5 Underappreciated for 2010-11
Each team has its star player (usually the leading scorer) who receives a ton of recognition and glamour for his team’s success. However there are players on those same teams whose abilities and contributions are vastly overlooked. The following list is of five players who don’t always receive the accolades but are heavily depended on by their coach and team. Pac Ten players are not considered.
David Lighty 6’5” SG SR Ohio State – Lighty is the most experience member of the Buckeyes’ club as he’s been there since the Greg Oden/Mike Conely years when, even then, he was a part-time starter. He’s a hard worker and a leader that does the small things that don’t always necessarily get him the hype of some of his other teammates. At 6’5” David is well-built, powerful, and athletic. His versatility will be very beneficial for tOSU as Coach Matta could potentially play him at an array of positions ranging from the point guard to the 4-spot.
Sean Mosley 6’4” SG JR Maryland – Mosley is the perfect example of a tweener. He’s a small forward in a guard’s body but it has not impaired his production on the floor. The 210 lbs junior is a tough, hardnosed player that does all the little things on the floor which is why he played nearly 28 minutes per game for Coach Williams. As a sophomore Sean posted a very solid statline of 10.1 ppg, 5.1 rpg, 2.6 apg while shooting 51% from the field, 39% from 3, and 91% from the charity stripe. He’s very consistent on both ends of the floor.
Ronald Nored 6’0” G JR Butler – On a team made up of offensively talented Cinderellas, Nored was much overlooked during Butler’s run to the NCAA championship game. Though he faced shooting woes (62% from FT, 20% from 3) he led the Bulldogs in assists and was the team’s defensive stopper. He also pulled down 3 rebounds per game (good enough for fifth on the team), despite having a 6-foot, 174 lbs frame.
Justin Safford 6’9” PF SR Missouri – Safford first emerged in Missouri’s 2009 NCAA deep tournament run during their final game against UConn when he scored 9 very meaningful points in 15 minutes of play. Justin continued his play last year where he was very solid before an ACL tear ended his season. In the 28 games he played he started in 23 while averaging 8.6 points (9.9 in conference) and 4.1 rebounds and shooting 43.3% from three and 75.8% from the free throw line. Safford’s ability to consistently put the 3 ball and stretch the defense along with his ability to be a threat at the rim and charity stripe will help open things up for the Tigers’ guards. He’s got experience in Coach Anderson’s system and will also provide leadership for the younger guys. Skill wise he’s one of the best power forwards in the Big XII.
Michael Thompson 5’10” PG SR Northwestern – Juice has been very underappreciated on the national scale throughout his years in Evanston. He’s averaged better than 35 minutes per game since his freshman year and has been the undoubted on-the-floor leader for the Wildcats throughout his tenure. Thompson has started in all 95 games he’s played under Coach Carmody and has shot nearly 42% from three and averaged 12 points in addition to recording 381 assists in that time. He’s been the most constant factor in Northwestern’s surge of success since he arrived.