NEWARK, NJ - MARCH 25: Jared Sullinger #0 of the Ohio State Buckeyes celebrates after a play against the Kentucky Wildcats during the first half of the east regional semifinal of the 2011 NCAA Men's Basketball Tournament at the Prudential Center on March 25, 2011 in Newark, New Jersey. (Photo by Chris Trotman/Getty Images)
The dawn of a new season is upon us. Carrying over one of the staples of this blog from last year, every Monday we'll update the top 20 player of the year big board to reflect the previous week's action. But before we kick things off, here are a few thoughts on this weekly process that you should probably take note of:
- Freshmen aren't going to get blind love from us here. Save that for the overzealous AP voters who dubbed Harrison Barnes the best player in the sport before he ever played a game. Kids like Drummond, Davis, Kidd-Gilchrist, Beal and Rivers are phenomenal talents, sure, but until they actually prove something, anything, they won't ascend this board on prep ranking alone. Having two freshmen in the initial rankings is already a tad generous to begin with, but we'll see how it plays out.
- Secondly, it needs to be taken into consideration just how difficult it is to rank players outside of the top ten on a scale such as this without a serious benchmark. Our initial top ten probably won't draw much ire from fans, but the names outside of it, and the ones that were left off, probably will. Keep in mind that the difference between Jorge Gutierrez at No. 13, for example, and Marcus Denmon not making the cut, is much, much slimmer than it appears.
- Finally, last year's inaugural edition debuted on December 6th, which was nearly a month into the season. Because we're kicking this thing off right now, it's safe to say that there won't be a ton of movement at the top of this board. Barring some magical depreciation of Jared Sullingers' skill-set, the elite players you see here aren't going to fall too far with a couple of early-season off nights. Perspective is key.
||-OSU||Summer conditioning will improve def. stats. Likely a 20-10 machine.
|2||--||Can't ignore the clutch factor. Will bury opponents w/ elite mid-range game.
||With Leuer gone, will increased scoring load lessen his PG efficiency?
||Plans on vamping up his assist totals as a senior. Remains to be seen.
||Which will win out: Immense talent or questionable maturity/desire?
|6||--||Heavy expectations. Might be the most dangerous volume shooter in NCAA.
||Was a star born last spring, or is he too passive to carry UConn nightly?
||NBA scouts are enamored. Video game type numbers should follow.
||Mr. Do-It-All. Flying under radar now, but could post the best #'s in B10.
||Quietly gets the job done, and makes Pitt a nightly threat. Legit sleeper.
||Tempo-free juggernaut as a soph. The stage is finally his. It's showtime.
||Could flirt with 25ppg. Interested to see his 3P ability (6 of 23 in 10-11).
||Solid pick for Pac-12 POY. Does it all. Should be an 18-5-6 type of player.
||Most efficient max player in SEC last yr. Chances hinge on team success.
||The best unibrow in the country. But will he be the best freshman?
|16||--||Tim Abromaitis-ND||Went from a top 10 ORating as soph. to 124 last yr. Late bloomer this yr.
|17||--||Andre Drummond-CONN||Has a gateway to big minutes. But how soon will he be an impact player?
||Flashy passer will rack up insane assist totals in an ideal offense.
||Darkhorse? Maybe. But the 6'1" guard can ball. Easy WAC POY choice.
||Lanky shot blocker could be UNC's x-factor. Needs to make strides on O.
Five who just missed: Austin Rivers-Duke, Robbie Hummel-Purdue, Trevor Mbakwe-Minnesota, Tyler Zeller-North Carolina, Marcus Denmon-Missouri