When Chane Behanan leaves Rick Pitino's suspended list at Louisville, he'll be one of the top 30 players in the nation.
LOUISVILLE, Ky. (WDRB) – The good stuff is almost here. College basketball arrives Friday. My countdown of the top 50 players in the game moves forward with players 30-21 on Tuesday.
There is one local name, two from the SEC, two from the Big Ten, two from Baylor and three other names you need to know. No more delays.
30. Dorian Finney-Smith, Florida – Poor Seth Greenberg. He brought Montrezl Harrell and Finney-Smith to Virginia Tech, and Rick Pitino and Billy Donovan are benefiting from Greenberg's 2012 dismissal. Finney-Smith had seven double-figure rebounding games for the Hokies as a freshman. He's 6 feet 8, and Hokies' fans will sigh every time they see him play.
FAST FACT: The word from folks who have watched Florida practice is Finney-Smith is the Gators' best player since Bradley Beal, although he'll start the season suspended for at least two games.
29. Chane Behanan, Louisville – He's out. He's in. He's in. He's out. I'm not sure when Behanan will finally shed his indefinite suspension and play for the Cardinals. But he will. When he does, he'll be one of the best power forwards in the nation because the 12-foot jumper is no longer a mystery to him. The only person who can stop Chane Behanan is Chane Behanan.
FAST FACT: Behanan averaged nearly 10 rebounds in U of L's final three NCAA wins against Duke, Wichita State and Michigan and made the Final Four all-tournament team.
28. Cory Jefferson, Baylor – Don't say this very loud, but Jefferson is a fifth-year senior. Don't make the mistake of thinking that means Jefferson can't play. He actually has a chance to make the NBA. He averaged better than 13 points and nearly 8 rebounds last season. Don't be surprised if he upgrades that to a double-double this year. He's 6 feet 9, 220 pounds and very capable.
FAST FACT: It's been a long, long grind for Jefferson, who committed to the Bears in August 2007.
27. Sam Dekker, Wisconsin – Bo Ryan doesn't send many players to the NBA, but Dekker will be the exception to that concept. He's long, athletic and versatile. Like all of Ryan's perimeter guys he can pass, handle and make the three-point shot. He will dunk on you. In fact, he enjoys doing that.
FAST FACT: Dekker is one of only four true freshmen to start for Ryan at Wisconsin.
26. T. J. Warren, N.C. State – Warren is a guy local fans should remember because he came to Louisville and scored 27 points in the 2012 Kentucky Derby Festival game. He's also a product of the same Raleigh High School that produced John Wall. He's also a guy who scored in double figures 24 times as a freshman. He's a pro.
FAST FACT: The Sporting News put Warren on the cover of the edition of its college basketball yearbook sold on Tobacco Road.
25. Jarnell Stokes, Tennessee – Stokes is 6-feet-8 and 260 pounds, and if you think that's too heavy for a basketball player, you tell him. I'm not going to because I've seen Stokes play. When he gets the ball on the block, it's over. If only he had more help.
FAST FACT: Stokes has won gold medals the past two summers playing for American teams in international competition.
24. Glenn Robinson III, Michigan – Jeff Goodman of ESPN has moved Robinson into the lottery for the 2014 NBA Draft. I'll need to see more proof. Like his father, Glenn "Big Dog" Robinson of Purdue, he's supremely talented. But he had a 2-point game at Indiana, a 4-point game against Wisconsin and another 2-point game against Michigan State. That does not say lottery pick to me – yet.
FAST FACT: Although Robinson is 6-6, he touched a marker at 12 feet 3 inches during the Wolverine's off-season conditioning drills that tested his vertical jump.
23. Isaiah Austin, Baylor – He's not the top 10 pick he was projected to be several years ago, but Austin is 7 feet 1 and still figuring everything out. When he does figure it out, beware. Austin hung 19 points and 20 rebounds on Oklahoma. Scott Drew would be satisfied with about 15 and 10 every night.
FAST FACT: NBADraft.net ranks Austin the 21st best prospect in the 2014 draft.
22. Semaj Christon, Xavier – He'll be the best player in the Atlantic 10 this season, but Christon would be one of the best players in any conference because he attacks the rim without fear. He's fast and elusive. But his three-point shooting needs work. He only made seven as a freshman. Seven of 28?
FAST FACT: Christon was named freshman of the year in the Atlantic 10.
21. Tyler Haws, BYU – There are two players in BYU history to score at least 1,000 points during their first two seasons with the Cougars. One is Danny Ainge. The other is Haws. He is a 6-5 sharpshooter who made better than 87 percent of his free throws and 38 percent of his threes. Even Jimmer Fredette has to be impressed by that.
FAST FACT: Although Haws is only a junior he turned 22 last April and served a two-year mission in the Philippines.
31. Willie Cauley-Stein, Kentucky; 32. Joel Embiid, Kansas; 33. Alex Kirk, New Mexico; 34. Kevin Pangos, Gonzaga; 35. Sean Kilpatrick, Cincinnati; 36. Joe Jackson, Memphis; 37. Jordan Adams, UCLA; 38. James Young, Kentucky; 39. James Michael McAdoo, North Carolina; 40. Jerian Grant, Notre Dame.