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Top Guards for 2010-11: Ranking the Nation's Best

Jesse Siegel

Jesse Siegel

Siegel covers college football, college basketball and minor league baseball for RotoWire. He was named College Sports Writer of the Year by the Fantasy Sports Writers Association.



TOP GUARDS
TOP FORWARDS
TOP CENTERS



POINT GUARDS

1. Kemba Walker, Connecticut

Walker took a huge leap as a sophomore, tallying 14.6 points, 4.3 boards, 5.1 dimes and 2.1 steals for the Huskies. With a gutted front line and Jerome Dyson graduated, the Huskies are Walker's team, making him poised for a huge junior season. He's arguably the best payer in the Big East and can impose his will on both ends of the floor.

2. Jacob Pullen, Kansas State
Pullen is a scorer first and foremost, as he averaged 19.3 points per game for the Wildcats in their storybook season. He'll be asked to be an all-around contributer in 2010-2011 with the departure of Denis Clemente. Pullen will look to improve on his 3.4 assists and 2.6 rebounds per game as he'll have Jamar Samuels and Curtis Kelly to take the pressure off down low.

3. Isaiah Thomas, Washington

Don't let the size fool you: Thomas can flat out ball. All the 5-foot-8 junior did last season was average 16.9 points, 3.6 rebounds and 3.2 assists. His shot selection needs to improve, though that might be more a product of him having to work doubly as hard to get space to find his shot. Somehow, Thomas finds a way to get the job done regardless. With Quincy Pondexter off to the NBA, Thomas will be asked to shoudler even more of the load for the Huskies.

4. Corey Fisher, Villanova

Scottie Reynolds is gone, leaving Fisher as the motor for the Wildcats. He set career highs across the board as a junior, including hitting 39.6 percent of his threes. However, he should continue to grow from his 13.3 points, 3.9 assists and 2.8 rebounds per contest last season. A speedster, Fisher likes to get in the lane, and is not afraid to mix it up with the big biys.

5. Kalin Lucas, Michigan State

It seems like Lucas has been around forever, but he's been one of the most productive guards in Michigan State history. He shot a career-high 45.3 percent from the floor, while averaging 14.8 points and 4.0 assists for his junior campaign. As a senior leader, and with the departure of Raymar Morgan, the Spartans are unequivocally Lucas' team. He's about as reliable as they come.

6. Shelvin Mack, Butler

The Mack Attack loses Gordon Hayward, but all that will do is free him up to score even more. Mack shot 45.4 percent from the floor last season, including 39.1 percent from beyond the arc. His assists and boards went down last year from his freshman campaign, but the ball should be in his hands the majority of the time for Butler.

7. Demetri McCamey, Illinois

McCamey is a fiery competitor who possesses leadership and poise. His assists per game skyrocketed to 7.1 dimes per tilt; naturally, he turned the ball over a bunch as a result of the ball being in his hands so much. Still, he scored 15.1 points per clip as well and managed a 2:1 assist-to-turnover ratio. With 1.5 steals and 3.6 boards per game to boot, McCamey should be a potent fantasy weapon for the Illini.

8. Brandon Knight, Kentucky

He may not be John Wall, but then again, who is? Knight is a streaky scorer who can put the ball in the bucket in bunches. He's an above-average athlete with excellent ball skills, as he can find the open man on the break, with penetration or in the half-court. He rebounds extremely well for a point guard, which helps him lead the fast break. All in all, John Calipari may have found himself another one-and-done, can't-miss prospect.

9. Kyrie Irving, Duke

Another probable one-year-wonder, Irving has some big shoes to fill as the starting point guard for the defending champs. Jon Scheyer did it all for the Dukies in his four years in Durham, but Irving is a completely different player. He's a penetrator with elusiveness, quickness and the ability to draw contact and still make the bucket. He can shoot from the outside and possesses great confidence and leadership potential. The Blue Devils will be much more athletic with Irving at the helm.

10. Erving Walker, Florida

Walker benefitted from the presence of freshman phenom Kenny Boynton, as his assists and rebounds more than doubled from his freshman to his sophomore seasons. Although he needs to take care of the ball better, Walker managed 4.9 assists and 3.3 boards per game for the Gators. His shot needs some work; the diminutive Brooklyn native shot a mere 33.9 percent from the floor. However, with Alex Tyus and Boynton both returning, Walker should be able to stuff the stat sheet once again while getting a few more open looks and improve on his 12.6 ppg average from a year ago.

11. Reggie Jackson, Boston College
12.9 ppg, 4.5 apg
12. Kevin Anderson, Richmond
17.8 ppg, 2.7 apg
13. Josh Selby, Kansas
High School
14. Tre'Von Willis, UNLV
17.4 ppg, 3.5 apg
15. Dee Bost, Mississippi State
13.0 ppg, 5.2 apg


SHOOTING GUARDS

1. Malcolm Delaney, Virginia Tech

Delaney stuffs the stat sheet with the best of them, averaging 20.7 points, 3.7 boards and 4.5 assists as a junior last season for the Hokies. He's a volume scorer, as he shot just 30.6 percent from three-point land and 38.7 percent overall. However, he did shoot 84.2 percent from the charity stripe last year. Delaney's versatility gives him an edge over the typical scorer.

2. Jimmer Fredette, BYU

Fredette shot a scorching 44.0 percent from the three-point land as a junior, totaling 22.1 points per game for the Cougars. He distributed the ball well too, dishing out 4.7 assists, and at 6-2, 195, even pulled down 3.1 boards. He shot 89.2 percent from the foul line to boot, making him a dangerous and wonderful weapon late in games. A pure shooter to the bone, Fredette should continue to dominate for Brigham Young.

3. LaceDarius Dunn, Baylor

Dunn puts the "shoot" in shooting guard. He averaged 19.6 points per game for the Bears last season, including chucking 277 three-pointers (he hit 41.9%). Dunn also hit the boards to the tune of 4.8 rebounds per contest, while averaging 1.9 assists. However, as a player who never met a shot he didn't like, Dunn will make his mark as a scorer more than anything else.

4. Alec Burks, Colorado

Burks shot a blistering 53.8 percent from the floor in his first season for the Buffaloes, averaging 17.1 points per game. He did most of his damage inside the three-point arc, and the development a three-point shot will be an important part of his growth. Still, he averaged 5.0 rebounds per game, and the 6-6 swingman should slash and dash his way to another standout season.

5. William Buford, Ohio State
Buford had a standout season as a sophomore, though it will be interesting to see if he takes the reins of the Buckeyes or struggles as the primary scorer with the departure of Evan Turner. He tallied 14.4 points, 5.6 rebounds and 3.1 assists per game last season. Buford is a talented scorer and proved an above-average rebounder for his position, though needs to work on his first move to the basket and won't wow anybody with his athleticism. Still, the former McDonald's All-American still has the ability to put together a dynamic season.

6. E'Twaun Moore, Purdue

Moore will have to be even better than expected with Robbie Hummel down for the count with yet another ACL injury. Moore scored more last season, though he saw a dip in his boards and assists as a junior. Still, a line of 16.4 ppg, 3.8 rpg and 2.7 apg is not too shabby. Moore isn't the flashiest guy, but he is steady with the ball and limits his turnovers. With 1.5 steals per game, Moore makes his presence felt on both ends of the court and remains a stellar option at SG.

7. Kenny Boynton, Florida
Boynton is explosive with the rock, but shot a poor percentage in his freshman campaign. Add in his abysmal 29.4 percent from the three-point arc, and Boynton has much room for improvement. That said, Kenny averaged 14.0 points, 2.6 rebounds and 2.7 assists in his first season in Gainesville and should see improvement across the board as a super soph.

8. Nolan Smith, Duke

Smith had a monster junior season in Duke's run to the national championship, accumulating 17.4 points, 2.8 boards and 3.0 assists per contest. Now the elder statesman of the Dukie backcourt, Smith should use his wily veteran status to feast on opposing defenses, benefitting from the penetration of phenom PG Kyrie Irving as well as the attention that Kyle Singler draws.

9. Scotty Hopson, Tennessee

Although it may not be good for him from a team perspective, Hopson will benefit greatly from a fantasy perspective due to the departures of Wayne Chism, J.P. Prince and Bobby Maze. As a piece, he still managed 12.2 points, 3.4 boards and 1.2 assists. He'll be the focal point of the Vols' offensive attack as a junior, giving him plenty of upside heading into the 2010-2011 campaign.

10. Tyshawn Taylor, Kansas

Taylor had a subpar sophomore campaign, struggling to find his role on an uber-talented Jayhawks squad. However, Sherron Collins, Cole Aldrich and Xavier Henry graduated to the next level, leaving Taylor to fill the void. Although he managed just 7.2 points per contest, with 2.4 boards and 3.4 assists, the 6-3 junior should have the ball and the playing time enough to break out for Rock Chalk.

11. Jeremy Hazell, Seton Hall
20.4 ppg, 3.5 rpg
12. Kim English, Missouri
14.0 ppg, 3.4 rpg
13. Travis Leslie, Georgia
14.8 ppg, 6.8 rpg
14. Seth Curry, Duke
Transfer
15. Abdul Gaddy, Washington
3.2 ppg, 2.3 apg



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