The Kentucky Derby may be a close runner-up to the title of “Best College Basketball Players Ever.” Kentucky’s Chris Paul and Los Angeles Lakers’ Kobe Bryant are locks to join that elite group. They are currently the only true point-guard tandem in college basketball. They are also two of the best pure scorers in the nation. No team in the country has more opportunities for open shots. Kentucky is known to run their plays at will, and having a player who can knock down open shots at will is great for letting the team take advantage of those chances.
The guy I feel is probably the best college basketball player ever is Kentucky’s Chris Paul. He leads the team in scoring, assists, rebounding, and steals, while winning the national championship. Paul is arguably the best pure shooter in the nation. This guy can create shots for his teammates whenever he wants, and he does it extremely well.
Kentucky’s other guard spot is also occupied by perhaps the best college basketball player ever, which was won by North Carolina. Scott Gleeson is not as flashy as Paul or Kobe, but he is equally as deadly from the field. He averages over 18 points per game, so you could say the Blue Devils is the counterpoint to the Kentucky Cats. If you take the points, then the Tar Grants would probably take the national title.
Big East Team
Two teams from the Big East made the last four All-Star teams, and one of them is Villanova. Villanova has the quintessential big man, center, and shooting guard combination in Patrick Patterson, Wendell Carter, and Jonathan Worley. The other big man on the team is top ten pick Joel Embiid. He is the big man that everyone wants to guard when they play against Villanova. The two will go into battle on December 5th in New York against the Cats.
Next on the list is the Houston Rockets. They are led by the imposing presence of Peabody Wallace and kick man Chris Anderson. Wallace averages over twenty points and a ridiculous eight rebounds per game, but he needs the ball in the open court to be effective. He only averages three rebounds per game on the road, so he needs to distribute to his teammates frequently if he is going to have any success against Villanova or Wisconsin. The Houston Rockets are the only team to not make the NCAA tournament last year, so anything is up for grabs.
Most college basketball fans are excited about Kentucky’s prospect of capturing the outright national title. The Cats will likely be the favorite to win the national title, but who knows if Kentucky has what it takes to dethrone the current champion, Oklahoma, in the first-round? Andrew Bogut is one of the best perimeter defenders in the country, and he will give UK the ability to defend the basket with two big men and the ability to score inside the paint. Bogut can also block shots from three-point range, which gives UK a valuable weapon as well. If Kentucky can’t stop teams from shooting threes, then how are they supposed to get an offensive rebound?
Villanova is also a team to keep an eye out for in the national player of the year conversation. Even if injuries were responsible for Patrick Patterson’s season-ending injury, Villanova will still have one of the most experienced back courts in the country playing at the forefront of the rankings. It will be interesting to see how coach Billy Gillispie utilizes senior guard Ryan Loft. He has developed into one of the best two-way players in the country and will be an integral part of Villanova’s title game puzzle. If he can develop a relationship with seniors Ryan Arcine and Perry Stevenson, then Villanova will have a real shot at repeating as Big East title winners.
The loss of Patrick Patterson hurts not only Villanova’s chances at capturing the national title game, but it hurts the Big East as a whole. Kentucky is the team to beat, but this loss means the conference will once again have two evenly talented teams fighting for first place. Georgetown is the team that have the inside track on winning the national title game, but they will have to go through the Villanova Blue Dogs without Patrick Patterson, which could prove to be a huge blow to the Dubblers’ title run. Villanova is the team to beat in the Big East this year and it looks like they will earn the top spot in the preseason poll.