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June 16, 2010
Returning starters and incoming freshmen naturally steal most of the offseason headlines. Fans want to figure out which returning starter will be the next Evan Turner or which newcomer could develop into the next John Wall.
For the purposes of this story, we're more interested in spotting the next Ashton Gibbs.
Gibbs didn't start a game as a freshman at Pittsburgh, but he improved as much as any player in the nation last season. He averaged a team-high 15.7 points per game to help Pitt overcome the departures of star performers DeJuan Blair, Sam Young and Levance Fields to earn a ninth consecutive NCAA tournament bid.
We're trying to find players who could make a similar leap this season. In this story, we're listing 12 guards who could deliver breakthrough seasons. We'll continue this profile Thursday by breaking down 12 frontcourt players in similar situations.
Anyone who started half his team's games, averaged 10 points or played as much as 25 minutes per game wasn't eligible for this list. We also didn't want to include freshmen, transfers or anyone who sat out the 2009-10 season with an injury. This list instead focuses on guys who could enter the spotlight this year after spending much of last season on the bench.
The players are listed alphabetically.
Steve Megargee is a national writer for Rivals.com. He can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.