Top 10 college basketball players
Indiana's Cody Zeller, Duke's Mason Plumlee among nation's top players
During college hoops season, Jay Bilas and Chad Ford will start the week off by addressing a big question, evaluating NBA prospects on the rise and looking ahead to the next week.
The discussion: Who are the 10 best players in college basketball?
Chad Ford: When I'm watching college games, I tend to focus exclusively on NBA potential. So this question requires me to stretch my brain a little more. For the last decade or so, my definition of a great college player has always been how he will be as a future pro.
However, objectively I know that this definition is far from accurate. Some of the best college players of all time have either been terrible pros (Adam Morrison, Marcus Fizer, Shelden Williams) or mediocre ones (Tyler Hansbrough and Michael Beasley).
So if I throw away the NBA draft lens ... who do I think are the 10 best players in college basketball? I took a combination of advanced statistics, individual importance to team and team success to come up with the following list:
While NBA scouts are starting to get cold feet, there's no denying that Zeller is one of the top college players in the country. He ranks seventh in PER, is second in Ken Pomeroy's Offensive Rating and has one of the highest basketball IQs in the game. Zeller runs the floor like a guard and he's the unquestioned leader on a team that should be playing in the Final Four come April.
I might be the only guy in America who has the Wolverines ranked ahead of the Blue Devils on my Power Rankings ballot. While I think Duke has been phenomenal, I think Michigan has the most talent of any team in the country and I think Burke is their secret weapon. He's a true floor leader who contributes in every single way for Michigan -- scoring, passing, defense and clutch leadership. If I were choosing one point guard to lead my team into the Final Four, Burke would be my guy.
To read more from Chad Ford and Jay Bilas on the top 10 college basketball players, you must be an ESPN Insider.
MORE COLLEGE FOOTBALL HEADLINES
- FSU starts No. 1 in preseason coaches' poll
- Florida St. lands Elite 11 QB recruit Francois
- Ex-Heisman winner Lujack OK after surgery
- Fired OSU band director was trying to fix culture
MOST SENT STORIES ON ESPN.COM
Insider CBB content
• Greenberg/Telep: Kansas Jayhawks
• Greenberg/Finkelstein: Marquette
• Gasaway/Rankin: Indiana Hoosiers
• Gasaway/Rankin: Michigan Wolverines
• Gasaway/Rankin: Ohio State Buckeyes
• Greenberg/Finkelstein: Memphis Tigers
• Gasaway/Rankin: Florida Gators
• Greenberg/Telep: Kentucky Wildcats
• Gasaway/Finkelstein: Louisville Cardinals
• Gasaway/Finkelstein: Syracuse Orange
• Greenberg/Biancardi: NC State Wolfpack
• Biancardi/Gasaway: Duke Blue Devils
• Biancardi/Gasaway: North Carolina Tar Heels
• Biancardi/Gasaway: Arizona Wildcats
• Greenberg/Telep: UCLA Bruins
• Gasaway: Breakout second-year coaches
• Lunardi: Could Louisville repeat as champs?
• Greenberg: UVA tops list of surprise teams
• Fraschilla: How returning stars can improve
• Gasaway: Top title challengers to Kentucky
• Lunardi: Who will earn No. 1 seeds in 2014?
• Telep: Latest on No. 13 junior Theo Pinson
• Rankin: What Wiggins means for Kansas
• Biancardi: KU to prep Wiggins for NBA success
• Telep: Updated look at top recruits
• Roundtable: Most impressive on AAU circuit?
• Ford: NBA draft lottery preview
• Ford: Winners from the NBA draft combine
• Fraschilla: Burke the draft's top point guard?
• Ford: Measurements concern some GMs
• Ford: Why Wiggins would go No. 1 in 2013
Jay Bilas Blog
Jay's take on latest from around the nation
Analysis from Fraschilla, Greenberg and Lunardi
Get news and rumblings before anyone
Hollinger's College PER
College basketball's top players
Get wagering advice for every game