The average college basketball fan can rattle off the big-name players such as Cody Zeller, Mason Plumlee, Shabazz Muhammad and Nerlens Noel. These are players whose teams are regularly featured on national television and are likely names that will be announced in the upcoming NBA draft.
However, there are many hidden gems in college basketball; players whose names are not easily recognized or players that are overlooked because their teams are not ranked in the top 25. There are many other underrated players in college basketball, but this is a list of arguably the top five most underrated players.
Temple's Mr. Do-It-All is the favorite for the A-10 player of the year. The 6'4" guard is second in the conference in scoring per game (17.5), seventh in assists per game (3.9), and eighth in free throw percentage (83.55). He is the biggest reason the Owls are again competing for another A-10 title and his 33 points guided Temple to their huge upset over Syracuse. Look for another big game from Wyatt as the Owls look to upset Butler.
Sherrod Wright has emerged as one the CAA's best players, averaging 18.4 PPG, 5.2 RPG and 1.7 APG on the season. He leads George Mason in both scoring and rebounding. Wright is a big reason the Patriots have won five of its last six games and trail first place Northeastern by only two games.
Whether or not he's Jimmer Fredette 2.0 is yet unknown, but the 6'5" guard is top 10 in the nation in scoring with 20.6 PPG. The Cougars have won ten out of their last 13 games and are one of the better mid-major teams in the country, and Haws' scoring is the biggest reason BYU is likely headed to the NCAA tournament. Haws also averages 5.0 RPG and is shooting 91% from the charity stripe.
Mike Muscala is sixth in the nation in rebounds per game (11.0) and fifteen in the nation in scoring per game (19.9). His dominant play is the reason Bucknell is one game out of first place in the Patriot League and were named one of the top six mid-major teams by ESPN analyst Jay Bilas. Muscala is the clear favorite for Patriot League player of the year honors.
Georgetown seems to play its best ball against better teams and so does Otto Porter. In the Hoyas' three upset wins over UCLA, Notre Dame and Louisville, Porter averaged 18 points and 10.6 rebounds. The Hoyas have won four of their last five games and the 6'8" combo forward has played superb. He is averaging 14.6 PPG, 7.7 RPG and 2.6 APG for the season.