With less than a month away from Selection Sunday, there are various players across the nation who are capable of carrying a team for stretches when called upon. We continue our under the radar players watch as we get closer to March Madness.
Jordan Clarkson- University of Missouri
After sitting out the previous season while transferring from Tulsa University, Jordan Clarkson has not disappointed Tigers fans this season. The 6’6″ point guard has the athleticism and versatility to create for himself or teammates. Averaging career highs in points, rebounds, assists, and steals, he will have to duplicate his success on the court in order for Mizzou to have a chance to win games in postseason play.
Melvin Ejim- Iowa State
A valuable piece to the Iowa State Cyclones success this season has been the senior play and leadership of Melvin Ejim. He is one of the latest Canadian born players to burst onto the basketball scene averaging 19.1 points per game while grabbing 8.6 rebounds per game posting eight double doubles. Ejim has became the backbone of this Cyclones team as they prepare for March to approach.
Marcus Paige- University of North Carolina
Without 3 point shooter P.J. Hairston this season, sophomore Marcus Paige has been asked by head coach Roy Williams to carry a heavy load on offense and has done an incredible job while accepting the task. Paige, averaging a career high in points and rebounds, has became a focal point and leader to the Tar Heels recent success winning seven in a row. They will look towards him down the road as they continue to struggle with offensive perimeter play.
Jordan Bachynski- Arizona State University
With Arizona State on the rise in the Pac-12 Conference, the heart of the team is the man in the middle that is Jordan Bachynski. The Canadian born center has improved his overall play during the course of his Sun Devils, averaging career highs in points, rebounds and blocks with a staggering 4.6 per game. Having a big man with Bachynski’s abilities on the defensive end will give you a chance as a team to win games in the tournament.
Shabazz Napier- University of Connecticut
Shabazz Napier is arguably the best point guard in the nation. Becoming a finalist for the Bob Cousy award given to the nation’s top point guard, the catalyst for the Huskies, he has contributed in many aspects with 18 ppg, 5.8 rpg, and 5.5 apg. His contributions will pay dividends in the NCAA tournament as we have seen teams move on due to elite guard play.
Kyle Anderson- UCLA
Recently finding a place in the AP top 25, the UCLA Bruins have became one of the hottest teams in the country behind Kyle Anderson. The sensational sophomore has done it all playing the hybrid point forward position for first season head coach Steve Alford posting 15.4 points, 8.7 rebounds and 6.8 assists per contest with 13 double doubles this season. Expect UCLA to make a push in March behind Anderson as his draft stock rises.
Wesley Saunders- Harvard University
The best apart college basketball is the hidden talent flooded throughout the nation. At Harvard University, that is swingman Wesley Saunders. After found success last season in the NCAA Tournament, the junior from Los Angeles, CA has been able to duplicate his success picking up where he has left off. With the Crimson Tide at 20-4, they are poised to receive another tournament birth with Saunders leading the way as the teams go to guy.
Dwayne Evans- St. Louis University
As the St. Louis Billikens strive to reach their pinnacle of last season, the senior leadership of Dwayne Evans. Averaging 14.8 ppg while grabbing 6.5 rebounds per game, he has his team currently ranked No. 10 in the AP top 25 and undefeated in Atlantic 10 Conference play.
Tyler Haws- Brigham Young University
Tyler Haws has became one of the most exciting players to watch in college basketball this season. At 18-10, the Cougars hopes of a birth in the field of 68 are decided by the play of Haws as he averages 24.1 ppg with the tangibles of taking over a game where anything can happen in the tournament.
Caris LeVert- University of Michigan
Becoming a focal point this season, Michigan Wolverines sophomore Caris LeVert has stepped into a bigger role from the previous season. As his minutes drastically increased from 11 last season to 33, LeVert is the second leading scorer on the team with 13 ppg along with 4.5 rpg. He is the glue guy to this team with Mitch McGary sidelined with an injury and Glen Robinson III not performing up to expectations this season. In order to reach the championship game, his valuable talents and effort will need to rise come March.