Every season there are a handful of college basketball players who burst onto the scene and break out into stardom. With two weeks of the 2020-21 college basketball season in the bag, it's time to start looking for this season's breakout stars.
That's what Andy Katz does on this episode of the March Madness 365 podcast. He's also joined by ESPN's LaPhonso Ellis, Texas Tech's Mac McClung and Texas head coach Shaka Smart.
Here are Katz's 10 players who have shown they can break out for big seasons this year.
10. Sahvir Wheeler — Georgia (Sophomore, Guard)
The Georgia guard has averaged a double-double so far this season with 16.7 points and 10.7 assists per game. The Dawgs are 3-0 and Wheeler will try to keep his pace of play up and push Georgia to a 7-0 start before they start conference play.
9. Hakim Hart — Maryland (Sophomore, Guard)
Hakim Hart was quick to light up the scoreboard this season. The Maryland guard dropped 33 points in the Terrapins' first game to help the Terps dominate Saint Peters 90-57. Hart hit 71.4 percent of his 3-pointers and 85.7 percent of all of his field goals against the Peacocks. Maryland is off to a 4-0 start. They will face Clemson next on Dec. 9 in the ACC/Big 10 challenge.
8. Xavier Pinson — Missouri (Junior, Guard)
Katz has lauded Missouri as being the best team out of the SEC so far this season. The Tigers could make some noise come conference play — especially with Xavier Pinson playing well. Pinson has Mizzou cruising through non-conference play with a 3-0 record. He has averaged 14 points per game so far for the Tigers.
College basketball rankings: North Carolina, Texas jump in Andy Katz's Power 36 for Dec. 7
7. Alex Barcello — BYU (Senior, Guard)
Barcello averages 19.2 points and 5.2 rebounds per game. This includes 20 points against Saint John's and 23 versus Utah State. BYU is currently 5-1 with their only loss coming to Southern Cal — a game Barcello only scored eight points in. So if Barcello is playing well, so are the Cougars. They play Boise State next on Dec. 9.
6. Justin Lewis — Marquette (Freshman, Forward)
Marquette upset No. 13 Wisconsin last week after a buzzer-beating tip-in from Justin Lewis. Lewis also dropped 18 points and grabbed eight rebounds that game to help the Golden Eagles upset the Badgers. Marquette is currently 3-1 and has two more games before conference play on Dec. 14.
5. Zach Freemantle — Xavier (Sophomore, Forward)
Zach Freemantle has shown that he can be a force on the inside and outside for Xavier. The sophomore forward has buried over 58 percent of his shots from the field and 36 percent of his threes. Freemantle has led the Musketeers to a 6-0 start. He is the leading scorer and second-leading rebounder on the team with 17.2 points and 8.5 boards per game.
4. Hunter Dickinson — Michigan (Freshman, Center)
Hunter Dickinson has been a pleasant surprise for Juwan Howard and the Wolverines this season. The freshman big man has produced 14.5 points and 7.5 rebounds per game. Michigan is off to a 4-0 start and starts conference play against Penn State on Dec. 13.
3. Marcus Sasser — Houston (Sophomore, Guard)
Marcus Sasser currently leads Houston in scoring with 17.3 points per game. He dropped 17 points on No. 14 Texas Tech last week. Houston is off to a 4-0 start with victories over the likes of the Red Raiders and South Carolina. They'll face another SEC team when they visit Alabama on Dec. 19.
2. Moses Moody — Arkansas (Freshman, Guard)
Arkansas has a freshman star that is starting to catch the eyes of college basketball fans. Moses Moody has led the Razorbacks to a 4-0 start and leads them in scoring at 17.3 points per game. Arkansas will need every little bit out of Moody this season to compete in the SEC. They start conference play on Dec. 30 when they travel to Auburn.
1. Javonte Perkins — Saint Louis (Senior, Guard)
Every college basketball fan may know the name Javonte Perkins by the time this season ends. Perkins leads the Billikens in scoring with an average of 23 points per game. Saint Louis is 3-0 and is ranked No. 21 in Andy Katz's latest Power 36 rankings — something Perkins should get credit for. Mostly in part to his monster 32-point performance against LSU.