Who Will Be This Season’s Standout Player?
A new season of college basketball is just about to begin, and sports season is officially back in high swing. Just like every year, we’re looking at a calendar of hopefully outstanding games, great team performances, even better individual performances, and huge shocks. More than that, we’re all looking for the next breakout star - that one player who will take advantage of the opportunities in front of them and put themselves in contention to make it in the NBA.
Almost every player on every team believes they have what it takes to turn professional, but that can't and won't be a reality for all of them. For any young player, the odds of becoming America's next basketball star are no better than the odds of winning big on the 'Basketball Star' mobile slots game with your very first spin of the reels. All of them are going to place their bets, but most of them are going to lose. The lure of 'Basketball Star' and mobile slots like it is based on one simple premise, though - somebody's going to win big, so why not you? If the games never paid out, related casinos or their sister sites would be out of business tomorrow. Similarly, if college basketball didn't produce pro basketball stars, it's highly unlikely any of us would watch. We all want to be able to say that we saw the next big thing before they made it - so who should we have our eyes on?
We’ve been looking at the declared lineups of every single team for the 2019-2020 season, and this is our checklist of outstanding players who we believe you should follow closely.
Myles Powell - Seton Hall University
Point guard Myles Powell’s acumen on the basketball court is so much better than his teammates that his coach Kevin Willard has openly admitted that he’s not only integral to their game plan, he effectively is their game plan. As he said to the New York Post when asked about his star player, when things are going against his team, the strategy is 'get the ball to Myles, and get out of his way.' That's high praise from a coach who has been around for long enough to know a star in the making when he sees one, and he has very good reason to see one in Powell. In January this year, Powell personally netted 31 points to seal an important victory against Butler, and at times appeared to be playing in a whole different universe to both his teammates and his opponents. Powell was included on the Big-East All-Academic team in 2017-2018, and has only improved since then. If he's not on the radar of several NBA sides when it comes to future draft picks, he should be.
Anthony Edwards - Georgia
Anthony Edwards, a shooting guard, is only 18 years old. He's in his first year at Georgia, and so this year should be more about establishing his reputation than positioning himself as a potential professional. The fact that we think he even stands a chance of being one of the breakout names for this season tells you a lot about his potential. Edwards has been a sports standout since he was ten years old, when he turned heads as a youth player for the Atlanta Vikings. At one point, he was considered the most promising Pop Warner running back in the USA. He never loved football as much as he loved basketball, though, and switched focus to the on-court sport during the ninth grade. During his final Class AAA state championship season, he posted an average of 29 points per game, also averaging nine rebounds and making two assists. Georgia did well to recruit him; he also had offers from North Carolina, Florida State, Kentucky, and Kansas. We expect him to be a pro by the time he's 21.
Cole Anthony - North Carolina
19- year-old point guard Cole Anthony is another young contender with a huge potential upside. He's thought of as a player blessed with great natural talent - by the fourth grade, he was deliberately seeking out older opponents to play pick-up basketball against - and humiliating them. We shouldn't be surprised by his genetic gifts though - his father is Greg Anthony, who played for the New York Knicks during an eleven-year NBA career. Anybody who keeps an eye on the Nike Elite Youth Basketball League will probably have heard this young man's name before, and if you haven't, you'll start hearing it very soon. His most recent achievement was an MVP performance in the 2019 McDonald's All-American Game, during which he picked up five rebounds, made seven assists, and netted 14 points.
Markus Howard - Marquette
Markus Howard has been with Marquette since 2016. The point guard is now 20, and it's high time he started moving forward with his career. We think this is the season that might see him do it. His career briefly seemed to have gone off the boil after a promising beginning; he was a gold medal winner with the USA's under-16 team in the 2015 FIBA Americas Championship, and picked up another gold medal the following year in the under-17s competition at the same tournament. For the next two years, everything went a little quiet for Howard, but he re-launched his career with a string of incredible performances toward the end of 2018-2019, including a record-breaking 53 point score in a dramatic win over Creighton in January 2019. He’d already recorded a score of 45 twice in previous games. His name is up in lights once more - and now it’s time to capitalize on that fact.
Cassius Winston - Michigan State
Speaking of players who are well overdue a move to the big league, it sometimes feels like Cassius Winston has been playing college basketball forever. The 21-year-old point guard has been with Michigan State since 2016, and is now entering his final year as a college player. He couldn't possibly have more momentum on the way in - He was named Big 10 Player of the Year in March 2019; the same month in which he scored 20 and picked up ten assists in a nail-biting fixture with Duke, which Michigan won by a single point. At 6 foot 1, he may not have the height you might expect of a big-name NBA star, but he makes up for it with speed, agility, and skill. In 2016, he was named 'Mr. Basketball Of Michigan' in recognition of his status as the best high-school player in his home state. Two years from now, we might all be calling him 'Mr. NBA.'