College Basketball Is About To Start, These Are The Big Stars You Need To Know

marquis teague kentucky basketball

Photo: AP

Believe it or not, college basketball starts in just nine days.Unlike seasons passed, some of the biggest stars last season are returning for another year of college ball.

That means the likes of Harrison Barnes, Terrence Jones, and Jared Sullinger will dominate headlines.

But there’s also an impressive crop of freshmen and sophomores who will be household names come March.

Austin Rivers, Duke

Rivers is the son of Celtics coach Doc Rivers.

He's touted as the top freshman in the country.

Some players get crushed by the pressure of being the Next Big Freshman (Harrison Barnes), while other play up to expectations (John Wall).

Perry Jones, Baylor

Jones was a bit of a disappointment during his freshmen year.

A lot of scouts think he has the potential to be an NBA superstar. But he's raw and tends to disappear in games.

He should be poised for a breakout year in his second season.

Marquis Teague, Kentucky

Teague has to do what John Wall and Brandon Knight did before him -- be the best guard on a young Kentucky team as a freshman.

Along with Rivers, he was the guy big-time teams wanted the most coming out of high school.

Joshua Smith, UCLA

Smith is the Bruins big fat sophomore centre.

He struggled to stay on the court last year due to a combination of foul trouble and conditioning issues.

But he has soft hands and great footwork, and he should be a force after one more year of dropping weight.

Anthony Davis, Kentucky

Davis is considered to be the best freshmen big man in the country.

He let teammate Terrence Jones score 52 points in an exhibition this week.

That's not a good sign, but we'll see how he fairs when things get real.

Le'Bryan Nash, Oklahoma State

The talented freshman hasn't played a college game yet, but he's full of confidence.

'That's how much this team believes in me, that I'm a face of this team,' he said last week.

Cocky enough for ya?

Jeremy Lamb, UCONN

Lamb came on strong toward the tail end of last season and broke out in the NCAA Tourney.

He's probably too well-known to be on this list. But without Kemba Walker, he should put up all sorts of points for the Huskies.

Terrence Ross, Washington

Ross is one of the best dunkers in the game, so that alone should get him some facetime on Sportscenter.

And former teammate Isaiah Thomas is clamoring about him. 'Terrence Ross is the most talented player I've played with during my time at the UW,' he said this summer.

Josiah Turner, Arizona

Another highly-regarded guard who will probably leave after a season or two.

He had a tumultuous road to U of A.

He transferred from a high school in California to a high school in North Carolina his senior year, and he was left off the McDonald's All-American team despite being a top-15 prospect.

Patric Young, Florida

Young is a physical beast.

Toward the end of last season, he started turning those physical skills into on-court productivity.

This should be the year he becomes one of the best players in the SEC.

Andre Drummond, UCONN

The recruiting saga of Andre Drummond was a story in and of itself.

It ultimately ended in August when UCONN pulled a scholarship from a lesser player and gave it to Drummond.

He should be a dominate force by season's end.

Aaron Craft, Ohio State

Craft had a sneaky good season last year as a freshman.

This year, he won't be able to surprise anyone, and ESPN analysts will go nuts over him every chance they get.

Kendall Marshall, UNC

When UNC inserted Marshall into the starting lineup midway through last season, he transformed the team.

He should follow the likes of Raymond Felton and Ty Lawson as great Tar Heel floor generals.

Hopefully they don't end up like these guys

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