Apr 2, 2012; New Orleans, LA, USA; Kentucky Wildcats forward Anthony Davis (left) and forward Michael Kidd-Gilchrist (right) react late in the second half in the finals of the 2012 NCAA men's basketball Final Four against the Kansas Jayhawks at the Mercedes-Benz Superdome. Mandatory Credit: Derick E. Hingle-US PRESSWIRE
Over the next couple of weeks I am going to be running a series looking at the best players returning to the Big 12. As far as this list is concerned, Freshmen aren't eligible, but players from West Virginia and TCU are. Confusing? Well it's my list so deal with it.
25. Chris Babb, Senior, Iowa State
Babb was a lightly used player in the Cyclone attack last year, but he was moderately effective when he did decide to shoot. He started every game for Iowa State last year and played the 7th most minutes in the league. After shooting 37.3% from three as a Sophomore at Penn State, he shot just under 33% last year, but the talent is there. Babb is a solid defender who rarely turns the ball over (10.7% TO Rate). He won't win a game for you but he's a solid, steady player who will provide veteran leadership for the Cyclones this year.
24. Jabarie Hinds, Sophomore, West Virginia
With the loss of Truck Bryant, Hinds will play a major role in determining West Virginia's fortunes in their first season in the Big 12. Standing just 5'11", he predictably wasn't able to get to the rim much, and he only shot 29% on two point jumpers, but jump shooting tends to improve a bit, and he did shoot an encouraging 47% from two, not bad for a 5'11" Freshman. Hinds also had a decent steal rate and did so without fouling much.
23. Markel Brown, Junior, Oklahoma State
Brown ended up forcing the issue a few times last year having to share the ball with LeBryan Nash, and it hurt his overall numbers. He did improve to a 32% three point shooter and anyone who can dunk like this, as well as get me to give him a standing ovation in Allen Fieldhouse with a dunk, should make this list. Brown's block percentage dropped from 5.2% to just under 2% and he committed more fouls as a Sophomore, but he obviously has the athleticism to be a great defender if he wants to be.
22. Kevin Young, Senior, Kansas
Young didn't play much in his first year in Lawrence, but even though his playing time was minimal at times, his impact was not. He had 14 points on 6-8 shooting against Ohio State in Lawrence, and had the most offensive rebounds (4) in the Eiite 8 despite playing only 17 minutes. Young was the third best defensive rebounder on the team and led the team in offensive rebounding rate (14.7%). Rebounding rates translate fairly well to more playing time, so I'm excited to see what he can do with more opportunities. Now if he could only guard the chair I'm sitting on.
21. Deuce Bello, Sophomore, Baylor
Bello came in as part of a ballyhooed duo with Quincy Miller, but while Miller has a shot to be a lottery pick, Bello played in just 20% of the team's minutes. His numbers could have been worse, as he shot 56% from two and had a 70.4 FT rate, which would have been in the top 25 nationally had he had enough minutes to qualify. But he shot just 56% from the line and had a ghastly 24.8% turnover rate. He was a borderline top 50 recruit last year, so the talent is there, and he should see a lot more minutes for Baylor this year.