Big Ten tourney: Under-the-radar players
No doubt about it, stars such as Trey Burke, Deshaun Thomas and Cody Zeller are going to play a significant role at the Big Ten tournament. But what about the not-so obvious players, the under-the-radar guys who are capable of helping lead their team on a deep run or to an upset or two? See my under-the-radar players for the Big Ten tourney in this post.
[ RELATED: Indiana earns No. 1 seed in Big Ten tourney ]
Shannon Scott, Ohio State – They say tournament time is all about guard play, and when it comes to floor leaders who make an impact on both ends of the floor, there aren’t many better than Ohio State’s duo. Playing alongside Aaron Craft, Scott’s defense (1.8 spg; 15 in last four games) and distributing skills (3.0 assist-to-turnover ratio) often fly under the radar.
Travis Trice, Michigan State – Trice’s stats aren’t going to blow you away, both the result of his role and an injury-riddled season. But the sophomore guard is a key part to Michigan State’s attack. Not only is he capable of knocking down a big trey (41 percent career from behind the arc), he’s a solid distributor who can take some pressure off Keith Appling.
Eric May, Iowa – May, a member of the 2009-10 All-Big Ten Freshmen Team, is playing some of the best ball of his career. The athletic Hawkeye won’t light up the scoreboard, but he’s almost a guarantee to play terrific defense, do all the dirty work and provide valuable contributions in rebounds, assists and steals.
Jordan Morgan, Michigan – The Wolverines are as talented as any team, but they’re far more dangerous when Morgan, their veteran big man, is providing toughness and defense down low. The junior doesn’t need to score a single point to make an impact, either. Michigan just needs him to be physical, get his hands on balls and rebound.
Sasa Borovnjak, Penn State – Penn State’s been far more competitive the past three weeks – not just in its two surprising wins – and Borovnjak’s out-of-nowhere strong play coincides with the improved play. In the last seven games, the big man is averaging 11.9 points, 4.7 rebounds and 0.4 blocks per game, all while shooting 61 percent (33-54).
|About Brent Yarina||BTN.com web editor Brent Yarina covers football and men’s basketball for BTN.com. He writes the popular uniform feature “Clothes Call,” which also focuses on the latest cosmetic changes across Big Ten arenas and stadiums. Read all of his work here. You can subscribe to Yarina’s RSS feed and follow him on Twitter @BTNBrentYarina.|