The Best Players You Haven't Seen -

The Best Players You Haven't Seen


by Andy Force
Senior Writer,
January 19, 2005


College basketball has its share of crazed fans. You see them on TV each game, at the sports bar, maybe in the mirror. Even the most crazed among us can't watch every game, especially when those games are not televised. Thus, every year, there are overlooked players--it's inevitable. Take notes--these players may become breakout stars in the impending March Madness.

Best players you haven't seen:

Taylor Coppenrath (Sr.) - Vermont
Certain to conclude his career as 3-time America East player of the year, Coppenrath has the heart of a lion. Despite missing seven games with a broken wrist, Taylor returned with his teams' season on the line in the AE Championship. He dropped a tourney record 43 points! Who cares about period of adjustment or time to return to fitness? Prefer numbers, try 25.6 ppg, 8.5 rpg, and 54.0 FG%. Coppenrath stands 6'9", 250 fairly towering over opponents in the AE. His success can partially be attributed to his size, but his NBA aspirations have encouraged him to develop a mid-range touch, which he constantly shows off with smooth jumpers.

Senior sidekick T.J. Sorrentine captured the 2002 conference player of the year. This season he dumps in over three and half triples a game (3rd in the nation). With 20.0 ppg, 4.6 assists per game, and 85 FT %, Sorrentine heads a formidable backcourt. His point guard play makes the Vermont Catamounts a frightening team to face should they make the Big Dance.

Tim Smith (Jr.) - East Tennessee State
The 5'9" sprite is an absolute dart on the floor, slaloming between taller players en route to easy layups. His coming out party was last March against the brutish Cincinnati Bearcats in the NCAA tournament. In his personal reenactment of David versus Goliath, the excitable PG scored 26 in an 80-77 opening round loss to Cincy. Astonishingly, the junior Smith pulls down four rebounds a game, along with dropping four assists per.

Jawad Williams (Sr.) - North Carolina
Obviously Williams has been seen and infrequently heard from as he plays for a top 5 team. However, when asked the leading scorer of his beloved Tar Heels, recent UNC grad student Kory Wilmot figured any of four stud players before Jawad. The Big 3, Sean May, Rashad McCants, and Raymond Felton all receive more press. Even budding freshman Marvin Williams gets more recognition than his elder Jawad.

Obie Trotter (Jr.) - Alabama A & M
Trotter contributes all over the floor for the Bulldogs. Obie contributes 14 ppg, 5 rpg, 4 apg, 3 spg in 33 minutes on the floor. If you have a stat column, Obie Trotter excels in it.

Keydren Clark (Jr.) - St. Peter's
Nicknamed Kee Kee, Clark fills it up with the best of them. After leading the nation in scoring (26.7 ppg) a year ago as a sophomore, Clark is atop the mount once more. Over 25 tallies a contest, 3.5 rpg, 3.4 apg, and 38 total steals pepper his stat sheet. The one knock on Clark is his marginal shooting percentage of 40%, which certainly reflects the constant barrage of threes he heaves.

Curtis Stinson (Soph.) - Iowa State
Cyclone sophomore Stinson is amongst the Big 12 leaders in numerous categories. Third in points (17.7), second in steals (2.4), fourth in assists (4.7), and eighth in free throws (75.4%), the New York product is Bronx-tough.

If you get the opportunity to catch one of these players in action, seize it, because their airtime is rare. Regardless, these super seven are among the best individual talents in the nation this season.