Bowers, who missed all of last season with an ACL tear, and Oriakhi, who transferred from UConn, should combine to form an excellent defensive frontcourt. Bowers was an all-Big 12 defender in '10-11, and Oriakhi was the best interior stopper on UConn's 2011 national title team.
2 of 16Joe Robbins/Getty Images
Look for Stokes, who graduated high school early and joined the Vols midway through last season, to have a monster sophomore season and be in the running for All-America honors. Maymon is an all-SEC-caliber forward in his own right.
3 of 16John Biever/SI
Dawson is labeled as a 6-6 guard on the Spartans' roster but does his best work on the interior; he might be the best undersized rebounder in the nation. Payne is emerging as an offensive asset while Nix is a valuable (and massive, at 6-9, 270 pounds) veteran defender.
4 of 16Jim Mone/AP
Mbakwe, who tore tore his ACL on Nov. 27, 2011, and missed the rest of the '11-12 season, was granted a rare sixth year of eligibility by the NCAA. If fully recovered, he has the potential to be the Big Ten's best power forward. Williams is one of the league's best athletes at the small forward position.
5 of 16Robert Johnson/Icon SMI
German import Harris is an established West Coast Conference star as a hybrid forward. Dower, who came off the bench last season behind center Robert Sacre, is viewed as a strong breakout candidate. Karnowski is a Polish recruit who would have been a four-star prospect (at least) had he played high-school ball in the U.S.
6 of 16John W. McDonough/SI
The 6-10 Berggren and 6-6 Evans are a very underrated defensive duo who helped the Badgers finish fifth nationally in points allowed per possession. Dekker, a freshman small forward, is the highest-rated recruit of the Bo Ryan era, and could start from Day 1.
7 of 16Eugene Tanner/AP
The Tigers caught a big break when Thomas, a future first-round pick as a hybrid forward, passed on the NBA draft to return for his sophomore season. Back along with him is Black, a highly efficient interior scorer who made 68.9 percent of his two-point attempts as a sophomore.
8 of 16John W. McDonough/SI
Moser averaged a double-double as a junior (14.0 ppg, 10.5 rpg) and is joined by a five-star freshman, Bennett, who's capable of similar numbers. Birch is a former elite recruit who transferred from Pittsburgh, and will provide quality depth once he's eligible in December.
9 of 16Christian Petersen/Getty Images
Young is a future first-round pick who'll need to put up bigger rebounding numbers to crack the lottery; guard Brad Beal out-boarded him on the defensive end last season. Murphy is a skilled shooter whose biggest value is in pick-and-pop situations.
10 of 16Charlie Neibergall/AP
Withey is the best interior defensive force in the nation; his block percentage last season (15.3) was even better than Anthony Davis' (13.8). Ellis is a five-star freshman power forward who'll be needed to produce in the spot vacated by Lottery Pick Thomas Robinson.
11 of 16Dilip Vishwanat/Getty Images
In three years Leslie has evolved from a raw prospect into the best forward in the ACC. Howell is a big-bodied (6-8, 257 pounds) five-man who'll need to stay out of foul trouble, because the Wolfpack have limited frontcourt depth.
12 of 16Lance King/Getty Images
McDermott, the nation's third-leading scorer as a sophomore (22.9 ppg), is the player with the most realistic shot of beating out Indiana's Cody Zeller for the Wooden and Naismith awards. The 6-9 Echenique is a key rebounding-and-blocking asset on a defensively challenged team.
13 of 16John Miller, Wily Low/AP
Hill was an all Pac-10 small forward last season, and he's being joined by three of the best freshman bigs in the Class of 2012: Tarczewski, a 7-foot center; Jerrett, a 6-11 power forward with shooting range; and Ashley, a 6-8 hybrid forward with loads of scoring potential.
14 of 16Mark Humphrey/AP
Dieng, who had seven blocks in a Sweet 16 upset of Michigan State, is the centerpiece of the Cardinals' No. 1-ranked defense. Behanan, who was the Most Outstanding Player of that West Regional, is blossoming into one of the game's better all-around power forwards.
15 of 16James Crisp/AP
The 6-10 Noel, who arrives with a rep as a ruthless shot-blocker, could be joined by the 7-foot Cauley-Stein in a twin-towers frontcourt. Wiltjer, the lone player back from the 2011-12 title-team rotation, is a polished scorer but needs to make strides defensively.
16 of 16Fred Vuich/SI
Zeller is the college equivalent of a franchise center, and the overwhelming favorite to win national player of the year. Sheehey is an aggressive small forward who should be a huge defensive asset, no matter if he starts or comes off the bench.
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