Stars in college basketball will get the headlines. In college basketball the game is more about a team concept. Rarely do you have a team that is star drive go win the whole thing. Virginia was loaded with key players that were all assets to their eventual championship. I want to highlight the players people don’t talk about enough that could be the reason their team makes it deep into March Madness.
*These players will be from power conference teams.
Quincy McKnight, Seton Hall
Most common college basketball fans know that Seton Hall is Myles Powells team. When Powell is not on his game it is the senior point gaurd Qunicy McKnight that picks up the slack. McKnight is veteran that isn’t afaid of prime time competetion. His ability to run the offense and create off the dribble will open up the floor for Myles Powell and Sandro (Not trying to spell last name).
In the NCAA tournament McKnight will have to force the defense to pay attention to him, his 84% free throw shooting will also be a huge advantage for the Pirates. He will be the guy forced to take the ball against top defensive teams that will not allow the ball into Powell’s hands.
Marcus Garrett, Kansas
Who doesn’t know Devon Dotson and Udoka Azubuike. The unsung hero of KU is Junior Guard Marcus Garrett. Garrett is a solid two way player that has shown up in the big moments of the season. Garrett showed his potential this weekend taking over the game agaisnt Oklahoma after Kansas got off to a slow start. Garrett’s defense has alwasy been his trademark but it was his ability to shoot the three that shocked most fans, knocking down nine of them.
If Garrett can provide the outside shot to go along with his defense he will be the difference maker for Kansas in the tourney.
Chris Clarke, Texas Tech
The popular sleeper team in college basketball is Texas Tech. They have flashy scorers in Jahmi’us Ramsey, Davide Moretti and Kyler Edwards steal the headlines. It’s the Virgnia Tech transfer Chris Clarke that provides the grit work for the Red Raiders. Texas Tech has the skilled players to compete with anyone. What they lack is the power on the inside to compete with the big boys of college basketball. Clarke’s toughness is a necessity for last year’s runner up to the national title. His perfromances against K-State, Louisville and Kentucky all carried the team to victories or near victories (Kentucky).
Toughness and experience are what seems to be lacking from Texas Tech. His ability to help run the offense and help thems stay up tempo will be important downt he stretch.
Daryl Morsell, Maryland Terrapins
Maryland has issues. Their ridiculous talent can overshadow their ineffeciencies. Daryl Morsell is a player that has become a key player in their big matchups. Wins over Illinois and Rutgers showed off the potential stat stuffing ability of Morsell. Morsell is currently shooting 36% from three, which is a huge improvement over last season 28%. The Terrapins have issues shooting the ball, if Morsell can provide the threat from distance it will make their ridiulously athletic point guard Anthony Cowan even tougher to defend.
Morsell is the third leading scorer on Maryland behind the aforementioned Cowan and NBA prospect Jalen Smith. Morsell will be the player that gets the open looks and if he hits this team has final four written all over them.
Jeremiah Robinson-Earl, Villanova
Jeremiah Robinson-Earl was a highly rated recruit, the freshman forward has lived up to the rating. Averaging 10 points and nearly 9 boards a game is nice but his ability to play the five in an uptempo Villanova offense has allowed them to play at a faster rate.
Robinson-Earl is matchup nightmare for traditional bigs and has the ability to post up opposing players that match his size. Colin Gillespie and Saddiq Bey are the guys that catch the headlines but Robinson Earl is the guy that allows them to before by cleaning up the glass. If you question the freshman at all check his game logs against higher level competition. His play will determine where this team goes.