With roughly 340 teams in Division I basketball, some players are bound to fall through the cracks.
We’d like to do our part to rectify that by highlighting some of the key players you may have missed last season. A handful of reasons led to these players going overlooked and underrated nationally: Chief among them is an absence from the NCAA Tournament. Some made all-conference teams. Some had impressive statistics, but for whatever reason, only hardcore fans knew their names.
We think these players anonymity will come to an end this season, and they’ll no longer be overlooked and underrated.
ALL-OVERLOOKED FIRST TEAM
G Tim Frazier, Penn State
Particulars: 6-1/170, Sr.
Stats: 18.8 ppg, 6.2 apg, 4.7 rpg, 2.4 spg
Playing basketball at Penn State isn’t the best way to get noticed. Just ask Talor Battle. Frazier was just as productive in his second season. He improved from 6.3 points per game to become to the second-leading scorer in the Big Ten. Frazier is one of the quickest guards in the country, but he’s also one of Penn State’s only real offensive threats. His 497 shots from the field were 203 more than anyone else on the roster last season.
Related: Big Ten coach rankings
G B.J. Young, Arkansas
Particulars: 6-3/180, Soph.
Stats: 15.3 ppg, 3.1 rpg, 2.3 apg
Young was a second-team All-SEC selection, but the league’s other big-time freshmen (Kentucky’s roster, Florida’s Bradley Beal, Tennessee’s Jarnell Stokes), seemed to be bigger names. Look for this to change. Young was sixth in the SEC in scoring (ahead of Beal and Anthony Davis) and shot better than 50 percent from the field. After going 6-10 in the league last season, Arkansas is a possible NCAA Tournament team thanks to an extra year under Young’s belt and the return of injured forward Marshawn Powell.
Related: Arkansas among sleeper teams who could return to NCAA Tournament
F Murphy Holloway, Ole Miss
Particulars: 6-7/240, Sr.
Stats: 11.2 ppg, 9 rpg
Holloway and teammate Reginald Buckner will form one of the SEC’s top frontcourts after ranking third and fourth, respectively, in the conference in rebounding. Holloway is the rare player to transfer from one school only to transfer back later -- he left for the 2010-11 season to walk on at South Carolina to help take care of his infant daughter. He didn’t play that season at South Carolina and returned to Ole Miss last year.
Related: 17 questions for the South Region in 2012-13
F Andre Roberson, Colorado
Particulars: 6-7/210, Jr.
Stats: 11.6 pgg, 11.1 rpg
No one paid too much attention to Colorado until the Buffaloes marched through the Pac-12 Tournament and defeated No. 6 seed UNLV in the NCAA round of 64. Now, Colorado is gearing up for a third consecutive postseason berth thanks to the return of Roberson, who was third in the nation in rebounding. He finished the season with 20 double-doubles, just as many as Anthony Davis. That number included four double-doubles in six postseason games.
Related: Pac-12 coach rankings
F Brock Motum, Washington State
Particulars: 6-10/245, Sr.
Stats: 18 ppg, 6.4 rpg
Did any player do more last season and receive less notoriety? We believe so. We even considered naming this team the “Brock Motum All-Stars.” Blame Pullman, Wash., or blame the 7-11 season in a poor Pac-12. The Australian lefty improved from Washington’s fifth-leading scorer to lead the Pac-12 in points per game last year.
ALL-OVERLOOKED SECOND TEAM
G Chaz Williams, UMass
Particulars: 5-9/175, Jr.
Stats: 16.9 ppg, 6.2 apg, 4.4 rpg, 2.2 spg
Upon his transfer from Hofstra, the diminutive Williams helped transfer UMass from an Atlantic 10 also-ran status to potential NCAA Tournament contender. Williams led the A-10 in assists and finished seventh in scoring. He was a perfect fit for the Minutemen’s up-tempo system, which led the A-10 in scoring. After a year with Williams running the point, UMass is hoping for bigger postseason goals.
Related: Can UMass, St. Joe's return to the NCAA Tournament?
G Langston Galloway, St. Joseph’s
Particulars: 6-2/200, Jr.
Stats: 15.5 ppg, 4.5 rpg, 2.2 apg
Galloway has played the last two seasons with high-scoring guard Carl Jones, but Galloway might be the best player at St. Joe’s. He certainly was the most improved last season. He shot 39.9 percent from the field as a freshman and then 48.8 percent as a sophomore. He also made 90 3-pointers, 22 more than anyone else in the A-10, leading the league by shooting at a 46.6 percent clip.
Related: Atlantic-10 coach rankings
G/F Colt Ryan, Evansville
Particulars: 6-5/210, Sr.
Stats: 20.5 ppg, 4.2 rpg, 3.3 apg, 1.9 spg
Ryan is a one-man show for the Purple Aces, leading the Missouri Valley in minutes played and finishing second in scoring behind Creighton’s All-America forward Doug McDermott. Though Evansville has yet to breakthrough as an NCAA Tournament team, Ryan has finished in the top three in the league in scoring all three seasons on campus.
F Rodney Williams, Minnesota
Particulars: 6-7/200, Sr.
Stats: 12.2 ppg, 5.6 rpg
Williams finished last season in a flourish as the Gophers recovered from a 5-12 season in the Big Ten to reach the NIT final. Williams scored 20 points in four of the last six games. Optimism runs high in Minneapolis as Trevor Mbakwe returns to the lineup, and the Gophers receive a season’s worth of standout point guard play from sophomore Andre Hollins. Williams could be a major beneficiary.
Related: Big Ten coach rankings
F Cameron Melvin, DePaul
Particulars: 6-8/208, Jr.
Stats: 17.5 ppg, 7.4 rpg
These are lean times for DePaul -- very lean times. If Melvin, the first signee under coach Oliver Purnell, the Blue Demons may escape the Big East cellar. For the last two seasons, though, DePaul hasn’t lacked a legitimate all-conference-type of player. Melvin finished the season sixth in the Big East in scoring and 12th in rebounding.
Related: 17 questions for the East Region in 2012-13