The Unknown Stars of College Basketball

Matt ButlerContributor IJanuary 15, 2009

With college football now over for several months and the NFL beginning to wind down, many sports fans are beginning to turn towards college basketball to cure their sports fix. 

While ESPN has been hyping up players like Tyler Hansbroguh, Blake Griffin, and Stephen Curry, there are several other players who are seemingly flying under the national radar. 

One of those players, Kentucky's Jodie Meeks, recently burst onto the national scene with his 54-point performance against Tennessee. Here is a little more about the other players you should watch as conference play gears up and March Madness nears closer.

Jeff Teague, G, Wake Forest

Teague is finally beginning to get the attention he deserves as undefeated Wake Forest gained a huge home win over pre-season national favorite, North Carolina. Teague was spectacular against the Tar Heels, scoring a career high 34 points to go along with 6 rebounds and 4 assists. 

For the season, Teague is avearging 20.6ppg, 4.6 rpg, 4.1 apg, and 2.1 spg to go along with a sizzling 53.6% from the field. If the season ended today, you could make a strong case that Jeff Teague and not Tyler Hansbrough would be the ACC's Player of the Year.

Nick Calathes, G, Florida 

Similarly to Teague, Florida guard Nick Calathes has seen a big improvement in his play from his freshman to his sophomore season. Calathes has seen his shooting percentage rise significantly (42.6% last year to 51.5% this year) as he's become the leader of the back court that Billy Donovan's Gators have missed since his back to back title teams.

Overall, Calathes is leading the Gators in points, assists, and steals and is a big reason why they are 15-2.

Jordan Hill, F/C, Arizona 

While the days of Arizona being a top 10 power are gone or at least on hiatus, Arizona big man Jordan Hill is doing all he can to make the Wildcats a threat in the Pac 10 this season. Hill leads Arizona averaging 17.8 ppg to go along with 12 rebounds per contest.

Despite Arizona's five losses, Hill is beginning to gain attention from NBA scouts as well, as he currently ranks 5th in's 2009 mock draft.

Cole Aldrich, C, Kansas 

For a player who didn't see a lot of action last season (8.3 mpg), Kansas center Cole Aldrich is making the most of his opportunities this season. The ever improving big man is averaging 15.3 ppg while pulling down 9.8 rpg for the defending national champion Jayhawks.

What is even more impressive about Aldrich's season is that his blocks (2.8 bpg) and FG% (62.8%) show that he is playing strong defense while also playing extremely efficiently on offense.