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Tampa Bay hoopsters to watch in college

By Bob Putnam
In this Jan. 24, 2017 photo, Iowa State's Monte Morris (11) and Kansas State's Barry Brown (5) jump for a rebound during the second half of an NCAA college basketball game, in Ames, Iowa. (AP Photo/Scott Morgan, File)

A look at the Tampa Bay products who should do big things this college basketball season:

First team

G Jacobi Boykins, Sr., Louisiana Tech: A preseason all-Conference USA selection, Boykins started 32 games last season and was the team's second-leading scorer with an average of 14.7 points per game. He also set the school's single-season record for 3-pointers with 89 last season. In April, Boykins declared for the NBA draft but never signed with an agent, allowing him to return.

G Barry Brown, Jr., Gibbs/Kansas State: Last year, Brown was one of four players to start all 35 games for the Wildcats and set a single-season school record for steals with 82, which ranked seventh nationally. The shooting guard also returns as the team's leading after averaging 11.7 points per game last season.

G Justin Gray, Jr., Berkeley Prep/Texas Tech: The all-Big 12 academic first-team selection appeared in 32 games last season and started 26 of the final 27. He reached double figures in scoring in 13 games and finished with an average of 8.9 points and 5.3 rebounds per game.

F Kevin Knox, Fr., Tampa Catholic/Kentucky: The best freshman in the Wildcats' 2018 recruiting class, Knox has the potential to become a lottery pick in the NBA draft after this season. He has been among Kentucky's leading scorers in exhibition games and is already a finalist for several player of the year awards this season.

G Anthony Lawrence Jr., Jr., Lakewood/Miami: He should have a more prominent role after starting in 18 of 33 games and averaging 6.8 points and 3.8 rebounds per game. Lawrence reached double digits in scoring nine times last season, including a season-high 19 against North Carolina State.

Key reserves

G Thomas Dziagwa, So., Tampa Catholic/Oklahoma State: The sharp-shooter hit 43 percent of his 3-pointers and all 10 free throws as a freshman last season.

G Dayon Griffin, Jr., St. Petersburg/UCF: After transferring from Louisiana Tech and sitting out a season, Griffin is back and could play a pivotal role for the Knights.

G Jonathan Jean, So., East Bay/Furman: He appeared in 30 games last season, averaging 1.6 points and 1.2 rebounds and had 40 assists on the season.

G Tyson Ward, So., Tampa Prep/North Dakota St.: As a true freshman, Ward played in all 30 games and averaged 5.8 points and 3.1 rebounds.