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Big Ten Basketball: Examining The Shooting Guard Position

Today we will continue our Big Ten position rankings. This time we look at shooting guards.

Rick Osentoski-USA TODAY Sports

The Big Ten isn't necessarily "littered" with shooting guards this year, but star quality is something that is not lacking. Tim Hardaway Jr. went on to greener pastures, so that leaves an opening for another breakout star. As always, hear me out first, then feel free to leave your opinion in our poll and the comment section.

*Readers note: These position rankings are based off my opinion and 2012-13 performance.

5. Lenzelle Smith Jr. (Ohio State)

2012-13 stats: 27.4 mpg, 9.2 ppg, 4.8 rpg, 1.5 apg

Deshaun Thomas is gone, so Ohio State will need to fill that missing void. Lenzelle Smith Jr. is the best candidate for that. In relation to Thomas, Lenzelle is a smooth left-handed shooter. He is essentially a walking highlight reel. He has a terrific leaping ability, and has good size. On the down side, he is not a terrific three-point shooter, (shooting 37.4%). With the departure of Thomas, I expect Lenzelle Smith Jr. to excel with more of the scoring being geared towards him. He should have a great senior season for Thad Matta.

Best play(s) of 2012-13:

4. Ben Brust (Wisconsin)

2012-13 stats: 34.3 mpg, 11.1 ppg, 5.1 rpg, 2.3 apg

Ben Brust is an experienced player for Bo Ryan's Wisconsin squad. He is a sharp-shooter (see half-court shot below), making 39 percent of his three-point attempts. Another impressive thing is Brust's ability to rebound with his lack of size, (6'1"). But that could also be a downfall for him. 6'1" is very short for a two-guard. Brust will likely have a tough time with defensive match-ups against larger players. Nevertheless, I still expect him to be impressive and play a key role this upcoming season.

Best play(s) of 2012-13:

This was the easiest choice ever.

3. Terone Johnson (Purdue)

2012-13 stats: 32.1 mpg, 13.5 ppg, 4.7 rpg, 2.1 apg

I really like Terone Johnson. Him, along with his brother Ronnie Johnson, will make a very solid back-court for Purdue. The downfall is that he is not a very good shooter (35-percent from the outside). He also needs to work on his free-throw shooting, (only making 62-percent). With that being said, he has improved each year at Purdue. There is a lot to like about this kid. If he shows continued improvement, he will be one of the better perimeter players in the Big Ten.

Best play(s) of 2012-13:

2. Roy Devyn Marble (Iowa)

2012-13 stats: 30.5 mpg, 15.0 ppg, 4.0 rpg, 3.0 apg

Last season, Iowa was the NIT runner-up, losing to Baylor. This season, Iowa has bigger expectations, which is to make the NCAA tournament. Roy Devyn Marble will be the reason why they will do that. Marble can play either shooting guard or small forward for the Hawkeyes, but I believe he will play most of the minutes at the two-guard slot. He wasn't a terrific shooter (33-percent from the three-point line), so that must improve. He shot a very good 82-percent from the free-throw line, which is definitely positive. He also is good at driving in the lane and has an established floater. Also, he plays well under contact. He will be a key asset for Iowa.

Best play(s) of 2012-13

1. Gary Harris (Michigan State)

2012-13 stats: 29.7 mpg, 12.9 ppg, 2.5 rpg, 1.4 apg

If you're Tom Izzo, you love Gary Harris. If you're the opposing team, you hate Gary Harris. Even with a bad left shoulder, Harris had an astounding freshman season. He can handle the ball, only turning it over 1.5 times per game. Not to mention, he can also hold his own on defense. He decided to come back to play with Keith Appling, Adreian Payne and Branden Dawson. With that decision, he became the best returning shooting guard in the Big Ten, if not the entire country. Harris already has NBA potential. I fully expect him to have an even better sophomore campaign.

Best play(s) of 2012-13

Read our other Big Ten position rankings:

-Point Guard

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