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Top 15 Athletes Who Are Ready to Break Out in 2015

It's something that happens quite a bit when the calendar turns over and we begin a new year. People all around the world choose to view this time as a beacon of hope as they usher in the promise of a new year and all of its possibilities. But the cold, hard truth is that it only take a few weeks (or days) to pass in January before New Year's resolutions fall by the wayside - and sometimes, the optimism gets thrown out right along with it.

The year 2015 has been no different. While many people are still shaking off the post-holiday blues and getting back up to speed in their lives, the new year has already dished out some serious blows. For example, DISH Network went through a PR nightmare after it jettisoned Fox News from its lineup, losing some 90,000 subscribers before finally reaching a deal to get the channel back on the air. The film Selma largely was shut out of the Golden Globe Awards, and didn't receive any directing or acting Academy Award nominations either. And of course, let's not start talking about what happened in Paris.

The same phenomenon is happening in the sporting world. As of this writing, the Buffalo Sabres have yet to win in 2015, and the New York Knicks are playing even worse then the perennially-hapless Philadelphia 76ers. John Fox was ousted (or left, depending who you talk to) as head coach of the Broncos, despite giving Denver four divisional titles in the last four years, as well as a Super Bowl appearance less than a year ago. Finally, it may be a while before the Alabama and Florida State football teams get their swagger back after losing on New Year's Day.

That said, there are a few athletes who are still extremely hopeful that 2015 will be a banner year for them. And it's not just in the high-profile sports where this is the case. So let's take a look at the one athlete in 15 different sports that will most likely break out in 2015.

15 Mixed Martial Arts: Rob Font

Stephen R. Sylvanie-USA TODAY Sports

14 Major League Soccer: Wil Trapp

Troy Taormina-USA TODAY Sports

13 World Football: Alexandre Lacazette

via themag.co.uk

12 Women's Soccer: Sydney Leroux

Mark Konezny-USA TODAY Sports

11 Women's Tennis: Belinda Bencic

Susan Mullane-USA TODAY Sports

10 Men's Tennis: Dominic Thiem

Geoff Burke-USA TODAY Sports

9 Women's Golf: Lydia Ko

Raj Mehta-USA TODAY Sports

8 Men's Golf: Will MacKenzie

Joshua S. Kelly-USA TODAY Sports

7 Formula One Racing: Daniel Ricciardo

Jerome Miron-USA TODAY Sports

6 NASCAR Racing: Kyle Larson

Jerome Miron-USA TODAY Sports

5 College Basketball: Kasey Hill

Kim Klement-USA TODAY Sports

4 NFL: Derek Carr

Cary Edmondson-USA TODAY Sports

3 MLB: Anthony Gose

Kim Klement-USA TODAY Sports

2 NHL: Alex Galchenyuk

Eric Bolte-USA TODAY Sports

1 NBA: Kyle Lowry

Chris Humphreys-USA TODAY Sports

The Toronto Raptors appear to be coasting to a second consecutive Atlantic Division title, and Lowry's hands are firmly on the wheel of this train. The "once-uncoachable" player in Houston has found new life in the Great White North, and now he's posting career-high averages in scoring, assists, steals, and even rebounds. His season's performance is so good that Raptors' head coach Dwane Casey has threatened to get into a "physical fight" with certain coaches if Lowry doesn't get into next month's All-Star game.

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Top 15 Athletes Who Are Ready to Break Out in 2015