|ESPN.com: Dick Vitale||[Print without images]|
To have success on the college hardwood, you need to be strong on the glass. Rebounding is very important, taking advantage of missed opportunities and converting them into second-chance points.
Post play is also vital. To have a nice balance, the ability to go inside-outside, makes a difference.
It is time to unveil my baker's dozen top frontcourts for the 2013-14 season. It is tougher because swing players can be utilized as big guards or small forwards. Breaking it down is challenging, but I feel like I have a pretty good group here. I also realize there will be some good arguments over these picks. There is so much pride to be the best at anything in college hoops.
Here are my picks:
John Calipari has loaded up with plenty of diaper dandies to go with returning players Willie Cauley-Stein and Alex Poythress. It helps when you have Julius Randle, Dakari Johnson, James Young and Marcus Lee, all top-flight newcomers, in your program.
CJ Fair will have the opportunity to shine as one of the premier players in America. DaJuan Coleman and Rakeem Christmas have size and will be called on to do more. Jerami Grant has lots of potential up front.
When Isaiah Austin and Cory Jefferson turned down the lure of the NBA green and spurned the draft, coach Scott Drew was a happy camper. Now he has one of the top frontcourts in America.
I put Mitch McGary on my first-team All-Solid Gold squad because of his performances in the big dance. Teaming with Glenn Robinson III, Jon Horford and grad student Jordan Morgan gives John Beilein a lot of firepower.
This may be a surprise to some. Perry Ellis should have a breakthrough season. Joel Embiid is one of the best diaper dandy big men in America. Transfer Tarik Black from Memphis can score, defend and rebound. There are other players capable of contributing.
The addition of McDonald's All-American Game most outstanding player Aaron Gordon boosts the Wildcats up a few pegs. Keep and eye on Kaleb Tarczewski and Brandon Ashley.
Having diaper dandy Jabari Parker and 6-foot-8 Rodney Hood makes a big difference for Coach K. Amile Jefferson will be a different player with added responsibility now that Mason Plumlee and Ryan Kelly are gone.
8. MICHIGAN STATE
Anytime you start with Adreian Payne up front, you are going to be very good.
9. OHIO STATE
LaQuinton Ross showed a lot during the tournament last season. Amir Williams and Sam Thompson will be called upon to do more.
10. NEW MEXICO
Alex Kirk and Cameron Bairstow have great size and strength to help Craig Neal in his first season as head coach.
Jarnell Stokes is a load on the boards. A healthy Jeronne Maymon can make a difference.
The tandem of Johnny O'Bryant and diaper dandy Jerrell Martin makes coach Johnny Jones an NCAA tourney threat.
Patric Young is a proven commodity. Will Yeguete is back from injury woes and could help. Louisville is out because of Chane Behanan's suspension.
There were a number of other candidates as well, but I settled in on these 13. It will be fun to watch them shine during the upcoming season.