Thursday, November 13, 2014

2014-15 Buzzer Beater Basketball College Basketball Rankings Continued

Today we are working our way through the rankings.  With each team we inch closer to the reveal of the #1 ranking.

20. Oklahoma - The Sooners are looking to have another great year.  Last season they finished second to Kansas in the Big 12 and went 23-10 for the season.  This year junior forward Ryan Spangler is going to lead the team after a big year last season.  Last year he averaged close to a double-double with 9.6 PPG and 9.3 APG.  Oklahoma is also looking forward to freshman forward Dante Buford.  In the 2014 ESPN 100 he was ranked 72nd for all high school players in the nation.  Oklahoma is shaping up to have another great season, but will once again have to compete with Kansas to win the Big 12.

Ohio State Freshman D'Angelo Russell
19. Ohio State - D'Angelo Russell and Keita Bates-Diop will lead this years Ohio State team.  Russell is one of the best freshman in the country and can score the ball with ease.  He will be the centerpiece of this young team.  Last year he played for Montverde Academy (the high school national champion) and was ranked 13th in the ESPN 100.  The Buckeyes will also have another great freshman in Bates-Diop.  The 6-7 small forward was ranked 22nd in the ESPN 100 last season and will provide the Buckeyes with superb athleticism and an extra scoring option.  Seniors Amir Williams and Shannon Scott will also help shape the Buckeyes.  Ohio State is without Aaron Craft this year,  but they will roll right on without him and impress many in the Big-Ten conference.

SDSU Junior Winston Shepard Prepares for Takeoff
18. San Diego State - This is Winston Shepard's year to breakout.  The 6-8 small forward averaged 11.6 PPG, 4.9 RPG, and 2.1 APG last season.  The junior was a crucial piece in the Aztec's season last year and will be once again this year.  They are most likely going to win the Mountain West Conference, but it will be a challenge.  Alongside Winston will be freshman Malik Pope.  He was ranked 55th in the ESPN 100 last season.  As always SDSU will fly under the radar for the first half of the season, but don't be shocked when the Aztecs are highly ranked later on in the year.

17. VCU - Treveon Grahm will lead the Rams to the A-10 title this year.  The senior swingman averaged 15.8 PPG and 7.0 RPG last year.  He plays great on both ends of the floor and poses a real threat for opponents.  VCU will have an easier time in the A-10 this year because Saint Louis and UMass both lost a great amount of talent.  But both Dayton and George Washington will be fighting for the conference title along with VCU instead this year.  Freshman Terry Larrier will also push the Rams to another successful season.  Watch out for the development of VCU as the season progresses, they will play many close battles fighting for the A-10 title that will push them to their full potential.

Mich. St. Star Branden Dawson
16. Michigan State - The Spartans have lost Adrien Payne, Keith Appling, and Gary Harris since last season.  But they still have some other great players.  The loss of both Harris and Appling will be huge, but senior guard Travis Trice will be a great replacement.  Last season he averaged 7.3 PPG and 2.3 APG.  Although the numbers are low, Trice affects the game with just his presence on the court.  He will have great big men to help him carry the team also.  Denzel Valentine will also provide another option to help lead the offense. Lastly, Branden Dawson, who averaged 11.2 PPG and 8.3 RPG last season, will be this teams best player.  He has great ability to score the ball and plays with great intensity and hustle. The Spartans may not be as good as last year, but still have enough talent to compete in the Big-Ten once again.

15. UConn -  Yes, they lost both Shabazz Napier and Deandre Daniels, but they still have plenty of talent to fill the void.  Ryan Boatright will assume Napier's role as the team's leader this season.  Last year he helped the Huskies win the NCAA Championship by averaging 12.1 PPG and 3.4 APG.  He will also have help from NC-State transfer Rodney Purvis.  Alongside Purvis and Boatright will be Ju-Co transfer Sam Cassell Jr. who was named an All-American in Ju-Co player last year.  But don't forget about the beast in the paint.  7 foot center Amida Brimah will serve huge for the Huskies this season.  Not only is he one of the best rim protectors in the nation, but he will also grab tons of rebounds.  UConn may not win the National Title again, but they sure do have another great team.

Iowa State Leader Georges Niang

14. Iowa State - Georges Niang has big shoes to fill.  Not just one pair either, two pairs.  Both Melvin Ejim and DeAndre Kane are gone.  Niang is going to have to carry this Cyclones team with his fierce interior play and drive from within.  He got smacked in the face during a game last year and had blood dripping off of him, but still wanted to play... He is a flat out animal, in the good way.  That is what will help him lead this team, along with his 16.7 PPG and 4.5 RPG.  Along with Niang will be guard Naz Long.  He averaged 7.1 PPG last season but serves as a great floor general.  Iowa State may have a tougher time competing in the Big-12 this season this year, but they still are one of the best teams in the conference and in the country.

13. Gonzaga - The Zags are going to have another great year.  Senior guard Kevin Pangos is one of the best guards in the country.  Last season he averaged 14.4 PPG and 3.6 APG.  He will be assisted by Kentucky transfer Kyle Wiltjer.  He averaged 10.2 PPG for Kentucky two seasons ago, but got lost in the Wildcats deep bench that was full of talent last year.  He has the ability to be one of the most dominant college players in the country this year, but will have to shake the rust off an adjust to a new system.  Gonzaga is going impress many early on with their ability to score the ball and their experienced leadership.

12. Villanova - Ryan Arcidiacono and JayVaughn Pinkston will form a deadly duo for the Wildcats.  Arcidiacono will score the ball in bunches and help run Villanova's offense this year.  Last season his great play carried them at the end of the season.  Pinkston will provide an intense post presence as he averaged 14.1 PPG and 6.1 RPG last season.  The Wildcats will also have help from Darrun Hilliard II and Dylan Ennis.  In a weaker Big East Conference this year, look for Villanova to dominate.

Wichita State's Ron Baker

11. Wichita State - Fred VanFleet, could he be the best point guard in the country?  Time will tell, but last year he certainly was up with the best of the best.  The 6 foot point guard averaged 11.6 PPG and 5.4 APG last season.  He helped lead the Shockers to a 35-1 record last year.  Also back again is junior swingman Ron Baker.  Baker plays with great intensity and is a true team player.  He averaged 13.1 PPG last year, but will look to assume a larger scoring role with the departure of Cleanthony
Early.  Although the Shcokers won't be as close to a perfect season this year, they will still be one of the most dominant teams in the country.

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