Originally written on isportsweb.com  |  Last updated 11/16/14
Top 10 Players: Big 12 Pierre Jackson  PG  Baylor- 13.8pts. 5.9ast. Jackson came onto the scene with a bang last year. He’s very explosive and can score points in bunches. I expect him to take a big step this year with a year of big school experience under his belt. Rodney McGruder  SG  Kansas State- 15.8pts. 5.2reb. I’ve always like McGruder’s poise and smooth style, but last year he stepped up and really blossomed into a star. He’s got a new coach coming in, but with a veteran supporting cast I can’t see much changing in their system. LeBryan Nash  SF  Oklahoma State- 13.3pts. 5.0reb. Nash lived up to his massive expectations for the most part, as a freshman, last year. If he can stay hungry and improve a bit as a shooter a lottery pick could be in his near future. Stevan Pledger  SG  Oklahoma- 16.2pts. 3.9reb. Oklahoma hasn’t had a lot of success the last couple years, but it isn’t because of a lack of talent. Pledger leads a three- headed scoring attack that could lead them back to the tournament this year. Elijah Johnson  PG  Kansas- 10.2pts. 3.5ast. He’s had to wait his turn the last three years, but it’s finally his team to run. Johnson looks the part and doesn’t have any limitations in his game. Kansas is in a bit of a rebuilding year, but he could still turn it into a special season. Myck Kabongo  PG  Texas- 9.6pts. 5.2ast. Kabongo was erratic his freshman year, but he should settle in a bit this year. He’s quick and athletic, but his decision making needs to improve. Jeff Withey  C  Kansas- 9.0pts. 6.3ast. What Withey lacks in athleticism and skill he makes up for with intelligence and great positioning. His game isn’t going to wow anyone, but it’s efficient enough to get the job done. Shelden McClellan  SG  Texas- 11.3pts. 3.3reb. McClellan, like Kabango, will need to improve in their sophomore seasons if Texas is going to be tournament worthy. He possesses all the skills and can knockdown the three with ease, but tends to disappear at times. Deniz Kilicli  PF  West Virginia- 10.7pts. 5.3reb. Kilicli is underrated and very valuable to the Mountaineers this season. His ability to score from different areas on the court is special as is his terrific area rebounding. Both he and West Virginia could surprise. Romero Osby  PF  Oklahoma- 12.9pts. 7.3 reb. I put him here ahead of teammate Andrew Fitzgerald because Osby’s game is more well rounded. He makes an impact on both ends of the floor and always keeps his team in the game. Top 5 freshman: Big 12 1.     Isaiah Austin  C  Baylor- Austin might be the most high profile recruit ever to step foot on campus. If everything goes as planned he will dominate this year and be a top 10 pick in next year’s draft. 2.     Marcus Smart  SG  Oklahoma State- Smart with team up with Nash to give them one of the best 1-2 punches on the wing in the country. 3.     Cameron Ridley  PF  Texas- Athletic big man that will provide Texas with a nice high-low combo when teamed with Kabongo and McClellan. 4.     Perry Ellis  F  Kansas- Ellis is expected to start right away for Kansas and become a consistent scoring option right away. If he can do that, Kansas could be dangerous. 5.     Ben McLemore  SG  Kansas- Redshirted last year, but he was a top 25 recruit from 2011. He will be given the opportunity to start and should give Kansas an able deep threat.
MORE FROM YARDBARKER

Clint Trickett retires due to concussions, hid two

Drew Stanton likely out for the year, postseason included

Byron Scott: ‘Idiots’ think Lakers are better team without Kobe

Undrafted QB Connor Shaw to sign with Browns, likely start

Report: Alex Smith out week 17 with lacerated spleen

Belichick: Garoppolo has better understanding of NFL

LIKE WHAT YOU SEE?
GET THE DAILY NEWSLETTER:

Lionel Hollins: 'Honored and blessed to coach Kevin Garnett'

Curt Schilling gives Johnny Manziel advice on Twitter

The last time the Lions won in Green Bay

Carmelo Anthony: The Knicks are dying

Andre Johnson willing to take pay cut with Texans?

Mets star David Wright reaches out to sons of slain NYPD officer

Video: Rudy Gay tosses half-court alley-oop to McLemore

WATCH: Craig Sager is touched by outpouring of support during leukemia fight

Hiroki Kuroda returns to Japan, ditches Yankees

Kevin Garnett: ‘Very weird’ to see Celtics without Rajon Rondo

Report: New Jersey Devils fire head coach Peter DeBoer

Mark Richt confirms Todd Gurley will leave UGA for NFL

Frank Gore: Colin Kaepernick is 'not broke'

The story of Morgan Bulkeley and birth of National League

Five breakout stars in 2014

The 2014 NFL All-Help Offense

Five things the world learned about the NBA on Christmas

What if Bear Bryant coached in the NFL?

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.

Five breakout stars in 2014

The 2014 NFL All-Help Offense

Five things learned about NBA on X-Mas

What if Bear Bryant coached in the NFL?

Carmelo Anthony: The Knicks are dying

The last time the Lions won in Green Bay

Year's most notable sports media stories

'Roberto Gronkowski wishes fans Feliz Navidad

Are the Seahawks back on track?

Wright reaches out to slain officer's sons

Q&A with Rich Eisen; TNF, DirecTV and living in LA

Dan Le Batard sums up Miami's relationship with LeBron

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.