Throughout the past month we have posted a number of lists of players who will shine in a variety of ways this season.
Now, we’re looking at a number of players who will breakthrough in 2019-20. Some will be on a team that will make the NCAA tournament and advance, while others will simply have more chances/opportunities to be featured.
Here is a look at our top 11 players who will/should bust out of their shell and become much more household names by season’s end.
Braxton Key, 6-8, Sr., Virginia
Key had a rotation role with the champs last season. He was a utility player who could come in and defend, pass and screen while also making the occasional shot. But the departures of Kyle Guy, Ty Jerome and DeAndre Hunter means there are plenty of opportunities for him to shine. He will have a breakthrough season offensively and be an All-ACC caliber player.
MORE FROM KATZ: Jordan Nwora, Cole Anthony lead Andy Katz's Top 10 ACC Players
Quade Green, 6-0, So., Washington
Green transferred from Kentucky and will be eligible on Dec. 17. He will immediately become one of the more experienced players on the Huskies. Green dealt with the pressures of playing for the Wildcats last season. He can be the distributor the Huskies need and covet with a squad that is loaded with highly-touted freshmen bigs. Green should end the season as one of the top guards in the Pac-12.
Filip Petrusev, 6-11, So., Gonzaga
Petrusev didn’t need to be more than a role player last season. But he will be counted on to produce as a sophomore. And he’s already proven he can deliver on the international stage. Petrusev averaged 19.3 points and shot 66 percent per game for his native Serbia in the U19 FIBA Championships. He had three double-doubles in the tournament, and he’s one of the main reasons why there is a sense the Zags will once again be a top-15 team.
Charlie Moore, 5-11, Jr., DePaul
Moore got a waiver to play immediately at DePaul after transferring from Kansas. He started his career at Cal. Expect him to get back to what he did as a freshman for the Bears. He led Cal with 120 assists and was an honorable mention All-Pac-12 player. Moore averaged just 2.9 points for Kansas last season in a crowded backcourt. He will be the focal point for the Blue Demons. Whether or not they are an NCAA tournament team is not the issue: Moore will have an all-Big East type season and ensure DePaul remains relevant.
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Alexis Yetna, 6-8, So., South Florida
Yetna was the AAC Freshman of the Year. He owned the boards, averaging an AAC rookie record 9.6 per game after sitting out his initial freshman season. So, he’s a third-year college player, but it's his second year actually playing. He averaged a dozen points a game in the American. Expect him to bust through the numbers and be a double-double machine and become a first-team AAC player and a contender for league player of the year. USF is about to have a breakout season and Yetna will be one of the main reasons why.
Darryl Morsell, 6-5, Jr., Maryland
Morsell has been doing a little bit of everything for the Terps in his first two seasons. He has been a glue guy for this squad, but the role could/should increase. Don’t be surprised to see Morsell bust out and become a bit more of a scorer and someone who has the trust of all his teammates. He may not put up monster numbers, but he will become one of the more important players on a possible Big Ten title team.
Jordan Bowden, 6-5, Sr., Tennessee
Bowden averaged 10 points a game last season. He should average at least a few more into the mid-teens this season with Grant Williams and Admiral Schofield gone. Bowden’s role will increase in the locker room, too, as he evolves into one of the team leaders with Lamonte Turner. Bowden has it in him to become an All-SEC player by season’s end.
Jared Butler, 6-3, So., Baylor
Butler scored 31 points against Kansas last season. He’s the real deal. Yet, he’s not a national name. He will get even more love this season now that Mario Kegler is off the roster. Butler shot 35.1 percent on 3-pointers. He can play the point and off the ball. He will feed and feed off of Tristan Clark. Expect Butler to be an All-Big 12 player.
Obi Toppin, 6-9, So., Dayton
The Flyers are a trendy pick to challenge Davidson and VCU for the top of the A-10. Toppin is well known in the league and in Dayton but hasn’t received the necessary national attention. That should come this season. Toppin averaged 14 points and five boards last season, earning a spot on the first-team A-10 and rookie of the year honors. He had sat out his first season out of high school, making him ready to deliver in his second season on Dayton’s campus. The numbers should climb a tad and with that, he will be in contention for player of the year in the league.
One of the top 2️⃣0️⃣ in the country...— Dayton Basketball (@DaytonMBB) October 18, 2019
Let's just say #1 is #1. @otoppin1 is a finalist for the @Hoophall Karl Malone (@TheDeliverer_32) Award... here's why... 📽️#VoteForObi at https://t.co/pKro5DFRK4#JoinTheFight #DoneAtDayton pic.twitter.com/XcF6Vg3nkl
JaQuan Lyle, 6-5, Sr., New Mexico
Lyle is finally healthy after missing last season with an Achilles injury. He sat out the previous season after transferring from Ohio State. He was the third-leading scorer on the Buckeyes as a sophomore. Lyle can be a major piece of a Lobos team that should be in the top three of the Mountain West and within striking distance of getting an NCAA bid. Lyle has a chance to be a leader and a solid playmaking/shooting guard for a team that should get more buzz as the season progresses.
Nick Muszynski, 6-11, So., Belmont
Muszynski was a monster in the middle for the Bruins last season, averaging 14 points per game. He was tabbed as freshman of the year in the Ohio Valley. But he’s got a chance now to be player of the year. He’ll be counted on to do even more with the departure of Dylan Windler. The Bruins, under new coach Casey Alexander who took over for Rick Byrd, are the pick to win the OVC. Muszynski will have a say if that happens.