Dribble Handoff: Four returning players who could be college basketball stars in 2022-23

Achieving the leap from college basketball player to college basketball star is a rarity in a sport known for its individual style and characterized by a lot of fluctuation of player rosters due to career opportunities, transfers and injuries. But in recent years, that track has become somewhat routinely smoldering, with the likes of Keegan Murray, EJ Liddell, Zach Eddy, and Johnny Davis crossing the bridge from bitches to household names.

And that’s only in the Big Ten in the last two years.

Forecasting World Health Organization The next star (or stars) that will follow their lead will be an inaccurate science, but the prediction is there will be Some in 2022-23 is a safe bet given the sport’s recent history. So, with a host of talented players ready to take on more responsibilities this season, who will be the sport’s next superstar?

Our panel of experts anticipates that there are four players in the latest Dribble Handoff series who may be on their way to join these aforementioned players who have recently been transforming stars. The criteria we use below are players who averaged less than 10 points per game last season and who could be among the top players in their conference – or perhaps the country.

One of the most important things to consider when trying to identify a returning player who is about to make a statistical jump is the pieces around it. Did any of the top scorers (or better) from last season’s team go up? If so, have they been replaced by players who are clearly equipped to fill their roles?

This is the exercise that led me to Kressa.

The budding guard lost four of his Arizona teammates who averaged 45.1 points per game last season — including double-digit scorers Benedict Mathurin (17.7) and Christian Colocco (12.6). And though sophomore coach Tommy Lloyd swapped them in with enough talented bits to keep the Wildcats in the top 15 CBS Sports Preseason Top 25 and 1I don’t think any of the additions would be more of a threat to scoring than Chrisa should be as a third-year player. Last season, he averaged 9.7 points for 8.7 shots per game. This is clearly ineffective and needs improvement. But if shot percentages go up when shot attempts certainly go up, it’s not hard to imagine Kriisa going from 9.7 points per game to close to 15 for a team expected to contend for a second consecutive Pac-12 title. – Gary Parish

I’m glad we’re broadening the definition of “hack player” here, because I personally set thresholds below 8.0 points and 20.0 minutes per game in order to qualify. If that was the case here, Ziggler would have been a bit more prominent last season, when he averaged 8.8 points in 22.1 minutes for the Volunteers. He also made 2.7 passes on average and shot 35.2% from the 3-point ground. Of the rotten line, among the best in the SEC: 84.3%.

Ziegler was the secondary point guard choice in 2021-22, due to only Kennedy Chandler and the benefactor. But if you watch Vols play frequently, you’ve seen the 5-foot-9 Ziggler as the choice of well-meaning Power Conference point guard. Ziegler’s theft rate (4.5%) was 11th in the country. There’s a chance I’ll be a year early with that expectation – at least in terms of whether Ziegler will take All-SEC First Team honors in 2022-23 – but I’ll be buying big now.

Coach Rick Barnes brought back Santiago Vescovi and Josiah Jordan James of Team Utah who finished ninth on kenboom.com and finished third in defense. At 6-3, Vescovi is also a willing and able distributor, but Zeigler will have the ball in his hands the most. If the Tennessee team is one of the top three on the SEC again, it might have the best point in the conference. – Matt Norlander

Creighton is one of my early picks in the Final Four for 2022-23 and Alexander, who is coming off a strong new season, is a big reason for that. No, his 7.4 points and 3.7 rebounds per game don’t necessarily come off the page, but he took his game to a new level over the season and with the Bluejays crashing, he looked like he had a true star ability.

In seven of Alexander’s last ten games, he’s broken double digits in scoring – and three times he’s never scored above his season average (eight or nine points). This included 15 points out of 5 out of 6 shooting in the Big East tourney vs. Round of the NCAA Championship. He should be able to pick up where he left off in 2022-23 as one of the brightest young stars in the game.

“He finds ways to make plays,” Creighton coach Greg McDermott said of Alexander during March Madness. “He’s a very cool guy. He understands the game. You could tell he’s the son of a coach. His basketball IQ is very high. He’s mature beyond his years.” – Kyle Boone

Having played sparingly as a true freshman, Murray made the leap into the 2021-22 season and became Iowa’s top choice off the bench. Now, with the Hockey family saying goodbye to his older brother, Keegan Murray, it’s time for Kris to shine. Kris likely won’t match Keegan’s 23.5 points in every game of the 2021-22 season or be the No. 4 pick overall like his brother, but he could be close on both fronts. As a 6-8 striker with excellent versatility in positioning, there is little that Chris can’t do on the ground. Offensively, he made 38.7% of his 3-point attempts last season. Defensively, he averaged nearly a block per game despite playing only 17.9 minutes per competition.

If he can develop more playmaking acumen in half-court sets and get comfortable attacking the basket with both his natural left and right hands, he’ll be in the Player of the Year mix. Iowa State plays a tighter non-conference schedule in the 2022-23 season than they were in 2021-22, so Chris’ numbers and pedigree may not be great compared to his brother’s from last season. But he’s ready for a similar kind of breakthrough on the national stage. – David Cope

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