In every NCAA Tournament, there are big-time players who step, put their team on their back, and carry them deep into the Dance. Here are six players who can be “THAT GUY” this year.
Sam Young, F, Pitt – Big East Co-Player of the Year DaJuan Blair gets most of the attention, but for my money, I’d take Sam Young over him any day. 18.7 points and six boards a game don’t come close to telling the whole story – Young is one of the nation’s most ferocious players and has shown that he can completely take over games against top teams. Remember last week when Pitt obliterated UConn on national TV? Sam came out like a man possessed and went off for 31.
Robbie Hummel, F, Purdue – Hummel, just a sophomore, has been dealing with a hairline fracture in his back that basically prevented him from ever practicing. When he’s on the floor though he’s relentless. Case in point, today’s Big 10 Championship game – Hummel didn’t shoot well, but he was all over the floor with nine points, 11 boards, five assists and two blocks.
Jeff Teague, G, Wake Forest – This Wooden Award Finalist was reportedly going to sit out this season. Instead he suited up and proved to be one of the best players in the entire country. Teague’s the engine that makes Wake go and there are few, if any, players in the country that can keep pace with him.
Jon Brockman, F, Washington – The best player on the most unheralded Pac-10 championship squad in recent memory, Brockman is a bulldozer in the paint. Think of him as a West Coast-version of DaJuan Blair or Luke Harangody – slept-on, undersized, bulky, but vicious.
B.J. Raymond, G/F, Xavier – As usual, Xavier is flying a bit under the radar in the Tournament. Thanks to conference tournament loss to Temple and a No. 4 seed in the Dance, the stage is set for senior Raymond to go on a tear. He’s their leader, their go-to guy, and has scored in single digits only once since January.
Photo. Sam Young, USAToday.com
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