• Ryan Tippett

The Next Budding Star? Here are The Sleepers to watch for in 2020-21

Updated: Apr 8, 2020

Who’s the next Ja Morant, Obi Toppin or Luka Garza? Well, if I could predict the future then my current financial situation wouldn’t look as bleak as it does. But that’s besides the point, here’s my take on the next household names in college hoops.

Drew Timme, Gonzaga (Forward)

The extensive, illustrious list of Gonzaga big men is almost as long as the self-checkout line at Walmart during a pandemic. Drew Timme is heir to the throne with Filip Petrusev in all likelihood entering the upcoming NBA draft after dipping his toes during the last years draft process. Some would consider Timme averaged 9.8 points per game to go along with 5.4 boards and shot an impressive 62.1% from the field. A top 50 recruit coming out of high school, this stud muffin is just scratching the surface.

1:09 to 1:26 mark



Aaron Wiggins, Maryland (Guard)

The potential in Aaron Wiggins oozes like a deliciously greasy, loaded five guys double cheeseburger. An athletic, long wing that can disrupt the flow of an entire offense on the defensive end. Despite his struggles from beyond the arc this year, they certainly didn’t deter him from posturizing poor children on his way to the paint. After winning 6th man of the year in the Big10 look for him to have a monster junior campaign.

This dunk gives me all the feels.

Fatts Russell, Rhode Island (Guard)

Keep sleeping on us short folk, Fatts has no issue dropping one in your eye. This killer is flat out cold and makes his defenders look straight silly. Pouring in 18.8 per game to go along with 4.6 assists and 3.4 boards, he finished 2nd in the nation in steals. When I say NOBODY wants to see Fatts next March, I literally mean not a single soul that lives outside of Kingston. He can score in a multitude of ways; he’ll lull defenders to sleep with a slight crossover before blowing right by them on his way to the hoop or pull up from deep and hitting nothing but that sweet, sweet nylon. This Philly kid has no fear, just ask Trae Young.

Joe Girard III, Syracuse (Guard)

Keeping with the theme of smaller guards, Joe Girard has got from the PARKING LOT range and if you don’t know what I mean than I question just how big of a hoop-head you are. With Elijah Hughes declaring for the draft, look for Girard to clamp his grips on an even larger part of the Syracuse offense. A shifty, deceivingly quick guard who has a lightning fast release. His style of player is slightly reminiscent of dare I say Syracuse legend Gerry McNamara, high praise but we’ll see if he can live up to it.

I’d also like to personally advise Prentiss Hubb to never try to piss off Joe Girard again.

Rocket Watts, Michigan State (Guard)

One of the many things the coronavirus robbed us of was watching Rocket Watts show out during March. If Cassius Winston was Christian Bales’ version batman than Rocket Watts was Michael Keaton *DISCLAIMER* IF YOU DON’T THINK CHRISTIAN BALE WAS THE BEST BATMAN THEN LEAVE THE INTERNET. With Cassius leaving and no other true ball dominant guard on the team look for Watts to have a special year in East Lansing. He’s going to be the face of yet another deep Tom Izzo run into March and you can take that to the bank and cash the check. This kid has loads of moxie.

Austin Reaves, Oklahoma (Guard)

After shooting an absolute bonkers 46.7% from 3 his freshman and sophomore seasons combined, Reaves took a major step back this year shooting only 25.9%. If I were a betting man (which I am far too broke to be), I’d place a fat wad of cash on this kid bouncing back in a big way. There are certain players you just tune into watch because on any given night they can do something special and Austin Reaves is that guy. Go ahead and see if TCU head coach Jamie Dixon agree (he will). Alright he probably didn’t deserve that. But watch this video of him taking the Horned Frogs to the woodshed.

That pull up. Woof.

James Bouknight, UCONN (Guard)

James Bouknight is a DUDE with jump out the gym bunnies to pair along with a silky-smooth stroke and can also finish through contact. A top 75 recruit coming out of high school, Bouknight proved he’s ready to take the reigns for the Huskies after averaging over 17 ppg in the final 13 games. As UCONN (thankfully) moves back to the Big East, that should only help to boost Bouknights’ national notoriety.

Btw, that was on top of the head of future potential lottery pick Precious Achiuwa

Jeremiah Robinson-Earl, Villanova (Forward)

What’s there not to like about the game of Jeremiah Robinson-Earl? He fits in perfectly with Jay Wrights’ motion offense as he shoots a modest 32.8% from 3. After average nearly a double-double in one of the toughest conferences in the country in 2019-2020, look for him to have an absurdly productive sophomore season. This guy simply has one of the best pivot steps in the game and a motor that has no end, I’m not kidding when I say he’s the little fundamental (shouts to Tim Duncan) with BOUNCE.

Honorable Mention:

Nick Musczynski, Belmont (Center)

Jordan Bruner, Yale (For now) (Forward)

Marcus Garrett, Kansas (Guard)

Blake Francis, Richmond (Guard)

Stef Smith, Vermont (Guard)