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NCAA Basketball

Top 10 College Basketball Players of the Season

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Top 10 NCAA Basketball Players

Top Ten NCAA Basketball Players
USA TODAY Sports-Greg Bartram

Conference play has officially started in NCAA Basketball. March Madness and the ensuing NCAA Tournament is getting closer and closer. Teams are fighting for placement in their respective conferences and attempting to get a berth in the tournament. Many of the teams have one or two players that are the focal point to help their team win.

At the beginning of the year, this list would have looked a lot different. Cody Zeller, who was seen as the consensus player of the year, has fallen down analysts’ lists. My number one player was named as an honorable mention last year, but is finally beginning to see his share of praise, after sticking around for another season with his respective school.

Many of the players in the major conferences get mention on television and other media outlets for their efforts. Players in smaller conferences often get overlooked and don’t get listed in top ten lists. Here in my top ten, I attempt to split the list up between the players mentioned by analysts and also a couple of dark horse picks for National Player of the Year.

At the end of the year, five players will be named to All-American lists, while one player will be named the player of the year. Look for many of the top ten players in this list to be in the discussion for the annual awards and lists.

The players mentioned in this slideshow need to continue to be the leaders statistically and mentally on their team to help ensure a berth in the 2013 NCAA Tournament. Look for these players to put up stellar numbers going into February and March.

Agree or disagree with the picks, follow me on Twitter and share your opinion.

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10. Jeff Withey, Kansas

10. Jeff Withey, Kansas
USA TODAY Sports-Denny Medley

Jeff Withey, Kansas

13.1 points, 8.2 rebounds, 4.7 blocks

Withey is turning into a solid contributor for the Kansas Jayhawks once again. The senior center is a large part of the reason that the Jayhawks have only lost one game. In that one loss, Withey had a season low eight points.

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9. Erick Green, Virginia Tech

9. Erick Green, Virginia Tech
USA Today Sports-Josh Weiss

Erick Green, Virginia Tech

24.0 points, 7.2 rebounds

Green leads the NCAA with 24 points per game. The junior has scored 20 points in all but once of the Hokies games in the 2012-2013 season. Green has Virginia Tech sitting with an 11-6 record and will need to continue to put up points to help his teem advance to the NCAA Tournament.

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8. Cody Zeller, Indiana

8. Cody Zeller, Indiana
USA TODAY Sports-Pat Lovell

Cody Zeller, Indiana

16.9 points, 7.9 rebounds, 1.2 assists

Zeller entered the 2012-2013 season as the consensus National Player of the Year. The sophomore big man has increased his points and rebounds averages this season. Zeller is shooting at 64% from the field.

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7. Deshaun Thomas, Ohio State

7. Deshaun Thomas, Ohio State
USA TODAY Sports-Greg Bartram

Deshaun Thomas, Ohio State

20.3 points, 6.6 rebounds, 1.6 assists

Thomas, a junior for the Buckeyes, is helping the team in the ultra competitive Big Ten Conference. Against the number two ranked Michigan Wolverines, Thomas had 20 points and helped pull the upset. Thoas is averaging over 33 minutes per game.

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6. Russ Smith, Louisville

6. Russ Smith, Louisville
USA TODAY Sports-Jamie Rhodes

Russ Smith, Louisville

18.9 points, 3.5 rebounds, 2.8 assists

Smith has been a big part of the Louisville Cardinals move up to the top position in the Top 25 Poll. The junior guard, along with Peyton Siva, is part of one of the best backcourt duos in the NCAA.

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5. Jahii Carson, Arizona State

5. Jahii Carson, Arizona State
USA TODAY Sports-Rick Scuteri

Jahii Carson, Arizona State

17.1 points, 3.2 rebounds, 5.2 assists

Carson, a freshman at Arizona State, is starting to gain national attention. The Sun Devils continue to play well in the Pac-12 Conference. Carson is a sleeper pick for National Player of the Year. Carson leads the team in points, assists and minutes played. Carson plays over 36 minutes per game.

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4. Ben McLemore, Kansas

4. Ben McLemore, Kansas
USA TODAY Sports-John Rieger

Ben McLemore, Kansas

16.4 points, 5.4 rebounds, 2.1 assists

McLemore continues to be the best freshman in NCAA Basketball. The Kansas Jayhawks freshman plays over 30 minutes per game, ranking second on the team. McLemore leads the team in points and has led the team to a near perfect record. An earlier injury score to McLemore had Kansas fans worried, but Ben appears to be fine and will have his team playing well into March.

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3. Doug McDermott, Creighton

3. Doug McDermott, Creighton
USA TODAY Sports-Jeff Curry

Doug McDermott, Creighton

24.0 points, 7.2 rebounds

McDermott made the All-American list last year and is well on his way to a second straight appearance. The coach's son has Creighton out to a 17-1 record. McDermott is second in the nation in scoring per game. In 13 games, McDermott has scored 20 or more points. In five of Creighton's games, McDermott has hit the 30 point mark.

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2. Mason Plumlee, Duke

2. Mason Plumlee, Duke
USA TODAY Sports-Kevin Jairaj

Mason Plumlee, Duke

17.4 points, 11.5 rebounds

Plumlee is the leader on Duke's 2012-2013 season. A senior, Plumlee is averaging a double-double in the team's contests. Plumlee has 11 double-doubles during the season. Plumlee also ranks fifth in the NCAA in rebounds per game. With an injury to Ryan Kelly, Duke will be relying on Plumlee even more to make it deep into the NCAA Tournament.

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1. Trey Burke, Michigan

1. Trey Burke, Michigan
USA TODAY Sports-Don McPeak

Trey Burke, Michigan

18.0 points, 7.2 assists

Trey Burke continues to be the best player in the nation. He ranks ninth in assists in the NCAA. Michigan has a 17-1 record and 4-1 mark in the competitive Big Ten Conference. Burke, along with Tim Hardaway Jr., makes up the best backcourt in college basketball. Burke, a sophomore, returned to Michigan and has the team in good shape to win a NCAA Championship.