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2014-15: Year of the Big Man

For the past few years the game of college basketball has been dominated by guards with guys like Kemba Walker, Russ Smith, and Shabazz Naiper leading their teams to the crown. However with a slew of returns and an impressive crop of freshman next season looks to be a big man’s game. Kentucky will be at the forefront of the rise with the biggest team college basketball has ever seen but there will be plenty of teams that can match up at the center position. Here are my picks for the top 5 fives for next season:

5. Myles Turner, Texas

Will Myles Turner turn Texas into a winner? Well, since Rick Barnes couldn’t win big with LaMarcus Aldridge and Kevin Durant it is highly unlikely. Still, Turner was one of the nation’s top recruits for a reason and will give the Cats a real test this December in Rupp. Turner and Texas are one of the teams that can match the Cats down low.

4. Karl-Anthony Towns, Kentucky

Towns or Dakari? Dakari is a proven commodity who can get on the block and score. Unfortunately, he still has some work to do on the defensive end to overtake KAT. Towns looks like he will come in immediately and play. With his ability to play inside and out he bumps Dakari from the top 5.

3. Frank Kaminsky, Wisconsin

Frank Kaminsky proved he was one of the best big men in the country by making short work of just about every team the Badgers faced except Kentucky. Against big Dakari he was held to 8 points but showcased the moves that will make Wisconsin a contender once again. Frank passed on the draft and will likely be the nation’s best senior next season.

2. Willie Cauley-Stein, Kentucky

Willie flirted with the second triple double in Kentucky history a couple of times this season but never quite got there. Next season the record will be on notice as Willie returns to dominate a third year. At times this season Willie looked like the defensive player of the year as he changed the game while guarding. Then he would dunk all over teams on the other end of the floor. WCS has improved with time and next year he should be one of the top centers in all the land. Certainly one with the most ability.

1. Jahlil Okafor, Duke

Jahlil plays like a guy that could come in and instantly be the nation’s top center a la Anthony Davis. However, since he plays for Duke he will be the nation’s top center at home after the first weekend.

Who do you think will be the nation’s best center next season?

Article written by Andrew Cassady

Follow me @ACassady_KSR

26 Comments for 2014-15: Year of the Big Man



  1. Geez
    9:50 pm May 9, 2014 Permalink

    John Wall popping himself again tonight.



    • Chuck and suck
      10:08 pm May 9, 2014 Permalink

      Wall makes Rondo look like A Reggie Miller type shooter.



    • Spellcheck
      10:09 pm May 9, 2014 Permalink

      Try not to use the word “pooping” in a sentence if you don’t know how to spell it….Go home.



    • Nice Try
      10:24 am May 10, 2014 Permalink

      He seems to be doing much better than both you and Chuckie Sucks, however…



  2. bmt22033
    10:06 pm May 9, 2014 Permalink

    I think somebody assocaited with Jahlil Okafor is really working hard to hype him up. Much like Wiggins before him, the hype is starting to reach epic proportions that no player can live up to. From what I’ve seen of him, he’s certainly a very good player but I don’t think he’s the super rare transcendent talent that some people in the high school recruiting business are making him out to be.



    • Tomas
      10:14 pm May 9, 2014 Permalink

      Tend to agree with you. He will probably be the best overall center in CBB next year, but I think a team like Kentucky who can throw multiple bigs at him, who are all capable of doing different things to frustrate him, will render him useless in the tournament. Of course there aren’t many teams like Kentucky next year.



  3. louie
    10:07 pm May 9, 2014 Permalink

    Dakari Johnson



  4. louie dampier
    10:17 pm May 9, 2014 Permalink

    yeah! Dakari!



  5. rupp
    10:20 pm May 9, 2014 Permalink

    i hate to say it, but in today’s game
    WCS and Karl are 4’s just sayin…



    • Tomas
      10:33 pm May 9, 2014 Permalink

      Actually I think they are part of the shift in modern day post play. Back to the basket centers are rare even in the NBA. Basketball has shifted to the perimeter, so bigs have to be able to switch and have the lateral quickness to guard on the perimeter and protect the rim. Willie reminds me a little of Tyson Chandler. Karl is obviously better offensively but he is a face up player. Luckily Kentucky has different guys who can do a lot of things. Dakari is an old school below the rim center that causes match up problems for thinner guys.



  6. Bdmnky81
    10:32 pm May 9, 2014 Permalink

    Okafor is the next Oden. Good but not dominant. I would take either of our 3 7 footers over him. Definitely not a noel, cousins, or Davis type.



    • colbert
      10:33 pm May 9, 2014 Permalink

      nice



    • ukbradstith
      12:16 am May 10, 2014 Permalink

      Oden was dominant before the knees gave out. Dude was #1 over Durant for a reason. If okafor is an oden type, then he is the top center no question about it.



  7. colbert
    10:32 pm May 9, 2014 Permalink

    Dak could be the next Shaq



  8. Ruppture
    10:40 pm May 9, 2014 Permalink

    We can win another championship if Cal can get his guards under control. It will be fun to watch his sideline screaming… Sorry, the less screaming the better…



  9. Harry
    11:46 pm May 9, 2014 Permalink

    Must be a slow week.



    • HarryCary
      12:06 am May 10, 2014 Permalink

      Duh



  10. Credibility
    2:58 am May 10, 2014 Permalink

    If you actually watched some games you would know Myles Turner will start at the 4, with Cam Ridley more than effectively handling the 5 for Texas. I remember when I could actually read stuff on this site…



  11. Bleed Blue
    3:03 am May 10, 2014 Permalink

    Okafor isn’t even in the best big man coming in so no way he is going to be the best in the nation as a freshman. He struggles with length, just go back and watch the McDonald’s game when Karl was on him. He isn’t overly athletic and he isn’t great defensively when having to come off the block. He is a lot like Jared Sullinger except an inch or 2 taller. Towns is much better than Okafor and could end up being the best player on our team.



  12. catfan4life
    8:13 am May 10, 2014 Permalink

    True, Bleed Blue, and he has a nasty temper. He got really upset when Towns was playing good defense on him. If not for the refs he would have been on the bench. The guy can score no doubt, but when he plays in an actual game he won’t have all those wide open looks he enjoyed in the all star games.

    KY got the guys with “team” attitude in this class. I really like Towns at the 5 or the 4. I know the post is about the top big guys, but I tell you I love Trey Lyles who is 6’9″ or 10″. KY has finally got two players with great size that can score while more than willing to pass the ball and love playing defense.

    The upcoming season is going to be something, because all the pieces are there. If Booker can score when the lights go on this team will be scary good!



  13. Coachk
    8:22 am May 10, 2014 Permalink

    Okafor could be the most HYPED center in college basketball next year. Maybe he will be one of the best centers, but if you had actually seen him play you would not be comparing him to Anthony Davis. Okafor is a big strong guy but not with the type of game Anthony possesses.



  14. Kenny
    8:29 am May 10, 2014 Permalink

    Okafor is so overated!!!! Not even close to top 5!



  15. lou eaton
    9:19 am May 10, 2014 Permalink

    Okafor will be a great center BUT in the all star games he wasn’t even close to being Anthony Davis who blocked everything near the rim. UK will have waves of bigs to defend this guy and get him in foul trouble. If our guys are as good (the ones coming in) as advertised and I believe from seeing them in all star games they are then Cal might consider playing two squads and pressing from the opening tip ala 1996. Teams simply cannot get their offense going when they are constantly disrupted from the time they put the ball in play. We definitely have the talent next year to prevent any team from running their defense period!



  16. brain
    9:47 am May 10, 2014 Permalink

    I guess since Dak started in front of WCS most of the season at C you should probably have him listed.



  17. somerset bill
    11:29 am May 10, 2014 Permalink

    i think dakari can score more points than willie can block. last year’s team being able to switch on defense 1 through 5 definitely showed up a strength of willie’s that dakari will never be able to match, though. i expect great things from dakari this year, but if willie can become a consistent scorer (and not disappear completely from all columns on the stat sheet for 5 or 6 games in a row) he will deserve the higher ranking at the end of the year.



  18. Claytus Clinard
    1:08 pm May 10, 2014 Permalink

    You would think the guy who actually starts at UK would be higher on that list.