2011-2012 Preseason NHR All-JuniorTeam

13 Oct

By Bobby Bancroft
National Hoops Report

In college basketball, the recent rule of thumb as been the younger the better.  While that does hold true for the most part, there are talented upperclassmen all over the board.

College basketball fans need only go back to last season to see just how valuable juniors can be to post-season success.  Kemba Walker, who entered Connecticut with enormous hype as a freshman, didn’t finally break out until his junior season when he lead the Huskies to an undefeated postseason that resulted both a Big East and NCAA Title.

Below is a list of talented juniors who would love to have similar success during the 2011 – 2012 season.

John Henson, PF, UNC –With potentially three other All-Americans on the roster (Barnes, Marshall, Zeller) it can sometimes be easy to overlook Henson.  It shouldn’t.  Especially when Henson is one of the only returning players in college basketball to average a double-double (11.7 points and 10.1 rebounds).  A surefire NBA First Round pick had he entered the 2011 draft, Henson is back with the rest of his teammates in an effort to give coach Roy Williams another National Title in Chapel Hill.  From a potential standpoint, there might not be a better prospect than the lanky Henson.

John Jenkins, SG, Vanderbilt – There are some guys that you just can’t leave open.  Jenkins is one of those guys.  The Commodore’s dead-eye shooter from three point range led the SEC in scoring last season with 19.5 points per game.  Vanderbilt seems primed to make a serious run at the Final Four in New Orleans and if they do so, Jenkins will play a major role.  The good news for Jenkins who both takes (7.7) and makes (3.1) a lot of threes per game is that with so many talented teammates returning, it’s hard for opposing defense to solely focus on him.  That’s bad news for rest of the SEC.

Khris Middleton, SF, Texas A&M – On a well-balanced team, sometimes it can be heard to stand apart from the crowd.  That’s not a problem for Middleton.  Besides being one of the best NBA prospects in the Big 12, the smooth small forward does a little bit of everything for the Aggies.  Despite being eager to follow in his cousin’s footsteps (Josh Powell) and play in the NBA, Middleton has some unfinished business in College Station.  With uncertainty at Kansas, Texas A&M has a real chance to challenge for conference supremacy and improve on last year’s second-round loss to Florida State with Middleton in the fold.

Thomas Robinson, PF, Kansas – Averaging 8 points and 6.5 rebounds for the Jayhawks is impressive.  Doing it off the bench?  That doesn’t even seem possible yet that’s precisely what Robinson did as he sat behind the Morris brothers.  It takes a special talent to go from super-sub to All-American candidate but that’s exactly what is going on in Lawrence with the uber-athletic Robinson.  Kansas doesn’t rebuild, they reload and they are doing just that with Robinson who will be one of the Big 12’s elite players alongside point guard Tyshawn Taylor.

Peyton Siva, PG, Louisville – Last season Louisville surprised most experts by finishing in the top four of the Big East and earning one of the valuable double-byes at MSG.  One of the biggest reasons for that surprise was the play of their five-foot-eleven point guard from Seattle.  Although diminutive in size, Siva was one of the most influential point guards in college basketball by averaging 5.3 assists per game and controlling the offense for the Cardinals.  If Louisville improves on last season, Siva will have to take the next step and become the go-to scorer with the graduation of Preston Knowles.  After last season, it’s hard to bet against Siva.

The NHR team of Bobby Bancroft, Sam Duren, Brian Flinn, Matt Fultz and Justin Young voted on the All-Freshmen, All-Sophomore, All-Junior, All-Senior and All-American teams. We will release the teams on the NHR this week.

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One Response to “2011-2012 Preseason NHR All-JuniorTeam”

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  1. National Hoops Report All-American Teams « - October 17, 2011

    […] Team All-Junior Team All-Sophomore Team All-Freshmen Team LD_AddCustomAttr("AdOpt", "1"); LD_AddCustomAttr("Origin", […]

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