We hear about the superstars in college basketball, the Troy Murphys, Joseph Fortes and Shane Battiers. There are a lot of other players who are stars in their own environment despite lacking much national publicity.
|Lynn Greer keys Temple's matchup zone.|
I call these guys flat-out underrated!
Here is a look at my all-underrated dynamite five:
I start with Joe Crispin of Penn State. If you don't think he's made an impact, just call Kentucky's Tubby Smith. The Wildcats' coach found out about the sharpshooter and ballhandler first-hand when the Nittany Lions scored a big upset in Lexington. He lit up Rupp Arena, scoring 31 points.
Lynn Greer of Temple has started fast this season. John Chaney's offensive system is keyed by point guard play. Greer is the team's catalyst and the focal point creating opportunities for Kevin Lyde, Quincy Wadley and company.
Greer does a solid job as the leader of their 2-3 match-up zone. In the first four games of the season, he played every minute and committed just two turnovers.
At Michigan State, the Spartans have a lot of talent. Charlie Bell does a fantastic job on the perimeter and is a fantastic defensive stopper. Jason Richardson is explosive in transition. But sometimes overlooked and a key in the low post is Andre Hutson. He recently went over 1,000 career points and he is very valuable in the three-second area.
Syracuse's Allen Griffin has improved tremendously. He was brilliant out at the Great Alaska Shootout, sparking the Orangemen to the championship trophy. Griffin has penetrated, scored and defended well. According to coach Jim Boeheim, the guard is one of the most improved players during his long tenure at Syracuse.
Down at Florida, the Gators have an offensive machine. There is a lot of notoriety given to their outside shooting with guys like Teddy Dupay, Brett Nelson and Matt Bonner. Inside, they have a man in Udonis Haslem.
The underrated Haslem has tremendous ability to post up. He provides the Gators a scorer in the interior. Haslem's presence in the post frees up the perimeter people when he draws double-team attention.
My all-underrated guys: Crispin, Greer, Hutson, Griffin and Haslem. They may be underrated nationally in that they don't get a lot of ink. If you ask their coaches and their teammates, you'll find out they are vital factors at their respective programs.