Ten players to watch:
Zion Williamson, Duke: Everyone who watches the 6-7 freshman forward says the same thing: There’s really nobody like him in college basketball. He’s 289 pounds but can foul-line dunk with a 45-inch vertical.
RJ Barrett, Duke: The 6-7 forward isn’t the most spectacular freshman on his own team, but he’s the Blue Devils’ top all-around talent and the projected No. 1 pick in the 2019 NBA draft.
Now that’s how you start the season! 😱
Carsen Edwards, Purdue: The 6-1 junior could go down as one of the best scoring guards in Purdue history, but can he score enough to replace four starters lost to graduation?
Dedric Lawson, Kansas: Tubby Smith basically got fired for not keeping this 6-9 junior forward in Memphis. After sitting out a year, the Jayhawks expect him to contend for Big 12 player of the year honors.
Shamorie Ponds, St. John’s: This throwback New York City point guard has all the dribble moves to shake defenders out of their shoes, but the junior’s jump shot is also a thing of beauty.
Mike Daum, South Dakota State: He could’ve been NBA-bound after averaging 23.9 points last season and leading the Jackrabbits to the NCAAs, but the 6-9 senior forward is back for more.
Rui Hachimura, Gonzaga: Hard to believe the 6-8 Hachimura barely played in the 2017 NCAA title game, because now the junior forward is arguably the Zags’ best player and NBA prospect in years.
Tyus Battle, Syracuse: Getting Jim Boeheim to another Final Four is something the 6-6 junior guard is talented enough to do with an array of offensive skills few players have on the perimeter.
Watch out for these guys in the paint this year 💪
Bol Bol, Oregon: Remember when Manute Bol hit six threes in one game shooting over his head? Well, Bol’s son, a 7-3 freshman, has a prettier stroke and is actually a true outside threat — and an elite shot blocker like pops.
Romeo Langford, Indiana: Not many freshmen come along good enough to win Big Ten player of the year, but the 6-5 guard just might be that good — while lifting the Hoosiers back to national relevance.
This article is written by Marcus Fuller from Star Tribune and was legally licensed via the Tribune Content Agency through the NewsCred publisher network. Please direct all licensing questions to firstname.lastname@example.org.