Monday, March 18, 2019 5:05 PM | CBN
It’s March which means the NCAA Tournament has finally arrived and I’m here to educate y’all on the best under the radar players to pay close attention to this week.
I’m going to start this list with a guy who plays in the Big East. He’s not exactly under the radar but he’s definitely under appreciated. He’s Myles Powell of Seton Hall and he has thrived this season as well as last season despite playing in the shadows of much bigger names in the Big East. This year his greatness has been overlooked due to Shamorie Ponds and Markus Howard. At 22.9 Points per game and shooting 44.8% from the field, Myles Powell is killing it. The 6’2” junior guard had carried Seton Hall all season long. In 33 games, Powell has scored 25 points or more in 14 of those! Earlier this season he dropped a cool 40 on 12/16 shooting against Grand Canyon. Myles has really turned it on lately as he’s averaging 25.9 Points per game, 4.9 rebounds per game, 3.7 assists and 2.2 steals per game in his last 10 games. He’s 44.5% from the field during this stretch and 38.4% from beyond the arc. He helped lead the Pirates to huge non-conference wins over Kentucky and Maryland as he scored 28 and 27 in those games respectively. Powell and the Hall are a 10 seed in the Midwest region as they take on Wofford down in Jacksonville. This is going to be a great game as we’ll see Myles Powell try to carry the Hall to a big win over this great and under valued Wofford team. Wofford is a deep team so fatigue won’t be an issue for them and they do make their threes. For Seton Hall to win, Powell will need to score 30+ at the least and get some steals for easy points in transition. If Powell and Seton Hall only play one game in the tourney this year, do not forget the name Myles Powell. He will win the Big East Player of the Year in the 2019-2020 season as a senior.
Prediction vs Wofford - 28 Points, 7 Rebounds, 3 Assists
Next up, Vasa Pusica of Northeastern. He’s a 6’5” guard who hails from Serbia and transferred from San Diego after the 2015-16 season. Vasa is scoring 17.8 Points per game on an absurd 49.7% clip and is a 40.1% 3-point shooter as well. Vasa also gets 4.2 assists per game in addition to 3.9 rebounds per game. I love this Northeastern team to knock off Kansas in the first round and give the Auburn/New Mexico State winner some trouble as well. I expect Vasa to score 20+ in his game against Kansas. I love the unselfishness Vasa and his entire team possesses, but hey we’re in March now and the best players got to go get his buckets and Vasa will do just that. Pusica scored 31 in the first game of the season against Boston on 19 shots, the most shots he’s taken in a game all season. I’d love to see Pusica get greedy if he’s feeling it this week. The toughest test Vasa faced this season was against Virginia Tech in the Charleston Classic. He shot 2-10, 0-4 from 2, 2-6 from 3, just not a good performance from the senior. Northeastern got waxed in that game but man that’s a good learning experience for Vasa and the team. Look out for Vasa Pusica this week.
Prediction vs Kansas - 24 Points, 6 Assists, 4 Rebounds
How about a super under the radar player here named… Neemias Queta. Who? Listen up because he’s a future star in the Mountain West. Queta is a 6’1” freshman center for Utah State and hailing from Portugal. He averages 11.9 points per game to go with 8.9 rebounds per game. He’s an absolute beast down low and disrupts so many shots, 2.4 per game to be exact. My worry with Queta is foul trouble. At 3.1 per, he has fouled out of 4 of the 34 games he’s participated in. That really could just be a freshman doing freshman things so I’d expect his foul trouble to slow down as the years go by. But trust me on this one, Neemias Queta is going to be an absolute monster in his career. Queta and Utah State take on Washington in the Round of 64 and I fully expect Queta to feast on the Washington big men, Noah Dickerson, Hameir Wright, and Sam Timmins. Queta is the X-Factor in the game against Washington, if Neemias eats, the entire team will eat and they’ll win that game. Then you have the potential matchup with UNC… Queta gets to go up against arguably the best team in the nation and it will be quite fun to see Queta compete against them as we’ll get a good feel of how he plays against the best competition. My favorite game from Queta this season was against UC-Irvine, he scored 11 points and snagged 19 rebounds, 7 of which were on the offensive glass! 81 of Queta’s 301 rebounds this season came on the offensive end which is so important as he’s keeping many possessions alive and giving the Aggies opportunities for 2nd chance points. Neemias Queta will be a star at Utah State, this is only the beginning. As the great Jon Rothstein would say… Neemias Queta. Buy Stock Now.
Prediction vs Washington - 16 Points, 13 Rebounds, 3 Blocks
Max Hazzard of UC-Irvine is a fun guy to watch. The 5’10” guard is averaging 12.5 Points per game this season. Irvine seems to be a popular upset pick this March as they take on Kansas State. So get to know your star player as he drives the bandwagon of your new temporary favorite team. First off, Max is the grandson of the great Walt Hazzard. Walt played on UCLA for John Wooden and helped win the first national championship with Wooden. Max shoots 41.8% from the field and 39.4% from 3. Love to see how he cares for the ball and only turns it over about once a game. Max is coming off an incredible game against Cal State Fullerton in the Big West championship where he scored 23 points on 8-11 shooting and a remarkable 5-6 from deep. Hazzard also added 5 assists. I expect Max to take on a bigger role next season and average about 16 points a game as he’ll attempt to take UC-Irvine to the Big Dance one last time. But for now the focus is on Kansas State and if that goes well he could possibly face Wisconsin or Oregon in the Round of 32 with a chance to play in the Sweet 16.
Prediction vs Kansas State - 18 Points, 4 Assists, 3 Rebounds