Category Archives: Player Profiles

Take Note: Ten Underrated Names to Watch in the SEC in 2018-19

Lee, Saben
Quietly, Vanderbilt’s Saben Lee had himself a strong freshman campaign in 2017-18, and he’s the Commodores’ top returning scorer this season. (Source: VandyMania.com) (Header: Knoxville News Sentinel)

SARNIA, Ont. — Once again, the SEC is loaded with talent in 2018-19.

Fans in the SEC will be all too familiar with the talent in the league, but several of the team’s top contributors have flown under the radar on a national scale throughout their careers. With the player turnover in the league following the 2017-18 season, there will be new faces of the conference this year.

The Kentucky Wildcats loaded up with several high-profile freshmen, which shouldn’t come as a surprise to anybody. Teams like the Tennessee Volunteers and Mississippi State Bulldogs will rely on experience and talent to get them back to the NCAA Tournament. There is a healthy mix of experience and youth in the conference, which in turn will lead to excitement and an unpredictable race for the SEC title.

Looking ahead to the season, here are 10 names who have flown under the radar so far in their careers on the national scene that you will want to watch over the course of the 2018-19 campaign.

Note: Players like Tremont Waters, Grant Williams, Jalen Hudson, Jontay Porter, Quinndary Weatherspoon, and Daniel Gafford weren’t listed because people should be familiar with their names by now. Continue reading Take Note: Ten Underrated Names to Watch in the SEC in 2018-19

Take Note: Ten Underrated Names to Watch in the Mountain West Conference in 2018-19

McDaniels, Jalen
After an impressive freshman campaign, Jalen McDaniels is on the verge of becoming the next star at San Diego State. (Source: East Village Times)

SARNIA, Ont. — Could the 2019 NCAA Tournament be the year that the Mountain West bucks the trend of one bid and send multiple teams back to the tournament?

The last time that the Mountain West Conference had more than two teams in the NCAA Tournament was back in 2015. The Boise State Broncos were in the First Four, fighting for an 11-seed against the Dayton Flyers, while the Wyoming Cowboys earned a 12-seed as conference champions and the San Diego Aztecs earned an 8-seed as an at-large pick.

Last season, the Nevada Wolf Pack made a deep run into the NCAA Tournament after receiving an at-large bid into the Big Dance as the 7-seed in the South Regional. The San Diego Aztecs earned the automatic berth after winning the conference tournament, and they earned the 11-seed in the West Regional.

Heading into the 2018-19 season, many feel as though that this could be the second consecutive year that the conference sends multiple teams to the tournament. After last season, several teams will be without their star players and faces of the program. New players will step up and take on expanded roles, while key returnees should finally get the national attention they deserve.

From All-Conference selections to breakout freshmen, the Mountain West Conference is full of underrated players. We did our best to narrow the list down to 10 players to keep an eye on as the 2018-19 season quickly approaches.

Note: Players from the Nevada Wolf Pack weren’t listed because they have been the talk of the town all off-season long, therefore people should be familiar with their names by now. Also, it was too hard to narrow down since the roster is immensely talented this season. Continue reading Take Note: Ten Underrated Names to Watch in the Mountain West Conference in 2018-19

Take Note: Ten Underrated Names to Watch in the Big Sky Conference in 2018-19

Sanders, Jalen
Jalen Sanders and the Northern Colorado Bears enter the 2018-19 season on the heels of their 2018 CIT Championship, and they will be looking to carry that momentum into the new campaign. (Source: Joshua Polson – The Greeley Tribune)

SARNIA, Ont. — The Big Sky Conference has undergone some big changes this off-season.

For starters, the North Dakota Fighting Hawks are now officially members of the Summit League, leaving the Big Sky Conference after the 2017-18 season. North Dakota’s departure now puts the Big Sky at 11 teams for the upcoming season.

Many of the remaining teams will also look considerably different, as star players from across the league have moved on in their careers. Whether it was due to graduation or transfer, some familiar names have left the Big Sky Conference. With that said, there are now plenty of opportunities for new players to become the faces of the conference, and there are plenty of candidates around the league.

There are still star players in the league, but the Big Sky is home to some talented players who have flown under the radar so far in their respective careers. One in particular put up massive numbers a season ago, but barely grabbed attention from the national media.

Here are 10 returning players who will be names to know this season in the Big Sky Conference.

Note: Players like Ahmaad Rorie, Jordan Davis, Tyler Hall, and Michael Oguine weren’t listed because people should be familiar with their names by now. Continue reading Take Note: Ten Underrated Names to Watch in the Big Sky Conference in 2018-19

Take Note: Ten Underrated Names to Watch in the Mid-Eastern Athletic Conference in 2018-19

Gantz, Kobe
Kobe Gantz played just seven games last season before suffering a season-ending injury. If healthy, Gantz will be one of the biggest names in the MEAC in 2018-19. (Source: Newsday) (Header: Bethune-Cookman Athletics)

SARNIA, Ont. — The 2018-19 season is just around the corner, and excitement continues to build with each passing day.

Over the next few weeks, we will be looking at names to know in each conference across the NCAA to help fans get caught up with who is returning this season, and give them some underrated names to know for the 2018-19 campaign. The biggest names in each conference won’t necessarily be featured, as the goal is to bring attention to some underrated talents across the country.

Changes are coming in the Mid-Eastern Athletic Conference, and they begin to take place in 2018-19.

The Hampton Pirates have moved to the Big South Conference, ending their tenure in the MEAC, and they will begin play in their new conference this season. Then, at year’s end, the Savannah State Tigers will move down to Division II, leaving the MEAC at 11 teams for the time being.

Add in player turnover, and you have 12 teams in 2018-19 that look considerably different than they did a season ago. Star players have graduated, while several others have transferred out of the conference. With all of the changes that have taken place, it’s tough to keep up to date with what’s going on.

Here are 10 returning players to know in the MEAC before the 2018-19 season gets underway on November 6th, 2018.

Note: Names like Shawntrez Davis, Raasean Davis, Charles Williams and RJ Cole weren’t listed because people should be familiar with their names by now. Continue reading Take Note: Ten Underrated Names to Watch in the Mid-Eastern Athletic Conference in 2018-19

Four Players Who Will Look to Turn Heads at the 2018 NBA Draft Combine

Battle, Tyus
After leading Syracuse to the Sweet 16 in the 2018 NCAA Tournament, guard Tyus Battle will look to turn heads at the 2018 NBA Draft Combine. (Source: Sports Illustrated)

CHICAGO — Two days in the middle of May can go a long way in making or breaking the NBA dream for several players across the NCAA.

The 2018 NBA Draft Combine will take place in the Windy City on May 16th and 17th, and 69 of the top prospects from around the NCAA have been selected to attend. It gives players from all levels of college basketball the chance to showcase their skills for NBA scouts, general managers, and executives alike from all 30 teams in the league.

In terms of the top spots in the draft, it’s no secret as to who the top prospects are in this year’s field.

Sports Betting Dime says that the battle to be the no. 1 overall pick in the 2018 NBA Draft has, realistically, been whittled to three names: center DeAndre Ayton of the Arizona Wildcats, power forward Marvin Bagley of the Duke Blue Devils, and Slovenian guard Luka Doncic.

While Ayton is the favorite to go first overall, it will depend which team wins the draft lottery. Phoenix has the best odds and, with Devin Booker in place in the backcourt, has a greater need for a skilled big. However, if Memphis lands the top pick, Doncic may hear his name called first. It’s not that the Grizzlies don’t need a dynamic center like Ayton, they just also desperately need better guard play. You could say similar things about both the Magic and Hawks.

As things stand, Ayton is the favorite to be selected with the top pick (1/2), followed by Doncic (4/1) and Bagley (7/1).

At the combine, you won’t see Ayton or Doncic among the 69 players in attendance. Instead, you’ll see several guys who are considered fringe selections, and they’ll be looking to put forth impressive showing to help improve their draft stock come June’s draft.

Here are four names to keep an eye on over the two-day combine in Chicago. Continue reading Four Players Who Will Look to Turn Heads at the 2018 NBA Draft Combine

Eleven Under-the-Radar Freshmen That Every Fan Should Know About

Taylor, Terry
The play of freshman Terry Taylor is a big reason for the 5-3 start in conference play for Austin Peay. (Source: Austin Peay Athletics) (Header: HBCU Gameday)

LONDON, Ont. — To say the least, the 2017-18 college basketball season has been an exciting one, and we still have over two months of action left before another dreaded off-season.

Conference play is in full swing for every league across the NCAA, and the contenders are starting to separate themselves from the rest of the pack. There have been several surprise teams, both for the better and for the worse, that have caused some shakeups in leagues that many thought were locks for particular teams this season.

With the excitement comes the plethora of emerging young talents from coast to coast. Freshmen from all across the country have emerged as potential stars with their respective programs, and have taken on starring roles in their first seasons in the NCAA.

For whatever reason, the majority of freshmen outside of the Big Seven conferences (B1G, B12, Pac-12, ACC, SEC, AAC, BEast) don’t get their fair share of attention on a national scale. Most media outlets will only focus on the biggest names and the top programs, all while turning a blind eye to players who are just as deserving. One player, in particular, ranks sixth in the nation in scoring, yet many fans don’t know his name.

That needs to change, and in a hurry.

Here are 11 freshmen that fans from coast to coast need to become familiar with, as they are poised  for big things over their collegiate careers, including one of the nation’s elite scorers who just so happens to play in the nation’s capital.
Continue reading Eleven Under-the-Radar Freshmen That Every Fan Should Know About