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August 2, 2011
College hoops breakout players for 2011-12
Connecticut guard Kemba Walker, who led the Huskies to the 2011 national championship, was not in the top 10 in the Big East in scoring a year earlier. He didn't even lead his own team in that category (Jerome Dyson did).
But in a season, Walker transformed himself from the second-leading scorer on an NIT team to the NCAA tournament's most outstanding player.
Connecticut knew Walker would need to become a superstar for the Huskies to return to the NCAAs. He was a solid player as a sophomore, third-team All-Big East, but blossomed as a unanimous All-American as a junior.
The next Kemba Walker could emerge from the list below. And his team could reap in similar fashion.
The following six players could take the leap from the second, third or fourth option on their own teams to first- or second-team All-American. Here are the picks for potential breakout players on the national scene for 2011-12.
G Maalik Wayns, Villanova
G Jeremy Lamb, Connecticut
G Tim Hardaway Jr., Michigan
F Thomas Robinson, Kansas
F Perry Jones, Baylor
Sixth man: F Reeves Nelson, UCLA
David Fox is a national writer for Rivals.com. He can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.