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ACC Basketball: Ranking the 10 Most Underrated Players

Tyler DonohueNational Recruiting AnalystMarch 8, 2013

ACC Basketball: Ranking the 10 Most Underrated Players

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    Superstars aren't the only players propelling teams toward postseason action. Beyond the headline-stealing standouts are quality contributors who don't garner an overwhelming amount of media attention but make the difference in decisive moments of key matchups.

    You'll hear plenty about the nation's premier playmakers throughout March Madness but be sure to keep an eye out for the unsung hoopsters. We shine a spotlight on the ACC's overlooked and underrated players, providing some information about how each one provides a major impact for their respective programs. 

    Many players on this list entered this season under the radar but have asserted themselves as crucial contributors over the course of the regular season schedule.

10. Daniel Miller, Georgia Tech

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    The 6'11" center is a steadfast contributor in the Yellow Jackets' lineup. Miller, a junior, shoots 52 percent from the floor and averages about eight points per game.

    He adds two blocks and two assists per contests and contributes with rangy defense. Miller scored 16 points in a February victory over Maryland, hitting all 12 of his free throw attempts.

9. Reggie Johnson, Miami

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    The 6'10" post player has provided Miami with a presence in the paint since his freshman season. Johnson has yet to duplicate his sophomore stats (12 points, 10 rebounds) but remains a veteran cornerstone of the 'Canes lineup.

    Johnson, a senior, plays about 23 minutes per game and routinely makes the time count. He snags about eight boards and swats away one shot on average. 

    Johnson's best offensive performance in ACC action pushed Miami past NC State 79-78. He tallied 15 points and eight rebounds in Raleigh. 

8. Alex Len, Maryland

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    During the course of his sophomore season, Len has made the leap from promising prospect to go-to post player. The 7'1" center doesn't have the confidence or polished skill set to take over on the offensive end, but he has grown into a capable scorer.

    Len averages 12 points and eight rebounds per game. The sophomore tallied 19 points on 6-of-8 shooting during a Feb.16 victory over Duke.

    He's secured at least seven rebounds in seven straight games.

7. Rasheed Sulaimon, Duke

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    The young guard is currently on a cold spell, scoring just 16 total points in the past three games. However, he's been an important complimentary piece of the puzzle during Duke's journey to a potential top seed in the NCAA Tournament. 

    Sulaimon, a 6'4" freshman, enjoyed a strong stretch during the second half of February. He averaged a little more than 18 points per game during a four-game stretch that featured a 27-point outburst against Boston College,

    The Blue Devils, who implement one of the most prolific offenses in college basketball, are lead by a trio of senior leaders (Kelly, Curry and Plumblee) so Sulaimon is low on the list of top options. His emergence awaits in the future, perhaps even as soon as Duke's postseason run.

6. Kenny Kadji, Miami

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    The 6'11" senior is a necessary component of Miami's postseason hopes. Kadji is averaging career highs in points and rebounds, helping the Hurricanes surge to the top of ACC standings. 

    He is currently riding back-to-back doubles-doubles (against Duke and Georgia Tech) and has shot at least 50 percent from the floor in four straight games. When Miami defeated Duke in January and truly stated its case as a conference title contender, Kadji excelled.

    He scored 22 points on 9-of-11 shots and should see plenty of looks inside during the postseason.

5. Reggie Bullock, North Carolina

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    Bullock has taken his game to another level this winter. The junior forward is pouring in 14 points per game, a major improvement on his past seasons with the Tar Heels.

    He averaged just eight points per contest as a sophomore but Bullock has proven to be a capable scorer during some of UNC's most impressive stretches. During the Tar Heels' current six-game win streak, he is averaging more than 15 points.

    Bullock has shot at least 73 percent from the floor in each of the Tar Heels' past three victories.

4. Ryan Anderson, Boston College

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    Anderson is a versatile forward with a high ceiling. Just a sophomore, the 6'8" California native is averaging 15 points per game

    Although he struggles from beyond the three-point arc, Anderson is an emerging mid-range shooter and continues to crash the glass. He scored 18 points and pulled down 11 rebounds in Tuesday's win over Clemson.

    Anderson has scored at least 10 points in 15 of 17 Big East matchups.

3. Richard Howell, North Carolina State

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    Howell is among conference's most polished post players. The 6'8" senior doesn't allow a lack of superior size to deter his efforts inside.

    He averages a double-double (13 points, 11 rebounds), adding a steal and a block each game. Howell pulled down 17 boards in a March loss to North Carolina.

    The Wolfpack haven't been able to match preseason expectations, but Howell can help the squad atone for midseason struggles with a strong tournament performance.

2. Lorenzo Brown, NC State

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    Other point guards receive more publicity but Brown is a premier playmaker as the Wolfpack's floor general. The junior is averaging seven assists per game, continuing to evolve as NC State's offensive catalyst.

    Brown has registered eight double-digit assist totals this season, including a 12-point, 12-assist effort last week against North Carolina. Brown could potentially enter the NBA draft as an under-the-radar prospect but should be viewed as a top-tier collegiate point guard if he opts to return to NC State as a senior.

1. Joe Harris, Virginia

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    His 36-point performance against Duke downed the Blue Devils in late February, but Harris is hardly a household name. The junior guard averages 17 points per game and is one of the ACC's most improved three-point shooter.

    Harris hits 45 percent of his shot attempts from beyond the arc, a seven-percent uptick from last season. He also holds a 78 percent average from the free throw line.

    Harris has scored at least 13 points in 16 of 17 conference matchups, highlighted by nine games of 20 or more games.

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