LSU's Ben Simmons and Oklahoma's Buddy Hield have dominated the headlines in college basketball this season, but there are always new stars that emerge every March as they find success in the NCAA Tournament. So, who should you being paying attention to know before they have breakout performances? Here are five players who will turn into absolute superstars in March:
Dillon Brooks, SF, Oregon Ducks
Oregon has quietly risen to No. 11 in the AP Poll and have established themselves as the best team in the Pac-12. Brooks has been a big reason why the Ducks have become one of the best teams in the country this year, averaging 16.9 points, 6.0 rebounds, and 3.2 assists per game. He's extremely versatile at 6'6" and 225 lbs. and his playing his best basketball at the right time, averaging 20.4 points over Oregon's last eight games.
As the clear leader of this Ducks team, expect to hear a LOT more about Brooks in the coming weeks as Oregon makes a deep tournament run.
Justin Jackson, SF, North Carolina Tar Heels
UNC has plenty of starpower in Marcus Paige and Brice Johnson, but Justin Jackson (12.0 ppg, 3.8 rpg) is actually more important for Carolina's success down the stretch. At 6'8" and 195 lbs, Jackson is a matchup nightmare for opposing defenses because of his athleticism and superb mid-range game. The biggest problem facing Jackson is his inconsistency and lack of aggressiveness (scored less than 10 points in six of their last nine games), but he has elevated his level of play in UNC's biggest games throughout his career. If Carolina makes a run in the tournament, it will be because of Jackson.
Kris Dunn, PG, Providence Friars
Dunn is easily the best point guard in the country, and it's not even close - so why haven't you heard that much about him?
Well, that's probably because he plays at Providence, but the 6'4", 220-pounder has turned the Friars into one of the most dangerous teams in the country. His all-around dominance (17.0 ppg, 6.7 apg, 5.9 rpg, 3.2 spg) can not over overstated. Dunn will be a top-five pick in the NBA Draft, and if he can carry a so-so Providence team to the Sweet 16 - or further - his name will appear right alongside Simmons and Hield at the top of the sport.
Melo Trimble, PG, Maryland Terrapins
Speaking of excellent point guards, Trimble is also one of the best in the country. He's the unquestioned leader of the No. 2 team in the country - a team that many (myself included) are picking to win the national championship. While his numbers won't blow you away (14.4 ppg, 5.3 apg), he plays his best against the best competition (18.0 ppg, 6.3 apg). Trimble is one of the best slashers and finishers in the country, and he's good for a jaw-dropping play or two each time he steps on the court.
Grayson Allen, SG, Duke Blue Devils
Duke isn't ranked for the first time in what seems like forever, so if they experience any success in the tournament, it will be a big story. If that happens, Allen, who is undoubtedly Duke's best player, will be the biggest reason why. He makes plays all over the court, averaging 20.8 points, 4.6 rebounds, and 3.6 assists per game this season, and the Blue Devils are just 6-6 in games where Allen scores less than 20 points. Throw in his heroics in last year's national championship game, and Allen has all the makings of Duke's next superstar - and the next widely hated Duke player.Back to the NCAA Newsfeed
Related Topics: Providence Friars Basketball, Oregon Ducks Basketball, Final Four, Kris Dunn, College Basketball, NCAA Basketball, NCAA Tournament, Grayson Allen, Duke Blue Devils Basketball, Maryland Terrapins Basketball, Dillon Brooks, Justin Jackson, North Carolina Tar Heels Basketball, Melo Trimble