Are Nick Faust and DeAndre Daniels ready for starring roles?


Your typical list of breakout players for the 2012-13 college hoops season usually looks something like this. Or it goes player-by-player. It’s guys like James Michael McAdoo, B.J. Young, Michael Carter-Williams or Wayne Blackshear.

So it’s nice when you see a list like this that tries to spotlight the players who aren’t quite obvious picks. But that also means they’re guys whose game needs some work.

Take UConn swingman DeAndre Daniels.

He was one of the prized last-season recruits, touted as a mid-range guy who could possibly start or provide consistent scoring off the bench. When he and Andre Drummond  committed to the Huskies, it was going to give them depth and talent. Except Daniels never adjusted to the college game’s speed, couldn’t hit any shots and played poor defense (not uncommon on last year’s Huskies).

He’ll certainly play more and he’s reportedly been working on his game. And he did have off-court distractions last season, which are now resolved. If he averages 13 points a game, that’d be a massive jump. And a surprise.

Same goes for Maryland’s Nick Faust.

His offensive rating (86.8) was similar to Daniels, but Faust was on the court far more often. He’ll also get more shots (Terrell Stoglin’s not around to chuck it up), but one would think Faust’s learning curve won’t be as steep as Daniels. In fact, given how Faust closed the season (13.4 ppg in his last nine games) mixed with his impressive size (6-6) and defensive ability make him a prime candidate for a big bump.

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