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Potential break-out players for 2012-13

Nick Faust was good as a freshman but the Terps will need him to step into a much bigger role as a sophomore.

Everybody loves to see unexpected surprises and guys seemingly come out of nowhere to become stars. That is part of the beauty of the college game; every year or two a team needs a new star player to help lead them to victory. While the college basketball season is still some time away below is a list of seven players ready to step up and be one of those surprised, one from each of the seven Baltimore area colleges at the Division I level: Maryland, Coppin State, Morgan State Loyola, Navy, Towson and UMBC. None of the players listed were their team’s leading scorer last season or were selected to an All-Conference first, second or third team, hence being a breakout player in 2012-13.

Maryland: Nick Faust

2011-12 stats: 8.9 ppg, 4.0 rpg, 2.1 apg, 1.0 spg, .374 FG%

This is just too easy to pick to become the Terp’s breakout star. Faust finished third on the team in scoring last year but started 21 of 32 games because his talent just could not keep him off the court as a freshman. With Terrell Stoglin, who led the conference in scoring last season with 21.6 points per game, and veteran guard Sean Mosely both gone the incredibly athletic Faust is going to have to step his game up. Already one of the team’s top defenders Faust could become an All-Conference player with success as the team’s first option on offense after being selected to the All-Rookie team last year.

Coppin State: Michael Murray

2011-12 stats: 5.3 ppg, 3.7 rpg, .368 FG%

The Golden Eagles will go into the 2012-13 season without their top six scorers from last season, making the need to a breakout star tremendously high. Murray does return as the team’s leading scorer after playing all of the team’s 30 games last season and starting 17 of them but the wing could be headed for an All-Conference type of season. Last year he totaled 158 points in 619 minutes for the season. That rate of scoring would be good for a double-digit average over the course of a full game and with more opportunities to score as a junior, where he may potentially be the team’s top options, he may jump into the upper echelon of scorers in the MEAC in 2012-13.

Loyola: Josh Fortney

Freshman

When four all-conference player return to a team that went to the NCAA tournament last season there isn’t really any room for there to be a breakout star but Fortney should have every opportunity to get some major minutes his freshman year after some key front court players graduated from last season. Fortney is a big-bodies center from St. Francis Academy who can run the floor well and penetrate to the rim and he should be an excellent rebounder.

Morgan State: Blake Bozeman

2011-12 Stats: 4.6 ppg, 1.7 apg, 1.0 3-pt per game, 34.1 3-pt%

The Bears NCAA tournament run came to an end last season and they were forced to go into rebuilding mode after losing so many good upper classmen. This year the Bears will be looking for more guys to step up after graduating four of their top six scorers from last season. One of the guys who might be able to make a name for himself is the son of Coach Todd Bozeman, Blake. As a freshman the younger Bozeman saw time in all 28 of the team’s games and even make six starts while averaging 23.4 minutes per game but with so many other established scorers on the team the point guard was expected to pass the ball around and get everybody else involved. He did well in that role but could get more scoring opportunities this season, especially from deep range, where he made 34.1-perceent of his shots last season, averaging more than one per game.

Navy: Donya Jackson

2011-12 Stats: 3.3 ppg, 1.5 rpg, 42.7 FG%

During his freshman season Jackson showed some real promise before getting set back by a leg injury. The Calvert Hall alum appeared in 24 games and earned two starts in conference play. Jackson does a lot of things well and even though his scoring numbers were nothing really special he should have more opportunities to but the ball in the basket as a sophomore and even though he only made eight three-pointers last season he was not afraid to take chances from beyond the arc and he could make them on a more regular basis after having a year to adjust to the longer distance.

Towson: Jerome Hairston

Freshman

After a one-win season Towson will have plenty of opportunities for new players to show what they are made of. Hairston is their top recruit and passed on opportunities to go to Boston College, Virginia, Virginia Tech and VCU, presumably because he will be given a real shot at immediate playing time for the Tigers. Hairston is a pass-first point guard and is able to run an offense smoothly but he has plenty of offensive skill. He has some nice quickness and can get to the rim but he could be their top three-point threat with ability to knock down shots from behind the arc off the catch or dribble.

UMBC: Brett Roseboro

2011-12 tranfer, 2010-11 Stats at St. Bonaventure: 1.2 ppg, 1.8 rpg

UMBC has been less than stellar the past few seasons and have seemingly been going through a rebuilding year each of the past three seasons. With few established scorers on the team, other than All-Conference forward Chase Plummer, the Retrievers will be looking for options everywhere. Roseboro sat out last season due to NCAA Division I transfer rules but is easily the most athletic center the team has had since Cavell Johnson helped lead them to an NCAA tournament in 2007-08. He was blocked for playing time at St. Bonaventure by other more experienced big men but he should have no problem seeing the floor at UMBC and should be one of the team’s top offensive options this upcoming season.

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Corey Johns

Editor in Chief
You could say Corey was born to become a sports journalist. His father won a national championship coaching college soccer. His mother is a baseball fanatic who hasn't missed seeing an Orioles game since 1983 (literally, sometimes it's annoying). His great uncle was a big-time boxing promoter and his maternal grandfather was once a department head at the Baltimore Sun. Basically, sports and journalism run through his blood. He played just about every little league sports there was when he was a kid and was a multi-sport athlete in high school; even playing in the first-ever high school sanction Rugby game in the country. Eventually he retired from sports as an undefeated Maryland state Rugby champion as a high school senior. Perhaps lack of athletic talent has more to do with the retirement, but he will tell you that it more had to do with a great desire to jump right into media. Upon his graduation from University of Maryland, Baltimore County as a triple communications major, Corey started the So Much Sports network and has continued to grow his websites and continues to work to make them premier sports media outlets.

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