Print and Go Back ESPN.com: College Basketball Nation [Print without images]

Monday, April 15, 2013
Watercooler: Finding the next surprise stars

By Eamonn Brennan

Myron Medcalf: What's up, man? It's technically the offseason, but the Watercooler never rests, Eamonn. And it's never too early to talk about next season, right?

I think the 2013-14 field includes a bunch of players who could emerge and surprise us the way Kelly Olynyk did in 2012-13. I mean, Olynyk went from redshirt season to All-American and probable first-round pick.

Who's the next breakout star in college basketball? I think Iowa State's Georges Niang is worthy of this list. He averaged 12.1 PPG last season, and he'll play a bigger role for Fred Hoiberg's squad next season. He's not on many radars right now, but I love his potential.

Eamonn Brennan: Greetings, Myron! Indeed, the Watercooler never sleeps; a couple of days of relative calm were all it took for us to start getting antsy again.

Totally agree on Niang. When I learned our topic for today -- wherein we look around the college hoops landscape for potential breakout All-American candidates -- he was the first player to pop into my head. He's still just under-the-radar enough that he can qualify as a surprise when he turns his vast combination of perimeter skills in a tricky 6-foot-8 frame into a stellar sophomore season. And he'll have plenty of touches, that's for sure.

One other guy who immediately came to mind was Indiana point guard Yogi Ferrell. Despite playing with four 1,000-point scorers (or maybe because of it), Ferrell already put up solid numbers as a freshman. With all four of those players gone, he will be the Hoosiers' dominant ball handler and playmaker just in time for that expected frosh-to-soph leap. Everything hinges on outside shooting: If Ferrell can get his ugly perimeter numbers up to even 36 or 37 percent from 3, with that quickness and vision he could be a devastating offensive weapon.

For the rest of Eamonn Brennan and Myron Medcalf's discussion on players that might be next season's surprise stars, click here.