That is the question that is rattling through my brain today - just how good does a mid-major player have to be in order for everyone, not just his coaches and inter-conference rivals, to consider him good?
Nate Wolters enters the scene as exhibit A. Back on June 21st, ESPN's Eamon Brennan posted a piece on ten likely breakout players for the upcoming season, and Wolters found himself at the end of the list:
That's right. Wolters averaged 20 points, 6 rebounds, and 5 assists per game last season (he was the only player in all of Division I to reach 20/5/5), led his team to the NCAA tournament, and yet this coming season is his "last chance" to "break out." Apparently being a breakout player has nothing to do with how you play?
Every year college hoops seems to give us at least one player who plies his trade in an overlooked league...Wolters' profile never quite expanded beyond the die-hard college hoops nerd circle. The 2012-13 season is his last chance to become something resembling a household name.
OK, one little lazy bit of reporting - even our buddy Eamon does it now and then.
Now a couple of days ago, Doug Gottlieb decided to follow in his lazy footsteps. He also penned a blog post about ten potential breakout players. Guess who was the only mid-major player on the list?
Wolters is not as good a perimeter shooter as he needs to be, and although he's 6-foot-4, he needs to work on his body. He is a talented, sleek, ball-screen point guard with the vast array of skills needed to finish over big men in the pros.
Again, Wolters enters his senior season having averaged 19.8 points, 4.9 rebounds, 6.0 assists, and 1.5 steals per game over the past two seasons. His three-point shooting dipped last season, but that's nitpicking, especially if he can compare to the newly drafted Damian Lillard and Lillard can produce in Portland.
Enough already, a good player is a good player no matter where he plays.