NCAA BK

The country's top backcourts in 2009-10

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Jeff Goodman

Jeff Goodman is a senior college basketball writer for FOXSports.com. Check out his Yardbarker blog. MORE>>
 
   
 
With the mass exodus of point guards after last season, there just aren't as many high-powered backcourts in college basketball this year.

2009-10 preview

Roy Halladay Can't wait for the college hoops season to start? We get you ready for 2009-10 with our preseason guide HERE.
Here's our ranking of the top 20 backcourts in the country — led by one floor leader who led his team to the championship game a year ago.

1. Michigan State

Backcourt: Kalin Lucas, Durrell Summers, Chris Allen, Korie Lucious
Analysis: Lucas, who can really push the ball up the floor and find his teammates, is one of the elite floor leaders in the country and Summers has the athleticism and a much-improved perimeter shot. Allen has been up and down thus far in East Lansing and Lucious is one of the top reserve guards in the nation.

2. Kansas

Backcourt: Sherron Collins, Tyshawn Taylor, Brady Morningstar, Elijah Johnson
Analysis: Collins is one of the top point guards and Taylor may not put up eye-popping numbers, but he's extremely versatile. Morningstar gets the most out of his ability, and Johnson comes in with plenty of promise.

3. Ohio State

Backcourt: Evan Turner, William Buford, Jon Diebler
Analysis: Turner makes the move to the point and does a little bit of everything, while Buford is a smooth and explosive scorer and Diebler is a lights-out shooter from long range.

4. Kentucky

Backcourt: John Wall, Eric Bledsoe, Darnell Dodson, DeAndre Liggins
Analysis: Both Wall and Bledsoe are terrific athletes and are more than capable of running a team. Neither is regarded as a great shooter, but they may not need to make perimeter shots with their ability to get to the basket. Dodson is the guy who can really make shots from deep.

5. Oklahoma

Backcourt: Willie Warren, Tommy Mason-Griffin, Tony Crocker
Analysis: Warren is an explosive scorer but will need to prove he can lead a team now that Blake Griffin is gone. Mason-Griffin, a freshman point guard who is physically ready to step in and make an impact, knows how to run a team and can also score when necessary.

6. Texas

Backcourt: J'Covan Brown, Avery Bradley, Justin Mason, Dogus Balbay, Jai Lucas
Analysis: The Longhorns have a ton of different pieces and options. Bradley, a freshman, can score in a variety of ways and is also a big-time defender while Brown, another freshman, hasn't gotten much pub, but he can score the ball and could be the key to the Longhorns' Final Four hopes. Mason is a jack-of-all trades guy, and both Balbay and Lucas bring different attributes to the table at the point guard spot.

7. Connecticut

Backcourt: Kemba Walker, Jerome Dyson, Darius Smith
Analysis: Walker takes over for A.J. Price and gives the Huskies a tough, quick floor leader, while Dyson is athletic and can score the ball. Smith is an untested, unheralded freshman that Jim Calhoun has been raving about.

8. Villanova

Backcourt: Scottie Reynolds, Corey Fisher, Corey Stokes, Dominic Cheek, Maalik Wayans
Analysis: That's a lot of talent and depth for Jay Wright & Co. Reynolds has the experience, and Fisher needs to mature in order to become an elite floor leader. Stokes can really shoot the ball, and both Cheek and Wayans have tons of potential.

9. California

Backcourt: Jerome Randle, Patrick Christopher
Analysis: This may be the most underrated backcourt in America. Randle is small but can really shoot it, while Christopher has an NBA-ready body and brings versatility to the table.

10. UCLA

Backcourt: Malcolm Lee, Jerime Anderson, Michael Roll
Analysis: The Bruins' guard tandem of Lee and Anderson may be inexperienced, but they have more than enough talent. Add in the oft-injured Roll, who likes to shoot the ball from long distance, and it's a formidable backcourt.

11. Washington

Backcourt: Abdul Gaddy, Isaiah Thomas, Venoy Overton
Analysis: Gaddy will be one of the top freshman in the nation, and Thomas is an explosive scorer. Overton may come off the bench but could start for plenty of high-major programs.

12. Mississippi

Backcourt: Chris Warren, Terrico White, Eniel Polynice, Trevor Gaskins
Analysis: Warren went down with a season-ending injury about 10 games into the season, and it was the long and multi-dimensional White who benefited the most. Polynice and Gaskins are also back after missing last year due to injuries.

13. Maryland

Backcourt: Greivis Vasquez, Eric Hayes, Adrian Bowie, Sean Mosley
Analysis: Hayes is the floor general, while Vasquez can do it all. Bowie was a key contributor last season, and Mosley should make a significant jump from his freshman to sophomore year.

14. Gonzaga

Backcourt: Matt Bouldin, Steven Gray, Demetri Goodson
Analysis: Bouldin is one of the most underrated guards in the nation and will finally get his due this season. Gray is a big-time shooter, and Goodson gives the Zags a quick, tough point guard.

15. Georgetown

Backcourt: Chris Wright, Austin Freeman, Jason Clark
Analysis: John Thompson III has three guys that all bring different things to the table. Wright has a year under his belt of running the team, and Freeman is a guy capable of getting 20 on any night. Clark is the underrated one of the group.

16. Seton Hall

Backcourt: Eugene Harvey, Jeremy Hazell, Keon Lawrence
Analysis: Harvey has plenty of experience running the team, and you won't find too many guys who shoot it better than Hazell from beyond the arc. Lawrence is quick and can score, but he'll need to become a team guy this season and settle into a role.

17. Xavier

Backcourt: Jordan Crawford, Mark Lyons, Terrell Holloway, Dante Jackson, Brad Redford
Analysis: New coach Chris Mack has plenty of backcourt options, but we think it'll be the tandem of Crawford and Lyons that will eventually emerge. Both are athletic and have the ability to score and distribute.

18. Purdue

Backcourt: E'Twaun Moore, Keaton Grant, Chris Kramer, Lewis Jackson
Analysis: These guys each bring something different. Moore is a smooth scorer, Kramer is tough and defends, Grant gives the Boilermakers a point guard who can score and Jackson brings quickness to the table.

19. Missouri

Backcourt: J.T. Tiller, Zaire Taylor, Marcus Denmon
Analysis: These guys get on the list for their ability to play on both ends of the court. Both Tiller and Taylor are relentless defenders, and both should have a chance to expand their offensive games this season with the loss of DeMarre Carroll and Leo Lyons.

20. Louisville

Backcourt: Jerry Smith, Peyton Siva, Edgar Sosa, Preston Knowles
Analysis: This group doesn't blow me away, but Smith should have a break-out season and Siva comes in as a freshman who could make an immediate impact. The key is Sosa, who has had an up-and-down career.
Tagged: Louisville, UCLA, Washington, California, Ohio State, Michigan State, Purdue, Maryland, Kentucky, Mississippi, Texas A&M-Corpus Christi, Xavier, Pittsburgh, Villanova, Connecticut, Georgetown, Seton Hall, Oklahoma, Texas, Missouri, Kansas, Texas Southern, Samford, Gonzaga

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