The start of the new college basketball season is now right around the corner, with only 24 days until its official start. To begin the 2013-14 season preview, The Catch and Shoot is releasing 10 players on its “Top 100 Players” list every Monday. After releasing No. 91-100 last week, the 2013-14 season preview now continues with the next group of the nation’s top 100 players.
90. Drew Crawford, Northwestern
Crawford will return to Northwestern for his graduate year after missing nearly all of last season with a shoulder injury that required surgery. When he was full strength as a junior, Crawford had a very strong year with 16.1 points, 4.7 rebounds and 2.1 assists per game. He also shot 48.4% from the field and 41.2% from three-point range. He will be the star for the Wildcats this season, and their hopes for a first NCAA tournament appearance will rely heavily on him.
89. Torrey Craig, USC Upstate
Craig remains a secret in the Atlantic Sun, where he has been shadowed by the success of Belmont, Mercer, and Florida Gulf Coast.
Craig’s junior season was a bit of a letdown as his offensive rating dipped more than two points, but he still finished in the top 40 nationally in that category. Last season, he was held to fewer than 10 points only twice, and he had 10 outings with 20 or more points. With his athleticism, size and versatile skill set, Craig has the potential to be the first NBA player from USC Upstate.
88. Tashawn Thomas, Houston
Last season, Thomas nearly averaged a double-double with 16.9 points and 9.8 rebounds per game. Collecting sixteen double-doubles, he was a consistent force inside for the Houston Cougars, who could be a good sleeper in the American Athletic Conference. He is one of the nation’s top rebounders, ranking No. 94 in defensive rebounding percentage last year.
87. Justin Cobbs, California
Cobbs’ junior season was a bit disappointing as his offensive rating, scoring average and shooting percentages dipped. But with Allen Crabbe gone to the NBA, he is now California’s top dog. He finished the regular season last year on a tear, averaging 18.3 points and six assists over the final nine games. We’ll see if he picks up where he left off.
86. Sean Armand, Iona
Armand is one of the frontrunners in the MAAC Player of the Year race. Playing alongside former MAAC Player of the Year and Arizona guard Momo Jones, Armand became a much more complete last season, more than doubling his rebounds, assists, blocks and steals. However, his shooting percentages and offensive rating dropped. Although his 117.1 offensive rating is very respectable, as a sophomore, he ranked No. 13 in the nation with a 126.8.
85. James Young, Kentucky
Young will likely be coming off the bench for Kentucky this year, but do not doubt his talent. The McDonald’s All-American and Jordan Classic participant, who ranked in the top 10 for the Class of 2014, is an explosive scorer with a long, 6-11 wingspan. He will definitely have an immediate impact for Big Blue Nation.
84. George Beamon, Manhattan
Beamon is the main reason why the Manhattan Jaspers have been tabbed as one of this season’s top mid-major squads. Beamon, who led the MAAC in scoring two seasons ago with 19 points per game, missed all but four games last season with an ankle injury. Recuperated and back to 100%, he now returns for a graduate year after receiving a medical redshirt.
83. Kareem Jamar, Montana
Jamar is one of the more versatile players in college basketball this year. As a junior, he averaged 14.2 points, 5.9 rebounds and 4.0 assists. Also, he can score around the basket, from mid range, and from three. Last season, Jamar flirted with achieving a triple-double twice. Against Montana State he posted 23 points, seven rebounds and 10 assists, and against Davidson he recorded 28 points, 12 rebounds and seven assists.
82. Brandon Ashley, Arizona
Ashley received limited playing time as a freshman last season, but this year he will be one of the best, if not the best, player on a very talented Arizona roster. In only 20.5 minutes per game, he averaged 7.5 points and 5.3 rebounds while shooting finishing second on the team with a 52.5 field goal percentage.
81. Joe Harris, Virginia
Harris, a 6’6″ senior, is one of the deadliest shooters in the nation. Last season he made 77 three-pointers on 42.5% shooting while averaging 16.3 points per game. His season average would have been even better if he had not tapered off and averaged only 12.1 points over seven games in March.