Top 10 NCCA bball Frontcourts For 2011-12

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 6 years ago '07        #1
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kyhoopsgoat 418 heat pts418
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Top 10 NCCA bball Frontcourts For 2011-12
 

 

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Jared Sullinger will help give Ohio State a great frontcourt next season, but is it the best in the land?

These are the frontcourts that stand out:

10. Gonzaga
In 7-footer Robert Sacre and 6-foot-8 Elias Harris, Bulldogs coach Mark Few has two veterans who throw their weight around on both sides of the ball. As a bonus, they are excellent from the stripe. Last season, Sacre and Harris shot a combined 80 percent at the line, which was good news for Gonzaga fans because, on average, the duo drew more than seven fouls for every 40 minutes they played together. Both are solid (if not spectacular) on the defensive glass, and Sacre in particular is a good offensive rebounder. Sacre can be erratic with his shooting, and made less than half of his two-point attempts last year, which is unusual for a 7-footer. But his shot-blocking and ability to get to the line (not to mention the 55 percent 2-point shooting the Zags get from Harris) more than offset the occasional miss.

9. Minnesota
Trevor Mbakwe might be the most productive player you didn't pay any attention to last year. All he did as a junior was make 58 percent of his 2-point tries and pull down 26 percent of opponents' missed shots during his minutes. Plus he stays out of foul trouble while drawing an average of six whistles per 40 minutes on the other team. If he could just make free throws (he shoots 63 percent at the line) his kenpom efficiency rating would set tongues a wagging. Not that Mbakwe's a one-man frontcourt in the Twin Cities. Ralph Sampson's an excellent shot-blocker, one who swats and alters shots without committing many fouls. Even with Colton Iverson's transfer to Colorado State, Tubby Smith still has a formidable frontcourt on hand.

8. Connecticut
When it comes to big men and the reigning national champions, the whole is most definitely more than the sum of its parts. Not to revisit ancient history, but in 80 minutes of basketball played at the Final Four in April, Jim Calhoun's team held Kentucky and Butler to 15-of-66 shooting (23 percent) on their 2-point attempts. Not all of that was the doing of the frontcourt, of course, but then again, having Alex Oriakhi on hand, along with cameo appearances by Charles Okwandu, certainly helped those numbers along. As a sophomore, the 6-foot-9 Oriakhi was a role player on offense, one who usually "created his own shot" simply by pulling down an offensive rebound. Now that Kemba Walker has moved on to the next level, you may hear talk about Oriakhi taking on a larger role. But if the big guy continues to dominate the offensive glass and deny the paint to opposing offenses, his job description will be pretty substantial as-is. Also note that this week highly rated 6-foot-8 wing DeAndre Daniels announced that he'll be joining the UConn frontcourt in the fall.

7. Alabama
While we're on the subject of outstanding 2-point defense, consider Alabama. You didn't hear a lot about the Crimson Tide last season -- they didn't even make the newly expanded 68-team NCAA tournament field -- but Anthony Grant's team held SEC opponents to 42 percent shooting from inside the arc. Give 6-foot-8 JaMychal Green and 6-foot-6 Tony Mitchell their fair share of the credit: This was far and away the best defense in the conference (allowing just 0.92 points per possession in league play). Green, who's the Tide's best rebounder at both ends of the floor, draws an average of six fouls per 40 minutes and shoots a respectable 74 percent at the line. Meanwhile, Mitchell get his points largely from the field, draining 58 percent of his 2-point attempts.

6. UCLA
Here's one indicator of a strong frontcourt. Your leading scorer and rebounder from the previous year is returning, and your coach is saying that in the upcoming season the team is going to feed the big man -- but he's not talking about last year's leading scorer and rebounder. Meet the Bruins. Last season, Reeves Nelson scored more points and pulled down more boards than any UCLA player, but when Ben Howland talks about surrounding a big man with four more perimeter-oriented players in 2011-12, he is talking about Joshua Smith. Take it from Howland: "The only other player we've had like him was Kevin [Love]." That is some very high praise, but if the 300-pound Smith can log enough minutes, he may just earn the comparison. Smith and Nelson will be joined this season by Travis and David Wear, who are eligible after transferring from North Carolina.

5. Vanderbilt
For a 6-foot-11 shot-blocker surrounded by the likes of Jeffery Taylor and John Jenkins, Festus Ezeli plays a surprisingly large role in the Commodores' offense. True, it's a role that comes and goes, as Ezeli struggles to stay out of foul trouble. But when he's on the floor (23 minutes a game) he commands the attention of opposing defenses, often by pulling down an offensive board and/or drawing a foul. In other words, feel free to be impressed by Ezeli's 59 percent 2-point shooting, because it came while he functioned as something like a co-featured scorer alongside Taylor. Speaking of Taylor, his 2-point accuracy's declined in each of his three seasons, but the 6-foot-7 wing is nevertheless adept at drawing both attention and fouls.

4. Baylor
If you're looking for a big man who's going to make a big leap in scoring average in 2011-12, you could do worse than Perry Jones. As a freshman, the 6-foot-10 Jones could function as a supporting player while LaceDarius Dunn took the bulk of the shots in the Bears' offense. But now Dunn's gone and it's time for Jones to show what he can do as the proverbial Man. If last year's 56 percent accuracy from inside the arc is any indication, Jones should do just fine (once he sits out an NCAA-mandated five games due to loans his mother received from an AAU coach). Throw in 6-foot-9 freshman sensation-in-waiting Quincy Miller, not to mention veterans like Quincy Acy and Anthony Jones, and fans in Waco may well be treated to a special season.

3. Kentucky
Expectations can be misguided, of course, but right now very big things are anticipated from Anthony Davis. The 6-foot-10 freshman from Chicago is billed as an athletic and dominant big man, one who could hear his name called as the No. 1 overall pick in the 2012 NBA draft. And, depending on how you classify freshman wing Michael Gilchrist, Davis may have some competition for the honor of top UK frontcourt freshman. One more thing: Did I mention Terrence Jones is back? After mulling his options, the 6-foot-8 sophomore-to-be decided to play another season of college ball. Jones missed his share of shots last year, but for a freshman functioning as his team's co-featured scorer (along with the now-departed Brandon Knight), his body of work suggests very good things to come. This projects to be one loaded frontcourt.

2. Ohio State
For the purposes of these rankings, I'm defining the Ohio State frontcourt as Jared Sullinger, period. To be sure, Thad Matta has a 6-foot-10 McDonald's All-American joining the roster this fall (hard to believe, I know), and I'm sure Amir Williams will be a fine player. But I'm already on the record as believing that Sullinger is poised to do some very special things as a sophomore. Simply put, I'm not sure we've seen a player this good not enter the draft in recent years. The closest examples would be Blake Griffin and DeJuan Blair as freshmen, and of the three, Sullinger arguably has the best numbers as a first-year performer. To repeat what I said about Sullinger a few weeks ago: "For a freshman to log this many minutes, stay out of foul trouble, make 70 percent of his free throws, take care of the ball and dominate the boards at both ends of the floor is very rare." a.ssuming that Sullinger's teammates can keep opposing defenses honest, I'm really looking forward to seeing just how much damage the big guy can do as a sophomore.

1. North Carolina
I know you expected me to rank the Tar Heels' frontcourt No. 1, and sure enough, here they are. After all, a trio comprised of Harrison Barnes, Tyler Zeller, and John Henson gives Roy Williams what can only be termed a ridiculous embarrassment of riches. But here's a fun fact. How many of those guys made first-team All-ACC last year? Answer: none. Zero! That ACC must have been one talented conference in 2010-11. While it's true Barnes is currently refining his backcourt skills, I'll lump him in with the big guys here simply because opposing coaches have to think that way. Any team that plays Carolina has to figure out how to guard the 7-foot Zeller, the 6-foot-10 Henson, and the 6-foot-8 Barnes. (Good luck.) All of the above will be joined by McDonald's All-American James Michael McAdoo. (And remember, the name really is James Michael McAdoo.)


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 NCB: North Carolina and Ohio State will have dominant frontcourts - ESPN

224 comments for "Top 10 NCCA bball Frontcourts For 2011-12"

 6 years ago '05        #2
J 39 heat pts39
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Kentucky with the #3 backcourt and #3 frontcourt :applause:
 6 years ago '06        #3
hood135 2 heat pts
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 Jralez said:
Kentucky with the #3 backcourt and #3 frontcourt :applause:
Pretty stout. Not a UK fan but I'm interested in how Coach Cal will use Gilchrist. He's definitely not a 4 or at least I don't think he can be a four and he doesn't look like your traditional 3 either.

Either way, I think he's one of those tweeners who just gets it done regardless of position. I don't see him being a one and done guy but I do see him being a guy that can get his jersey hanged because of the intangibles he brings to the table.

The SEC will be better as a whole this year. They brought in a talented group in the 2011 class. Call me crazy but I think that they have a shot of getting 5 teams in this year.

Kentucky
Florida
Vandy
Alabama

Sleepers
MS State
Georgia
 06-16-2011, 10:10 AM         #4
@RG3 
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should be UNC number 1..


then the next team should start at like number 3.. the gap is that far.
 6 years ago '05        #5
Willoughby 1 heat pts
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#5 backcourt and #1 frontcourt. Let's get it UNC.
 6 years ago '06        #6
Against D Grain 
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Nice to see Bama getting some recognition on the hardwood. We are going to shock the basketball world this upcoming season
 6 years ago '05        #7
J 39 heat pts39
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 hood135 said:
Pretty stout. Not a UK fan but I'm interested in how Coach Cal will use Gilchrist. He's definitely not a 4 or at least I don't think he can be a four and he doesn't look like your traditional 3 either.

Either way, I think he's one of those tweeners who just gets it done regardless of position. I don't see him being a one and done guy but I do see him being a guy that can get his jersey hanged because of the intangibles he brings to the table.

The SEC will be better as a whole this year. They brought in a talented group in the 2011 class. Call me crazy but I think that they have a shot of getting 5 teams in this year.

Kentucky
Florida
Vandy
Alabama

Sleepers
MS State
Georgia
Miss. St. should definitely get in.
 6 years ago '06        #8
hood135 2 heat pts
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 Jralez said:
Miss. St. should definitely get in.
Yeah I was hesitant to put them in there with them definites because...well its Mississippi State but they have the potential to be damn good.

Not many people know about Arnette Moultrie, the transfer from UTEP, who could have been a first rounder this year. His legit at the four or five spot and Renardo Sydney has already dropped 30 pounds out at John Lucas' camp and is going to be there for another month. If he can keep it together and come back with something to prove then he has the "potential" to be the best big in the country. Big "if" though.

That's a lot of size and skill on blocks. They'll definitely open some eyes this year.
 6 years ago '05        #9
J 39 heat pts39
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UK was looking at Moultrie hard for a minute. With those bigs and Dee Bost, Miss St. will have a nice lil squad next season.
 6 years ago '05        #10
Majestic_GMMB 1 heat pts
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:dancingcool:
 6 years ago '09        #11
TYO 
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We're really being slept on right now......I love it.
 6 years ago '05        #12
J 39 heat pts39
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 TYO said:
We're really being slept on right now......I love it.
you don't really think yall have a top 10 frontcourt do you?
 6 years ago '04        #13
Liquid-Science 28 heat pts28
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fu*k a 2011-2012 season

sh*t is going to be horrible :(
 6 years ago '08        #14
Main Event 55 heat pts55
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 Liquid-Science said:
fu*k a 2011-2012 season

sh*t is going to be horrible :(
Atleast you gettin Shaq and the Twins
 06-16-2011, 02:06 PM         #15
Ca$h Out 
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 Against D Grain said:
Nice to see Bama getting some recognition on the hardwood. We are going to shock the basketball world this upcoming season


Belee dat....

Green will be one of the runners for sec player of the year...
 6 years ago '05        #16
J 39 heat pts39
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Aw hell, I was actually excited for Bama to be on the come up and make some noise this season but now their fans are talkin bout shocking the world and Green winning SEC player of the year?
 6 years ago '06        #17
hood135 2 heat pts
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 Jralez said:
Aw hell, I was actually excited for Bama to be on the come up and make some noise this season but now their fans are talkin bout shocking the world and Green winning SEC player of the year?
 6 years ago '04        #18
Liquid-Science 28 heat pts28
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 Main Event said:
Atleast you gettin Shaq and the Twins
Shaq, yeah, he just said today that Maryland is his #1 school

Harrison Twins...doubt it, I'm still sure some school like Kansas shows up with 2 brand new 2013 Chargers and $30k for them to come there

I wasn't even alive the last time Maryland got a #1 recruit...Moses Malone showed up for like 1 day of classes, said fu*k it and went to the ABA

seeing how obnoxious Alabama fans are going to be if they start winning makes me wish Grant had taken the Maryland job...stupid tornadoes


Last edited by Liquid-Science; 06-16-2011 at 02:30 PM..
 6 years ago '09        #19
TYO 
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 Liquid-Science said:
Shaq, yeah, he just said today that Maryland is his #1 school

Harrison Twins...doubt it, I'm still sure some school like Kansas shows up with 2 brand new 2013 Chargers and $30k for them to come there

I wasn't even alive the last time Maryland got a #1 recruit...Moses Malone showed up for like 1 day of classes, said fu*k it and went to the ABA
at the bolded... BTW...Mcgary just said Maryland is recruiting him the hardest



Naw we don't got a top 10 front court right now Jralez but by the end of the season we will.
 6 years ago '04        #20
Liquid-Science 28 heat pts28
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 TYO said:
at the bolded... BTW...Mcgary just said Maryland is recruiting him the hardest



Naw we don't got a top 10 front court right now Jralez but by the end of the season we will.
Josh Selby got good money out of Kansas, don't act like ya'll are above paying n*ggas

McGary...would be nice, I'll believe it when I see it

Under Armour getting into the AAU game has helped but I'm still skeptical on landing anyone too high

Maryland is allegedly making a showing at that Top 100 camp they got going on in VA today...Shaq Cleare, McGary and a few other players are saying Maryland has their ear now


Last edited by Liquid-Science; 06-16-2011 at 02:43 PM..
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