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2020-21 Mid-Major Breakout Candidates

By Liam Blutman , 11/24/20, 4:45PM EST


Nah’Shon “Bones” Hyland with VCU. Credit: Richmond Times-Dispatch

Here. We. Go. College Basketball is back and I am so ready. Last year I brought y’all my Mid-Major Breakout Candidates article that featured: Obi Toppin, AJ Green, Isaiah Miller, Jordan Lyons, and Assane Diouf. This year I’m coming back with three goons to watch and believe me, you better remember these names.  

The first breakout candidate we have is Nah’Shon “Bones” Hyland. This kid is going to be a star and I guarantee that. Bones stands at 6’3”, the VCU guard made the A-10 All-Freshman team after averaging 9.0 PPG, 2.2 RPG, and 1.8 APG. Hyland started just 9 games, played around 20 minutes per game, and shot 43.3% from the field, 43.4% from deep.

His effective FG was actually 56.9%. In the late part of last season, Bones was just starting to see increased playing time and he was making the most of that opportunity. Hyland scored 18 against Dayton as he shot 7/14 from the field, hitting 3 of his 6 triples, adding a pair of steals as well. He’s expected to see a bigger role on this 20-21 VCU team and that’ll mean increased production and more opportunities to make your jaw drop. Bones finished in the 96th percentile on spot up shooting as a freshman and is an elite shooter that does it on and off ball. He’s able to create for himself with a wide variety of nasty dribble moves, his movement is superb. His shot is silky smooth, so pure, so perfect. There’s a lot to love about Nah’Shon and you’ll see why in a few days. My projections for Hyland are high and rightfully so. I expect Bones to average at least: 18.2 PPG while shooting around 46% FG and knocking down around 44% of his threes. I do want to see him attack the basket more and draw fouls leading to free throws. He’s a good passer and that will be on display this season, I believe that 3.3 assists per game is doable. VCU has had so many greats walk through this program in recent years, and Bones is quite possibly the best player they’ve had. Think about that. So, just be on the lookout for Nah’Shon “Bones” Hyland, a budding star in this sport who I think is worthy of being a top-20 pick in the 2021 NBA Draft. We’ll talk about this down the road, you’ll see.  

Credit: Tribune Chronicle

Next up we’ve got Darius Quisenberry, the 6’1” guard at Youngstown State. Don’t sleep on these Penguins, a real sleeper in the Horizon this season. Their success will begin with Quisenberry who I believe will make a case for the best player in the Horizon. While that might not a popular opinion now in a few months you’ll see what’s up. In his first two seasons at YSU, Darius averaged 15.2 PPG, 4.0 APG, and 3.3 RPG, shooting 41.7% from the floor. His effective FG sits around 48%. He’s a two-time member of the All-Horizon teams, making second team as a Freshman and first team as a sophomore. Simply put, I am dumbfounded by his 31.5% 3-point shooting %. I’ve watched plenty of his games and he’s got a nice shot, a bit slow but it’s a good, sound shot. He has shot fairly well from deep in most games I’ve seen him play. I would expect his 3-point % to be a lot higher this season, up in the high 30’s honestly. 

Quisenberry’s favorite move is the stepback, he’ll use it in a multitude of ways and he loves going to it from beyond the arc or on deep twos. He hit a few against Louisville that really impressed me. I like the way Darius attacks the basket, where he’s more quick than fast and uses creative ball moves whilst in the air to work around taller defenders and finish tough contested layups. I’m really high on Darius Quisenberry for his junior season. My expectations are as follows: Score at least 23.3 PPG, average 4.5 APG, shoot 43%, shoot 37.5% from three. And I’ll take Darius Quisenberry to win the Horizon Player of the Year, something nobody is expecting.  

And now to Louisiana we go for the final breakout candidate. It’s UL-Lafayette’s, Mylik Wilson, The 2019-20 Sun Belt Rookie of the Year winner. This dude is a star in the making and a NBA prospect for sure. Mylik had a very productive freshman campaign as he averaged 11.5 PPG, 5.7 RPG, and 2.9 APG. He shot 47.4% from the field and collected 2.3 steals per outing. I’d be sadly mistaken if I didn’t talk highly about this kids athleticism. Wilson is crazy athletic and possesses great length, his arms are long which allows him to pick the ball handlers pocket at unsuspecting moments. His top play of the season came after stealing the ball in a full-court trap, taking the ball at the three-point line, then taking two dribbles before exploding for a monstrous posterizing slam.

Credit: UL Lafayette

A downright nasty dunk from the electrifying freshman. I project Mylik to be the top player on this ULL team next year and wouldn’t be surprised in the slightest if he were to win the Sun Belt POTY. I see a huge increase in production for Mylik, I’m talking about 17.6 PPG, 7.4 RPG, 5.2 APG. That’s a very good stat line for a sophomore that should receive some NBA love. Mylik will be known as a better prospect than Elfrid Payton, who went 10th overall out of ULL in 2014. Mylik is really quick, he’s got incredible bounce, displays good vision, has a good shot, is a tough defender. He scores at the rack and does it well as he scored about 65% of his attempts at the rim. I’m really high on this kid and y’all will see why soon enough. There’s going to be some serious buzz surrounding Mylik Wilson, you’ll see. 

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