Friday, November 14, 2014

2014-15 Buzzer Beater Basketball College Basketball Rankings Continued

Today is one full of excitement and nerves.  Many players are filled with both emotions just hours away from the tip off of a new college basketball season.  To go with the excitement we are finishing our top 26 rankings today, with teams 10-1.  Let's get underway.

Louisville's Montrezl Harrell
Slams Home the Dunk
10.  Louisville - Montrezl Harrell.  It's simple, he is the heart and soul of this team.  The vicious 6-8 forward is one of the top players in the country.  He averaged 14.0 PPG and 8.4 RPG last season, second only to Russ Smith in points.  But there is something more to him than just the stats.  He affects the game with just his presence and sheer intensity.  Harrell is the type of guy a college basketball coach dreams about.  Along with Harrell the Cardinals have sophomore guard Terry Rozier.  He is expected to make a big leap this year production wise.  In the backcourt with him will be Chris Jones.  Jones will be filling in the void left by Russ Smith, but he won't ler that overshadow him.  Last year he averaged 10.2 PPG but that will only improve this season.  Other notable players include Wayne Blackshear and freshman Shaqquan Aaron.  Louisville is one of the best teams in the country, but has to make it through a loaded ACC alive this season.

9.  Virginia - Yes, back to back ACC teams.  Point proven their conference is filled with title contenders, with Duke and UNC yet to be ranked.  As for Virginia, junior guard Malcolm Brogdon will play a huge role.  As a sophomore last season, he averaged 12.7 PPG, 5.4 RPG, and 2.7 APG for the surprise contender Cavaliers.  This year his role will become more important in leading the team. Virginia also has junior guard Justin Anderson to help with the backcourt duties.  The Cavalier's style of play is unique and refreshing to college basketball spectators.  They have ben built from the ground up and play unselfish basketball.  They almost play with the same style the Spurs do in the NBA.  Virginia begins their season with hopes to end it just like the Spurs did last year... with a title.  But first they have to prove themselves in the almighty ACC.

Texas Freshman
Myles Turner
8.  Texas - The Longhorns possess a petrifying front court.  Cameron Ridley and Myles Turner are pairing up to form one of the most intimidating big man duos in college basketball.  Last year Ridley averaged close to a double-double with 11.2 PPG and 8.2 RPG.  The big bodied center uses his size well by carving out space to rebound the ball and bouncing off openents at the rim while finishing. Then on the other hand is Myles Turner.  College basketball has not seen a freshman big-man with this much potential in years.  The 7 footer was ranked the 2nd best high school player in the country last year, only behind Jahil Okafor.  Turner is going to bring this Texas program to the next level with his shot blocking ability and determination inside the paint.  Along with the big-man duo is the duo of guards in the backcourt.  Both Isaiah Taylor and Javan Felix will be able to pick apart defenses this year, especially with the big men down low to assist them.  Texas is sound all-around and will dominate opponents this season.

7.  Florida - The Gators are going to be overlooked in the SEC this year because of Kentucky, but don't be fooled.  Billy Donovan's team is loaded with talent.  Kasey Hill will receive the assignment of starting point guard this year.  The sophomore guard had an okay freshman year with injuries never allowing him to adjust to the college game.  This year will be different though, he will have plenty of time to shine and teammates to help him.  Three point assassin Michael Frazier II will carry the scoring load for this team.  He averaged 12.4 PPG last season, but will receive more touches to put his stamp on the game this year.  The Gators also have Chris Walker.  Walker is one of the most athletic bigs in the country, and will serve as a great rim protector.  Florida will have another great season under head coach Billy Donovan.

Unc Point Guard
Marcus Paige
6. UNC - Marcus Paige has a new look on his face this year.  The look of a kid on Christmas morning.  The look you have when you realize you have brand new toys to play with. Those toys are the freshman trio of Theo Pinson, Joel Berry, and Justin Jackson will provide Paige with new options to pick apart defenses with.  All three were ranked inside the top 20 of the ESPN 100 last year.  The Tar Heals also still have big man Kennedey Meeks.  Last year as a freshman he averaged 7.6 PPG and 6.1 RPG.  This years UNC team is one of the best in years, and has brought new life to the program.  They will be fighting for a top spot in the ACC all season.

Wisconsin's Frank Kaminsky

5. Wisconsin - Frank Kaminsky may be the best player in country this year.  No, he won't be the #1 pick in the NBA draft, but he is the best player at the college level.  The Badger's 7 footer demonstrated his superior ability last year while averageing 13.9 PPG and 6.3 PPG.  This year he will construct an even better season.  He will also have help from junior forward Sam Dekker.  Together Kaminsky and Dekker make Wisconsin a title contender.  As always the Badgers will bring their own style to the college game, but this year they will finally receive the attention they have deserved.

4. Kansas - At this point of the rankings any team could be number one.  The amount of talent on these teams is crazy.  The Jayhawks have another one of the best freshman classes in the country.  Cliff Alexander, the 6-8, 240, man beast will serve as one of those top freshman.  He has the body needed to dominate college opponents down low, on both sides of the floor.  Kansas also has freshmen Devonte Graham and Kelly Oubre.  Both will prove themselves as top tier college players.  But wait, there's more.  The Jayhawks also have Wayne Selden, Frank Mason, Perry Ellis, and Brannen Greene returning from last year's team.  Ellis averaged 13.5 PPG and 6.7 RPG and was a focal point last year.  The Kansas Jayhawks will obviously win the Big-12 again this year, but the question is: Can they win a national championship?  Only time will tell.

3. Duke - When you have the top freshman in the country it's hard not to be considered a favorite.  But, Jahil Okafor is different.  He isn't just any freshman, he is one who is already NBA ready and will tear up the college scene this year.  Along with Okafor, Duke is filled with talent.  Freshman point guard Tyus Jones came to Duke along with Okafor in a package deal.  Jones was the highest ranked high school point guard in the country last year.  Wait, were not done.  Duke still has two other highly regarded freshman in Justice Winslow and Grayson Allen.  And the Blue Devils still have Quinn Cook, Amile Jefferson, Marshall Plumlee, and Rasheed Sulaimon.  Suliamon is expected to have a breakout season after the departure of both Jabari Parker and Rodney Hood.  Last year, in his sophomore season, the 6-5 swingman averaged 9.9 PPG.  This year with a large increase in playing time Suliamon is going to prove himself.  Although Duke is highly regarded as a top team in the country, they have to play in the ACC (Possibly the nation's best conference).  Besides that fact, Duke will still be one of the most dominant teams in the country.

Arizona Freshman Stanley Johnson
2.  Arizona - The Wildcats will be better than they were last season.  Even after they lost Aaron Gordon and Nick Johnson, they will still be better.  Freshman Stanley Johnson is going to lead this team to the wonderland.  Well, at least thats his goal.  The 6-6 small forward is like a more athletic Jabari Parker.  He is NBA ready with a silky smooth jumpshot and the ability to finish in traffic.  In high school, at Mater Dei, he won 4 California state titles and played every posisition.  Johnson is already a proven winner and it will carry over into the upcoming season.  Along with Johnson, the Wildcats have Kaleb Tarczewski, Brandon Ashley, Rondae Hollis-Jefferson, Gabe York, T.J. McConnell, and Boston College transfer Ryan Anderson.  The list goes on and on, talented player after talented player.  Arizona is set to have a historic year and dominate the west coast of college basketball.

1. Kentucky - Shocker... Right?  9 McDonalds All Americans in total are on Kenucky.  That means Coach Cal will have 4 McDonalds All Americans coming off of the bench.  That is unheard of...  Kentucky is by far the early season favorite to win the National Title.  Let's just list the players so you get the idea.  Marcus Lee, Devin Booker, Aaron Harrison, Tyler Ulis, Andrew Harrison, Karl-Anthony Towns, Willie Cauley-Stein, Alex Poythress, Trey Lyles, and Dakari Johnson.  Karl-Anthony was last years national high school player of the year, and is not even going to start this year.  Alex Poythress and the Harrison twins all had great off seasons and look to improve even more this year.  The Kentucky Wildcats are scary... very scary.  Watch out for them this season as they could very well run the table and go undefeated.

Review: All 26 Teams Listed
1. Kentucky
2. Arizona
3. Duke
4. Kansas
5. Wisconsin
6. UNC
7. Florida
8. Texas
9. Virginia
10. Louisville
11. Wichita State
12. Villanova
13. Gonzaga
14. Iowa State
15. UConn
16. Michigan State
17. VCU
18. San Diego State
19. Ohio State
20. Oklahoma
21. Harvard
22.  Syracuse
23. SMU
24. Utah
25. Nebraska
26. Stanford

Any team in the top 15 right now has a chance to win the National Title.  The ACC has 5 teams in our top 26 and plenty more talented teams.  This college basketball season is bound to be historic with some of the best talent in years. It all starts tonight, the start of history. 

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