College basketball countdown: No. 13 Villanova

USA TODAY Sports breaks down the projected NCAA tournament field of 68.

      
 

 

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Why Delon Wright Has the Most Complete Game in College Basketball

Unless you are an avid Pac-12 follower, chances are that Utah’s Delon Wright was probably the best college basketball player you didn’t hear about last year. Don’t expect him to fly under the radar this time around, however, as Wright is poised to have a huge senior season thanks to his array of arsenals on the court.

Wright spent the first two years of his collegiate career at a junior college before making the transfer to Larry Krystkowiak’s team. In the 33 games he played for the Utes, Wright averaged 15.5 points, 6.8 rebounds, 5.3 assists, 2.5 steals and 1.3 blocks, according to Sports-Reference.com.

These video game-like numbers earned Wright a Pac-12 All-Conference honor, making him the first player to accomplish such a feat in Utah’s program history, and his defensive efforts earned him a spot on the Pac-12 All-Defensive First Team as well.

Among all returning players for the 2014-15 season, Wright also leads the pack in the win-shares column (based on last season) sorted by Sports-Reference.com.

 

Top Returning Players in 2014-15
Name School PPG RPG APG Win Shares
Delon Wright Utah 15.5 6.8 5.3 7.3
Fred VanFleet Wichita St. 11.6 3.9 5.4 7.2
Jacob Parker S.F. Austin 14.2 7.1 2.0 6.6
Montrezl Harrell Louisville 14.0 8.4 1.2 6.4
Frank Kaminsky Wisconsin 13.9 6.3 1.3 6.2
Ron Baker Wichita St. 13.1 3.8 3.1 6.1
Keifer Sykes Green Bay 20.3 4.4 4.9 6.1
Michael Frazier Florida 12.4 3.5 1.1 6.0
Malcolm Brogdon Virginia 12.7 5.4 2.7 6.0
R.J. Hunter Georgia St. 18.3 4.6 1.7 5.9

 

One of the reasons to why Wright’s game is so versatile is because of his size. At 6’5″, Wright often causes mismatches at the combo guard position for the Utes.

He defends his position and reads passes well, as indicated by his steals average that was ranked No. 8 in the country last year. What stands out, however, is his ability to provide help defense despite being a perimeter player, as shown at the 1:10 and 1:38 marks in the video below.

On the offensive end, Wright possesses above-average ball-handling skills, and his height allows him to have a better court vision as well.

If you add in the fact that Wright draws plenty of attention from the opposing defense, then you usually have plays resulting like this.

When Wright decides to score on his own, however, he becomes much more dangerous.

Wright shot an impressive 63.3 percent on two-pointers last season, and his ability to get to the basket was a major factor in that.

Just by judging from the eye test, Wright does not have blazing speed to blow defenders by. What he does have, however, is a plethora of dribble-penetrating moves that primarily include hesitations and Eurostep layups that would make the likes of Manu Ginobili and James Harden proud.

Wright’s body control and ability to finish in traffic allows him to attack the basket at ease, and when he does draw contact from the defenders, he makes sure they pay for their mistakes. On an average of 5.8 attempts from the charity stripe last year, Wright shot 79.3 percent and averaged 4.6 points there alone.

If there is one downside in his offensive game, it would be the perimeter shooting. With a 22.2 shooting percent from downtown last season, Wright was often dared by the opposing teams to shoot the ball. However, with just 1.6 attempts from beyond the arc per game, it wasn’t as if Wright was giving away plenty of possessions by hitting the brick.

For a player of his caliber, you would have to believe that the three-point shooting was one of his focal points during the offseason, and that was exactly the case when he spoke with Raphielle Johnson of CollegeBasketballTalk.

That’s the main thing I need to work on,” Wright said. “I’ve been shooting a lot of shots in the gym, and I’m trying to work on my form, release and confidence [in taking those shots]. A lot of teams packed the lane against me because they knew I like to drive to the basket. They gave me the outside shot and I wasn’t comfortable with it. So I feel that if I can knock those shots down, it will open up my game and open up the game for the entire team.

Apparently there were signs of Wright’s work paying off in Utah’s team scrimmage on Tuesday, according to The Salt Lake Tribune‘s Matthew Piper.

If the outside shooting indeed becomes another addition to Wright’s game, then one can only imagine how much better of a player he can be for the upcoming season.

Utah has not made an appearance in the NCAA tournament since 2009 and fell to Saint Mary in the first round of the NIT last year. But the Utes will feature many returning players and look for Wright to take them further this season with an All-American campaign.

 

Honorable Mentions

Frank Kaminsky - Wisconsin

Fred VanFleet - Wichita State

Bobby Portis - Arkansas

Marcus Paige - North Carolina

Georges Niang - Iowa State

Read more College Basketball news on BleacherReport.com

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Ranking the 10 Best College Basketball Personalities to Follow on Twitter

With the start of college basketball’s regular season now (mercifully) just three weeks away, it’s time to make sure you’re following all of the right personalities on Twitter.

It’s one thing to watch college basketball games and read college basketball articles, but your full college basketball experience is incomplete without the breaking news and witty analysis you get from following these 10 people on Twitter.

The ranking system is totally subjective, but the general thought process was to ask “Who would I follow for college basketball news and notes if I could only pick one person?” After picking Jeff Goodman at No. 1 and eliminating him from further consideration, the question was asked again and again until a top 10 was created.

Obviously, you need to be following C.J. Moore, Jason King and me, but we excluded all Bleacher Report writers from consideration (because you already know to follow us).

If someone you love to follow isn’t on the list, be sure to mention that person in the comments, so we can make sure we’re following them as well.

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College Football Players on the Hot Seat in Week 9

When push comes to shove, will these players get it done?

This weekend’s college football games feature a number of big-time matchups, ones that will go a long way toward determining who makes the playoffs as well as which teams get into other notable bowl games. And while it’s a team sport, we’d be lying if we didn’t say that certain individual players will have more impact on the outcomes than others.

These players are on the hot seat, so to speak. How they play has a huge significance because a bad performance will be hard for their team to overcome. It could lead to loss, both in terms of the game itself and that player’s job moving forward.

Here’s our look at eight college football players with a lot riding on how they fare this weekend.

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College Football Picks: Week 9 Predictions for Every Game

It’s a relatively light week in college football, with only 48 games on the schedule between Thursday night and early Sunday morning. And at first glance it doesn’t look like a particularly awe-inspiring slate, with only two games pitting ranked teams.

But we’ve been down this road before. No matter what things looked like going into a weekend, every one so far this season has been wonderful once it’s gone down. That’s what we’re expecting this time around, too.

Four unbeatens, but two of them are on the road this week against five-win teams. And several other games will have major impacts on conference and division standings, not to mention all of the contests featuring teams a win away from bowl eligibility.

Check out our predictions for Week 9 of the 2014 season, then give us your guesses in the comments section.

Last week: 37-16 (.698)

Season: 371-121 (.754)

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College Basketball Recruiting: High School Teams Loaded with Talent in 2014-15

The college basketball stars of tomorrow will come from all over the country. Coaches have scoured gyms looking for that next great player to add to their roster.

A lot of that recruiting is done on the AAU and travel ball circuit, which pretty much exists solely to showcase the top prospects in the nation. However, coaches could also simply focus on a handful of high school programs, ones that collectively seem to have the lion’s share of the top talent from the recruiting classes of 2015 and beyond.

Here’s a look at some high school teams that will be overflowing with college-level basketball players this upcoming season.

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Back to the Garden for Boston college hoops teams

Boston college hoops teams return to Garden for Coaches vs Cancer tripleheader

      
 

 

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College basketball countdown: No. 14 Michigan State

USA TODAY Sports breaks down the projected NCAA tournament field of 68.

      
 

 

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College basketball countdown: No. 15 Connecticut

USA TODAY Sports breaks down the projected NCAA tournament field of 68.

      
 

 

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Devon Still surprises college basketball player

Lauren Hill is battling an inoperable brain cancer.

      
 

 

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