Duke title-game hero leads list of top projected breakout scorers for the 2015-16 college basketball season.

By Dan Hanner & Luke Winn
October 22, 2015

As the 2015-16 season nears, SI is revealing its player projections, conference forecasts and national rankings. These are derived from our statistical projection system, a collaboration between economist Dan Hanner and SI's Luke Winn and Chris Johnson that's now in its second year.

We used our projection model to generate individual stats for every player in each of the top 11 conferences. The individual projections are based on many factors: players' past advanced-statistical performance in the context of more than a decade of D-I player data; the predictive power of recruiting ratings, both on immediate freshman performance and longer-term development; coaches' abilities to develop and maximize talent, as well as their playing-time distribution tendencies; teams' estimated pace of play; and intel from teams on how their rotations will be structured, which helps us better forecast how many minutes and shots will be available to each player.

The sixth reveal of SI's projection-system output is the top 50 breakout scorers, according to increase in points per game between last season and '15-16:

Rank Name Team Conf. Projected PPG Last year’s PPG Change
1 Grayson Allen Duke ACC 16.4 4.5 11.9
Allen struggled to earn playing time on a loaded national championship team. But the former Top 25 recruit is an outstanding shooter, and the flashes of brilliance he showed in the title game were a sign of what's to come.
2 V.J. Beachem Notre Dame ACC 14.3 5.9 8.4
Beachem was an efficient scorer as a sophomore, making 42 of 101 three-point attempts, and Mike Brey relies heavily on his veteran players.
3 Moses Kingsley Arkansas SEC 10.6 3.6 6.9
Moses Kingsley was an elite shot-blocker as a back-up to Bobby Portis last season, and after an off-season heavy on player departures and arrests, the only certain thing for Arkansas is that Kingsley will get the ball a lot more.
4 Parker Jackson-Cartwright Arizona Pac-12 9.8 2.9 6.9
The graduation of T.J. McConnell opens the door for the former top-50 recruit to have a big season. Jackson-Cartwright had a 33% assist rate as a reserve last year.
5 Obi Enechionyia Temple AAC 12.2 5.3 6.9
Enechionyia was Temple's most efficient player last season and best shot-blocker. Look for him to become a more critical piece of the Owls' offense.
6 Dane Pineau Saint Mary's WCC 10.6 3.8 6.8
No one can replace Brad Waldow, but Pineau made 67% of his twos last season and was as strong defensive rebounder. He has the skills to at least replace part of Waldow's production.
7 Keita Bates-Diop Ohio St. Big 10 10.5 3.8 6.7
Although D'Angelo Russell got all the headlines, Ohio State actually featured four highly rated freshmen in its rotation last year. Bates-Diop should make the sophomore leap and become a nationally recognized name.
8 Bronson Koenig Wisconsin Big 10 15.4 8.7 6.7
Koenig was very efficient as Wisconsin's primary point guard following the injury to Traevon Jackson, and he will be asked to take on a leading role in the offense as a junior.
9 Brandon Perry San Diego WCC 12.7 6.2 6.6
In his first year with San Diego after transferring from Cal State Northridge, Perry was an aggressive player (29% of possessions used) off the bench. With San Diego's top three scorers graduating, they need his help.
10 Kam Williams Ohio St. Big 10 11.8 5.4 6.4
Williams was an efficient scorer (with a 123 Offensive Rating) as the first guard off Ohio State's bench last season.
11 Yante Maten Georgia SEC 11.2 5.0 6.2
Georgia's biggest weakness heading into this year is its frontcourt, but Maten's shot-blocking ability and offensive-rebounding prowess suggests he has the athleticism to be a critical factor.
12 Vasa Pusica San Diego WCC 10.3 4.6 5.6
Pusica can't match what departed Toreros Christopher Anderson and Johnny Dee brought to the table, but the Serbian guard will get his chance.
13 Dominique Collier Colorado Pac-12 9.8 4.7 5.1
Collier was almost certainly going to see a larger offensive role following Askia Booker's graduation, and Xavier Johnson's injury only exacerbates the Buffs' scoring needs.
14 Justin Edwards Kansas St. Big 12 11.4 6.3 5.1
Coach Bruce Weber likes to rely on upperclassmen, but a tumultuous off-season led to high roster turnover. Expect Edwards, a former 17 points-per-game scorer for Maine, to get the rock more than last year.
15 Jalen Reynolds Xavier Big East 15.0 9.9 5.0
Reynolds' per-minute production last year was phenomenal. He averaged 10 ppg and 6 rpg despite playing only 50% of the time as a backup to Matt Stainbrook. As a starter, the sky is the limit.
17 Trey Kell San Diego St. MWC 10.6 5.6 4.9
San Diego State's limited backcourt options mean Kell has to play, and we project the former top-100 recruit to make a sophomore leap.
18 Brandon Taylor Penn St. Big 10 14.0 9.1 4.9
Among Penn State's returnees, Taylor was the most aggressive shooter last year. Look for him to seek out his shot even more this season.
19 Justin Coleman Alabama SEC 9.1 4.3 4.8
Coleman struggled mightily with his shot last year, but the former four-star recruit has some athleticism. Expect new head coach Avery Johnson to do a better job creating situations that fit Coleman's skill set.
20 John Gillon Colorado St. MWC 12.7 7.9 4.8
Gillon was a very effective player (118 Offensive Rating) on a deep Colorado State team last season. He's ready for a larger role.
21 Shep Garner Penn St. Big 10 14.0 9.2 4.8
From Talor Battle to Tim Frazier to D.J. Newbill, Penn State typically relies heavily on one of its lead guards. It's Garner's turn in '15-16.
22 Jabarie Hinds Massachusetts A-10 12.8 8.1 4.7
Hinds played a similar role to Derrick Gordon last year. With Gordon transferring, expect the former top-100 recruit to inherit many of those minutes.
23 Reid Travis Stanford Pac-12 10.9 6.2 4.7
Injuries limited Travis last season, but expect Stanford's highest-ranked recruit to live up to his potential as a sophomore.
24 Josh Perkins Gonzaga WCC 9.5 5.0 4.5
A broken jaw (suffered in November) kept Perkins from shining last season, but the former top-100 recruit should be one of Gonzaga's lead guards as a sophomore.
25 Troy Holston Jr. South Florida AAC 12.4 7.9 4.5
Holston showed some ability to make threes as a freshman, and should thrive if transfer Roddy Peters can feed him the ball.
26 Ben Bentil Providence Big East 10.8 6.4 4.5
After Paschal Chukwu and Tyler Harris decided to transfer, Bentil suddenly became one of Providence's most important players in the post.
27 Phil Booth Villanova Big East 10.3 5.8 4.5
The former top-100 recruit made 49% of his threes last year and is ready for a larger role.
28 Allerik Freeman Baylor Big 12 9.3 4.8 4.5
Freeman, another former top-100 recruit, should make a sophomore breakthrough—and benefit from all the defensive attention on the Bears' strong frontcourt.
29 Retin Obasohan Alabama SEC 10.6 6.2 4.4
Obasohan is already one of the nation's best shot-blocking and turnover-creating guards, and his offense is finally coming around.
30 Nate Mason Minnesota Big 10 14.2 9.8 4.4
Mason was expected to play a limited role behind Deandre Mathieu last year, but he out-played the senior point guard as a freshman, and is ready for an even bigger role in '15-16.
31 Alec Kobre Pacific WCC 10.3 6.0 4.4
Kobre was Pacific's most efficient player last year due to his ability to score while minimizing turnovers.
32 Tre'Shaun Fletcher Colorado Pac-12 9.6 5.4 4.3
Fletcher's ability to make threes made him a very effective wing, and with Xavier Johnson out, he has a big opportunity to earn more playing time.
49 Ike Iroegbu Washington St. Pac-12 13.1 8.9 4.2
With a 26% assist rate and solid jump shot, Iroegbu is Washington State's most efficient returning guard. With DaVonte Lacy graduating, look for him to take on an even larger role in the offense.
33 Jae'sean Tate Ohio St. Big 10 13.0 8.8 4.2
Because of Thad Matta's strong track record of player development, SI expects all three of Ohio State's rising sophomores to play well—especially Tate, who made 63% of his twos and blocked shots at a great rate for his size last year.
34 Wes Washpun Northern Iowa MVC 11.8 7.6 4.2
With Seth Tuttle graduating, the focus of Northern Iowa's offense shifts to its great guards. Washpun shot 40% from deep with a 27% assist rate last season.
35 Kyle Wiltjer Gonzaga WCC 21.0 16.8 4.2
SI projects Wiltjer as the nation's top scorer and most efficient high-volume scorer. His ability to hit threes at 6'10" makes him nearly unguardable.
36 Isaac Copeland Georgetown Big East 11.0 6.8 4.2
By the end of last season, Copeland proved why he was Georgetown's highest-ranked recruit, exhibiting a dominant inside-outside game. Expect him to emerge as one of the better players in the Big East.
37 Malik Pope San Diego St. MWC 9.3 5.2 4.1
The injury to Aztecs wing Matt Shrigley makes Pope's ability to make jump shots all the more critical to SDSU's offense.
38 Amile Jefferson Duke ACC 10.2 6.1 4.1
Jefferson's efficiency (119 Offensive Rating) and rebounding (13.8% offensive rebounding rate) have never been in question. And without Jabari Parker or Jahlil Okafor blocking his way, expect Jefferson to take a slightly larger role as a senior.
39 Paul Jesperson Northern Iowa MVC 9.9 5.9 4.1
Jesperson made 42% of his threes last year, and with his 6'6" frame, expect Northern Iowa to use him at the four in some smallball lineups.
40 DeVaughn Akoon-Purcell Illinois St. MVC 16.4 12.3 4.1
An efficient and aggressive shooter, Akoon-Purcell was slowed by injuries last season. Expect him to emerge as one of the Valley's top scorers.
41 Bonzie Colson Jr. Notre Dame ACC 9.7 5.6 4.1
Mike Brey leans heavily on his veterans, and Colson was very efficient (126 Offensive Rating) last year as an undersized five-man.
42 Robert Hubbs III Tennessee SEC 11.3 7.2 4.0
With a weak recruiting class (now that Lamonte Turner has been declared ineligible), Tennessee needs more out of its veterans. Hubbs, a former top-25 recruit, has the most upside.
43 Jakeenan Gant Missouri SEC 9.0 4.9 4.0
Gant missed the start of last season due to eligibility issues, but made 60% of his twos when he hit the floor. Expect the former top-50 recruit to be more consistent as a sophomore.
44 Leron Black Illinois Big 10 8.9 5.0 4.0
Black was a monster defensive rebounder as a freshman (grabbing more than 25% of available boards) and is ready to make a bigger scoring contribution in Year 2.
45 Zach Kocur Air Force MWC 12.7 8.7 4.0
Kocur is by far Air Force's most efficient returnee due to his three-point accuracy. He'll add value to the Falcons' offense with more shot attempts.
46 ShawnDre' Jones Richmond A-10 14.2 10.3 4.0
Jones appeared on SI's breakout list last year—and his PPG jumped from 6.4 to 10.3. With Kendall Anthony gone, Jones should get even more minutes, and even more shots.
47 Devin Watson San Francisco WCC 12.4 8.4 4.0
Watson made significant contributions (22% assist rate, 2.6% steal rate) as a freshman point guard. Expect his shooting to improve as a sophomore.
48 Alex Poythress Kentucky SEC 9.3 5.5 3.8
Poythress missed out on most of Kentucky's run at 40-0 due to a knee injury, but there's room in the rotation for him to be a key offensive option as a senior.
49 Chase Fischer BYU WCC 16.9 13.2 3.8
With Tyler Haws departing, Fischer should have the green light to shoot even more than he did last year, when he made 93 threes.
50 Namon Wright Missouri SEC 10.6 6.8 3.8
Wright earned playing time as a freshman due to his team-high 36% free-throw shooting; with a bigger role and improved finishing on the interior, he could be a double-digit scorer.

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