Pat attention to these five names: Christian Standhardinger, Jordan Hamilton, Maalik Wayns, Reggie Johnson and Reeves Nelson. Luke Winn thinks those five college basketball players are poised for breakout sophomore seasons.
No, he didn’t just pull ’em out of a hat. He considered minutes played, possessions used and overall efficiency and ignored freshmen who played a ton of minutes. And those five candidates.
It’s similar to a 2008 story that ID’d Dar Tucker, LaceDarius Dunn, Austin Daye, Booker Woodfox and Corey Chandler as guys who would have big years. Tucker, Dunn and Woodfox all lived up to Winn’s prediction. Daye had a so-so season (though he was a first-round draft pick) and Chandler regressed (and was later dismissed from Rutgers).
This time around, Winn says there’s no obvious breakout pick such as Dunn, though I’d say Hamilton is the best bet. He’s a natural gunner who’ll likely be Texas’ leading scorer this season. Wayns’ stats might not be as gaudy as the others, but he’s certainly going to be a star.
As for a miss, I go Nelson. He may improve on his 11.1 ppg and 5.7 rpg an outing, but not by much. Malcolm Lee and Josh Smith will be UCLA’s main options. Reeves is just a supporting player despite his usage last season.