The Starting Fives: Big 12

October 14th, 2008

Unlike the NBA, where most starting lineups are set in stone weeks before the season, NCAA starting fives are highly unsettled and constantly in flux. Going through the BCS leagues this week, I'll be projecting the starting fives for each team. Also included is the team's most important bench option, and some notes on other possible lineups.

In the case where a quality player is ineligible for the fall semester or suspended for the opening few games, I've still included them in the projections. These are really supposed to be projections of how lineups will look in February and March.

Next week, based on these lineups, I'll be throwing out statistical projections for major BCS contributors.



G Tweety Carter Jr
G Henry Dugat Sr
G Curtis Jerrells Sr
G LaceDarius Dunn So
F Kevin Rogers Sr

6 Quincy Acy (PF)*

It's possible a player like Acy or Anthony Jones starts, with Dunn becoming a super-sub. Returning 7-footers Josh Lomers and Mamadou Diene should see a combined 25 mpg. *See comment below about removal of Artem Valov from this spot.


G Cory Higgins So
G Nate Tomlinson Fr
F Jermyl Jackson-Wilson Sr
F Austin Dufault Fr
F Casey Crawford So

6 Toby Veal (F)

Notes: Only die-hard Buffs fans have a clue who these guys are. Higgins is the returning leading scorer (8 ppg) and should be joined by the Australian product Tomlinson.  If the season goes downhill fast, Jackson-Wilson could be replaced in the starting 5 by Veal, another of Colorado's newcomers. Levi Knutson and Dwight Thorne II should both see upwards of 20 mpg backing up the guard spots.


G Diante Garrett So
G Lucca Staiger Jr
F Craig Brackins So
F Jamie Vanderbeken Jr

F Alex Thompson Sr

6 Bryan Peterson (PG)

Notes: Outside of Brackins, not much is settled here. Peterson was the starting PG last year, but everyone expects Garrett to win that spot this time around.  Staiger, known as a great shooter, and Vanderbeken are newcomers who should help Iowa State score the ball. Another newcomer, freshman forward Justin Hamilton figures to see time, but might not develop for another season. In the backcourt, Dominique Buckley and Sean Haluska provide depth.


G Sherron Collins Jr

G Tyshawn Taylor Fr
G Mario Little Jr
F Marcus Morris Fr
F Cole Aldrich So

6 Markieff Morris (PF)

Notes: This is pretty much the lineup everyone expects from Kansas, though I've seen Markieff listed as a projected starter instead of the smaller Marcus.  Besides those six, the other main contributors will be guards Tyone Appleton (Juco) and Travis Releford (Fr). Little used sophomore Tyrel Reed couls also see 10 mpg.



G Jacob Pullen So
G Denis Clemente Jr

F Dominque Sutton So
F Jamar Samuels Fr
F Ron Anderson So

6 Darren Kent (F)

Notes: Besides Kent, the other feature reserves will be off-guard Fred Brown and big-men Luis Colon. Juco newcomer Buchi Awaji could also emerge as a legitimate 20 mpg scoring option off the bench or be a bust.


G Miguel Paul Fr
G JT Tiller Jr
G Matt Lawrence Sr
F DeMarre Carroll Sr
F Leo Lyons Sr

6 Zaire Taylor (PG)

Notes: Taylor, a Delaware transfer, will battle Paul for starting PG duties, but should also back up the 2.  The other reserves figure to be Keith Ramsey (perhaps the 1st option behind both Carroll & Lyons), Laurence Bowers, and Justin Safford.


G Cookie Miller So
G Ade Dagundrup Sr
G Ryan Anderson Jr
F Alex Chapman So
F Alonzo Edwards Fr

6 Steve Harley (PG)

Notes: The Huskers took a major hit when talented German newcomer Christopher Niemann was ruled ineligible for the 08-09 season. Instead, the frontcourt spots will be filled by a pair of red-shirts in Chapman and Edwards. Returning reserve Chris Balham will back those guys up. Freshman guard Eshaunte Jones could see 20 mpg backing up Dagundrup and Anderson.


G Willie Warren Fr
G Austin Johnson Sr
G Tony Crocker Jr
F Taylor Griffin Sr
F Blake Griffin So

6 Omar Leary (PG)

Notes: Barring any major developments, Oklahoma's starting five is pretty well settled. Outside of Leary, the other backcourt reserve is sophomore Cede Davis. The Sooners frontcourt reserves are more talented however. Freshman Juan Pattillo is a future starter, while UCLA transfer Ryan Wright will see 10-15 mpg.




G Byron Eaton Sr
G Terrel Harris Sr
G James Anderson So
G Obi Muonelo
C Ibrahima Thomas So

6 Keiton Page (PG)

Notes: The Cowboys obviously lack much talent in the frontcourt. Besides Thomas, senior Anthony Brown and Juco newcomer Malcolm Kirkland will get the rest of the minutes. 



G AJ Abrams Sr
G Justin Mason Jr
F Damion James Jr
F Gary Johnson So
F Connor Atchley Sr

6 Dogus Balbay (PG)

Notes: The only issue with that starting five is that neither Mason or Abrams is a pure PG. Dogus Balbay should start the season as the backup, but could start by the end of the year. Big Dexter Pittman is the X factor, if he can stay in shape and remain focused, its not inconceivable he starts alongside Atchley late in the season. Forward Matt Hill will probably see a surprising amount of time off the bench.



G Donald Sloan Jr
G Derrick Roland Jr
G Josh Carter Sr
F Bryan Davis Jr
F Chinemelu Elonu Jr

6 David Loubeau (F)

Notes: A&M's starting five is relatively certain compared to most teams. Loubeau, a freshman forward, could eventually steal the starting role from Elonu.  In the backcourt, Dashan Harris, BJ Holmes, and Nathan Walkup provide depth.





G John Roberson So
G Alan Voskuil Sr
G Mike Singletary So
F Trevor Cook Jr
C Esmir Rizvic Sr

6 Damir Suljagic (PF)

Notes: Tech's starting guards are the strong-point, but there's virtually no depth there. Nick Okorie, a Juco addition, is the only legitimate option. While Tech's starting forwards aren't that great, at least there's interchangeable parts on the pine. Corbin Ray, D'walyn Roberts, and Robert Lewandowski will round out the playing rotation.

Think my projections are off, let me know below where you differ! Also, let me know if there's any recent roster changes I've missed.