|LeBRYAN NASH: Oklahoma State Cowboys|
Written by: Prospect-Central
There are a many different ways to describe a "Breakout Player." It could be a player who's been ineffective or marginal in the past and suddenly becomes a stud or it could be a player who's already been dominate, but has yet to start playing in their new league; NBA, NCAA, High School, etc,etc. It could also be a good player on the cusp of greatness or an already great player that's never even been heard about before. Whatever it may be, these 25 players should have nice 2012-13 seasons in their respective leagues and more than likely remain relevant in the game of basketball for a while. * Below are Prospect-Central's #25-21 Breakout Players for the 2012-13 basketball season. Order of the rankings has to do with how well players will perform in their respective leagues as opposed to being individually ranked against each other. Click for the rest of the players at the end of the article.
(25) WAYNE BLACKSHEAR sg / 6'5'' 220 / Louisville
A top 30 recruit coming out of high school, Wayne Blackshear spent much of his freshman year battling a shoulder injury and played sparingly once he returned in mid February. He did have a nice performance against Kentucky in the Final Four with 9 points and 4 rebounds in only 14 minutes of action and his role should increase tremendously his sophomore year if the Cardinals want to make a deep run come March. With returning players Peyton Siva, Gorgui Dieng, Channe Bahanan and incoming freshman Montrezl Harrell, it's easy to see why Louisville is a pre-season top 10 team in the country. If he's able to stay healthy, Blackshear could be a big-time scorer on the perimeter this upcoming season and may be the key in helping Rick Pitino and the Louisville Cardinals get back to the Final Four.
(24) JOSH SELBY pg/sg / 6'2'' 285 / Memphis Grizzlies
Obviously Josh Selby hasn't lived up to the hype of a top 5 high school recruit. After a sub-par freshman year at Kansas, Selby slipped to the 2nd round of the 2011 NBA draft where he was ultimately selected 49th by the Grizzles. After being buried on the bench behind Mike Conoey, Jr., O.J. Mayo and Gilbert Arenas (SMH), Selby was demoted to the Reno Bighorns of the D-League in February. Once there, Selby dominated the D-League and this summer he tore up the NBA Summer League with 29 ppg on 60% shooting, including 73% from downtown!!! He took home Co-MVP honors and looked as if he might be a decent NBA player after all. Even though O.J. Mayo's now in Dallas, the Grizzles have added Tony Wroten, Jr. & Jerryd Bayless to the team. I'm not sure how much playing time he'll get this season, but Selby might be a pleasant surprise if given the opportunity.
(23) TONY TROCHA pf / 6'10'' 220 / Class of 2013
Back in March ESPN recruiting analyst Dave Telep introduced an intriguing prospect to high school basketball by way of Colombia; Tony Trocha. Once coaches and recruiters saw the 17-year-old's potential, they flocked to him as if he was some uncut yeyo straight from Bogotá. Trocha holds offers from a number of big-time college programs and apparently is leaning towards Kentucky. Even though he's currently outside the top 100 players in ESPN, Rivals and Scout''s Class of 2013 rankings, he seems to have the talent to eventually crack the list's. Trocha's actually trying to enroll in college early, but his English needs work and if you have trouble speaking English, good luck passing the S.A.T's. Be that as it may, he'll eventually play college ball sometime in 2013 and he might even be a decent player once that time comes. In June he led the Colombian national team to a 5th place finish at the 18U FIBA Americas, averaging a more than respectable 16 ppg and 10 rpg. Tony Trocha's currently enrolled at St. Thomas Episcopal in Houston, Texas and despite being slightly raw, still has the size and athleticism needed to succeed at the next level.
(22) BRANDEN DAWSON sg/sf / 6'6'' 220 / Michigan State
A top 25 player coming out of high school, Branden Dawson was having a nice freshman campaign before suffering a season-ending knee injury in early March. Even though he only averaged 8.4 ppg and 4.5 rpg, Dawson still played an important role in the Spartans success. He was one of the best defenders on the team and under Tom Izzo's tutelage started to show a developing skill-set as the season progressed. While he's still recovering from the injury, Izzo recently said, "Branden Dawson's made big strides. The last two workouts, he actually did two-thirds of the workout. That's ahead of schedule, so that's a positive." Michigan State should be a pre-season top 25 team in the country and even though they lost Draymond Green to the NBA, they still have some nice returning players. Keith Appling and Adreian Payne should be the leaders of the team and incoming freshman Garry Harris should make an immediate impact, but it might be Dawson who emerges as the Spartans star. If he can return to his old form and tighten up his perimeter skills, Branden Dawson could be a potential Breakout Player for the 2012-13 NCAA season.
(21) Le'BRYAN NASH sf / 6'7'' 230 / Oklahoma State
Before I started this article I said to myself if a college player averaged 15 ppg or more he's not a Breakout Player. Since Le'Bryan Nash averaged 13 ppg and 5 rpg his freshman year, I guess he makes the cut. In my opinion though, he's already a big-time baller and should probably even be higher on this list. He was named Big-12's Freshman of the Year and was one of the best players on the Oklahoma State Cowboys this past season. A top 10 player coming out of high school, Le'Bryan has prototypical small forward size, terrific athleticism and pretty solid perimeter skills. The problem with Nash is his questionable work ethic and the fact he tends to disappear from time to time as well. He also plays for Oklahoma State, which really isn't a basketball powerhouse. The Cowboys do have some solid incoming freshmen, including a top 15 player in Marcus Smart as well as sharp shooting Phil Forte, but I still don't see them making any serious noise this upcoming season, especially after they lost their leading scorer Keiton Paige. Le'Bryan's future has NBA written all over it, but for the time being he needs to absorb as much knowledge from Travis Ford and the Cowboys staff before he enters that phase of his life.