Monday, 21 January 2008

NCAA Basketball Most Underrated Players

We know all about the guys that get the publicity... but now time to take a look at what I think are some of the more underrated players today.

Patrick Mills (St. Mary's) - The freshman in Australia is one of the big reasons why St. Mary's is posing the biggest threat that Gonzaga has had in the WCC in years. He is a huge part of the offense, leading the team in minutes played, points, and assists. He scored 37 points in his 4th career game (a win over Oregon), and has been an excellent player ever since.

James Harden (Arizona St.) - There's a lot of talk about the freshmen in the country, and especially in the Pac-10, but not all that much about James Harden. He has been a large part of the turnaround of Herb Sendek's club from last year. With a 4-1 conference record, the Sun Devils are currently tied for the Pac-l0 lead. Harden is leading the way with 18.6 PPG and 5.3 RPG. He was a big prospect coming out of high school, but he has surpassed expectations a little bit. He has helped change the Arizona St. program around.

Raymar Morgan (Michigan St.) - When people think of Michigan St., they think of Drew Neitzel. However, in my opinion, Morgan is the most valuable Spartan player and probably one of the top 3 players in the Big 10 (tough to argue against the 2 Hoosiers right now). He averages over 16 points and 6 rebounds per game, and is a good enough passer and ballhandler that they can run a lot of things through him. He takes some pressure off of the young Spartan guards.

Trent Plaisted (BYU) - If you do know Plaisted, it's probably because of the way he seemed to get the better of Tyler Hansbrough during their game back in November. That was not exactly a fluke. Plaisted is a pretty athletic big man that can finish around the basket, play solid defense down low, and is a good rebounder. I think we'll be seeing him at the next level.

Damion James (Texas) - Everyone talks about DJ Augustin and AJ Abrams, but check out the numbers for Damion James. He's like a poor man's Charles Barkley. He's only 6'6 or 6'7, but he averages an impressive 10.9 RPG. He also contributes offensively with over 14 PPG, scoring in a variety of ways (he is even 14/25 from the 3-point line). He has double-doubles in 9 of his last 12 games.

JaMont Gordon (Mississippi St.) - He might be the best player in the SEC, but nobody sees him because he plays for Mississippi St. He does it all for the Bulldogs, scoring nearly 18 points per contest, grabbing 6.6 rebounds, and doling out 4.3 assists per game. He is one of the best all-around players in the country.

Your thoughts? Do you agree with my selections? Who else do you feel is underrated in college basketball today?