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Newcomers to watch

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Posted: Monday November 06, 2000 10:57 AM

By Albert Lin,

Players are ranked not only on pure talent, but also taking into account the opportunity they have to contribute right away. Teams' graduation losses and returning personnel factor largely into this equation.

1. Zach Randolph, 6-9, C, Michigan State
Has the ability to overpower smaller opponents and to finesse quicker ones.
2. Eddie Griffin, 6-9, PF, Seton Hall
Interior scoring and shot-blocking make him special. Shouldn't stray too far from hoop.
3. Omar Cook, 6-1, PG, St. John's
Tough, defensive-minded NYC product steps right into role vacated by Erick Barkley.
4. Jason Parker, 6-8, PF, Kentucky
Late addition of this polished post player comes in handy, given Jules Camara's suspension.
5. Mario Austin, 6-9, C, Mississippi State
Physically ready for NBA, which he considered. Fundamentally sound, good feel for game.
6. Marcus Taylor, 6-3, PG, Michigan State
Not as much pressure with Charlie Bell at his side, but he's prepared for this since he was a kid.
7. Darius Rice, 6-10, SF, Miami
Jerry Rice's nephew is a lights-out shooter who needs to realize there's more to the game.
8. Alton Ford, 6-10, C, Houston
His heart and attitude have been questioned for two summers now, but his physical gifts are without doubt.
9. Gerald Wallace, 6-7, SF, Alabama
Lost in the shuffle since huge summer of '99. Too good an athlete, too much hustle not to succeed.
10. Adam Boone, 6-2, PG, North Carolina
Responsibilities are not overwhelming with talent around him: run the offense and limit mistakes.
11. Nick Anderson, 6-6, SF, Texas A&M
Most-heralded recruit in Aggies history should team with Bernard King for dynamic 1-2 punch.
12. Luke Ridnour, 6-2, PG, Oregon
Looked tentative at McDonald's All-American Game, but should flourish outside of fishbowl.
13. Romain Guessagba-Sato, 6-4, SG, Xavier
Former Ohio Mr. Basketball is a superior athlete with range who will give A-10 foes headaches.
14. Caron Butler, 6-7, SF, Connecticut
Jim Calhoun raves about his court presence and leadership abilities. Oh, yeah, he can play, too.
15. Josh Moore, 7-1, C, Michigan
Shaq-sized specimen was delivered by the same doctor. Enough skills to be a factor in Big Ten.
16. Chris Duhon, 6-2, PG/SG, Duke
Smooth shooter just oozes class and composure. Gives Blue Devils flexibility in backcourt.
17. Jared Jeffries, 6-10, PF, Indiana
Multi-talented Bloomington native will thrive without Bob Knight's heavyhandedness.
18. Justin Davis, 6-8, PF, Stanford
Redshirted last season, during which he excited teammates with his skills in practices.
19. Avery Queen, 5-3, PG, Michigan
Inherits starting job with Kevin Gaines' dismissal. Sparkplug wiill force tempo and has good range.
20. Liberto Tetimadingar, 6-8, SF, Fordham
Versatile French native (who was an ACC target) and PF Jeff McMillan have both drawn raves.

1. Maurice Evans, 6-5, jr., SG, Texas (from Wichita State)
The nation's ninth-leading scorer as a sophomore (22.6 ppg) has an NBA body and an NBA game. He should flourish in uptempo attack.
2. Luke Recker, 6-6, SF/SG, Iowa (from Indiana via Arizona)
If he's fully recovered from devastating car wreck, he should pick up at the All-Big Ten-caliber level he attained two years ago.
3. Ruben Douglas, 6-4, so., SG, New Mexico (from Arizona)
Big-time prep scorer was starting to come on at the end of his freshman year, but when Gilbert Arenas arrived Douglas departed. Will be the main man for Lobos.
4. Adam Harrington, 6-5, so., SG, Auburn (from N.C. State)
The Wolfpack's top scorer (11.6 ppg) as a freshman has been lighting it up in Auburn's practices for a year. With four starters gone, he should step right in.
5. Ryan Humphrey, 6-8, jr., PF/WF, Notre Dame (Oklahoma)
This superb athlete should benefit greatly from playing opposite Troy Murphy, as Murphy should benefit from his presence.

1. Reggie Evans, 6-8, jr., PF, Iowa (Coffeyville CC, Kan.)
This 250-pounder comes ready-made for the Big Ten wars. Coach Steve Alford will plug him into the lineup and get big numbers instantly.
2. Aaron McGhee, 6-8, jr., PF, Oklahoma (Vincennes JC, Ind.)
One-time Cincinnati Bearcat was named MVP of the NJCAA tournament despite his team's fifth-place finish. Averaged 26.5 points and 9.0 rebounds last season.
3. Antwan Jones, 6-8, jr., SF, Cincinnati (Tallahassee CC, Fla.)
No-name prep player blossomed in juco, drawing comparisons to Eddie Jones. With their personnel losses, Bearcats need all the help they can get.
4. Travis Spivey, 6-2, jr., PG, Utah (Salt Lake CC, Utah)
Still searching for a point of Andre Miller's caliber, Rick Majerus grabbed this former Georgia Tech starter who had off-court problems two seasons ago at Iowa State.
5. Johnnie Selvie, 6-7, jr., PF, Connecticut (Southeastern CC, Iowa)
The NJCAA Player of the Year led his juco to the national championship. With departures of Jake Voskuhl and Kevin Freeman, Huskies welcome his inside presence.

1. Ronald Blackshear, 6-4, so., SG, Temple
Big-time scorer, who originally committed to Clemson, could be used in a three-guard set with Lynn Greer and Quincy Wadley once he works off rust.
2. Ezra Williams, 6-4, so., SG, Georgia
Averaged 26.5 ppg in leading Marietta High to the Georgia AAAA state title two years ago. Will take some of the scoring load off D.A. Layne.
3. Marquis Estill, 6-9, so., PF/C, Kentucky
Physical post player slimmed down to 235 pounds while rehabbing from double knee surgery. Has looked impressive in preseason scrimmages.
4. Abe Keita, 6-11, so., C, St. John's
Not much in the way of offensive skills, but in the Red Storm's system he will only need to run the court, rebound and defend.
5. Wesley Wilson, 6-11, so., C, Georgetown
A little bigger and more polished than Keita. However, given the Hoyas' considerable frontcourt depth, he may not see as much PT.

Related information
Stories's 2000-2001 NCAA Basketball Preview
NCAA Basketball Preview: Season at a Glance
NCAA Basketball Preview: Player rankings
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