NCAA tournament: Players to watch

March 15, 2010|By Tribune Newspapers

John Wall, G, Fr., Kentucky

Might be the quickest player in the college game and could be the quickest selection in this year's NBA draft.

Evan Turner, G-F, Jr., Ohio State

Numbers are incredible – 19.5 points, 9.4 rebounds, 5.8 assists, 54% shooting – and so is his propensity for coming up big at the end of games.

Sherron Collins, G, Sr., Kansas

Keeps the freshman-laden No. 1 Jayhawks going. He also shot hit 38 percent of his 3-point attempts.

Derrick Favors, F, Fr., Georgia Tech

His regular-season numbers (11.7 points, 8.3 rebounds) don't show it, but Favors has as much upside as any freshman in the country. Could be No. 2 pick in NBA draft.

Wes Johnson, F, Jr., Syracuse

Catalyst that makes the Orange go. He averaged 15. points, 8.5 rebounds and 1.9 blocks.

Greivis Vasquez, G, Sr., Maryland

Might mean more to his team than any other college player. Averages 19.6 points and 6.3 assists and shoots 38 percent from beyond the arc.

Jon Scheyer, G, Sr., Duke

Duke has been coming on strong, and Scheyer, a dangerous outside shooter, is the guy leading the charge.

Da'Sean Butler, F, Sr., West Virginia

Has already shown he can come up big in tournament play with two game-winners in West Virginia's march to the Big East title.

Jimmer Fredette, G, Jr., Brigham Young

If there's a Stephen Curry in this year's tournament, it might be this guy. Averaged 20.6 points and ran the team like a coach.

Greg Monroe, C, So., Georgetown

Has two big advantages: He can pass out of the post in the Hoyas' Princeton-style offense, and he's a lefty and difficult to stop.

James Anderson, F, Jr., Oklahoma State

A prolific scorer, he averaged 22.9 points and scored at least 20 in a game against every Big 12 rival this season.

Scottie Reynolds, G, Sr., Villanova

Not a true point guard, but Reynolds is a winner who could push Villanova to greatness. He averages 18.8 points and 3.4 assists.

Chris Singleton, F, So., Florida State

A force at 6-foot-9 on a defensive-minded team, he has extremely quick hands and can guard players from the perimeter to the paint.

Kalin Lucas, G, Jr., Michigan State

Scored 14.8 points and dealt 3.9 assists per game to lead Michigan State to a share of the Big Ten title.

Luke Harangody, F, Sr., Notre Dame

One of the better scorers in the country, he can carry Notre Dame if he's fully recovered from a knee injury last month.

Alex Franklin, F, Sr., Siena

No stranger to the NCAA Tournament, this will be the third consecutive appearance for Franklin and Siena. Averages 16.1 points and 7.9 rebounds.

Gordon Hayward, G/F, So., Butler

The 6-foot-9 swingman causes matchup problems for opponents. Averaged 15.4 points, 8.5 rebounds and 1.1 steals this season.

Aubrey Coleman, G, Sr., Houston

A solid NBA draft prospect, Coleman led the nation in scoring this year and was second in steals per game.

Keith Benson, C, Jr., Oakland

Averaged a double-double this season (17 points, 10.5 rebounds). Grabbed 17 rebounds in each of his final two Summit League tournament games.

Omar Samhan, C, Sr., St. Mary's

Proved he can hold his own against elite big men with a 25-point, 18-rebound outing against Vanderbilt's Andrew Ogilvy.

Randy Culpepper, G, Jr., Texas-El Paso

Has directed UTEP's offense this season. Averages 18.1 points, 2.0 assists and 1.7 steals.

DeMarcus Cousins, C, Fr., Kentucky

Might be the best big man in the tournament. Has power and quickness and averages 15.9 points and 10.1 rebounds.

Xavier Henry, G, Fr., Kansas

A naturally gifted scorer with an NBA-ready body, Henry has gone through some growing pains but still is a dangerous player.

Gani Lawal, F, Jr., Georgia Tech

A force around the basket and on the boards, the 6-foot-9 forward averages 13.5 points and 9.0 rebounds.

Austin Freeman, G, Jr., Georgetown

One of the best outside shooters (16.9-point average) in college basketball, Freeman will be a key for the Hoyas.

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