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Mid-Major Report: Top 25 Mid-Major Players

Ryan Bishop

Ryan Bishop writes about fantasy sports for RotoWire.

1. Shelvin Mack, a junior guard from Butler, led the Bulldogs all the way to the national championship team as a sophomore last season, coming up with big shot after big shot and averaging 14.1 ppg. Although the Bulldogs are unranked this year, they return three starters from last year's runner-up squad and are the favorites to win the Horizon League again. Mack is averaging 14.7 ppg, 5.1 rpg and shooting 41 percent from the floor in 10 games for the Bulldogs.

2. Ronald Noreed
, another junior from Butler, had a spectacular sophomore season en route to the championship game in the Bulldogs home city of Indianapolis. Noreed shut down the opponents' best guard on a consistent basis in the NCAA Tournament and was instrumental in knocking off favorite Kansas State in the Elite Eight. Noreed is averaging 4.3 ppg, 3.1 rpg and is shooting 39 percent from the floor in eight games for the Bulldogs.

3. Matt Howard
, the third player of the big three of Butler, had a tremendous season last year as a junior and is the upperclassmen of the young Bulldogs. Howard's brilliant play in the tournament enabled the Bulldogs to move on to the their first final four appearance as he battled the bigs of the major conference players. Howard is averaging 17.9 ppg and 8.1 rpg and is shooting 56 percent from the floor.

4. Ray McCallum
, a freshman from Detroit in the same conference as Butler, opted to play for his father insted of testing the waters of the major schools of UCLA, Arizona and Florida that recruited him. McCallum is ranked No. 17 in the freshman class of 2010 and should make an immediate impact for the Titans. He is averaging 15.3 ppg, 5.8 rpg, 4.0 apg in 12 games so far this year.

5. Derek Needham
, a sophomore guard from Fairfield, led the Stags to the MAAC Championship game as a freshman and was one of the best mid-major freshman on the court last year. He averaged 16.4 points, 5.2 assists, 3.2 rebounds and 1.8 steals per game. Needham will have to take care of the ball better than he did last year as he turned the ball over an average of 3.8 times a game. He is averaging 12.3 ppg, 3.3 rpg, and 5.5 apg in 11 games this year.

6. C.J. McCollum
, a sophomore guard from Lehigh, averaged 19.1 points, 5.0 rebounds, 2.4 assists, 1.3 steals per game while shooting 46 percent from the floor. He scored 26 points last year against top-seed Kansas in the NCAA Tournament and was named the Patriot League player of the year. McCollum is averaging 22.5 ppg, 7.7 rpg, 2.5 spg in 11 games this year.

7. Mickey McConnell
, a senior guard from St. Mary's, led the Gaels to the Elite Eight last year, averaging 13.8 ppg and 5.1 apg, shooting 51 percent from the floor and 84 percent from the free throw line. McConnell is averaging 12.8 ppg, 4.5 apg, and is shooting 49 percent from three-point range in 11 games .

8. Andrew Goudelock
, a senior guard from College of Charleston, averaged 19.4 points, 4.4 rebounds, 3.0 assists and 1.1 steals for the Cougars and led them to an upset of North Carolina. Goudelock scored 27 points in the season opener against Maryland as they lost by 2. He is averaging 23.7 ppg, 3.8 apg, and is shooting 41 percent from three-point range in 11 games.

9. D.J. Cooper
, a 5-foot-11 sophomore guard from Ohio, burst onto the national scene in the NCAA Tournament last year as the Bobcasts upset the 3 seed Georgetown as Cooper poured in 23 points and had 8 assists. He averaged 13.5 points, 5.4 rebounds and 5.9 assists per game last year. Cooper is averaging 20.4 ppg, 7.1 apg and 5.9 rpg in 11 games this year.

10. Xavier Silas
, a senior guard from Northern Illinois, withdrew his name from the NBA draft to come back to college for another year- averaged 19.7 points per game last season and 5.3 rebounds per game. He scored 25 points against Northwestern and 22 against Bradley last year, two postseason teams. Silas is averaging 28.1 ppg, 2.1 apg, and 4.5 rpg in 8 games this year.

11. Anatoly Bose
, a 6-6 shooting guard from Nicholls State, averaged 21.1 points on 43.0 percent field goal shooting in the Southland Conference last season. Bose has already posted 22 points at Houston, 28 at LSU and 37 points at hostile Oklahoma State. Bose has NBA potential and could carry his team to the NCAA Tournament. Bose is averaging 25 ppg, 2.3 apg, and 5.3 rpg in 10 games this year.

12. Kenneth Faried
, a 6-8 senior forward from Morehead State, has dynamic athletic ability for his size and could wreak havoc in the Ohio Valley Conference this year on the offensive and defensive end. He averaged 16.9 ppg, 13 rpg, 1.6 spg, 1.9 bpg. Faried is averaging 18.3 ppg, 14.3 rpg, 2.4 spg, and 1.8 bpg in 12 games this year.

13. Keith Benson
, a senior from Oakland in the Summitt League, is known for his shot block abilities throwing back 3.3 bpg. In addition he averaged 17.3 ppg and 10.5 ppg. He had games of 20 points and 4 blocked shots against Kansas and 28 points and nine rebounds against Pitt in the NCAA Tournament last year. Benson is averaging 17.3 ppg, 10.4 rpg, and 3.3 bpg in 14 games this year.

14. Ryan Rossiter
, a senior forward from Siena, is one of the best big men in college basketball, reaching the NCAA Tournament all three years at Siena. Last year he averaged 13.8 ppg, 11.1 rpg, 1.4 spg and 1 bpg for the MAAC Champions. The Saints top two scorers have graduated, this should increase the scoring production for the versatile Rossiter. Rossiter is averaging 20.3 ppg, 13.3 rpg, and 1.1 bpg in 9 games for the Saints this year.

15. Adrian Oliver
, a 6-4 senior at San Jose State, could be the highest scoring mid-major player this year. He tied South Carolina's Devan Downey last year as he was fifth in the nation in scoring, averaging 22.5 ppg and scoring 30 or more in eight games. NBA scouts should be drooling with the potential of this high flyer. Oliver is averaging 24.2 ppg, 2.8 apg, and 5.3 rpg in 10 games this year.

16. Charles Jenkins
, a 6-3 senior from Hofstra, demonstrated his skills last year on the offensive and defensive end. He has 168 steals for his career and cleared 4.5 rpg as a junior. He also averaged 20.6 ppg and 3.9 apg and has the speed to beat his opponents to the hoop. Jenkins is on pace to top the 2,000 point mark this year. He is averaging 24.9 ppg, 4.3 apg, and 2.3 spg this year in 10 games.

17. Steven Gray
, a senior forward from Gonzaga, is one of the most versatile players in the game and has emerged as the leader of the Gonzaga offense. Gray scored a team high 35 points in the Bulldogs loss to San Diego State this year and is looking to guide his team to the Sweet 16 and beyond. Gray is averaging 15.5 ppg, 4.9 apg, and 3.5 rpg in 11 games this year.

18. Norris Cole
, a senior guard from Cleveland State, has the Vikings off to an 12-1 and start and a collision course with Butler in the Horizon League this year. He averaged 16.3 ppg and 4.4 apg and his numbers are expected to rise this year. Cole scored 22 points in an upset of #4 seed Wake Forest in the 2009 NCAA tournament. Cole is averaging 21.1 ppg, 4.8 apg, and 4.8 rpg in 13 games this year.

19. Jimmer Fredette
, a senior from BYU, was seventh in the nation in scoring last year at 22 ppg as he led his team to the second round of the NCAA Tournament. He also shot 44 percent from three-point range and had eight 30 point games last year including 37 in a first round win over Florida. Fredette is averaging 24.2 ppg, 3.8 apg, and 3.1 rpg in 12 games this year.

20. Donald Sims
, a guard from Appalachian State, averaged 20.4 ppg and shot 42.7 percent from three-point range and had four 30 point games. He had a high game of 44 points against Davidson last year. Sims is averaging 24.9 ppg, 3.6 apg, and 2.5 spg in 8 games this year.

21. Randy Culpepper
, an elusive guard from UTEP, averaged 17.9 ppg and had three 30 point games last year. He had a high of 45 points against East Carolina last year in which he shot 14-of-18 from the field and 9-of-12 from three-point range. Culpepper is averaging 19.8 ppg, 2.9 apg, 2.7 rpg, and 2.5 spg in 11 games this year.

22. Brandon Bowdry
, a senior from Eastern Michigan, averaged 16.3 ppg, and 10 rpb as a junior and is looking to have a huge senior year. He showed off his impressive play in his first game this year against Michigan State, dropping 32 points and 15 rebounds against #6 Michigan State. Bowdry is averaging 21.9 ppg, 10.1 rpg and 1.5 apg in 10 games for the Eagles this year.

23. Elias Harris
, a 6-7, 245, bruiser from Germany, was named to the 2011 Naismith preseason watch list after averaging 14.9 ppg and 7.1 rpg for the Gonzaga Bulldogs. He was also the Bulldogs top field goal shooter last year, shooting 54.7 percent from the field. Harris is averaging 11 ppg, 4.8 rpg, and 1.5 apg for the Bulldogs this year.

24. Denzel Bowles
, a 6-10, 255, senior from James Madison, posesses all the skills to take his game to the next level. He averaged 20.9 ppg and 9.3 rpb as a junior and scored in double figures in 26 consecutive games. This year Bowles is averaging 17.2 ppg, 2.5 apg, and 8.4 rpg in 11 games this year.

25. Troy Gillenwater
, a junior from New Mexico State, has taken over the leadership role from the departed Jahmar Young and Jonathan Gibson. He averaged 14.6 ppg on 52.7 percent shooting last year. On the defensive end he averaged 1.3 blocks and 6.8 rebounds. Gillenwater is averaging 18.4 ppg, 6.9 rpg, and 0.7 bpg in nine games this year.