Nation's top 25 impact players
Ranking the most impactful college hoops players for the 2012-13 season
When we debuted my initial Impact 25 player rankings in the preseason, I wrote that it would not be simply a list of the 25 best or most talented players in college basketball, nor would it be a ranking of the top 25 prospects for the 2013 NBA draft. Rather, it was intended to be a collection of players who would have the greatest impact on their teams, conference races and college basketball in general.
That's our focus with this updated version, our fourth and final of the 2012-13 season. And it's fair to say that at the end of the regular season, it also serves as a bit of a guide regarding who should be the Wooden Award winner, especially those players at the top of the list.There has been a lot of movement on these rankings since November, which reflects the season at large. (To see the previous editions, click here for January's list; here for December's version; and here for the preseason list.)
Here is my final ranking of the top 25 impact players in the nation for the 2012-13 season.
Since Jan. 21, the Hoyas have won 12 of 13 Big East games and are 24-5, with Porter leading the way. He's averaged almost 19 points a game during that stretch, and his signature 33-point performance in a win over Syracuse at the Carrier Dome will be one of the lasting legacies of one of the sport's great rivalries.
Unlike many of the players on my final Impact 25 of the season, Porter was not a well-known commodity coming out of the summer basketball circuit. He was, however, a small-town star in Sikeston, Mo., whose best competition was the bevy of family and friends who came from the same background. As the season has unfolded, he's had as much of an impact on a team as any player in the country.
Previous ranking: 14
To see Fran Fraschilla's full ranking of the nation's top 25 impact players in college basketball, you must be an ESPN Insider.
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