Desmond Claude, Tyrese Proctor and more potential college basketball breakout stars


Discovering Future Hoops Heroes: Desmond Claude, Tyrese Proctor, and More Potential College Basketball Breakout Stars

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One of the most exciting aspects of college basketball is witnessing players evolve and progress from season to season. In the past year, we’ve seen several young talents like Tyler Kolek of Marquette, Markquis Nowell of Kansas State, Jordan Hawkins of UConn, Kris Murray of Iowa, Johnell Davis of Florida Atlantic, Wade Taylor IV of Texas A&M, and Oumar Ballo of Arizona emerge from relatively minor roles to achieve All-America or all-league recognition. Now, it’s time to turn our attention to the next crop of potential breakout stars for this upcoming season.

  1. Desmond Claude, Xavier – Sophomore Wing Desmond Claude has the makings of a future professional player with his size, athleticism, smooth ball-handling, slashing ability, and clever finishing around the basket. As a freshman, his only apparent weakness was his shooting, but he showed improvement in his stroke. With Xavier losing their top scorers, Claude has an opportunity to step up and become a standout player.
  2. Tyrese Proctor, Duke – Sophomore Guard Tyrese Proctor, a 6-5 guard, resembles former Duke player Tyrese Haliburton with his flair and passing skills. His freshman season was promising, and he showed immense potential when he transitioned to a point guard role. Proctor has the makings of a future lottery pick with his combination of size, vision, and confidence on the court.
  3. Milos Uzan, Oklahoma – Sophomore Guard Milos Uzan demonstrated his readiness to compete as a freshman in a league where newcomers often struggle to find a place. With Oklahoma’s leading scorer departing, Uzan is poised to assume a larger role. He is a versatile player with good scoring ability and a high assist rate.
  4. Trey Kaufman-Renn, Purdue – Redshirt Sophomore Big Trey Kaufman-Renn, a redshirt sophomore, is expected to provide more scoring for Purdue. He showcased his scoring ability with 16 points per 40 minutes as a freshman and led the team in scoring during their foreign tour this summer. Kaufman-Renn’s role will be crucial, especially when Zach Edey is not on the court.
  5. Keshad Johnson, Arizona – Senior Forward Keshad Johnson, formerly at San Diego State, brings athleticism and defensive versatility to Arizona’s frontcourt. His offense has been improving during his time with the Wildcats, and his speed and ability to stretch the floor as a stretch four could make him a valuable asset in an up-tempo system.
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  1. Trevon Brazile, Arkansas – Junior Big Trevon Brazile displayed significant growth in his abbreviated freshman season before suffering an ACL injury. He has the potential to become one of the best stretch bigs in college basketball with his shooting and rim-attacking ability. Arkansas lost several scorers, leaving a lot of opportunities for Brazile to shine.
  2. Malik Reneau, Indiana – Sophomore Big Malik Reneau is expected to step into the role previously held by Trayce Jackson-Davis in Indiana’s offense. He has the ability to score from the post and possesses an excellent left-handed hook shot. Indiana’s focus on inside play should benefit Reneau’s productivity.
  3. Yohan Traore, UC Santa Barbara – Sophomore Big Yohan Traore, who spent most of his freshman season on Auburn’s bench, has immense potential. UC Santa Barbara’s talented roster, including Traore, could pose a threat to high-major teams. Traore’s athleticism, size, and skill make him a promising player in the Big West.
  4. Payton Sandfort, Iowa – Junior Wing Payton Sandfort has the scoring mentality Iowa values. He has proven to be a solid shooter and has the ability to slash to the basket. Sandfort’s role in the Hawkeyes’ offense is expected to expand, and he is likely to produce significant numbers.
  5. Baba Miller, Florida State – Sophomore Forward Baba Miller’s freshman year showed promise despite challenges adjusting to the high-major level. He is known for his exceptional athleticism and ball-handling skills. His ability to develop as a shooter will be crucial for his success at Florida State.
  6. Ernest Udeh Jr., TCU – Sophomore Big Ernest Udeh Jr. is a unique athlete who excels as a rim-runner and roller. He has the potential to become a standout defender with an impressive steal rate. Udeh’s two-way abilities could make him a key player for TCU.
  7. Mark Armstrong, Villanova – Sophomore Point Guard Mark Armstrong’s experience in the U-19 World Cup this summer should boost his confidence. He is a powerful finisher around the basket and has the potential to get to the free-throw line frequently. His development as a shooter could elevate Villanova’s offense.
  1. Isaac McKneely, Virginia – Sophomore Guard Isaac McKneely, a proficient shooter, is expected to become Virginia’s go-to scorer. He has the ability to slash to the basket and, like other successful Virginia guards, excels in reading screens and making shots. McKneely’s sophomore season could bring a significant improvement.
  2. Reese Waters, San Diego State – Junior Wing Reese Waters, a former Pac-12 Sixth Man of the Year, is set to take on a more prominent role at San Diego State. With the departure of Jordan Miller, Waters has the potential to be a go-to scorer. He is known for his proficiency in the mid-range game and can be a valuable asset in isolation plays.
  3. Wooga Poplar, Miami – Junior Guard Wooga Poplar’s role at Miami is expected to expand, and he has the potential to transition from a low-usage, high-efficiency player to a primary scoring option. Poplar’s strong finish around the basket and the ability to improve his shooting could be essential for his success at Miami.

These 15 players have the potential to become breakout stars in the upcoming college basketball season. Keep an eye on them as they aim to make a significant impact on their respective teams and the NCAA basketball landscape.


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