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. 

Duke lands first commitment in 2017 class

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Alex O’Connell knew exactly where he wanted to play his college ball, which is why, just two days after picking up an offer from Coach K and the Blue Devils, he became Duke’s first recruit in the Class of 2017.

O’Connell announced the on twitter on Friday afternoon:

O’Connell is a four-star prospect from Georgia that had a terrific summer, going from being a borderline top 75 prospect to a player that caught the interest of Duke, who, along with Kentucky, sit atop the college recruiting hierarchy. He’s an explosively athletic and lanky 6-foot-6 wing with three-point range on his jumper. He needs to add some weight and some strength — he’s listed as a crisp 175 pounds — but he has the tools, and the swagger, to develop into a very effective player in the ACC.

Is he a one-and-done prospect?

Probably not. In fact, since 2010, Duke has landed just two players that were rated lower than O’Connell: Antonio Vrankovic and Jack White. If you know who both of them are, you’re probably either Jon Scheyer or lying.

But what O’Connell is is a kid who put in the work to get better this past year and who has the skill set, the physical tools and work ethic to continue to improve. He may not be on Grayson Allen’s trajectory, but O’Connell has the makings of being an impact player for the Blue Devils for three or four years.

Alex O'Connell (Jon Lopez/Nike)
Alex O’Connell (Jon Lopez/Nike)

Shaka Smart lands contract extension at Texas

Texas head coach Shaka Smart instructs his team in the first half of an NCAA college basketball game against Baylor on Monday, Feb. 1, 2016, in Waco, Texas. (AP Photo/Tony Gutierrez)
AP Photo/Tony Gutierrez
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Shaka Smart has already landed himself a contract extension at Texas.

The school, according to the Austin American-Statesman, has given Shaka a one-year extension — through the 2022-23 season — and bumped his salary up to a cool $3 million, a raise of $100,000 annually.

Smart’s Longhorns went 20-13 last season and lost on a half court buzzer beater from Northern Iowa’s Paul Jespersen. It will be tough for Smart to match the success that he had last season, specifically because he lost senior point guard Isaiah Taylor to the professional ranks.

That said, the former VCU head man has been reeling in quite a bit of talent from the state of Texas — namely, Andrew Jones and Jarrett Allen — and is not all that far from turning the Longhorns back into a relevant member of the Big 12 title race.

Arizona and Texas headline Lone Star Shootout

PROVIDENCE, RI - MARCH 17:  Head coach Sean Miller of the Arizona Wildcats reacts in the first half against the Wichita State Shockers during the first round of the 2016 NCAA Men's Basketball Tournament at Dunkin' Donuts Center on March 17, 2016 in Providence, Rhode Island.  (Photo by Jim Rogash/Getty Images)
Jim Rogash/Getty Images
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Another marquee, early season event is on the books for the college basketball season as four potential tournament teams will be squaring off at the Toyota Center in Houston on Dec. 17th.

The highlight of the double-header, which has been dubbed the Lone Star Shootout, will probably end up being Arizona vs. Texas A&M. The Wildcats are a Pac-12 contender and a borderline top 10 team as we enter the season, and while the Aggies will have work to do replacing the seniors they lost off of last season’s roster, they’re a borderline top 25 team.

The other matchup will feature a pair of former Southwest Conference rivals facing off in Texas and Arkansas. Texas will be talented but young while Arkansas may actually have the best player on the floor in Moses Kingsley. What will make this matchup interesting is that both Mike Anderson and Shaka Smart are known for being coaches that prefer a full court pressing system.

“We are extremely excited about the opportunity to play in front of our fans at the Toyota Center in Houston,” Texas head coach Shaka Smart said in a statement. “It is one of the most important areas in this state as it relates to our recruiting and fan base.

Five-star 2017 guard Lonnie Walker cuts list to five schools

Men's U18 trials head shots and team photo on 6.15.16
Bart Young/USA Basketball
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Five-star shooting guard Lonnie Walker is coming off of a very good summer as he trimmed his list to five schools on Thursday night.

The 6-foot-4 native of Reading, Pennsylvania is still considering Arizona, Kentucky, Miami, Syracuse and Villanova, he announced on Twitter.

Regarded as the No. 26 overall prospect in the Class of 2017, Walker played with Team Final in the Nike EYBL this spring and summer as he averaged 16.6 points, 4.7 rebounds and 3.0 assists per game. Walker shot 45 percent from the field, 39 percent from three-point range and 72 percent from the free-throw line.

An efficient scorer who is learning to drive with both hands, Walker is very talented and the type of guard who might also be able to handle a bit as well.

VIDEO: Jim Boeheim makes TV appearance to talk Carmelo Anthony

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Syracuse head coach Jim Boeheim has drawn attention for some recent comments about former Orange star Carmelo Anthony.

After Anthony captured his record third gold medal with USA Basketball, his former college coach told Mike Waters of the Syracuse Post-Standard that Anthony didn’t have a great chance at winning an NBA title.

“He’s unlikely to win an NBA title,” Boeheim said of Anthony. “He’s never been on a team that even had a remote chance of winning an NBA title.”

Boeheim maintains that he was speaking of Melo’s legacy being about more than an NBA title and that he’s one of the game’s greats thanks to other accomplishments like the Syracuse title and gold medals. On SportsCenter, Boeheim made sure to stress where those comments were coming from, while also making sure his kids would stop being mad at him.

It’s much easier to understand where Boeheim is coming from in this instance and it clears up something that will probably go away now.