Over the past three years, college basketball has seen some of the nation's top talents come and go after one season due to the NBA's minimum age requirement. And with many of the game's big names heading to the pro ranks after last year, the 2009-10 college hoops season will witness a new group of stars shining between the months of November and April. So as the summer wears on and the recruiting trail heats up, Josh Herwitt unveils the top 10 players returning to college basketball next season. See the full list here.
Willie Warren, Oklahoma
Playing with the nation's best player gave Warren a chance to get acclimated with college basketball during his freshman year, but he showed at times last season that he can take over a game with his offensive dexterity. Ranking second in scoring for the Sooners at 14.6 points a game, the 6-foot-4 guard out of Texas also dished out 3.1 assists to go along with his 47.3 shooting percent from the floor and 37.2-percent mark from behind the 3-point line. See the full list here.
Evan Turner, Ohio State
Turner had to wait a year before he could show Thad Matta what he's really capable of, but after a sophomore season in which he posted 17.3 points and 7.1 boards each time out, Buckeye fans should be excited to see the 6-foot-7 wing return to Columbus for his junior campaign. While Turner's efficiency shooting the ball (50.3 percent from the field and 44.0 from three) is as good as anyone's, the First Team All-Big Ten selection can also pass the ball, averaging four assists per contest last year. See the full list here.
James Anderson, Oklahoma State
Anderson got some heads to turn with a strong freshman campaign, but it was his second year in Stillwater that put him on the map as a big-time scorer. The 6-foot-6 Arkansas native, for one, knocked down over 40 percent of his 3-point attempts in 2008-09 best of any Oklahoma State player last season and his 18.2 points ranked among the best in a Big 12 Conference that included Naismith Player of the Year Blake Griffin. See the full list here.
Kyle Singler, Duke
At 6-foot-8 and 235 pounds, Singler may be undersized against other power forwards, but he's proved in his first two collegiate seasons at Duke that his physical limitations have yet to hurt his overall game. Draining 38.3 percent of his 3-pointers last year, the junior forward possesses a sweet stroke from the perimeter and has shown that he can also get after it on the defensive end with an average of 7.7 rebounds and 1.5 steals in 2008-09. See the full list here.
Patrick Patterson, Kentucky
Patterson was expected by many to declare for the NBA Draft this past June, but the 6-foot-9 power forward thought otherwise with former Memphis coach John Calipari and top recruit John Wall arriving in Lexington early this offseason. Coming off a sophomore season that saw him score 17.9 points, grab 9.3 rebounds and block 2.1 shots a game, Patterson has the offensive and defensive skills to take over as the SEC's Player of the Year next season. See the full list here.
Sherron Collins, Kansas
The best point guard returning to college basketball next season, Collins can shoot the rock (37.6 percent from three in 2008-09) while leading an offense loaded with talent on the wings and down low. With a junior season that saw him average 18.9 points and 5.0 assists now in his back pocket, the diminutive floor leader out of Chicago should be an even better playmaker for the Jayhawks this fall. See the full list here.
Craig Brackins, Iowa State
Brackins didn't get a lot of national attention playing for the 15-16 Cyclones last season, but he certainly knows how to put up big numbers on both ends of the floor. While the 6-foot-10, 230-pound native of Palmdale, Calif., averaged 20.2 points and 9.5 rebounds as a sophomore, he managed to drop 42 points and 14 boards on Kansas, 38 and 14 on Houston and 32 and 16 on Northern Iowa during the 2008-09 campaign. See the full list here.
Al-Farouq Aminu, Wake Forest
Aminu has as much ability and athleticism as any other player in the country, and though the sophomore forward could have been a first-round pick in this year's draft, he still has plenty of room to improve. After posting 10 double-doubles and finishing his freshman campaign at Wake with 12.9 points and 8.2 rebounds, the ACC All-Freshman selection could turn into the conference's top talent with teammates Jeff Teague and James Johnson now playing in the NBA. See the full list here.
Cole Aldrich, Kansas
The 6-foot-11 big man from Bloomington, Minn., only scratched the surface as a sophomore last year, averaging a double-double at 14.9 points and 11.1 rebounds per game. But after not even entering his name in the 2009 NBA Draft, Aldrich should star with teammate Sherron Collins on a loaded Kansas squad that will be highly favored to win the 2010 national championship in Indianapolis. See the full list here.
Luke Harangody, Notre Dame
Harangody might not be an All-Star at the next level, but after two stellar seasons at Notre Dame including last year's All-America line of 23.3 points and 11.8 rebounds per game the 2008 Big East Player of the Year is undoubtedly the top returning player in college basketball next season. Though he's a tad undersized at only 6-foot-8, the senior forward has shown in addition to his offensive versatility and commitment to defense that he's one of the hardest workers in the game today. See the full list here.