Players poised to step into star roles

Ryan Boatright averaged 12.1 points and 3.4 assists last season as UConn won the national title. Jared Wickerham/Getty Images

Role definition is always crucial to a team’s success. A coach must explain what he needs out of each player in order for a program to reach its peak. But equally important are players who accept and understand their roles for the good of the team.

Until now, the following eight individuals helped their respective teams but weren’t necessarily the top option. However, based on varying circumstances, their role will expand this upcoming season.

Here's a look at eight players who will transition from complementary piece to potential star in 2014-15.

Ryan Boatright, senior, Connecticut Huskies

Boatright’s toughness and talent certainly belie his slight 6-foot frame, and he’s proved it for three seasons at UConn. To say he was instrumental in the Huskies’ run to the 2014 national championship is an understatement. But now he’s faced with another challenge: becoming Kevin Ollie’s key player.

Boatright shared playmaking duties with Shabazz Napier for much of his first three seasons, deferring much of the time. This season he will be asked by Ollie to take on the biggest share of the ballhandling and scoring load of his career.