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Top 75 Listing from Cards Hoops

I've been reading Cards Hoops' listing of the top 75 players in the conference. You should check it out as well - good starting point for debate, for sure. It's tough to rank players within a conference - it was hard enough to analyze St. John's players! Each player's game is dependent on the other 5 players, on coaching, on how far the team is buried in the standings. For example, for all we know, Justin Burrell may be a better player than Mason Jr. with more interior threats on offense or with a point guard who is better at setting him up on time, and Mase might be a world beater in a faster offense with his versatility and dunking.

The top 10.

Anthony Mason checks in at 18, which surprises me a bit; Anthony Mason after gamewinning shot at Seton HallI think that he doesn't get much publicity, and certainly not much credit. Then again, he's not the most efficient scorer and more of a volume shooter. The fact that he can get his shot off all the time allows him to take some seemingly questionable shots, but the ability to get those shots at all speaks to his mix of height and athleticism. If he was healthy all year last year, he'd might be worth a couple more wins. His best offensive efforts came in a pair of blowouts (where he scored more than half the Red Storm's point output), had inconsistent efforts in games where a great performance might have pulled out a win (Notre Dame, DePaul), but also carried the team at the end of the Seton Hall game, played a good all-around game in a comeback against South Florida, and made plays in the end of season West Virginia loss.

Justin Burrell checks in at 47, and despite some fans' opinions to the contrary, he was a focal point for the team - he was asked to be the team's sole post presence in the face of double teams, and with Mason limited for about a third of the season (either out or diminished), Burrell was the biggest offensive threat. But since he's not a ball handler at all, it was hard for him to get good shots. He tailed off hard last year, getting into foul trouble, turning the ball over, not getting to rebounds, and notching 4 games with a solitary field goal made. He's better than that, and with a better passing point guard in Malik Boothe, and a year of development of his post moves and recognition of double teams (hopefully) his numbers will show that. The fans expectations of post dominance may have been premature, but he has that kind of potential.

DJ Kennedy is on the list at 66. As stated on this site, I think he also hit a wall, or a confusion of how to play alongside Anthony Mason, or confusion about when to be aggressive. He was a fantastic rebounder and if he looks for his shot (and can make his shot), especially on the drive, he can be that jack of all trades that will be indispensable for the Red Storm.