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20 College Basketball Players on Santa’s Nice List

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20 College Basketball Players on Santa's Nice List

Matthew Emmons-USA TODAY Sports

Christmas is almost here and that certainly means that good ole Santa Claus is finishing up his naughty and nice list. Jolly old Saint Nick works tirelessly year-round to filter through everyone's daily routine just do find out if they will be receiving some coal or the newest gaming console come the 25th of December. While poor Santa has the daily boring grind of determining whether or not we are deserving, we take advantage of the pleasantly plump North Polian and just assume we are all getting our stockings stuffed.

It really doesn't work that way. Santa looks at you all year-long. You can't make up for 11 months of being a naughty boy or girl in the last month in the hopes of resurrecting your chances to be gifted that hot red tricycle you always wanted. No, Santa uses your whole body of work when making a decision of this magnitude. Thankfully for most of us it seems as if Santa has lowered his standards and nearly everybody lands on the "nice" list these days.

However there is something about the man most people don't realize, he's a die-hard college basketball fan. You think his trademark red and white suit are a mere coincidence or a coca-cola marketing ploy? No sir, those are the colors of his favorite hoops team, the St. John's Red Storm. There is a reason the vast majority of Christmas movies are based in New York. So when Santa watches over it he can just skip on over to Madison Square Garden to watch his Johnnies in action.

Santa is especially tough on college basketball players when it comes to making his list. In a rare move of public display, Santa mailed me his list of college hoops players on his nice list. What you're going to read next is verbatim of what Santa mailed to me. Who knew the guy was so delightful.

Joe covers the Catholic Seven for Rant Sports. Follow him on Twitter @JosephNardone

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C.J. McCollum

Charles LeClaire-USA TODAY Sports

Generally scoring while not married is a big no-no in the North Pole. But when it comes to college basketball, I love me some scoring. You see C.J. McCollum leads the nation in scoring at 24.9 points per game and is getting a top notch level education to boot. While the nation might not be paying close attention to the Lehigh Mountain Hawks, they are the North Pole's favorite team.

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Cole Dickerson

Kelley L Cox-USA TODAY Sports

Nobody appreciates hard work and dedication more than this guy. Cole Dickerson is the epitome of someone making the most out of his opportunity. Dickerson has tripled his rebounding rate from last year while doubling his scoring output. Plus I've always had a soft spot for the city of San Francisco.

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Michael Carter-Williams

Rich Barnes-USA TODAY Sports

Here is another young fellow who is taking advantage of the opportunities laid out before him. Last year Michael Carter-Williams had to sit on the bench due to the enormous NBA level talent ahead of him. Thanks to their departure, Carter-Williams is making hyphens in last names cool again.

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Alex Smith

Not Him
Kevin Jairaj-USA TODAY Sports

No, not the guy who just got benched for a sinner from Vegas! This Alex Smith plays for the Bethune-Cookman Wildcats. Also this Smith doesn't shoot a lot but when he does, the ball goes in the basket. Smith leads the NCAA in field goal shooting percentage, making buckets 70.7 percent of the time. Santa likes efficiency. How do you think I'm able to make billions of toys in just under a year with only a few helpers?

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Nerlens Noel

Mark Zerof-USA TODAY Sports

I had a real hard time deciding whether or not Nerlens Noel was going to be on my naughty or nice side of the list. But his haircut was the deciding factor. Anyone that makes me think back to the movies starring Kid and Play will always have a spot on my nice list.

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Zeke Marshall


This is what I call a pity move. Zeke Marshall is a 7 foot behemoth who plays for the Akron Zips. Here is where my sadness comes in for Zeke, while he is a fine college player, he will never make it to the NBA. Which means after his college career is done he will still have to deal with being a 7 foot behemoth the rest of his life.

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Isaiah Canaan

Joshua S. Kelly-USA TODAY Sports

Isaiah Canaan might be the most well-known mid-major hoops player in the country. The reason for that is he might be the best. Canaan get's on the nice list because he stayed for his senior season. He could have bolted last year to make some major cash in the NBA but Canaan decided one more year in college was his best bet. Little rule of note here, Santa doesn't give gifts to pros. Also, Santa's gifts to college players may not be in line with NCAA rules and regulations. So let all of this be our little secret.

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Seth Curry

Kevin Jairaj-USA TODAY Sports

We have all seen the movies where the younger brother feels overwhelmed by being in the shadow of their brother. Not in the case of Seth Curry. Curry is a good example of someone making a name for themselves. He could have just ridden on the coattails of his father or brother but instead the young Curry is a more than productive member of the number one ranked team in all the land.

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Sean Kilpatrick

Don McPeak-USA TODAY Sports

Sean Kilpatrick is a player of the year candidate that nobody seems to be talking about. While the Big East Conference is getting coal for Christmas, Kipatrick has been providing goodies all season long for Cincinnati Bearcat fans, so it's only fair I do the same for him.

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Shabazz Napier

David Butler II-USA TODAY Sports

While his university has known to be naughty, Shabazz Napier is as nice as they come. Napier could have bolted the program after last season but has decided to stay around help weather the storm. To many folks surprise, Napier has helped the Connecticut Huskies to a great 9-2 start.

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Cleveland Melvin

Jim O'Connor-USA TODAY Sports

If you haven't already noticed, I'm a huge Big East homer. Cleveland Melvin is a productive under the radar player for one of the league's worst teams. However, if anyone has seen the kid play, they know he's so naughty he's nice.

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Phil Pressey

Dak Dillon-USA TODAY Sports

Some guys are just fun to watch play. For that reason alone Phil Pressey makes it on the nice list. Pressey can not only make buckets but leads his team in assists.

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Alex Barlow

Frank Victores-USA TODAY Sports

I might live in the North Pole but I don't live under a rock. Alex Barlow is a former walk-on who hit that shot to give his team a win against the former number one ranked team in the country. If that doesn't scream "Lifetime Christmas Movie" type stuff I don't know what does.

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James Michael McAdoo

Brendan Maloney-USA TODAY Sports

For selfish reasons I always like when kids come back for another year of school. James Michael McAdoo could have bolted for the NBA and been a late first round draft pick. But instead he came back and is now tricking folks into thinking he is deserving of a lottery pick. While I know his game won't translate to the NBA, I do know that hating the hustle is naughty, so I have to put McAdoo on the nice list.

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Chris Obekpa

Anthony Gruppuso-USA TODAY Sports

Usually rejecting people would make you automatically qualify for the naughty list. But Chris Obekpa's rejections have been done so in such a nice way. Obekpa is averaging over 5 blocks per game and has inspired a slew of uninspired nicknames. My favorite is "Oblockpa" however.

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Shabazz Muhammad

Jayne Kamin-Oncea-USA TODAY Sports

Any good Christmas movie has a good vs evil theme to it. Shabazz Muhammad faced off against the NCAA and lost in the start but it wasn't long until the NCAA was revealed to be what we all knew it was, a building with dirty secrets(and people who loud talk on the phone). The NCAA is so naughty that it makes Muhammad nice by default.

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Deshaun Thomas

Greg Bartram-USA TODAY Sports

Talk about a big time player nobody wants to talk about. Deshaun Thomas plays in the Big Ten and is averaging 20 points and 7 boards a game. So while the media is not paying attention to him, you know I'm going to make it up by putting him on the nice list.

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Every Player on a "Service Academy" Team

Danny Wild-USA TODAY Sports

This is an easy selection. Anyone willing to sacrifice a part of their early life for the service of their country is an automatic qualifier to be on the nice list. So while we will all have the chance to eat Christmas dinner with our family for years to come these young people will be protecting our right to do so.

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Tim Hardaway Jr.

Rick Osentoski-USA TODAY Sports

Has anyone else noticed that the Michigan Wolverines seem to recruit former NBA player's kids in exclusivity? Tim Hardaway Jr. might be the best of that bunch and still has to deal with being his father's child. This isn't an easy task, however, Hardaway Jr. hasn't broken a single TV monitor yet, getting him on the nice list.

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Myck Kabongo

Don McPeak-USA TODAY Sports

So the NCAA has finally ruled against Myck Kabongo, suspending him for 23 games. Apparently Kabongo took a gifted plane ticket so he could travel to work with a professional trainer. So while the NCAA and its universities are exchanging millions of dollars, Kabongo can't accept a plane ticket to work on his craft. Don't worry Kabongo, while I'll "attempt" leaving common sense in the NCAA's stocking, you will be receiving the support of a nation in yours.

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