Vol. 1 Vol. 2 Vol. 3
(Pretty) Tony Snell, New Mexico: Heading into his junior year, Snell will be playing a large role on a Lobos team that always makes noise in the NCAA tourney. Last year, Snell averaged 10.5 ppg, 2.7 rpg, and 2.3 apg in a little over 25 mpg. One reason Snell is so dangerous is because he can do a little bit of everything. Standing in at 6’7, 200 pounds, Snell has incredible ball handling ability, great court vision, strong rebounding ability, and great touch from beyond the arc (making almost 40% of his 3s). Look for New Mexico to be a dark horse to win the Mountain West Conference, with Pretty Tony leading the way.
James Michael McAdoo, North Carolina: The world finally got a taste of McAdoo when he saw some minutes in the NCAA Tourney, and UNC fans have reason to be excited. McAdoo did not see the court much last year, sitting behind big men Tyler Zeller and John Henson. However, coming into college McAdoo was a consensus top 5 high school player, with the other four players being Anthony Davis, Michael Kidd-Gilchrist, Bradley Beal, and Austin RIvers (the 1st, 2nd, 3rd, and 10th pick in the 2012 NBA draft). Traditionally, Roy Williams does a phenomenal job of preparing his big men for the NBA, so expect McAdoo to be one of the nation’s top big men in this upcoming season.
Damen Bell-Holter, Oral Roberts: Bell-Holter is one of the few Alaskans to play basketball at the division I level, and the senior at Oral Roberts will receive more national attention this year than he ever has. After suffering from a back injury last year, Bell-Holter averaged a mere 7.9 ppg and 5.8 rpg, a dramatic decrease from the 13.3 ppg and 7.8 rpg that he put up in his sophomore year. Sources close to Bell-Holter say that the big man has been working harder than ever, shedding 20 pounds and adding an outside component to his game this offseason. The senior will have a good chance to prove himself to the world, as Oral Roberts faces both Arizona and Memphis prior to league play.
Trevor Mbakwe, Minnesota: Gopher Nation (if that is a real thing) was devastated last year as it saw the Big Ten’s leading rebounder go down with a torn ACL early last season. Before going down, Mbakwe was averaging 14 ppg and 9.1 rpg, and many expected him to compete with Jared Sullinger and Cody Zeller for best big man in the Big Ten. Without their star big man, Minnesota still found a way to make the NIT Championship. This year, Tubby Smith will have his team in top form, so look for Minnesota to be a dark horse in the Big Ten and Mbakwe to be a 1st round draft pick if he can stay healthy.