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Best Player For Each Top 25 NCAA Basketball Team

Naming the Best Player For Each Top 25 NCAA Basketball Team

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The 2014-15 college basketball season has officially tipped off and we are in for another amazing season. The initial Top-25 rankings were released this Monday and there aren't too many surprises for the most part. However, as we all know, these rankings will look a bit different by the time we get around to March Madness. With that being said, let's take a look at the best player on each Top-25 team for this season.

25. Delon Wright - PG - University of Utah

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25. Delon Wright - PG - University of Utah

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Delon Wright, the younger brother of the Portland Trail Blazers' Dorell Wright, is a triple-double threat every time he steps foot on the court. Additionally, he is one of the best two-way guards in the country, as he has excellent on-the-ball defensive skills to complement his offensive proficiency. He should easily improve on his stats of 15.5 PPG, 5.3 APG, 6.8 RPG and 2.5 SPG from last season.

24. Caris LeVert - SG - University of Michigan

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24. Caris LeVert - SG - University of Michigan

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Now that Nik Stauskas has left Ann Arbor to learn the NBA ropes with the Sacramento Kings, the Michigan offense will start and end with Caris LeVert. His 2012-13 numbers of 12.9 PPG, 4.3 RPG, 2.9 APG and 1.2 SPG should see the same significant increase experienced by former Michigan guards such as Darius Morris, Trey Burke and the aforementioned Stauskas. He is a perfect candidate to explode in the John Beilein offense.

23. Trevor Cooney - SG - Syracuse University

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23. Trevor Cooney - SG - Syracuse University

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Even though there is a lot of excitement about incoming freshman PG Kaleb Joseph, Trevor Cooney is the only returning Syracuse player who averaged more than six points per game last season. He proved to be an extremely aggressive shooter as he launched 240 3-pointers last season, and that number may actually go up this season. Cooney will be heavily relied on to pick up the scoring slack now that Tyler Ennis, C.J. Fair and Jerami Grant are gone.

22. Nic Moore - PG - Southern Methodist University

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22. Nic Moore - PG - Southern Methodist University

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If elite high school phenom Emmanuel Mudiay didn't decide to pass on his commitment to SMU and take his talents to China for one year, then it would be him featured for this spot. However, Nic Moore is a very talented player in his own right. Last season, he averaged 13.6 PPG, 4.9 APG, 2.3 RPG and 1.5 SPG while shooting an impressive 43.6 percent from beyond the arc. He will be the top scoring option once again for the Mustangs.

21. Terran Petteway - SG - University of Nebraska

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21. Terran Petteway - SG - University of Nebraska

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As the defending Big 12 scoring champion and a favorite for this year's Big 12 Player of the Year award, Terran Petteway is the heart, soul and leader of the Cornhuskers. Not only is an excellent wing defender, but he has a great chance to improve on his 18.1 PPG, 4.8 RPG and 1.6 APG from last season.

20. D'Angelo Russell - SG - Ohio State University

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20. D'Angelo Russell - SG - Ohio State University

d'angelo russell ohio state buckeyes sg shooting guard
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This highly touted freshman is walking onto the Ohio State campus with a lot of fanfare and pressure. As an All-American senior at Montverde Academy, he averaged 19.3 PPG, 4.7 APG and 3.6 RPG. He excels at scoring from the perimeter and off of the dribble with a smooth array of moves. Due to the fact that Ohio State has lost their top three scorers from last year, Russell will be called on to provide an offensive lift for them immediately.

19. Buddy Hield - SG - University of Oklahoma

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19. Buddy Hield - SG - University of Oklahoma

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Last season, Buddy Hield proved to be a perfect fit for Lon Kruger's run-and-gun offense, as he finished with averages of 16.5 PPG, 4.4 RPG, 1.9 APG and 1.4 SPG. The significant improvement seen from him was his dramatic increase in 3-pointers made. He made 90 of them last year after only making 19 as a freshman. This season, Kruger expects him to display a greater balance between slashing and shooting, which will result in more improvement.

18. Branden Dawson - PF - Michigan State University

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18. Branden Dawson - PF - Michigan State University

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Last season, on a loaded team with Adreian Payne, Keith Appling and Gary Harris, Branden Dawson averaged 11.2 PPG, 8.3 RPG and 1.6 APG. This included a six-game stretch of averaging 17.5 PPG before the Spartans lost to the eventual National Champion UConn Huskies in last year's Elite Eight. Now, as the clear top offensive option, Dawson has a chance to be an All Big-10 player.

17. Ryan Boatright - PG - University of Connecticut

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17. Ryan Boatright - PG - University of Connecticut

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Playing the role of Robin to Shabazz Napier's Batman last season, Ryan Boatright proved to be an excellent fit and was a key component to UConn's National Championship run. Napier has now moved on to the NBA and the keys to the UConn offense have officially been handed to Boatright. He is a lock to improve on his 12.1 PPG, 3.4 APG, 3.5 RPG and 1.6 SPG from last season. Additionally, he returns with the same lockdown defense he showed last year.

16. Winston Shepard - SF - San Diego State University

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16. Winston Shepard - SF - San Diego State University

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With 2013-14 stats of 11.6 PPG, 4.9 RPG, 2.1 APG, Winston Shepard returns for his junior year as San Diego State's top scorer. While some may justifiably argue that Dwayne Polee II may have more scoring upside, it doesn't make him a better player than Shepard. This is mostly due to the Shepard's stellar defense and his ability to guard multiple positions with great effectiveness.

15. Treveon Graham - SF - Virginia Commonwealth University

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15. Treveon Graham - SF - Virginia Commonwealth University

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While it's true that VCU loves to generate easy baskets in transition after getting steals from press defense, their go-to guy for half court sets for the last two seasons has been Treveon Graham. The 6-foot-6 wing player excels at attacking the basket, and also possesses a good shooting touch as well. He will have no problem reproducing or improving on his 15.8 PPG, 7.0 RPG and 2.0 APG from last year.

14. Georges Niang - PF - Iowa State University

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14. Georges Niang - PF - Iowa State University

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Last year, Georges Niang was a part of one of college basketball's best scoring trios with DeAndre Kane and Melvin Ejim. However, all of that will be different this year, as Kane and Ejim have both graduated and Niang will have full control of the Iowa State offense. He should improve on the 16.7 PPG, 4.5 RPG and 3.6 APG that he produced last year. Additionally, the 25 pounds of fat that he lost will help his efforts for this season.

13. Kevin Pangos - PG - Gonzaga University

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13. Kevin Pangos - PG - Gonzaga University

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The pride of Newmarket, Ontario enters this season as a potential All-American candidate for the Gonzaga Bulldogs. He averaged 14.4 PPG, 3.6 APG, 3.3 RPG and 1.0 SPG last season while dealing with nagging injuries the entire way. Kevin Pangos even admitted that he was playing at 60 percent last season. Therefore, coming into 2014-15 at 100 percent, Pangos will become a household name as one of the best scoring guards in the country.

12. JayVaughn Pinkston - PF - Villanova University

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12. JayVaughn Pinkston - PF - Villanova University

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Despite 44.8 percent of Villanova's shots being three pointers last year, JayVaughn Pinkston was still able to do his thing as their rock-solid low post presence. He averaged 14.1 PPG, 6.1 RPG and 1.4 APG while shooting a very respectable 74.4 percent from the free throw line. Now entering his senior season, he will look to remain the model of consistency for Villanova while improving his numbers and making a run at Big East Player of the Year.

11. Ron Baker - SG - Wichita State University

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11. Ron Baker - SG - Wichita State University

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Last season, Ron Baker proved that he was much more than the knock-down shooter that he was recruited to be. He proved to be a very capable on-the-ball defender and can fill passing lanes very well with his length. Additionally, he was used as a point guard whenever Fred VanVleet was out of the game. Look for him to improve on his 13.1 PPG, 3.8 RPG, 3.1 APG and 1.4 SPG from last year as a jack of all trades shooting guard.

10. Jonathan Holmes - PF - University of Texas

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10. Jonathan Holmes - PF - University of Texas

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With averages of 12.8 PPG, 7.2 RPG and 1.3 BPG last season, Jonathan Holmes provided an unexpected amount of productivity and leadership for the Longhorns. Not only did he display good rebounding and shot blocking ability, but he also showed an ability to hit the pick-and-pop jumper. Due to this, and the arrival of super freshman Myles Turner, Holmes may have to move to the SF position this season. Luckily, this won't have a negative effect.

9. Malcolm Brogdon - SG - University of Virginia

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9. Malcolm Brogdon - SG - University of Virginia

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With averages of 12.7 PPG, 5.4 RPG, 2.7 APG and 1.2 SPG last year, Malcolm Brogdon was the leading scorer for a Virginia team that took the nation by surprise. Brogdon's emergence surprised many fans as well since he was out the previous year recovering from foot surgery. Entering this season as a stronger blip on the radar, Brogdon will continue to lead the way for Virginia with an impressive amount of scoring despite UVA's sloth-like game pace.

8. Montrezl Harrell - PF - University of Louisville

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8. Montrezl Harrell - PF - University of Louisville

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Montrezl Harrell surprised everyone by announcing that he would return to Louisville for his junior year rather than head off to the NBA. His presence alone makes the Cardinals a Final Four threat, as Harrell may be the most overpowering big man in the country. He's a strong finisher at the rim who also runs the floor very well. His 2013-14 numbers of 14.0 PPG, 8.4 RPG and 1.3 BPG improve significantly due to increased usage.

7. Kasey Hill - PG - University of Florida

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7. Kasey Hill - PG - University of Florida

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Kasey Hill entered Florida as a top three high school PG in the country. Unfortunately for Hill, Scottie Wilbekin was already the established starting PG and Hill would have to wait his turn to have full control of the offense. His turn starts this season and all signs point towards a dramatic improvement to his 5.5 PPG, 3.1 APG, 2.0 RPG and 1.2 SPG from last year. His NBA-caliber upside will now be on full display in his first year as a starter.

6. Marcus Paige - PG - University of North Carolina

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6. Marcus Paige - PG - University of North Carolina

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As a highly-touted HS prospect, Marcus Paige entered the college basketball scene with a bang, as he was named to the ACC All-Freshman team. He followed that up with a sophomore season where he averaged 17.5 PPG and was selected for the All-ACC first team. He now enters this year as North Carolina's undisputed leader and is a threat to lead the ACC in scoring. He is also a Naismith Player of the Year candidate.

5. Perry Ellis - PF - University of Kansas

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5. Perry Ellis - PF - University of Kansas

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Even though Andrew Wiggins, Joel Embiid and Wayne Selden received all of the hype as talented freshmen, it was Ellis who provided stability, leadership and clutch buckets for the Jayhawks when needed. He is a very skilled and versatile scorer with an array of slippery moves to get to the basket. It's a guarantee for him to increase his numbers of 13.5 PPG, 6.7 RPG and 1.0 APG from last season. In fact, he may threaten to average 18-plus PPG.

4. Jahlil Okafor - C - Duke University

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4. Jahlil Okafor - C - Duke University

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Touted as the next great big man and listed as the top HS player, Jahlil Okafor would most likely have entered the NBA Draft if allowed. He finished his senior season at Whitney Young HS in Chicago with averages of 24.1 PPG and 11.3 RPG while making it look effortless. Entering his first season at Duke, and without Jabari Parker and Rodney Hood, Okafor will be the main offensive focus and may reproduce his HS numbers even as freshman.

3. Frank Kaminsky - C - University of Wisconsin

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3. Frank Kaminsky - C - University of Wisconsin

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Before last season, Frank Kaminsky was an afterthought who could only manage 4.2 PPG and 1.8 RPG. However, his game experienced a meteoric rise last year as he averaged 13.9 PPG, 6.3 RPG, 1.3 APG and 1.7 BPG. Additionally, his outstanding play led the Badgers to the Final Four and they are seen as serious National Championship contenders this season. Kaminsky is also a potential National Player of the Year candidate.

2. Stanley Johnson - SG - University of Arizona

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2. Stanley Johnson - SG - University of Arizona

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As a senior in high school, Johnson averaged 25.1 PPG, 8.1 RPG, 3.3 APG and 2.5 SPG. This had him listed behind only Jahlil Okafor on most high school ranking lists. Therefore, and based on talent alone, he is arguably the best wing player in the country already. He can score in a myriad of ways and can defend every position on the floor. While Brandon Ashley and Rondae Hollis-Jefferson are talented as well, Johnson is the top dog for Arizona.

1. Karl Towns - C - University of Kentucky

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1. Karl Towns - C - University of Kentucky

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Mark Zerof-USA TODAY Sports

Many experts would argue that this distinction should go to one of the Harrison Twins or Alex Poythress. However, as a legitimate candidate to challenge Jahlil Okafor as the top NBA prospect for the 2015 draft, Towns is truly the big man on campus, even as a freshman. He won't repeat his HS senior year stats of 20.9 PPG, 13.4 RPG and 6.2 BPG, but he may come closer than some may predict. He is truly a five-tool big man and an NPOY threat.





Roje Smith is a Fantasy Sports writer for RantSports.com. Follow him on Twitter @RoKnowsDFS, “Like” him on Facebook or add him to your network on Google.

The 2014-15 college basketball season has officially tipped off and these are the best players for each Top-25 team.

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