Can FSU challenge for another ACC title?
By Stan Lloyd
Wednesday, October 2, 2013
Here is our rankings of the top 5 point guards in the Big Ten conference. Who do we have too high? Too Low?
1) Andre Hollins- Head Gopher, and arguably the best PG in the Big Ten. Hollins didn't garner as much attention as he would have with Rodney Williams Jr. and Trevor Mbakwe on the team, but now it's his team. Hollins averaged 14.6PPG, 3.7RPG, 3.4APG, 40% or better from the field and beyond the arc. 25 of 34 games Hollins scored in double figures, including a 41-point showing early in the season against Memphis. He doesn't turn the ball over too much (2.3 per game), but with an average of 1.47 assists to turnover ratio, that number can improve. Hollins is a scorer, plain and simple. He may not need to do it all himself, but he is the go-to guy now at Minnesota.
2) Aaron Craft- Another player who is assuming the full leadership of his team this coming year is Aaron Craft at Ohio State. Craft is second best in the Big Ten at point because he is the best at defense. With sure hands, Craft created opportunities off the steal for the Buckeyes last season. Averaging 2.1SPG, Craft was responsible for 31% of the Buckeye steals, and that defense was often what won Ohio State games last season. Craft averaged 10PPG, but it was his movement of the ball and his lack of turnovers that made him a consistent player. He has scoring options to assist to this year, but there isn't a first-choice scorer established yet. If Craft is going to be that guy, he needs to raise his confidence even higher and not attempt to do too much. He's not as athletic as other players on the court, but he may be the most consistent each time he steps out there.
3) Keith Appling- Keith Appling was one of the many talented pieces in Michigan States arsenal last season, and with the team returning most of it's talent, he will look to continue being a tremendous talent. Appling averaged 13.4PPG and 3.3APG, teaming with the other star guard on the team, Gary Harris. Appling is quick through the lane and can finish strong, but has struggled at times with a consistent shot. That being said, he's all but guaranteed to give the Spartans 10+ points a night. If Appling can improve his 3-point shot, and become a better spot-up shooter, he will follow the path of many Spartan seniors and deliver in his final season.
4) D.J. Newbill- One of the many players that stepped up in the absence of Tim Fraizer last season. Newbill averaged solid numbers: 16.3PPG, 5.0RPG, 4.0APG, playing an average of 36.5MPG. Ten times during last season Newbill scored over 20 in a game, tallying only three games without going into double figures. He did all of this while not shooting above 30% from behind the arc, nor 70% from the charity stripe. Overall, he shot 40.5% from the field, which isn't bad, but it shows that he does need to improve on his shot. Above all else, Newbill needs to lower his turnover rate (3.9TPG). A top point guard cannot average one turnover for every assist and expect to win.
5) Yogi Ferrell- The small guy from Indiana had a great freshmen year getting his feet wet. Now, with the big names gone from the team, Ferrell will become more of a factor in the Hoosiers offensive game. Ferrell averaged 4.1APG, but just 7.6PPG, it will be interesting to see how he handles a bigger role in the offense. A decent free throw shooter, Ferrell struggled to hit his 3-pointers, averaging just 30.3% for the season. His quickness and aggression are a plus, creating shot opportunities and separation. His size may always be a factor, but Ferrell shows signs that he's capable of compensating for that. This season will be a turning point for him as a player. Can he handle the oncoming pressure, or will he crack?