Denard Robinson zigged and zagged and generally out-ran people over the weekend, bursting onto the scene in his first game as a sophomore after a mostly nondescript freshman season. He ran for 197 yards and passed for 186 more. Now my colleague Dennis Dodd has Michigan's dual-threat quarterback listed as a serious Heisman Trophy candidate, and suddenly the upcoming Notre Dame-Michigan game is must-see television.
It's all so predictably unpredictable.
|John Henson is an elite prospect with endless potential. (Getty Images)|
Here are five possibilities (in alphabetical order):
1. Kim English (Missouri)
English will be the leading scorer for a school that'll be ranked in every relevant preseason poll, which means he should get more attention than he did when he averaged a team-best 14.0 points per game last season. If so, that'll be a good thing for the NCAA because this Baltimore native is a well-rounded individual who doesn't make you roll your eyes at the term student-athlete. He's smart and funny, mature and way more than just a basketball player, proof being how he once, on Twitter, analyzed Rudyard Kipling's classic poem If and applied it to the modern college basketball players' life. Like I said, English is not your typical Big 12 star. That's why it'll be great if he develops into a nationally relevant star.
2. John Henson (North Carolina)
Henson was a much better prospect than player as a freshman, but he should break through this season now that Deon Thompson and Ed Davis have left and thus cleared the way for the 6-10 forward to play around the rim. I'm not sure Henson will average a double-double, but I'm sure he'll record a bunch of them and help the Tar Heels return to the NCAA tournament after last season's debacle.
3. Scotty Hopson (Tennessee)
Hopson is the lone top 10 national recruit from Scout.com's Class of 2009 rankings who isn't already in the NBA, which should serve as a wakeup call for the sometimes-great/sometimes-average wing. A consistent effort is all anybody has ever asked of Hopson. If he shows it he could take advantage of a weak draft class and solidify himself as a 2011 lottery pick.
4. Kris Joseph (Syracuse)
Joseph is the leading returning scorer from a Syracuse team that spent time ranked No. 1 last season, and his increased role should mean even bigger numbers than the 10.8 points and 5.5 rebounds per game he averaged as a reserve. The Orange are going to miss Wesley Johnson and Andy Rautins, no doubt. But Joseph is good enough to make Jim Boeheim not miss them so much.
5. Jon Leuer (Wisconsin)
Leuer averaged 15.4 points and 5.8 rebounds for a team that spent much of last season ranked, so he's already obviously pretty good. But the 6-10 forward remains mostly unheralded outside of the Big Ten. Expect that to change if the Badgers somehow challenge Purdue and Michigan State at the top of the league standings and return to the NCAA Tournament for the 10th consecutive season under Bo Ryan.