Originally written on Taking Bad Schotz  |  Last updated 10/28/14
9. Jeff Withey, F, Kansas Photo Credit: Scott Rovak-US PRESSWIRE In his 5th year at Kansas, Withey is finally the man on the team after playing in the shadows of the Morris twins and Thomas Robinson. While Withey may not put up the most points of all the players on this list, and he may not look the best doing it, he is the leader of the Jayhawks squad. Withey is averaging an absurd 5.7 blocks per game and has 4 games of over 5 blocks so far on the season. In a game against San Jose State, Withey recorded a triple-double with 16 points, 12 rebounds and 12 blocks. The 5th year senior may not be the best offensive player, but Withey surely is the defensive leader of this team. 8. Pierre Jackson, G, Baylor via bayloruniversity.tumblr.com After being the 6th man for a very good Baylor squad last year, the 5-10 senior is now the star of the team. The super-athletic guard is averaging nearly 20 points a game and has turned in masterful performances throughout the season. In the season opener against Lehigh, Jackson turned in a double-double with 14 points and 12 assists. Against Kentucky this past week, Jackson stuffed the stat sheet with 17 points, 7 rebounds, 5 assists, and 4 steals. If Jackson can keep up his high performance so far, he should be able to lead the team back to the NCAA Tournament. 7. Trey Burke, G, Michigan via hooverstreetrag.blogspot.com After a freshman year in which Burke averaged 15 points per game and shot nearly 35% from beyond the 3-point arc, he decided to return to Michigan to lead the Wolverines, now the #3 team in the country. Burke is averaging over 16 points per game along with 7 assists per game and has partnered with Tim Hardaway Jr. and Glenn Robinson III to get Michigan off to a 7-0 start. 6. Doug McDermott, F, Creighton (US Presswire) After averaging almost 23 points per game last season, McDermott led Creighton to a win in the NCAA Tournament over Alabama before falling to North Carolina, but the Tournament put both Creighton and McDermott in more of a national spotlight. This year, McDermott is off to a great start averaging 21.3 points and 7.1 rebounds and despite losing to Boise State last week, the Jays still have a 7-1 record. McDermott’s best game of the season came against Wisconsin, a “power-6” conference team that makes the tournament year in and year out, where he had 30 points and 8 boards. 5. Peyton Siva, G, Louisville via www.thecardinalconnect.com Even though Peyton Siva is in his 3rd season as the point guard for Rick Pitino’s squad, he has a new role this year as the teams true leader. Kyle Kuric, Louisville’s leader in both minutes and points last year is gone and the Cardinals are looking to Siva and Russ Smith to pick up their games and be the team’s leaders. The challenge got even more difficult when it was announced that Gorgui Dieng, the team’s starting center would be out for more than a month. Siva is averaging 11 points and 6 assists per game so far this season, and will be one of the vital, if not the most vital, pieces to the Cardinals as they look to bounce back from an early season loss to Duke and make another run in both the Big East and NCAA Tournaments. 4. James Michael McAdoo, F, North Carolina Photo Credit: Kelvin Kuo-US PRESSWIRE Although he is only a sophomore, McAdoo is expected to be the star on this year’s Tar Heel squad. Last year, McAdoo came off the bench behind Harrison Barnes, Tyler Zeller, and John Henson all of whom went on to be 1st round draft picks in the NBA. This year, McAdoo is already leading the team in both points, nearly 16 a game, and rebounds, just over 9 a game. Although North Carolina already has 2 losses this year, one was in Indiana against the #1 team in the country and they are still ranked 20th in the AP poll. If the Tar Heels plan on making a run in the ACC against in state rivals NC State and Duke, they will need McAdoo to carry the team and maybe even up his scoring average closer to 20 points a game. 3. Mason Plumlee, F, Duke via msn.foxsports.com/collegebasketball After 3 seasons at Duke Mason Plumlee is no longer playing in the shadow of his older brother Miles Plumlee, and he is finally the focal point of the Blue Devils inside game. Plumlee is averaging nearly 20 points and 11 boards so far this season with an absurd 2 blocks per game. With his younger brother currently injured, Mason Plumlee is the Blue Devils’ only true down low threat because of how often 6-11 Ryan Kelly likes to play outside. If the middle Plumlee can continue his dominant post play, the Blue Devils should enter the NCAA Tournament as a 1 seed and could make a deep run. 2. Deshaun Thomas, F, Ohio State Photo Credit: Mark L. Baer-US PRESSWIRE After losing Jared Sullinger to the NBA, Ohio State will turn to Deshaun Thomas to be the next forward to star for the Buckeyes. The junior forward is averaging over 21 points per game and 6.5 rebounds a game. The Buckeyes play in the very tough Big 10 that includes Illinois (#13 in the country) twice, Minnesota (#14), Michigan (#3) twice, Michigan State (#19) twice, Indiana (#1), as well as unranked, but always dangerous, Wisconsin, and they will also play Kansas (#9) and already played Duke (#2). Ohio State’s schedule this year is grueling and they most likely will not win the Big 10 because of how stacked this conference is, a conference that could end the season with 6 or 7 teams ranked in the top 25. If THE Ohio State is to come close to winning the Big 10, either the regular season or the tournament, it will be on the mainly on the shoulders of Deshaun Thomas. 1. Cody Zeller, F, Indiana Via ESPN Magazine Super sophomore Cody Zeller might not be putting up the best numbers in the country, but his numbers are very impressive and he is doing it for the #1 team in the country the Indiana Hoosiers. Zeller is averaging 15 points, almost 8 rebounds and about 1.5 blocks per game, and he has been doing that in under 28 minutes a game. Imagine what will happen to his stats when they get into conference play and the Hoosiers start to play closer games forcing Zeller and other starters to stay on the court later into games. The Hoosiers are going to make a run through the NCAA Tournament and should enter the Tournament as a 1 seed or a 2 seed at the absolute worst. Even though some number 1 seeds have been upset in the tourney before the Final Four, nobody should be surprised if they see this Hoosiers squad playing in Atlanta come the end of March. -Goldberg
MORE FROM YARDBARKER

Yankees wanted Rollins but Phillies' price was too high

Pop misses game for medical reasons; Messina takes over

John Beilein upset with ESPN for late start time to game

Tyson Chandler felt like Knicks' scapegoat at times

Fred Jackson has 'no respect' for Donte Whitner

Devon Still responds to unpaid child support allegations

LIKE WHAT YOU SEE?
GET THE DAILY NEWSLETTER:

Diamondbacks sign Cuban slugger Yasmany Tomas

Josh Gordon felt alienated by some in Browns organization

Jerry Jones: I'm a big admirer of Robert Griffin III

Raiola fined for uneccesarily striking Pats' Zach Moore

Report: Michigan keeping Jim Hackett on as athletic director

LeBron James on Ferguson: 'Violence is not the answer'

Steelers turned down chance to be called 'America's Team'

Report: Small chance Raiders-Rams could be moved to Indy

Todd Gurley begins rehab after surgery on knee for torn ACL

Brodeur to practice with Blues

OSU player posts Michigan player's girlfriend as his 'WCW'

Jim Harbaugh's family may not eat turkey thanks to NBC

Ole Miss' The Grove threatened by Mississippi State fan

Is it time for the Redskins to move on from Robert Griffin III?

Top 10 fantasy football turkeys for 2014

WATCH: Coyotes lose in ugly fashion, score own goal in OT

Warriors are having tons of fun on team plane

Jenn Sterger hints she'll be back in her FSU cowgirl gear for game

College Basketball News
Delivered to your inbox
You'll also receive Yardbarker's daily Top 10, featuring the best sports stories from around the web. Customize your newsletter to get articles on your favorite sports and teams. And the best part? It's free!

By clicking "Sign Me Up", you have read and agreed to the Fox Sports Digital Privacy Policy and Terms of Use. You can opt out at any time. For more information, please see our Privacy Policy.

Steelers could have been 'America's Team'

John Beilein upset with ESPN

Should Washington move on from RG3?

Dominic Raiola fined for cheap shots

Game of the week: Kansas City Chiefs vs. Denver Broncos

Rose leaves with injury again

WATCH: Pierce signs for fan during game

Report: McCoy to start over RG3

Braxton Miller headed to Oregon?

10 most one-sided college football rivalries

Pierce: C's Big Three like 'Holy Trinity'

Maclin unhappy with Cooper comments

Today's Best Stuff
For Bloggers

Join the Yardbarker Network for more promotion, traffic, and money.

Company Info
Help
What is Yardbarker?

Yardbarker is the largest network of sports blogs and pro athlete blogs on the web. This site is the hub of the Yardbarker Network, where our editors and algorithms curate the best sports content from our network and beyond.