UCLA's Smith, UConn's Napier among year's most disappointing
So much of college basketball's preseason centers around the talk of the players and the teams that are expected to have a successful season. Luke Winn has even developed his own formula for determining
Many times, those players end up leaving school. Texas A&M's Khris Middleton struggled with injuries as a junior and never seemed to get on the same page as new head coach Billy Kennedy, and as a result left for the NBA draft. JaMychal Green and Tony Mitchell were supposed to lead Alabama into a new era as an SEC contender, but Mitchell was kicked off the team and Green struggled to find his offensive rhythm. Those two won't be returning next season, either.
Here, we take a look at 11 players who return after a disappointing 2011-2012 season:
It's no secret that Smith's biggest issue is conditioning. He's listed at 305 pounds, which seems low given the fact that he makes his UCLA uniform look like an Under Armour shirt that is two sizes two small. As a freshman, weight was Smith's problem as well, but instead of slimming down during the offseason, Smith returned to his native Washington to relax, which resulted in him gaining weight by the time he returned to Westwood. He was slow, with no stamina and he picked up too many fouls. That's not exactly a recipe for success.
Smith knows he needs to make a change. He told reporters after a season-ending loss to Arizona in the Pac-12 tournament that "I was supposed to make that jump and I didn't. That's all on me ... I need to put in the work in the offseason." Will 2012-2013 be the season that we see Smith in shape? Ben Howland has a glut of frontcourt players on his roster. If Smith is still out of shape come November, he won't be spending much time on the floor.
Nash may get judged unfairly due to high expectations, but in the one-and-done era, freshman that are as touted as Nash was coming out of high school are expected to play like it. With another top 10 recruit (Marcus Smart) joining him in Stillwater next season, will this be the year that Nash breaks out?