Aug 26, 2013, 1:28 PM EST
One of the my favorite columns of the year comes every August from Luke Winn, who has managed to put together a formula that he uses to predict which freshman will have breakout seasons as sophomores based on a formula: high-usage rates, efficient production, and limited minutes in their first year on campus.
This year’s crop features three big men that were quite promising when they saw the floor last season, a couple of under-the-radar forwards from low profile teams and Sam Dekker, a former McDonald’s all-american that now plays at Wisconsin.
There’s not much to disagree with on Winn’s list, but there are a couple of other names worth mentioning here.
The first is Louisville big man Montrezl Harrell. Harrell played limited minutes behind Gorgui Dieng last season, but with the big fella off to the NBA, the former Virginia Tech-signee has had a whole bunch of minutes open up for him. Harrell was quite impressive in short stretches during Louisville’s run to the national title last season, averaging 5.7 points and 3.6 boards, and carried that over to the summer, as he was one of the best players on Team USA’s U19 team that played in the Czech Republic.
He’s big, he’s strong, he’s athletic and he plays hard. Harrell doesn’t have a ton of moves on the block and he’s not the passer that Dieng was, but he’ll rebound and block shots and finish off breaks in transition. I expect Harrell to have a big year and be a constant source of energy for Rick Pitino.
Another player that I liked last season was Cal freshman Ty Wallace. A lanky, 6-foot-4 guard, Wallace averaged 7.2 points, 4.4 boards and 2.6 assists despite sharing the perimeter with Allen Crabbe and Justin Cobbs. Crabbe’s off to the NCAA and Cobbs is dealing with a broken foot. The opportunity is there for Wallace to step in and make a major impact this season, and I expect him to take advantage of it.
Neither of those guys fit into Winn’s formula, but you’d be hard-pressed to find someone outside of Louisville and Berkeley that doesn’t think they can have a big year as a sophomore.
Besides, Winn’s formula isn’t perfect.
- Two losses in a row? Three in 11 days? Oh well. Don’t give up on Kansas just yet 1
- College Basketball Talk’s Ten Most Disappointing Players 0
- College Basketball Talk’s Player of the Year Power Rankings 2
- College Basketball Talk’s Top 20 Most Improved Players 2
- College Hoops Week in Review: Wisconsin’s for real, and so is Chaz Williams 1
- Professor at center of UNC’s academic fraud case to face felony charges (8)
- No. 1 Michigan State’s loss to North Carolina: Injuries, or sign of a bigger issue? (5)
- Weekend Preview: Kentucky-Baylor, a trio of in-state rivalry games (3)
- Turnovers, rebounding woes plague No. 3 Kentucky again (3)
- Duke doesn’t need Rasheed Sulaimon if they have three guys that fit into a role (2)