By Kevin Sweeney
Today is Tuesday, and that means it’s time to rank the top shooting guards in mid-major basketball. Now, if I were Brad Stevens or another positionless basketball pioneer, I’d only rank point guards, wings, and bigs, but I decided I’d do my best to rank all 5 positions to the best of my ability. And while the shooting guard spot doesn’t have quite the same depth as point guard, there was still a ton of talent to sort through.
And if you missed it yesterday, here are my point guard rankings:
- Caleb Martin (Nevada)
- Vitals: 6-7, 205 pounds, Redshirt Senior
- Stats: 18.9 ppg, 5.4 rpg, 2.6 apg, .454/.403/.749
It was 2 summers ago that Caleb and his brother Cody committed to Nevada. In choosing the Wolf Pack and Eric Musselman over a slew of other suitors, the Martin twins helped lay the groundwork for this Nevada program. Now, they return for one final season, with legitimate national title aspirations. Caleb is perfect for Musselman’s system, a long wing with great size who is a high-level shot-maker. With the added depth that Nevada adds thanks to several high-level transfers, Martin should be fresher and more impactful when on the floor after rarely getting a chance to rest last season.
2. Justin Wright-Foreman (Hofstra)
- Vitals: 6-1, 185 pounds, Senior
- Stats: 24.4 ppg, 3.3 rpg, 3.2 apg, .449/.366/.799
From 1.6 points per game as a freshman to more than 24 points per game as a junior, Wright-Foreman is back for one more electric season in Hempstead. There, he’ll likely look to develop as a point guard as he continues his transition from undersized scoring guard to do-it-all playmaker. However, Wright-Foreman’s ability to put the ball in the hoop will always be his strong suit, and there are few players in the nation I’d rather give the ball to if I needed a bucket. He scores at all 3 levels, and has a killer instinct that makes him super fun to watch.
3. Kellan Grady (Davidson)
- Vitals: 6-5, 185 pounds, Sophomore
- Stats: 18.0 ppg, 3.3 rpg, 1.9 apg, .501/.372/.804
One of the most mature scorers I’ve ever seen as a freshman, Grady returns as a leading candidate for A10 Player of the Year. Grady is already garnering NBA Draft buzz, but for now is tasked with bringing Davidson back to the NCAA Tournament for a second consecutive year. While it’s unlikely Grady (or any Davidson player) will ever get out of the shadow of Stephen Curry, the Boston native has a chance to become one of college basketball’s household names this season. Without Peyton Aldridge, Grady will shoulder even more of the scoring load, but I’m confident he’ll have no trouble helping keep the Wildcats in A10 contention.
4. Fletcher Magee (Wofford)
- Vitals: 6-4, 193 pounds, Senior
- Stats: 22.1 ppg, 2.9 rpg, 1.7 apg, .484/.439/.907
In my opinion, Magee is the best shooter in all of college basketball. The reigning SoCon POY is absolutely unstoppable from downtown, making more threes than anyone in the nation a season ago with 148 triples. He doesn’t have much more to prove at the collegiate level, other than leading his club to a NCAA Tournament. Last season’s win over North Carolina was memorable to say the least, but in order for the Terriers to win a SoCon title they’ll have to improve defensively.
5. Deshon Taylor (Fresno State)
- Vitals: 6-2, 185 pounds, Redshirt Junior
- Stats: 17.8 ppg, 3.2 rpg, 2.6 apg, .439/.386/.833
Taylor tested the NBA Draft waters this offseason, opting to return to Fresno State for his final season of college basketball. He’ll do so for new coach Justin Hutson, who took over for Rodney Terry this spring. Hutson is fortunate to inherit one of the Mountain West’s best players in Taylor, who’ll see more time running the show after playing in more of an off-ball role his prior two seasons in Fresno.
6. CJ Massinburg (Buffalo)
- Vitals: 6-3, 194 pounds, Senior
- Stats: 17.0 ppg, 7.3 rpg, 2.4 apg, .468/.405/.743
From a low-profile recruit to MAC Player of the Year frontrunner, Massinburg’s rise has been fun to watch over the last 3 years. Now, he has a chance to further etch his name into the Buffalo record books, with 2,000 career points and back-to-back MAC titles within reach. Massinburg truly does it all on the floor, defending multiple positions, rebounding the ball extremely well, and shooting over 40% from downtown. The Bulls will be one of the nation’s best mid-majors, and Massinburg is a major reason why.
#7. Isaiah Reese (Canisius)
- Vitals: 6-5, 185 pounds, Junior
- Stats: 16.9 ppg, 5.8 rpg, 4.7 apg, .463/.359/.881
Reese not winning MAAC Player of the Year last season was a travesty, but he should enter this year as the MAAC’s premier player. Capable of playing either on or off the ball, Reese rose to prominence last season thanks in part to the extra minutes he saw due to Kassius Robertson’s transfer to Mizzou. While at the time, the loss of Robertson appeared devastating for the Golden Griffins, it allowed Reese to reach his full potential, and now Canisius has a legit NBA prospect on their hands.
#8. Jordan Ford (Saint Mary’s)
- Vitals: 6-1, 160 pounds, Junior
- Stats: 11.1 ppg, 2.7 rpg, 1.6 apg, .508/.443/.754
Ford quietly established himself as one of college basketball’s rising stars last season, averaging over 11 points per game last season for Saint Mary’s. With 3 starters graduating, the California native will be thrust into a huge offensive role this season. The biggest question is what that role will entail, as some project Ford taking over primary point guard duties from Emmett Naar. He could also remain off the ball, with redshirt freshman point guard Kristers Zoriks running the show.
#9. Jerrick Harding (Weber State)
- Vitals: 6-1, 170 pounds, Junior
- Stats: 22.0 ppg, 3.4 rpg, 1.7 apg, .530/.425/.882
The most prolific scorer to don a Weber State jersey since Damian Lillard, Harding is a fearless scorer at all 3 levels and a big reason the Wildcats have a chance to contend with Montana for a Big Sky title. Where Harding has to improve is the defensive side of the ball, where he was a net negative for the Wildcats a season ago. Becoming a more complete player will only elevate Harding status as one of college basketball’s elite scorers.
#10. Taveion Hollingsworth (Western Kentucky)
- Vitals: 6-2, 165 pounds, Sophomore
- Stats: 13.3 ppg, 3.4 rpg, 1.9 apg, .480/.378/.791
It’s hard to believe that Hollingsworth slipped through the cracks and wound up at Western Kentucky, but Hilltopper fans are extremely happy he did. A natural scorer, Hollingsworth made a major impact a season ago on a WKU team that won 27 games and is now poised to be an even bigger piece on this season’s C-USA favorites. With Darius Thompson graduating, the ball will be in Hollingsworth’s hands a lot more, and he should have plenty of room to operate with 2 elite bigs in Charles Bassey and Desean Murray drawing lots of attention in the post.
CJ Burks (Marshall), Desmond Cambridge (Brown), Michael Oguine (Montana), Max Heidegger (UCSB), Grant Riller (College of Charleston), David Jenkins (South Dakota State), Shannon Bogues (Stephen F. Austin), Jaylin Walker (Kent State), Jordan Goodwin (Saint Louis), Tyler Hall (Montana State), David Efianayi (Gardner-Webb), Kyle Allman (Cal State Fullerton), Jhivvan Jackson (UTSA), Roosevelt Smart (North Texas), Devin Cannady (Princeton), Eugene German (Northern Illinois), Francis Alonso (UNC-Greensboro), Joe Rosga (Denver), Christian Keeling (Charleston Southern), Detrick Mostella (Jacksonville State)
Check back tomorrow for the small forward rankings!