While the Jahlil Okafors and Emmanuel Mudiays of the world are more than deserving of all the attention they receive when discussing 2014 college basketball recruiting, there will be those who aren’t 5-star studs who see their stocks soar when they arrive on campus.
The following list is a grouping of recruits who will surpass expectations at the college level. They are incredibly talented but haven’t quite gotten the recognition that other recruits who are going to bigger programs have received.
Recruit measurables and bio information courtesy of Scout.com.
Stretch forwards are all the rage in college basketball today, and 2014 prospect Tariq Owens will give the Ohio Bobcats one of their own.
Owens is a power forward who is listed at 6’8” and only 185 pounds. The fact that he is so thin, especially for his height, is somewhat worrisome entering the collegiate level, but his athleticism and versatility will serve Ohio well in MAC play.
Owens is also a formidable rebounder but could really use some added strength on his frame. He has solid touch on his shot and should score plenty of points in a mid-major conference. Look for fans across the country to recognize Owens if the Bobcats pull off any upsets in March.
If Isaac Haas’ stock is going to soar by the time he gets to Wake Forest, maybe it can catch up to his height.
The 7’1” center is hard to miss when he takes the floor, but he hasn’t gotten a lot of attention in a class that is loaded with elite big men. That being said, by the time he gets to the ACC, he will have plenty of opportunities to shine against elite competition.
Haas is powerful and has soft hands, which will help him establish himself as a presence on both ends of the floor. He should rack up plenty of rebounds, blocks and easy baskets on the inside, and if he can return the Demon Deacons to prominence, he may just become a household name by March.
From the NBA to college basketball, the point guard position has become revolutionized to a degree by athlete-first floor generals who use their quickness and burst to get to the basket and score plenty of points. Think of Derrick Rose and Russell Westbrook as prime examples.
Dominique Collier has a lot of those same traits but utilizes them judiciously. He is consistently looking toward his teammates and attempts to get them established in the flow of the game before racking up his own scoring totals. His high basketball IQ allows him to understand when scoring is needed and when facilitating is better.
Colorado landed an underrated gem in Collier who will help them compete for NCAA tournament berths in the Pac-12 down the line. Look for him to become a much more recognizable player, especially on the West Coast, as his career progresses.
If Haas is hard to miss when he’s playing, then Trayvon Reed is downright impossible to overlook.
Despite Reed’s 7’2” frame, he hasn’t gotten the type of attention in recruiting circles that many of the upper-echelon big men have in this 2014 class. Reed is going to be part of Maryland’s initial Big Ten class, so if he dominates against the likes of Michigan State, Ohio State, Indiana and Michigan, people will start to recognize his talent.
Perhaps the most enticing thing about Reed’s game is his athleticism and versatility. Yes, he is incredibly tall, but he runs the floor well, bounces around on defense and can even score some from outside the paint.
The Big Ten is officially on notice.
Reed and Haas are two big men on this list, but Justin Coleman is the exact opposite.
Coleman is listed at 5’10” and 155 pounds, and as you would almost automatically expect for someone so small who is going to make an immediate impact on the basketball floor, he is extremely quick and athletic. His ball-handling ability along with his explosive first step will make him a difficult cover for any defender.
He is also a formidable passer and can shoot the ball from behind the three-point line. His quickness also helps on the defensive side.
Coleman will be very popular among fans in his home state of Alabama after electing to play his college ball for the Crimson Tide. If he plays like he is capable of, fans across the nation will begin to recognize his talent as well.
Follow and interact with college basketball writer Scott Polacek on Twitter @ScottPolacek.