NBA-DRAFT.COM top 65 College Teams (#55 - 51)

The countdown continues at No. 55
#55. Kansas State

Jacob Pullen and 11-point per game scorer Curtis Kelly off campus to graduation, while former high school All-American Wally Judge has transferred along with rising-junior Nick Russell. That's 448 shots from Pullen alone that need to be distributed; he used 29.7 percent of all possessions and took 31 percent of the shots when he was on the floor. So how is all of this production replaced?

The team's second-leading scorer and knock-down perimeter shooter Rodney McGruder will take on a much larger role. Given his minutes, he was the most productive a year ago, posting an offensive rating of 117.6. Versatile forward Jamar Samuels, an 8.5 point per game player last season, will have many more opportunities this season and given his ability to knock down shots from inside and out and get to the foul line, Samuels is a key piece to this year's complex puzzle.
#54. Long Beach State

The 49ers did not do any one thing great, but they were above-average across the board en route to winning 22 games, including a 14-2 record in Big West play. The one knock against Long Beach State is that their best win of the year was against Iowa, which isn't saying much at all. They went 0-6 against 2011 NCAA Tournament foes, losing by 16.3 points on average, but the one factor in their favor was that all six games were away from home. Still, NCAA Tournament games are never played on one's home court, so the 49ers will need to improve.

The team is led by guard Casper Ware, a 5'10" guard who led the team in points per game (17.2) and assists (4.4), but do-it-all Larry Anderson is one of the best second-fiddles out west; he averaged 14.3 points, 6.3 rebounds, 3.3 assists and a team-high 1.9 steals a night. Two more starters return, both seniors like Ware and Anderson in forwards TJ Robinson (13.6 points, 10.1 rebounds) and Gene Phelps (9.7 points, 6.8 rebounds).
#53. Northwestern

Is this the year for Northwestern? Is this finally the year they make the tournament? With four starters returning, it very well could be. The Wildcats' strength was their offense where they were extremely effective both inside the arc and behind it, complementing the fact that they rarely turned the ball over. 45 percent of their field-goal attempts were from 3-point range and over 66 percent of their made field-goals were assisted on- the ninth year in a row Bill Carmody has his team ranked in the nation's top-five in assists percentage.

With Juice Thompson, the most prolific shooter on the team, graduated, John Shurna will lead the charge with his 43.4 percent marksmanship from 3-point range. Shurna is an exemplary player for this Carmody/Northwestern model with his high shooting percentages, ability to draw fouls and convert at the foul line and low turnover marks.

6'11" senior Luka Mirkovic is the big man responsible for rebounding all of the perimeter misses and he did a good job of it last season as the only real post threat, but he will be relied upon even more this year in NW's record-breaking year.
#52. Indiana

The Hoosiers have eight conference wins the past three seasons combined, but this year Tom Crean could find himself matching and exceeding that number in Big Ten play. Offensively-challenged guard Jeremiah Rivers is the only rotational player to graduate and filling in his spot will be rising-junior Maurice Creek, who missed half of last season with an knee injury.

Wing Christian Watford has the length to score in the post, but is more comfortable and more effective scoring facing the basket. Creek has played well off Watford in his first two years at Indiana, as have guards Verdell Jones and Jordan Hulls. Joining the starting lineup this year will be five-star center Cody Zeller, the younger brother of UNC's Tyler and former-Notre Dame center Luke.

The Hoosiers have some solid depth on their bench, led by wings Victor Oladipo and Will Sheehey, last year's top recruits.
#51. Minnesota

It was a tale of two seasons for the Golden Gophers where they went 11-1 in their non-conference, including wins over North Carolina and West Virginia. Their Big Ten slate went perhaps as expected- losing to some of the conference's toughest on the road and winning at home to gather a 16-4 mark, but then Minnesota won just one game the rest of the way to finish a substandard 17-14 overall.

Point guard inconsistencies plagued the team, where neither Al Nolen or Devoe Joseph were with the team by year's end, forcing shooting guard Blake Hoffarber, to shift over and run the team while simultaneously looking for his own shots. Now, Hoffarber has moved on, as well as big man Colton Iverson, leaving Tubby Smith to fill some gaps in the roster. Trevor Mbakwe oozes with NBA-caliber athleticism and a motor to match, while center Ralph Sampson and Rodney Williams have aspirations to play at the next level, but leave much to be desired. One of the two incoming four-star shooting guards will either start or earn a lion's share of the minutes to fill in for Hoffarber, but this team can either be much higher or fall out the bottom of our Top 65 based on point guard play.