As the college basketball season is now literally right around the corner, preseason rankings are coming from any and every media source in the nation. Now, with most of the conferences across the country already gone through their respective media days, coaches and players are reacting to the preseason jumble.
The biggest example of this is Murray State senior point guard Isaiah Canaan. The lead man from last season’s surprise 6 seed in the West Region of the NCAA Tourney recently told USA Today’s Scott Gleeson that he believes he’s the best college basketball player in the country. Among his reasons is that he’s “got a lot of wins under [his] belt.”
Some people agree. While Canaan will star for this season’s Racers squad that is expected to repeat their 2011-2012 Ohio Valley Conference regular and postseason championships, he is only one of two returning impact players. With a relatively inexperienced supporting cast, Canaan does have an opportunity to wow the country this season on the offensive end even more than last winter.
Last season, Canaan averaged 19.0 points, 3.5 rebounds and 3.6 assists while leading Murray State to a 31-win campaign. In the process, the Biloxi, Miss. native played well enough to be projected as a second round pick in the 2012 NBA Draft. But, Canaan decided to stay in school, and will work towards his degree while maybe even making a strong case for the 2012-2013 Naismith Player of the Year.
Racers head coach Steve Prohm will definitely have to rely on Canaan’s talent and experience roster to lead a retooled roster that includes six freshmen.
Hopefully for Murray State fans, Canaan’s bold statements aren’t for nothing.
Jake Fischer is the CAA Correspondent for Rant Sports-NCAA Basketball. Make sure to follow Jake on Twitter @fischsportsline.