These College Basketball Players Are Ready to Break Out

Here are the requirements to be named a breakout player: You can’t have averaged in double-figures scoring, and you have to be returning to the same school you played at last season.

Jordan Hawkins, 6-5, 195, SG, Soph., UConn Hawkins is an easy pick for this list because of his upside and also because the Huskies need him to score desperately after losing RJ Cole and Tyrese Martin. The hope is that Hawkins can emerge as a go-to guy on the wing.
2021-22 Stats: 5.8 ppg, 14.7 mpg

Kris Murray, 6-8, 220, F, Jr., Iowa Kris isn’t going to duplicate his twin brother Keegan’s leap, but expect him to make a jump and likely be Iowa’s leading scorer. However, the Hawkeyes have more overall talent this year, so it’ll be more likely that he improves to 15 points per game than the crazy jump Keegan took a year ago.
2021-22 Stats: 9.7 ppg, 4.3 rpg, 17.9 mpg

Pelle Larsson, 6-5, 215, G, Jr., Arizona Larsson was a nice piece last year, but he took a backseat to Benn Mathurin. Now with Mathurin, Dalen Terry and Christian Koloko all gone, the versatile guard will need to be more assertive. He has all the tools to be Arizona’s best all-around player.
2021-22 Stats: 7.2 ppg, 20.8 mpg

Zakai Zeigler, 5-9, 170, PG, Soph., Tennessee Kennedy Chandler is gone, which means it’ll be Zeigler’s team. He’s small but tough, and he should have the ball in his hands most of the time. He probably won’t average more than 12 points a game, but his impact on the Vols will be huge this season.
2021-22 Stats: 8.8 ppg, 2.7 apg, 22.1 mpg

Nolan Hickman, 6-2, 180, PG, Soph., Gonzaga Hickman had to wait his turn last year backing up veteran Andrew Nembhard. But now it’s Hickman’s team and the heralded recruit will show his ability to balance scoring with getting guys like Drew Timme and Julian Strawther the ball.
2021-22 Stats: 5.1 ppg, 17.2 mpg

Kam Jones, 6-4, 195, G, Soph., Marquette The Memphis native can shoot it from deep, but is also able to get to the bucket and finish. With Justin Lewis and Darryl Morsell gone, Jones could wind up leading the Golden Eagles in scoring this year.
2021-22 Stats: 7.4 ppg, 18.5 mpg

Kowacie Reeves, 6-6, 190, G, Soph., Florida This was a tough call between Reeves and Alex Fudge, but Reeves has size, can shoot it and has the skill set and athleticism to bust out this season.
2021-22 Stats: 5.5 ppg, 15.5 mpg

Jalen DeLoach, 6-9, 215, F, Soph., VCU DeLoach put up big numbers per minute last season, and now he’ll likely get twice as much playing time as he did. DeLoach can move the ball, score in the post and also impact the game on the defensive end.
2021-22 Stats: 4.1 ppg, 3.7 rpg, 13.5 mpg

Tyson Degenhart, 6-7, 230, F, Soph., Boise State Look for the skilled forward to be one of the best scorers in the MW this season after an impressive freshman campaign. The Spokane native has the size, can shoot it from long range and put it on the floor.
2021-22 Stats: 9.9 ppg, 28.1 mpg

Chucky Hepburn, 6-2, 205, PG, Soph., Wisconsin With Johnny Davis gone, everyone will need to do a little more, and Hepburn will have a ton of responsibility. He’s gotten stronger in the offseason so that he can assume a larger role for the Badgers. He should be a double-digit scorer along with one of the top assist men in the Big Ten.
2021-22 Stats: 7.9 ppg, 2.3 apg, 30.9 mpg

Jaden Akins, 6-4, 190, SG, Soph., Michigan State This one was easy — until Akins had foot surgery late in the summer. Tom Izzo desperately needs Akins to turn into a legit scoring threat from the wing. Akins has the talent, but the question is whether the injury will hamper his progress.
2021-22 Stats: 3.4 ppg, 14.8 mpg

Darius Maddox, 6-5, 180, SG, Jr., Virginia Tech Maddox shot a sizzling 51 percent from three last season, but only played 17 minutes per game. Now with Keve Aluma, Nahiem Alleyne and Storm Murphy all gone, Maddox will be more of a focal point of the offense.
2021-22 Stats: 6.4 ppg, 17.0 mpg

Moussa Cisse, 7-1, 215, C, Jr., Oklahoma State He came out of high school as a top-25 recruit and spent his freshman season at Memphis before transferring to Stillwater prior to last season. He had a solid season, and finished really strong, averaging a double-double the last seven games. Cisse is dominant on the defensive end and has improved on the offensive side.
2021-22 Stats: 7.2 ppg, 6.5 rpg, 20.0 mpg

Augustas Marciulionis, 6-4, 195, G, Soph., Saint Mary’s The son of Basketball Hall of Famer Sarunas Marciulionis started 13 games last season, but saw his playing time diminish toward the end of the season. With Tommy Kuhse gone, Randy Bennett and the Gaels will need Marciulionis to take on a larger role — whether it’s as a starter or as the first guard off the bench.
2021-22 Stats: 3.1 ppg, 1.8 apg, 15.1 mpg

Saint Thomas, 6-7, 215, F, Soph., Loyola Chicago Drew Valentine lost a ton from last season, but Thomas is a guy who has the size and the ability to shoot it. Thomas has a high IQ and can also defend, so I’d expect him to be a starter and maybe even evolve into the team’s top scorer.
2021-22 Stats: 1.8 ppg, 6.3 mpg

Bowen Born, 5-11, 170, G, Soph., Northern Iowa He’ll move back into the starting lineup this season. He’s also healthy, so look for Born to be one of Ben Jacobson’s top players this year and potentially one of the best guards in the Valley.
2021-22 Stats: 7.4 ppg, 23.8 mpg

Teafale Lenard Jr., 6-7, 175, F, Soph., Middle Tennessee The long and athletic forward is a dunk machine, and is also a big-time shot-blocker. He had a heck of a freshman season for Nick McDevitt, and should be even better this year with the team losing its top two scorers.
2021-22 Stats: 6.9 ppg, 1.5 bpg, 20.1 mpg

Bez Mbeng, 6-4, 195, G, Soph., Yale He’s an elite defender who should make a jump on the offensive end and show that he can make shots.
2021-22 Stats: 4.8 ppg, 19.9 mpg

Samari Curtis, 6-4, 190, G, Sr., Bowling Green He started his career at Nebraska, was solid in one season at Evansville and played a role for Michael Huger at Bowling Green last year. Now it’s finally his turn to be the go-to guy, and he’s someone who can pass, rebound and defend multiple positions.
2021-22 Stats: 9.3 ppg, 22.5 mpg

Kamaka Hepa, 6-10, 215, F, Sr., Hawaii After three years of being a role player at Texas, the skilled forward started 27 games for Eran Ganot last year at Hawaii and put up solid numbers. Look for Ganot to play through Hepa a ton this season.
2021-22 Stats: 9.4 ppg, 5.0 rpg, 28.1 mpg