as a freshman, Dekker might be getting more "breakout star" love from national writers than any other player in the country. He's also getting plenty of attenion from scouts at the next level, and has been a mainstay on 2014 NBA Draft big boards all offseason.

66. Luke Hancock, SR, F, Louisville

The talk in Louisville after Hancock missed 25 of his first 29 three-point attempts as a Cardinal last season was that the George Mason transfer "wasn't good enough" to play for U of L. After dropping 22 on Michigan in the national championship game and becoming the first non-starter to be named the Final Four's Most Outstanding Player, well, the talk has changed. Of course it's not like Hancock was a one (or two) game wonder. He connected on 28 of 49 attempts from three-point range (57.1 percent) in Louisville's final 14 games, and after drilling a clutch three in the final minute of a win at Syracuse, became the guy the Cards consistently turned to when they needed a big play in March.

65. Anthony Collins, JR, G, South Florida

Collins ranked 30th in the nation last year with a 2.37 assist-to-turnover ratio and finished the season with 197 assists for the Bulls, the fourth-best total in school history. Still, most had expected him to make a greater jump the year after a handful of national pundits had thrown his name into the mix for being the best freshman point guard in America. If USF is able to bounce back from last season's dismal 12-19 performance, then he'll almost certainly be the largest reason why.

64. Keith Appling, SR, G, Michigan State

It's been discussed ad nauseum at this point, but Appling's ability to put his scoring on the backburner and become a true point guard is the biggest key for Michigan State's national title hopes. He led the team in scoring a season ago (13.4 ppg), but again struggled with turnovers and finished just 10th in the Big Ten in assists, a mark Tom Izzo says must be improved. He has to realize that consistently getting the ball to potential lottery picks Gary Harris and Adreian Payne in the right places is the best possible development for his own chances of playing at the next-level. Improving upon the 32 percent three-point mark he posted as a junior would also help.

63. Jabari Brown, JR, G, Missouri

The Oregon transfer and former five-star recruit was Missouri's best player at times last season, and might be the biggest reason some think the Tigers can bounce back from that relatively disappointing campaign. Though he was playing catch-up after missing the first half of the year, Brown was at his best once conference play rolled around. He ranked No. 7 in the SEC in scoring (14.6), No. 9 in free-throw percentage (.778), No. 6 in three-point percentage (.376) and No. 5 in three-point makes per game (2.3).

62. Travis Bader, SR, G, Oakland

Bader, who averaged better than 22 points per game as a junior, is open anytime he's across midcourt, and with good reason. Though he's averaging nearly 11 three-point attempts per game for his career, he's also a career 40.4 percent shooter from beyond the arc. That's a remarkably stellar average for such a high-volume shooter. It's also why he has a shot to break the NCAA record for three-pointers made in a career this season. Don't be surprised if Bader leads the country in scoring in his final year with the Golden Grizzlies.

61. Aaron Harrison, FR, G, Kentucky

His unofficial title as "the other Harrison" almost makes you forget that Aaron enters college as the top-rated shooting guard in the class of 2013. A pure scorer, Harrison figures to have plenty of opportunities to put the ball in the bucket thanks to his twin brother, Andrew, who will be running the show in John Calipari's dribble-drive offense.