College Breakout Players to Believe In. Each and every season there are players who meet expectations by taking a big leap forward in productivity and development. There are also players that unexpectedly breakout and become leaders on their team. Today, let’s take a look at five players whose breakout seasons are likely to last the entire season and lead their teams to success in March.
College Breakout Players to Believe In: David Johnson-Louisville
Johnson was the most predictable break out player for the 2020-21 season. After leading Louisville to a huge victory against Duke late in his freshman campaign it seemed as if everyone became a believer.
As a freshman, Johnson averaged 6.3 points, 2.8 assists, and 2.8 rebounds per game. The biggest question mark coming into his sophomore campaign was his ability to shoot the ball from deep as he shot 21.7% from behind the arc in his first season.
This season, Johnson has teamed with graduate transfer Carlik Jones to form the best backcourt in the ACC. Johnson has more than doubled his points (14.4) and rebounds (6.3) while shooting a blistering 45.2% from behind the arc. Turnovers are still a problem at 3.8 per game but Johnson is well on his way to an All-ACC type season.
The 6’7 Philadelphia native showed glimpses of his talent as a freshman when he averaged 5.9 points and 3.6 rebounds per game. In games when Donta scored at least nine points last season the Terps were 7-2.
In his sophomore season, Scott has come out of the gate scorching, shooting 67% from the floor overall and 57.6% from behind the arc on 33 attempts. Maryland is off to a disappointing 6-5 start this season and just lost Darryl Morsell to facial surgery but with a talented kid like Scott on the wing, Maryland can get hot in a hurry.
College Breakout Players to Believe In: Zack Freemantle – Xavier
Freemantle has become another in a long line of Xavier stretch big men that develop in the Musketeer program. As a freshman during the 2019-20 season, Freemantle averaged 7.5 points and 4.3 rebounds per game.
As a sophomore, Freemantle has made a huge leap in both counting statistics and efficiency. The 6’9 stretch big is averaging 16.7 points per game along with 7.7 rebounds. In 34 attempts from deep he is shooting 41% while his overall field goal percentage has risen from 46% to 56.5%.
Xavier is currently one of the best teams in the Big East and sits at 8-2 on the season with Freemantle leading the way in both scoring and rebounding.
Jahvon Quinerly – Alabama
Talk about a kid with a story! Quinerly may be best known for his instagram post while at Villanova with the caption “my second choice for a reason.” If you knew of him prior to that it could be due allegations of impermissible benefits while being recruited to Arizona.
Regardless of why you may have known Quinerly before the season, you should know him for a different reason now. That reason being that he is darn good at basketball.
Now that he’s found a home in Tuscaloosa, Quinerly has successfully put his talents on display, averaging 13 points and 3.4 assists per game while Alabama has jumped out to a 7-3 start to the season. Long live the “Jelly Fam.”
College Breakout Players Worth Mentioning
Kai Jones at Texas has been a key cog for the Longhorns’ resurgence while Jemarl Baker has finally lived up to his prep reputation of being a knockdown shooter at Arizona. Texas might be back while Arizona has unfortunately imposed sanctions prohibiting them from postseason play this year.