Top 25 Breakout Players & Teams To Watch In The NBA, College & High School This Season

By: 11.09.11  •  4 Comments
Samantha Prahalis

Samantha Prahalis (photo. Ohio State Athletics)

15. Samantha Prahalis, The Ohio State University
Samantha Prahalis is considered the next game changer in women’s basketball. Why? Because the 5-7 senior point guard is changing coaches’ perception of traditional guard play. Widely considered the “Steve Nash of women’s basketball” as she dazzles fans with her flashy plays, Prahalis finished third in the NCAA last season with 6.9 assists per game. Already Ohio State’s all-time assists leader, look for Prahalis to have a monster senior year in Columbus.

14. Joe Jackson, University of Memphis
Last year, Joe Jackson saved his best play for the postseason, averaging 16.5 points and 3.0 assists in four appearances, including the two championship-winning free throws in the Conference USA Tournament title game. As the Tigers’ second-leading scorer, the Memphis native looks to improve upon his stellar all-around play this season as he teams back up again with fellow sophomore Will Barton. Both these guys were named to the Wooden Award Preseason Top 50, but look for Jackson to breakout.

13. Andrew Wiggins, Huntington Prep
Following in the footsteps of incoming NBA rookies Tristan Thompson and Cory Joseph, Andrew Wiggins will be the latest Canadian making noise in U.S. high school basketball. The 6-7 swingman from the Class of 2014 is by far the best player in his class, and has been getting LeBron James-like buzz for the last two years. After playing his freshman season in his native country, where he averaged 28 points, 10 rebounds, five assists and two blocks per game, the 16-year-old has taken his talents stateside to play at Huntington Prep (Huntington, W. Va.) and is on a mission to be The Next Big Thing.

12. Evan Turner, Philadelphia 76ers
As the second overall pick in the 2010 NBA Draft, Evan Turner didn’t exactly live up to expectations last season. Though the Sixers surprised some people with their stellar play late in the year, Turner struggled to get minutes and was seemingly lost in translation. Philly is loaded with solid wing players, but need a guy who can spread the floor and shoot a decent percentage from three; Evan Turner is that guy. After spending his summer working with Hall of Fame coach Herb Magee to tweak his shot, Turner knows that he’ll improve upon his averages of 7.2 points and 3.9 rebounds in 23.0 minutes a game. And with the ability to create for himself off the dribble, look for him to make the leap this year.

11. JaMychal Green, University of Alabama
We can’t say enough about JaMychal Green. Love his game. Love his potential. Love just watching him play. After leading Alabama to the NIT Finals last year, averaging 15.5 points, 7.5 rebounds and 2.1 blocks per game, Green dominated the World University Games this summer. And while some players might find solace in All-SEC First Team honors after being snubbed from the NCAA Tournament, as well as being named to the Wooden Award Preseason Top 50 this fall, the senior is looking to lead the Crimson Tide to a deep run come March.

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