15 Way-Too-Early CBB Candidates for 2015 Naismith Trophy

Way-Too-Early CBB Candidates for 2015 Naismith Trophy

Marcus Paige Naismith
Mark L. Baer-USA TODAY Sports

A ton of talented players will no longer be storming the courts of college basketball in the 2014-15 season. However, there are still some very good players coming in and players who are ready to step up for their teams. So, let’s take a look at 15 way-too-early CBB candidates for the 2015 Naismith Trophy.

(Freshmen were not included on this list.)

Yogi Ferrell, Indiana

Yogi Ferrell Naismith
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Yogi Ferrell, Indiana

Yogi Ferrell Naismith
Mary Langenfeld-USA TODAY Sports

Yogi Ferrell did not get the national attention he deserved last season, but he put up great numbers regardless (17.3 PPG, 3.9 APG, 40 percent shooting from behind the arc).

Ferrell’s numbers skyrocketed last season and he even became a really good three-point shooter. He could be one of the more underrated players entering the season, but don’t expect that to last.

Aaron Harrison, Kentucky

Aaron Harrison Naismith
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Aaron Harrison, Kentucky

Aaron Harrison Naismith
Robert Deutsch-USA TODAY Sports

Spoiler alert: Aaron Harrison is the only Kentucky player on this list. After what he did in the 2014 NCAA tournament -- was clutch over and over again -- he should have a lot of hype entering the new season.

His brother will as well (Andrew), along with the rest of the team, but I think Aaron will lead the team in scoring this time around.

Tyler Haws, BYU

Tyler Haws Naismith
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Tyler Haws, BYU

Tyler Haws Naismith
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Tyler Haws averaged 23.2 points per game last season. He will definitely be in the talks for the Naismith entering the 2014-15 season.

Branden Dawson, Michigan State

Branden Dawson Naismith
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Branden Dawson, Michigan State

Branden Dawson Naismith
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Michigan State is losing its fair share of talent, but Branden Dawson will be back. Dawson has the talent to be one of the best players in the Big Ten. That will naturally draw him a lot of attention.

Montrezl Harrell, Louisville

Montrezl Harrell Naismith
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Montrezl Harrell, Louisville

Montrezl Harrell Naismith
David Manning-USA TODAY Sports

With Russ Smith no longer on the team, Montrezl Harrell should lead the Cardinals in scoring. He averaged 14 points per game and 8.4 rebounds per game this past season, but it will be interesting to see how he does in the ACC.

Frank Kaminsky, Wisconsin

Frank Kaminsky Naismith
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Frank Kaminsky, Wisconsin

Frank Kaminsky Naismith
Robert Hanashiro-USA TODAY Sports

Frank Kaminsky went unnoticed for a good portion of the 2013-14 season. However, he got everyone’s attention in the dance by dropping 28 points and 11 rebounds on the Arizona Wildcats.

He will not be underrated entering the new season.

Ryan Boatright, Connecticut

Ryan Boatright Naismith
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Ryan Boatright, Connecticut

Ryan Boatright Naismith
Bob Donnan-USA TODAY Sports

One Connecticut player had to make this list. After all, the Huskies did win the title this past year. Well, Ryan Boatright is a good candidate. He was great in the dance and although Shabazz Napier naturally got the most credit, Boatright was a key piece of the team. He will be even more important in 2014-15.

Jerian Grant, Notre Dame

Jerian Grant Naismith
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Jerian Grant, Notre Dame

Jerian Grant Naismith
Joe Camporeale-USA TODAY Sports

Yes, Jerian Grant is back on the Notre Dame Fighting Irish. He averaged 19 points per game and 6.2 assists per game in just 12 games last season. A similar performance throughout the 2014-15 season will have a lot of attention surrounding him.

Georges Niang, Iowa State

Georges Niang Naismith
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Georges Niang, Iowa State

Georges Niang Naismith
Kevin Jairaj-USA TODAY Sports

Melvin Ejim and DeAndre Kane are no longer on the team, but Georges Niang will be back. Some said he was the best player on the team this past season. That is saying a lot since Ejim was the Big 12 Player of the Year. Regardless, Niang managed to average 16.7 points per game, 4.5 rebounds per game and 3.6 assists per game.

Fred VanVleet, Wichita State

Fred VanVleet Naismith
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Fred VanVleet, Wichita State

Fred VanVleet Naismith
Scott Rovak-USA TODAY Sports

Fred VanVleet meant so much to the Shockers this season and he will mean even more to them next season. Cleanthony Early is no longer on the team, but great play from VanVleet should keep them relevant, and VanVleet in the Naismith talk.

Sam Dekker, Wisconsin

Sam Dekker Naismith
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Sam Dekker, Wisconsin

Sam Dekker Naismith
Kevin Jairaj-USA TODAY Sports

Sam Dekker is the best player on Wisconsin in my book. He still isn’t quite the star that he could be, but I am expecting him to turn into one in the upcoming season. Wisconsin will be a great team and Dekker and Kaminsky will stay in the national spotlight all season long because of that.

Marcus Paige, North Carolina

Marcus Paige Naismith
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Marcus Paige, North Carolina

Marcus Paige Naismith
Rich Barnes-USA TODAY Sports

Marcus Paige averaged 17.5 points per game, 3.2 rebounds per game and 4.2 assists per game in year two for the North Carolina Tar Heels. He will easily be one of the best players in the country in his junior season.

Kevin Pangos, Gonzaga

Kevin Pangos Naismith
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Kevin Pangos, Gonzaga

Kevin Pangos Naismith
James Snook-USA TODAY Sports

Kevin Pangos will be one of the best three-point shooters in college hoops next season. He did shoot 41.2 percent from deep this season and made 84 threes in the process. Being completely healthy will be huge for him.

Chasson Randle, Stanford

Chasson Randle Naismith
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Chasson Randle, Stanford

Chasson Randle Naismith
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Stanford should have a good team once again and Chasson Randle should be a lethal scorer once again as well. This past season, he averaged 18.8 points per game.

Buddy Hield, Oklahoma

Buddy Hield Naismith
Kevin Jairaj-USA TODAY Sports

Buddy Hield, Oklahoma

Buddy Hield Naismith
Kevin Jairaj-USA TODAY Sports

Buddy Hield didn’t get a whole lot of attention this past season, but he has the talent to get a whole lot more in the 2014-15 season. He is easily one of the best players returning to the Big 12 Conference.

Trevor Lowry is a Senior Writer and Copy Editor at RantSports.com. If you’re a tweeter feel free to follow him @TheTrevorLowry or add him to your network on Google.

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