Seth Curry, Duke
Austin Rivers will grab the headlines, but Curry's the Devils' best and most important player. Mike Krzyzewski already said as much. Don't expect a Nolan Smith-type season (Curry doesn't play that kind of D), but do expect Curry to hit plenty of 3-pointers, take the clutch shots and lead by example. Hey, who am I to argue with Coach K?
Jeremy Lamb, Connecticut
Maybe things won't be as easy without Kemba Walker to attract the defensive attention, but last March showed Lamb's ready for his starring role. The 6-5 sophomore wing hits from beyond the arc and inside it and finish at the basket. Freshmen Andre Drummond and DeAndre Daniels will prevent Lamb from putting up huge numbers, but that's the only drawback.
Terrence Jones, Kentucky
Already a brilliant all-around player as a freshman, the only thing the 6-8 forward lacked last year was drive, something coach John Calipari often noted. This season? Calipari has nothing but praise for Jones' improved shooting, ball-handling and work ethic. If that's the case, Jones is one team too low on this list.
John Henson, North Carolina
The 6-10 junior isn't the Heels' first-, second- or third-scoring option. But he's one of their most crucial because of how he affects the game through his shot-blocking and rebounding. Henson's arms are seemingly five-feet long and are usually found disrupting an opponent's shot. Roy Williams' teams are always an offensive force. Henson makes them a defensive marvel, too.
Perry Jones, Baylor
Few players can mix Jones' physical gifts, which he finally showcased midway through conference play last season. He topped 20 points five times in a nine-game stretch and was aggressive on the boards as well. Only an NCAA suspension slowed him down. With the Big 12 up for grabs and Jones motivated to carry the Bears, good things will happen for Jones.