Jon Rothstein of CBS Sports Network put together a very good list of ten mid-major guards that college basketball fans should keep an eye on in 2012-13.
Quite a few of the names on the list are well-known by now, with Murray State’s Isaiah Canaan being at the top of the list.
Outside of where Lehigh’s C.J. McCollum is ranked (7th), it’s difficult to be upset about any of Rothstein’s selections.
But there are a few other guards to keep an eye on in 2012-13 who didn’t make the list, and here are five of them.
1. Momo Jones (Iona)
Jones can be a bit erratic at times when it comes to decision-making but with Scott Machado moving on the rising senior has to play well if the Gaels are to take that next step and win the MAAC’s automatic bid.
There’s also the loss of Michael Glover to account for, which should open up even more scoring opportunities for Jones.
The one question heading into next season could be the assist-to-turnover ratio (1.3), but he shot 46% from the field while averaging 15.7 points per game.
2.Laurent Rivard (Harvard)
Rivard’s scored in double figures in each of his first two seasons at Harvard, averaging 10.1 points per game last season as the Crimson made their first NCAA appearance since 1946.
Rivard shot 45% from the field and 41% from three in 2011-12, and with Oliver McNally moving on he should see a boost in his playing time as well (25.8 mpg last season).
3. Four McGlynn (Vermont)
McGlynn averaged 12.0 points per game despite starting just one game for the Catamounts, who won the America East tournament before falling to North Carolina in the NCAA tournament.
The one issue for McGlynn could be the fact that the Catamounts return all their key backcourt contributors from last season, so he may very well be asked to come off the bench again. But as McGlynn showed last season, being the first man off the bench isn’t a bad gig either.
4. Alzee Williams (North Texas)
Williams returned from a knee injury that robbed him of 2011-12 to average 10.5 points and 3.4 rebounds per game for a team that fell one game short of the NCAA tournament.
The Dallas native reached double figures in each of the final ten games of the season for the Mean Green, and the return of Tony Mitchell up front should continue to open things up for Williams and company.
And having a new head coach in Tony Benford who comes from a Marquette program that consistently put its guards in position to make plays is another possible benefit for Williams.
5. Kareem Jamar (Montana)
Rothstein has Jamar’s teammate Will Cherry on the “Five on the Brink” list and rightfully so as Cherry is one of the top defensive guards in the western United States. But don’t sleep on Jamar either, as he averaged 13.6 points, 5.6 rebounds and 3.7 assists per game for the Big Sky champions.
In nearly 35 minutes of action Jamar shot 47% from the field and 44% from three, and there’s room for growth as well. With Weber State’s Damian Lillard entering the NBA Draft Montana will be the preseason favorite to win the league. And a versatile player like Jamar to count on it’s going to be tough for anyone to dethrone them.
My Miss: Anthony Ireland (Loyola Marymount)
Yeah, Ireland should have been on this list. A big reason why Max Good’s Lions won 21 games last season, Ireland averaged 16.1 points and 4.9 assists per game. Along with Matthew Dellavedova (Saint Mary’s) and Elias Harris (Gonzaga), look for the junior point guard to be a preseason favorite for WCC Player of the Year.
Raphielle is also the assistant editor at CollegeHoops.net and can be followed on Twitter at @raphiellej.