NCAA Basketball

Ranking the Top 25 Players of the 2013-14 College Basketball Season

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Ranking the Top 25 Players In College Hoops

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Andrew Wiggins is already being regarded as the best player in college basketball for the 2013-14 season and he hasn’t even played a regular season game. He clearly has a bunch of talent and very well could be the No. 1 pick in the 2014 NBA Draft, but let him earn it before we say he is the best. With that in mind, Wiggins does not make the list for the top 25 players for the upcoming season.

No other freshmen will either. Don’t get me wrong, there are some very talented freshmen set to join college hoops. Many of those freshmen could wind up as lottery picks in the upcoming draft, but just like Wiggins, let those freshmen earn that.

Until we actually see how the Wildcats are going to do on the court, let’s not jump the gun and say that Kentucky has some of the best players in college on its team. Maybe some of the most talented, but that isn’t what is at stake here.

Whether the case, there are some great players returning. It is hard to include everyone on a list of 25. There are definitely going to be some players left out, but that is okay.

The top 25 players on this list are very deserving and they are the best players entering the 2013-14 season--at least in my mind. I am sure a lot of people can relate to this ranking, though.

Whether the case, get ready for the season by enjoying this ranking of the top 25 players of the 2013-14 college basketball season. Keep in mind that there are no freshmen on this list.

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25. Joe Harris, Virginia Cavaliers

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Joe Harris will be playing in his senior year and could have his best season yet. He is going to be one of the highest scorers in the ACC yet again. He averaged 16.3 points per game last season.

Harris can flat out shoot. He shot 46.8 percent from the field and 42.5 percent from behind the arc last season.

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24. Marshall Henderson, Ole Miss Rebels

ole miss
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How about that Marshall Henderson. He will play this season, which means we will get to see a very entertaining show.

Regardless, he scores the basketball and then he scores it some more. So what if he jacks up a lot of shots. He still managed to score 20.1 points per game last season.

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23. Shabazz Napier, Connecticut Huskies

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Shabazz Napier could be the best guard in the country and he still comes in at No. 23 on this list. He is going to be very important to the Connecticut Huskies’ success this season and he will help make up one of the best backcourts in college hoops.

Napier scored 17.1 points per game last season. He also averaged 4.4 rebounds per game and 4.6 assists per game.

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22. Jordan McRae, Tennessee Volunteers

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Kentucky may be bringing in one of the best recruiting classes of all time, but Jordan McRae still might be the best player in the SEC. There is only one other SEC player on this list and that player may surprise some.

Regardless, McRae is going to be one of the best scorers in the conference. He averaged 15.7 points per game last season.

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21. Jordan Adams, UCLA Bruins

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Some may argue that Adams is not even the best player on UCLA. However, he is the best scoring option on the Bruins. He is talented enough to put up 20+ points per game in the upcoming season. That is especially true with Shabazz Muhammad no longer on the team.

Adams averaged 15.3 points per game as a freshman.

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20. Cleanthony Early, Wichita State Shockers

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Cleanthony Early was a big reason why Wichita State made it all of the way to the Final Four last season and he will be getting a bunch of recognition all year long.

He averaged 13.9 points per game and 5.4 boards per game during the season. However, Early managed to put up 16.2 points per game and 7.6 rebounds per game in the dance.

Keep in mind that the Shockers played two No. 1 seeds and one No. 2 seed.

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19. Sean Kilpatrick, Cincinnati Bearcats

Howard Smith-USA TODAY Sports

Sean Kilpatrick may be somewhat of a surprise on this list, but he did average 17 points per game and 5.2 rebounds per game last season. Plus, Cincinnati played in the Big East, which was easily one of the best conferences in college basketball.

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18. James Michael McAdoo, North Carolina Tar Heels

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James Michael McAdoo may get too much hype, but he is a very talented player. Some expected him to really breakout last season, but he still put up good numbers.

McAdoo averaged 14.4 points per game and 7.3 rebounds per game. Pretty solid. More is expected out of him in the upcoming season and I am sure he will not disappoint.

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17. Willie Cauley-Stein, Kentucky Wildcats

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Willie Cauley-Stein is one of the very few players returning to Kentucky this year. As you may already know, the Wildcats are ranked No. 1 in both major polls.

Cauley-Stein is not going to lead Kentucky in scoring, but he is still easily one of the best players on the team and will play a key role this season.

He averaged 8.3 points per game, 6.2 rebounds per game and 2.1 blocks per game last season. He also only played 23.6 minutes per game.

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16. Spencer Dinwiddie, Colorado Buffaloes

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Spencer Dinwiddie is the best player on the Colorado Buffaloes. Colorado may not be a powerhouse in college hoops, but it has made the dance two years in a row and should have no problem doing so again in the 2013-14 season.

Dinwiddie averaged 15.3 points per game as a sophomore last year.

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15. Isaiah Austin, Baylor Bears

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Isaiah Austin disappointed as a freshman last season. Baylor ended up missing out on the NCAA tournament, but it still managed to make the NIT and won it.

Austin will play a very important role this season and the team cannot afford for him to disappoint. He still managed to average 13 points per game and 8.3 rebounds per game.

He also stands at 7'1'' and made 30 threes on the year

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14. Rodney Hood, Duke Blue Devils

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Duke will once again have one of the best teams in college basketball and Rodney Hood could have a lot to do with that.

Hood stands at 6’8’’ and he can knock down the long ball. He scored 10.3 points per game for Mississippi State in the 2011-12 season. He also averaged 4.8 rebounds per game.

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13. Rasheed Sulaimon, Duke Blue Devils

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Rasheed Sulaimon was a freshman last season and he was one of the best. He averaged 11.6 points per game, 3.4 rebounds per game and 1.9 assists per game. He is a great shooter and will show that once again in the 2013-14 season.

A big season can be expected out of Sulaimon, especially with Seth Curry no longer on the team.

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12. Sam Dekker, Wisconsin Badgers

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Sam Dekker should be getting as much hype as anyone in college basketball. Well, maybe not as much hype as Andrew Wiggins, but maybe everyone else.

He was great as a freshman and will thrive with more playing time. He averaged 9.6 points per game and 3.4 rebounds per game in just 22.3 minutes per game.

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11 P.J. Hairston, North Carolina Tar Heels

tar heels
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P.J. Hairston only averaged 23.6 minutes per game last season. He also averaged 14.6 points per game and 4.3 rebounds per game. He shot 39.6 percent from behind the arc and made 89 threes in the process. Who knows what he could do with more playing time, which should be the case in the upcoming season.

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10. Tyler Haws, BYU Cougars

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Tyler Haws averaged 21.7 points per game last season and he could lead the nation in scoring in the upcoming one. Enough said.

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9. Adreian Payne, Michigan State Spartans

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Adreian Payne is not going to be the go-to guy or anything like that for Michigan State, but he is still one of the best players in the country and is a big reason why the team will enter the season by being ranked No. 2.

With that in mind, he averaged 10.5 points per game and 7.6 rebounds per game last season.

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8. C.J. Fair, Syracuse Orange

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C.J. Fair led the Syracuse Orange in scoring and rebounding last year. May I remind you that Syracuse made it all of the way to the Final Four, so that is kind of a big deal.

He averaged 14.5 points per game and seven rebounds per game. He stands at 6’8’’ and can also shoot the long ball. He only shot 64 times from behind the arc last season, but still managed to make 46.9 percent of those shots.

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7. Mitch McGary, Michigan Wolverines

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I am sure you heard enough about Mitch McGary in the NCAA tournament. Hopefully you like hearing McGary’s name because you are going to be hearing it all season long.

McGary only averaged 7.5 points per game and 6.3 rebounds per game, but he also only averaged 19.7 minutes per game.

There are two players returning on Michigan who scored more than him last season, but if you watched the NCAA tournament you would know what McGary is capable of--a lot.

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6. Jahii Carson, Arizona State Sun Devils

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Jahii Carson could be the best player in the Pac-12. He did score 18.5 points per game, 3.7 rebounds per game and 5.1 assists per game last season.

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5. Aaron Craft, Ohio State Buckeyes

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Aaron Craft is awesome. Hate him or love him, it really does not matter. He is one heck of a defender and will be the leader of this team all season long.

Craft averaged 10 points per game, 3.6 rebounds per game, 4.6 assists per game and 2.1 steals per game last season. I would love to see him become more of a threat in the scoring department and that might have to be the case with Deshaun Thomas no longer on the team.

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4. Gary Harris, Michigan State Spartans

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Gary Harris may be the best player in the Big Ten--possibly the nation. He scored 12.9 points per game last season, but is capable of scoring a lot more. He is a great three-point shooter and is really a great shooter in general.

A big year can be expected out of Harris in the upcoming season. As a result, a big year can be expected out of Michigan State.

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3. Doug McDermott, Creighton Bluejays

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Doug McDermott returning for his senior year is huge for the Creighton Bluejays, especially since they will be playing in the Big East this year.

McDermott has averaged 20+ points per game the last two seasons and you better believe that he will do the same this year. He has also averaged seven or more rebounds per game every year.

He is a terrific shooter to say the least and will be a fun watch all season long.

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2. Marcus Smart, Oklahoma State Cowboys

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Marcus Smart surprised us all when he decided to return for his sophomore season. He was amazing in his first year in college hoops and could be the best player in the country in year two.

Smart averaged 15.4 points per game, 5.8 rebounds per game, 4.2 assists per game and three steals per game last season. Yeah, he is kind of good.

Smart is the best player on Oklahoma State and the Cowboys are good enough to make the Final Four this year.

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1. Russ Smith, Louisville Cardinals

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Russ Smith was a beast last season. Without him Louisville does not win a national championship. Even if freshmen were allowed on this list, Smith would still be at the top. He has proven his worth in the regular season and he has done wonders in the Big Dance. Let’s take a look at those stats.

Smith averaged 18.7 points per game, 3.3 rebounds per game, 2.9 assists per game and 2.1 steals per game last year. However, he scored 20 or more points five times in the tourney and averaged 22.3 points per game when it was all said and done.