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November 13, 2010

Stat-sheet stuffers do a bit of everything

If Ohio State needed Evan Turner to play a role -- any role -- on the basketball court, he could. Naturally, Turner's name showed up among team and conference leaders in just about every statistical category last season.

On the way to national player of the year honors, Turner led the Big Ten in scoring, finished second in rebounding and assists and was third in steals.

While Turner is gone, there will be no shortage of stat-sheet stuffers in 2009-10. The majority won't reach a similar level of notice as Turner, but that doesn't diminish the versatility and value of these players.

Here's a look at a sort of "All-America stat-sheet stuffers" for 2010-11, as well as a team of under-the-radar do-everything players.

FIRST TEAM

F Damian Saunders, Duquesne (6-7/210, Sr.)
2009-10 STATS: 15.0 points, 11.3 rebounds, 2.4 assists, 2.9 blocks, 2.8 steals
THE BUZZ: Saunders was in the top 15 nationally in steals, rebounds and blocks. With 89 steals, he was the only forward in the top 15 in steals and two short of the record for any player taller than 6 feet 6 (he's 6-7). Saunders has led Duquesne in rebounding, blocks and steals in each of the past two seasons.

F John Shurna, Northwestern (6-8/215, Jr.)
2009-10 STATS: 18.2 points, 6.4 rebounds, 2.6 assists, 78 3-pointers
THE BUZZ: He led the Big Ten with 2.9 3-pointers per game in league play, and he also averaged 20.1 points against conference opponents. While he's a threat as an outside shooter, he also was seventh in the Big Ten in rebounds and led Northwestern in blocks (30).

F Chris Singleton, Florida State (6-9/220, Jr.)
2009-10 STATS: 10.2 points, 7.0 rebounds, 2.2 assists, 2.2 steals, 1.5 blocks
THE BUZZ: Singleton was the ACC defensive player of the year after leading the conference in steals. With leading scorer Solomon Alabi gone, the Seminoles are counting on Singleton to become a more complete player on offense. With the USA Select Team that trained with the US National team, Singleton put the work in over the offseason to achieve those goals.

G Charles Jenkins, Hofstra (6-3/220, Sr.)
2009-10 STATS: 20.6 points, 4.5 rebounds, 3.9 assists, 1.8 steals
THE BUZZ: Jenkins is one of the best-kept secrets on the national stage, though he's not an unknown among his peers. He was named Colonial Athletic Association player of the year last season and twice won the Haggerty Award, which is presented to the top player in the New York metropolitan area. He was one of five players to average 20 points, four rebounds and three assists last season. He's the only one returning.

G Kemba Walker, Connecticut (6-1/172, Jr.)
2009-10 STATS: 14.6 points, 4.3 rebounds, 5.0 assists, 2.0 steals
THE BUZZ: Walker has done just about everything for Connecticut in his first two seasons. With Stanley Robinson and scoring leader Jerome Dyson gone, Walker is the only player on the Huskies' roster who averaged more than 5.0 points per game last season.

SECOND TEAM

F Draymond Green, Michigan State (6-6/230, Jr.)
2009-10 STATS: 9.9 points, 7.7 rebounds, 3.0 assists, 1.2 steals
THE BUZZ: Despite starting only three games, Green was one of the Big Ten's most productive players. He and Turner were the only players in the Big Ten with more than 100 assists to average more than 7.0 rebounds per game.

F D.J. Kennedy, St. John's (6-5/214, Sr.)
2009-10 STATS: 15.1 points, 6.1 rebounds, 3.1 assists, 1.2 steals
THE BUZZ: Kennedy was the only player in the Big East to lead his team in scoring, rebounding and assists. Beyond that, he led the Red Storm in steals and 3-point field-goal percentage (38.3 percent).

G Talor Battle, Penn State (6-0/170, Sr.)
2009-10 STATS: 18.5 points, 5.3 rebounds, 4.2 assists, 1.1 steals
THE BUZZ: Battle led his team in scoring, rebounding, assists and steals last season. Battle had little help (he was the only Nittany Lion to average in double-figures), which is why Penn State went 11-20. Battle had a better supporting cast in 2008-09, but he still averaged 16.7 points, 5.3 rebounds and 5.0 assists.

G Travis Leslie, Georgia (6-4/202, Jr.)
2009-10 STATS: 14.8 points, 6.8 rebounds, 2.5 assists, 1.3 steals
THE BUZZ: The high-flying Leslie didn't arrive at Georgia with the same kind of fanfare as teammate Trey Thompkins. Yet the duo could lead Georgia back to the NCAA tournament. Thompkins is a double-double threat, but Leslie led the Bulldogs in offensive rebounding and led the team in assists in conference games.

G Brad Wanamaker, Pittsburgh (6-4/210, Sr.)
2009-10 STATS: 12.3 points, 5.7 rebounds, 4.7 assists, 1.2 steals
THE BUZZ: A role player off the bench in his first two seasons, Wanamaker's emergence was a major reason Pitt won 25 games last season. In his first season as a starter, he became the sixth player in school history to average better than 10 points, four rebounds and four assists.

UNDER-THE-RADAR STUFFERS

C Denzel Bowles, James Madison (6-10/260, Sr.)
2009-10 STATS: 20.8 points, 9.2 rebounds, 2.5 assists

F/G Akeem Bennett, St. Francis (N.Y.) (6-3/180, Sr.)
2009-10 STATS: 14.5 points, 6.4 rebounds, 4.0 assists, 2.2 steals

F Chace Stanback, UNLV (6-8/210, Jr.)
2009-10 STATS: 10.7 points, 5.8 rebounds, 1.4 assists 1.6 steals, 28 blocks

G D.J. Cooper, Ohio U. (5-11/165, Soph.)
2009-10 STATS: 13.5 points, 5.4 rebounds, 5.9 assists, 2.5 steals

G Toure' Murry, Wichita State (6-5/203, Jr.)
2009-10 STATS: 11.9 points, 5.0 rebounds, 3.1 assists, 1.4 steals

David Fox is a national writer for Rivals.com. He can be reached at dfox@rivals.com.



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