For the second straight year, The Baltimore Sun has counted down the best returning Division I college basketball players from this area. Players were chosen based on previous college accomplishments and projections for the 2012-13 season. College coaches, sports information directors, writers and others were consulted in compiling this list
t-No. 16: Omar Strong, Texas Southern
The 5-foot-9, 176-pound point guard was Texas Southern's leading scorer at 13.3 points per game, shooting 38.9 percent from 3-point range. The former Douglass star, who transferred from Cecil College, also averaged 2.4 rebounds, 1.6 assists and one steal during his junior season, earning second-team All-Southwestern Athletic Conference honors.
t-No. 16: Terence Jones, UAB
After three seasons at Texas A&M-Corpus Christi, Jones will get a shot at a more high-profile college hoops existence this year at UAB. The 6-foot-2, 185-pound combo guard will be eligible to play immediately for the Blazers after graduating from TAMCC and enrolling in a graduate program at UAB. Jones (Lake Clifton) started 29 of 30 games for the Islanders as a redshirt junior, averaging a team-high 13.7 points.
No. 15: Tommy Brenton, Stony Brook
The 6-foot-5, 215-pound River Hill grad started all 32 of Stony Brook's games during the 2011-12 season, averaging 7.8 points (53.9 percent from the field) and 8.09 rebounds. A first-team All-America East selection and the conference's Defensive Player of the Year, Brenton was also selected to CollegeInsider.com's mid-major defensive team, and was named the America East Player of the Year by the website.
Armwood left Villanova last August and headed down I-95 for D.C., where former Vermont coach Mike Lonergan was set to start his first season leading the Colonials' program. "At Villanova, I was more of a role player," said Armwood, a Montrose Christian grad from Baltimore. "We always had great guards there that Coach [Jay] Wright leaned on the most. Here at GW, Coach Lonergan talked about leaning on me the most."
As a junior last winter, the former Baltimore Sun first-team All-Metro selection helped the Minutemen to a 25-12 record, including a 15-1 mark at home. Vinson (St. Frances) emerged as UMass' third-leading scorer at 9.9 points and second-leading rebounder at 5.1 in just 26.2 minutes per game.
No. 12: Greg Whittington, Georgetown
Whittington, who finished his freshman season averaging 4.3 points and 2.9 rebounds in 20.1 minutes per game, is likely in line for more playing time as a sophomore. The Oakland Mills grad carved out a niche for himself as a versatile defender off the bench who could score as needed. The 6-foot-8, 212-pound forward presented all sorts of problems for opponents on the defensive end.
No. 11: Dylon Cormier, Loyola
An All-Baltimore Catholic League player at Cardinal Gibbons, Cormier was Loyola's second-leading scorer last season at 13.4 points per game. The 6-foot-2, 183-pound combo guard shot 46 percent from the field and grabbed 3.3 rebounds per game in leading the Greyhounds to the MAAC championship and their first NCAA tournament appearance since 1994.
During a four-game stretch at the end of December leading into January, the 6-foot-2 ½, 180-pound combo guard led the Tigers in scoring in three games: 16 points in a 67-58 win over Charlotte; 19 points in a 69-51 win over Tennessee; and 13 points in a 60-58 win over Southern Miss. As a sophomore, Barton (Lake Clifton) averaged 21.9 minutes, starting 19 of Memphis' 34 games and contributing 6.6 points and 2.3 rebounds per game.
A redshirt junior from Bel Air, Philmore is expected to play a major role for a Xavier program that has made seven-straight NCAA tournament appearances, but could be in store for a rebuilding year thanks to the graduation of three starters and the unexpected departures of two others. The John Carroll graduate, who sat out last season with the Musketeers as a transfer, averaged 15.3 points and 7.0 rebounds for Towson during the 2010-11 season.
No. 8: Andrew Fitzgerald, Oklahoma