It's early in the season, so college basketball rosters can get a big confusing. You're still attempting to get a handle on the new guys while also trying to calculate how Ronald Steele still has eligibility. We'll surely be wowed at the Jimmy V Classic by memorable stars like Steph Curry and A.J. Abrams, but let's not forget some of the under-the-radar players who will be trying to make the most of their trip to the world's most famous arena.
Max Paulhus Gosselin, G/F, Davidson
We were covering an Appalachian State-Davidson game a couple of years ago, and Southern Conference supremacy was on the line (seriously). Not knowing much about either team, we hit the gym a few hours early to do some prep work; some kid struts in wearing a worn out Montreal Expos cap. First thought: "that guy has style." Max Paulhus Gosselin certainly does.
MPG doesn't score much, but the Québécoise has the size (6'6") and athleticism to guard the opposition's best wing player. When Davidson takes on West Virginia, look for him to match up with De'Sean Butler, Alex Ruoff, or Jerry West. It doesn't matter. He's the Bruce Bowen of the SoCon.
Darryl "Truck" Bryant, PG, West Virginia
He was highly-regarded as a recruit and won't be unknown for long. Everyone knows NYC breeds point guards, and to put it in ESPN The Magazine vernacular, the Bronx-born Bryant is NEXT.
He won't blow you away with his quickness, but Bryant knows how to run an offense. He can score when necessary, but can also distribute and he's got the key ingredient possessed by every great NYC point from Pearl Washington to Ed Cota: moxie.
Justin Mason, PG, Texas
The best dunks are always the ones that come out nowhere. Some tiny guard drives the lane and unsuspectingly throws down in the face of big man who thinks he has an easy block lined up. Next thing you know, you're jumping out of your seat pointing and screaming "oooohhhhhh" like some schmo watching the AND1 Mix Tour. You can have the slams of Amare and Dwight Howard. We'll take John Starks and the recently-elected Mayor of Sacramento.
Justin Mason, who might be 6-1 with the Inspector Gadget shoes, will make you jump out of your chair and scream "oooohhhhhh" like some schmo watching the AND1 Mix Tour. This slam was so sick, it gave Luke Harangody pneumonia.
Corey Stokes, SG, Villanova
This is still Scottie Reynolds and Dante Cunningham's team, but Stokes is joining forces with fellow Corey (Fisher) to lead the next generation of Wildcats while giving them the most formidable duo of Coreys since Haim and Feldman teamed up in License To Drive.
After shooting just 29.6% from deep a season ago, the deeper three-point line has brought out the best in the soph, who is over 40 percent from behind the arc in this young season. Filling it up is nothing new to Stokes, who is Nova's No. 3 scorer with 11.6 ppg. According to his Wikipedia page, he "was the first player ever to score 1,000 points at Midtown Community School (middle school) in Bayonne, NJ. He began playing for the team as a fourth grader. He was able to achieve this goal due to his extra year in the school, as he spent two years in the fourth grade." Not sure what's most remarkable: the fact that he scored 1,000 points, that someone kept track of a middle school scoring record, or that someone made sure to note that he repeated fourth grade on his Wikipedia page.