Top 30 breakout players

by | College Basketball Insider

James Michael McAdoo, left, and Reggie Bullock will breakout at UNC this season. (Getty Images)  
James Michael McAdoo, left, and Reggie Bullock will breakout at UNC this season. (Getty Images)  

A year ago, our list included Terrence Ross, Phil Pressey, Michael Snaer and Lorenzo Brown. We give you a list of guys who will emerge in 2012-13 -- led by a pair of North Carolina Tar Heels.

But we don't just go with 30 of the high-major variety. The list is also littered with mid-major players.

Here's our list of Breakout Guys: 

2012 Preseason Top 30 breakout players
1. James Michael McAdoo, 6-9, 230, PF, Soph., North Carolina
Had to wait his turn and admitted it was a difficult season waiting his turn behind John Henson and Tyler Zeller. Logged fewer than 16 minutes per game and averaged 6.1 points and 3.9 rebounds, but now that Henson and Zeller, along with Harrison Barnes and Kendall Marshall are gone, this is McAdoo and Reggie Bullock's team. McAdoo is certainly capable of pulling a Thomas Robinson-esque jump, going from a role guy to a star and a double-double machine.
2. Reggie Bullock, 6-7, 205, SG, Jr., North Carolina
Found his shot last season after a brutal freshman campaign, but now he'll have a chance to go from the fifth option to a go-to guy along with McAdoo. Bullock is a pure shooter, a terrific defender and can also get to the basket. He averaged 8.8 points last year in about 25 minutes per game, and he could wind up doubling his scoring average with plenty more shots coming his way.
3. Adonis Thomas, 6-7, 240, SF, Soph., Memphis
Was never completely able to showcase his abilities last season, somewhat due to the presence of Will Barton and also because he suffered an ankle injury just as he began to fully adjust to the college game. Thomas is a star-in-waiting -- and the waiting is over. He averaged 8.8 points per game prior to the injury. That number will nearly double this year.
4. Tony Snell, 6-7, 200, SG, Jr., New Mexico
Took a step forward, but has all the tools to be a star. The long and skilled Snell can really shoot it -- and can also defend. He went from 4.4 points to 10.5 points as a sophomore, but again, this could be the year that the light truly goes on and he becomes a consistent force each time he takes to the court.
5. Michael Carter-Williams, 6-6, 185, G, Soph., Syracuse
This is an easy one. MCW sat behind Scoop Jardine, Dion Waiters and Brandon Triche as a freshman, but now Jardine and Waiters are gone -- and Carter-Williams will get a chance to showcase his versatility. He can play either guard spot, can score and is also a tough matchup due to his length and athleticism.
6. Ed Daniel, 6-7, 230, PF, Sr., Murray State
He has been a role guy in each of his three seasons with the Racers, but now is the team for him to emerge. Steve Prohm has lost a bunch from last season's magical team -- and Daniel has the ability to be a double-double guy every game.
7. Elijah Johnson, 6-4, 195, G, Jr., Kansas
He took a back seat last season to Thomas Robinson and Tyshawn Taylor, but now it's his turn. The Las Vegas native is extremely talented, and is a scoring point guard. He'll be the primary offensive option for Bill Self this season and could become one of the top guards in the nation.
8. Alex Len, 7-1, 225, C, Soph., Maryland
The skilled Ukranian didn't get to show what he could really do last season, largely because he missed the first portion of the season. Len only averaged 6.0 points, 5.4 boards and 2.1 blocks, and part of the reason was that he was never really had a point guard who made anyone better. Len is a potential lottery pick and should make a huge jump this season for the Terps.
9. Terone Johnson, 6-2, 200, SG, Jr., Purdue
Robbie Hummel and Lewis Jackson are gone. That leaves a huge scoring void for Matt Painter and the Boilermakers. Johnson picked it up down the stretch last season, averaging 15.5 points per game in the postseason, and he should pick up right where he left off a year ago.
10. James Ennis, 6-7, 210, SG-SF, Sr., Long Beach State
The 49ers lost four starters off last year's NCAA tournament team. Now Ennis should have a chance to be a focal point. Last year he averaged 10 points, 4.1 rebounds and 2.6 assists. He's extremely versatile -- he can score in a variety of ways, rebounds well for his position and is also a terrific defender. If Dan Monson's team has a chance to repeat, Ennis will be a prime reason.
11. Anton Grady, 6-8, 215, F, Soph., Cleveland State
Should make a significant jump after an impressive freshman season in which he averaged 8.5 points, 6.4 boards and 1.4 blocks in a little more than 20 minutes per contest. He has a good motor, nice skills and plays hard.
12. Adrian Diaz, 6-10, 230, F, Soph., Kansas State
Barely played last season, but look for him to get on the court this season under new coach Bruce Weber due to his impressive skill set. Averaged 3.2 points and 2.3 boards in just 10 minutes per game under Frank Martin, but wasn't very physical -- and that kept him off the court. Diaz fits what Weber wants -- runs the floor well, can shoot it from mid-range and has a high upside.
13. Rod Odom, 6-9, 215, F, Jr., Vanderbilt
Kevin Stallings lost a ton: John Jenkins, Festus Ezeli and Jeffery Taylor. The Commodores will likely struggle this season, but look for Odom, a skilled forward from New York, to emerge. He only averaged 2.4 points and 2.0 boards in less than 15 minutes per game last season.
14. Adreian Payne, 6-10, 240, PF/C, Jr., Michigan State
He started nearly every game last season, but was an afterthought for the most part. Now, with Draymond Green gone, the Spartans will need Payne -- and he can deliver. He's long, athletic and skilled. The question has never been about his talent; it's been about his mental makeup -- and if Payne has that killer instinct.
15. LaQuinton Ross, 6-8, 220, SF, Soph., Ohio State
Thad Matta was hoping Ross would be a major piece last season, but he wasn't cleared academically until mid-December and was a compete non-factor. He's long and skilled and may have as much upside as anyone on the Buckeyes.
16. Carl Hall, 6-8, 240, F, Sr., Wichita State
Gregg Marshall lost a lot off last year's team, but Hall is back -- and he could be the team's top player. In his first season with the Shockers, after two seasons in the junior college ranks, he averaged 8.4 points and 5.0 boards per game. Look for Hall to be a double-double guy this season.
17. Scott Suggs, 6-6, 195, SG, Sr., Washington
Redshirted last season and Lorenzo Romar needs Suggs to give him more than the 7.4 points he gave the Huskies two years ago. With Tony Wroten and Terrence Ross gone, it should be C.J. Wilcox and Suggs who led the team in scoring.
18. Trevor Lacey, 6-3, 200, SG, Soph., Alabama
The Crimson Tide will need one of its sophomore to make the jump and Lacey is the one w're going with here. He can shoot the ball from deep, but he can score it in a multitude of ways. With JaMychal Green gone, there's a need for someone to put points on the board -- and Lacey is the leading candidate.
19. Damen Bell-Holter, 6-9, 245, PF/C, Sr., Oral Roberts
Had a disappointing junior campaign after a sophomore season in which he averaged 13.3 points and 7.9 boards, but much of it can be attributed to a back injury and excess weight. Bell-Holter, a native of Alaska, has dropped about 20 pounds and should regain the form that made him one of the top mid-major big men in the country two years ago.
20. Victor Rudd, 6-9, 230, F, Jr., South Florida
The Arizona State transfer averaged 9.3 points and 4.8 boards last season for a team that had difficulty scoring. Now Stan Heath & Co., are going to push the ball and that should help Rudd's game.
21. J.T. Terrell, 6-3, 190, SG, Jr., USC
Spent a season at Wake, then was booted and was in the junior college ranks a year ago. Terrell is a versatile scorer and could wind up being Kevin O'Neill's primary offense weapon before long.
22. Sherrod Wright, 6-2, 200, SG, Jr., George Mason
Paul Hewitt lost Ryan Pearson and Mike Morrison -- his top two guys from last year. Now Wright will get every opportunity to be the go-to player for the Patriots.
23. Wes Saunders, 6-5, 215, SG, Soph., Harvard
The Crimson will be without their top two players -- Kyle Casey and Brandyn Curry. That'll give the young guys an opportunity a year earlier than anticipated and none will shine as much as Saunders.
24. Jamil Wilson, 6-7, 225, F, Jr., Marquette
Had his moments last season, but was a role guy behind Jae Crowder and Darius Johnson-Odom. Now he has the chance to see his role expand after averaging 7.1 points and 4.1 boards a year ago for Buzz Williams.
25. Hunter Mickelson, 6-10, 245, C, Soph., Arkansas
It's not as though the Razorbacks lost a ton and Mickelson will slide into someone's spot. It's more than the skilled big man just needed some time to mature -- and should do far more than he did a year ago (5.2 ppg, 3.7 rpg) as a freshman in Fayetteville.
26. Kyle Wiltjer, 6-9, 245, PF, Soph., Kentucky
He's the only one back from last year's national title squad. Barely played a year ago, but he's skilled in the post and can shoot it from deep. That, along with some experience, should land him on the court.
 27. Nemanja Djurisic, 6-8, 230, PF, Soph., Georgia
The skilled forward from Montenegro came on late last season, but put up mediocre numbers as a freshman at 7.0 points and 4.2 rebounds per game. Look for him to be a major part of Mark Fox's offense this year, along with Kentavious Pope-Caldwell.
 28. Khyle Marshall, 6-6, 215, F, Jr., Butler
More was expected from Marshall as a sophomore, but he didn't quite deliver, averaging 9.6 points per contest. His work ethic has improved and without Chrishawn Hopkins, Marshall has no choice but to take a leap.
29. Kevin Ware, 6-2, 175, G, Soph., Louisville
Didn't join the team last season until Dec. 14 and wasn't much of a factor. He scored just 20 points all season in limited duty, but Ware has been terrific all offseason and should make an impact this season -- even if he doesn't put up eye-popping numbers.
30. Travis Taylor, 6-7, 220, PF, Sr., Xavier
I thought he'd make an impact last season for the Musketeers, but it didn't happen and Chris Mack used him as a reserve who didn't produce much at all (4.5 ppg, 3.7 rpg). Now Mack has no choice, with a lack of frontline guys, and Taylor should deliver. Remember, this is a guy who put up numbers in his time at Monmouth.

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