Michael Snaer, Ian Miller

Position Rankings: Ranking the 20 best shooting guards

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Throughout the month of October, CollegeBasketballTalk will be rolling out our previews for the 2012-2013 season. Check back at 9 a.m. and just after lunch every day, Monday-Friday, for a new preview item.

To browse through the preview posts we’ve already published, click here. To look at the rest of the Top 25, click here. For a schedule of our previews for the month, click here.

Yesterday we took a lot at some of the nation’s best point guards. This list focuses on the point guard’s sidekick, the shooting guard. While “shooting” is a part of their game, the best find a way to help their teams in a variety of ways. Here’s a look at some of the nation’s best.

The Top 10

1. Shabazz Muhammad (UCLA)
There’s still the major question whether or not the NCAA will clear Muhammad for competition, but there’s no denying the fact that he’s one of the most talented players in the country. The southpaw is extremely difficult to stop in the open court, and he’ll add a much-needed dimension to the UCLA attack.

2. Michael Snaer (Florida State)
Snaer may be the best perimeter defender in the country, and he’s also the Seminoles’ primary scoring option. As a junior Snaer averaged 14.0 points per game, shooting 43.6% from the field and 40.4% from beyond the arc.

3. C.J. McCollum (Lehigh) 
Look for McCollum to get some more work at the point for the Mountain Hawks, and that 30-point showing against Duke was simply the latest example of what happens when he gets rolling. The reigning Patriot League Player of the Year averaged 21.9 points, 6.5 rebounds and 3.5 assists per game in 2011-12.

4. B.J. Young (Arkansas)
If the Razorbacks return to the NCAA tournament Young will be a big reason why. One of the best freshmen in the SEC last season, Young scored 15.3 points per game, shooting 50.4% from the field and 41.3% from three.

5. Archie Goodwin (Kentucky)
Goodwin, like classmate Muhammad, is an absolute handful when he makes up his mind to attack the rim. He’s Kentucky’s best perimeter scorer, and that was the case before Goodwin’s 32-point showing in the Blue-White Scrimmage.

6. Rodney McGruder (Kansas State)
McGruder was a second team All-Big 12 selection last season, averaging 15.8 points and 5.2 rebounds per game. McGruder shot 46.3% from the field and 38.5% from three in 2011-12.

7. Michael Dixon Jr. (Missouri) 
Dixon Jr. is more of a point guard when projecting to the next level, but the presence of Phil Pressey leads to him playing off the ball more often than not. Currently suspended indefinitely, Dixon Jr. averaged 13.5 points per game and shot 48.7% from the field as a junior.

8. Tim Hardaway Jr. (Michigan)
Hardaway Jr. teams up with Trey Burke to form one of the nation’s best backcourt duos. As a sophomore Hardaway Jr. averaged 14.6 points per game and shot 41.7% from the field. If he can boost that three-point percentage (28.3%) this season, Hardaway can raise that scoring average a few points.

9. Allen Crabbe (California) 
Crabbe is arguably the best returning shooting guard in the Pac-12, coming off of a season in which he averaged 15.2 points per game and was a first team All-Pac-12 selection. Crabbe shot 43.1% from the field and 39.9% from three while also grabbing 5.7 rebounds per game.

10. Sean Kilpatrick (Cincinnati)
Kilpatrick is poised for a breakout campaign after a solid 2011-12, in which he averaged 14.3 points and 4.6 rebounds per game. With Dion Dixon (13.0 ppg) gone there are more shots to be had on the perimeter for the Bearcats, and Kilpatrick is a prime candidate for increased scoring opportunities.

The Best of the Rest

11. Kenny Boynton (Florida) 

12. Kentavious Caldwell-Pope (Georgia) 

13. Colt Ryan (Evansville) 

14. Rodney Purvis (NC State)

15. Trent Lockett (Marquette)

16. Jerian Grant (Notre Dame)

17. DeAndre Kane (Marshall) 

18. Gary Harris (Michigan State)

19. Victor Oladipo (Indiana)

20. Khalif Wyatt (Temple) 

20 Others: Gary Bell (Gonzaga), Keion Bell (Missouri), Drew Crawford (Northwestern), Seth Curry (Duke), Jud Dillard (Tennessee Tech), Kevin Foster (Santa Clara), Langston Galloway (St. Joseph’s), Ramon Galloway (La Salle), Shane Gibson (Sacred Heart), Preston Medlin (Utah State), Brandon Paul (Illinois), Steven Pledger (Oklahoma), Chasson Randle (Stanford), Devon Saddler (Delaware), Durand Scott (Miami), Trevis Simpson (UNC Greensboro), Chase Tapley (San Diego State), Brandon Triche (Syracuse), C.J. Wilcox (Washington), Trey Zeigler (Pittsburgh).

Raphielle is also the assistant editor at CollegeHoops.net and can be followed on Twitter at @raphiellej. 

Brunson scores 18 points, No. 8 Villanova beats Stanford

Jalen Brunson
Associated Press
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NEW YORK (AP) Villanova struggled to score and rebound on Thursday night.

The Wildcats’ defense was good enough to still get a win.

No. 8 Villanova compensated for offensive and rebounding struggles by forcing 23 turnovers in a 59-45 victory over Stanford in the semifinals of the NIT Season Tipoff.

“We played pretty good defense but couldn’t rebound with them,” Villanova coach Jay Wright said. “It was one of those nights we couldn’t make shots but hung in there defensively. Their rebounding was almost a difference maker but thank God it wasn’t.”

The Wildcats (5-0) advanced to face Georgia Tech in the championship game Friday.

Villanova won despite shooting 30.6 percent and getting outrebounded by a 55-35 margin against an opponent starting three players 6-foot-8 or taller. The Wildcats started one player taller than 6-6 but compensated for the size differential by holding Stanford to 26 percent from the floor.

“I didn’t think it would be this ugly on the boards but if we could have made a couple of shots it might not have been as ugly,” Wright said. “But I was proud the guys really grinded defensively.”

Freshman Jalen Brunson was one of few Wildcats not to struggle offensively and scored a career-high 18 points. Josh Hart added 10 points but was 4-for-13 shooting and combined with Ryan Arcidiacono to shoot 6 of 24, including 1 of 15 from 3-point range.

“I was doing what I always do,” Brunson said. “I try to play aggressive all the time. I saw they were backing off me a little bit so there is time for me to shoot and time for me to make other plays.”

Leading scorer Marcus Allen had 12 points but was 3 for 12 for Stanford (2-3). Dorian Pickens added 11 points and 10 rebounds.

Stanford lost its third straight by double digits and will face Arkansas in the consolation game. The Cardinal missed their first 15 shots of the game and their first eight attempts of the second half while falling behind by 16.

Stanford was within seven on a basket by Reid Travis with 6:34 remaining, but Villanova scored the next six points and finished the game with a 13-6 run.

“They’re a very good defensive team, they’re active and they made a lot of plays,” Stanford coach Johnny Dawkins said. “The thing we did most was we turned the ball over 23 times, so that was disappointing.”


Villanova: Seven of Villanova’s school-record 33 wins came in New York last season. The Wildcats won twice in the Legends Classic at Barclays Center, beat St. John’s and Illinois during the regular season at Madison Square Garden and won three games there for the Big East Tournament championship. … Guards Arcidiacono and Hart combined to miss their first 11 3-point attempts. Arcidiacono came into the game shooting 44 percent from 3-point range while Hart entered at 45 percent. … Darryl Reynolds tied a career high with 19 minutes, getting most of those in the second half after Daniel Ochefu picked up his fourth foul.

Stanford: Thursday was Stanford’s 13th game in New York since 2011-12. Last year, the Cardinal appeared in the Coaches vs. Cancer Classic, beating UNLV and losing to eventual national champion Duke. … Stanford faced Villanova for the second time. The other meeting was a 96-70 Cardinal loss on Dec. 23, 1970. … Stanford missed 12 layups and tip-ins during the first half. … Allen hit his head on the court trying to deflect the ball on a layup by Hart. Dawkins said Allen was a little dizzy but didn’t think the junior would miss any time.


Villanova: Georgia Tech in the championship game on Friday.

Stanford: Arkansas in the consolation game on Friday.

Justin Robinson, Monmouth knock off No. 17 Notre Dame

King Rice
Associated Press
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Less than two weeks after they opened their season with an upset win at UCLA, Monmouth picked up its first-ever win over a team ranked in the AP Top 25.

Two Justin Robinson free throws with 3.6 seconds remaining proved to be the difference as King Rice’s Hawks upset No. 17 Notre Dame at the Advocare Invitational in Orlando, and the diminutive point guard was a problem for the Fighting Irish all night.

Robinson scored 22 points, with 14 of them coming from the foul line as Notre Dame’s guards struggled to keep the quick guard contained off the dribble. He was one of three Hawks to score in double figures, and their combination of depth and athleticism proved problematic for Mike Brey’s team. All five Notre Dame starters scored in double figures, with Demetrius Jackson’s 20 leading the way, but the lack of depth proved problematic as the game wore on.

Notre Dame didn’t get a single point from its bench, with Matt Farrell and Matt Ryan combining to play 28 minutes. That lack of depth not only cost Notre Dame Thursday night, but it’s something they’ll have to figure out if they’re to be a contender in the ACC. Jackson and Steve Vasturia ran into foul trouble against Monmouth, and the lack of a bench option capable of picking up the slack led to Monmouth building up a ten-point lead in the second half.

Notre Dame tried to account for that by slowing down the tempo, but in doing so they struggled to find quality looks against the Monmouth defense. And given the players at Rice’s disposal, it’s tough to slow the game down against a team that can get after you on both ends of the floor.

Monmouth entered this season with expectations of contending for a MAAC title alongside the likes of perennial favorites Iona and Manhattan, and their start to the season backs up that belief. With two players in Robinson and Deon Jones who have earned all-conference honors during their careers and a host of contributors that includes guards Je’lon Hornbeak and Micah Seaborn, this is a group to keep an eye on as the season wears on.

Because if they can earn a bid, Monmouth’s non-conference schedule will have them prepared for the NCAA tournament.