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  • Cooper Burke

Ballers of the Week: Unsung Stars of the College Basketball Slate

Now that the college basketball season is in full swing, many athletes are breaking out and making a name for themselves. Making the leap to impact players isn’t an overnight thing. They are ready, though. As ESPN’s Dick Vitale would say, these hoopers are “PTP-ers” or “Prime Time Players”.

Kylan Boswell

Arizona sophomore Kylan Boswell had an impressive performance against the Duke Blue Devils, guiding his team to a 78-73 win in a battle of top 15 heavyweights. Boswell was efficient from the floor, shooting 4-for-7 for 12 points, six of them coming by way of three-pointer. The 6’2” guard was effective as a rebounder, pulling down eight boards to go with five assists. Boswell also played scrappy defense, putting up a block and two steals in 33 minutes on the floor. Boswell is fast developing as the number one option for the Wildcats, and is going to become one of the best guards in the Pac-12.

Braden Huff

Redshirt freshman sensation Braden Huff had an impressive debut for the perennial power Gonzaga Bulldogs, knocking home seven field goals and three free throws at a 19-point clip. Huff came out firing, scoring 10 points in his first seven minutes on the floor, helping the Zags to a 47-42 lead at the half.

Huff also had nine rebounds in a huge win over Yale, 86-71. “Braden's done a nice job,” Gonzaga head coach Mark Few said. “I think the redshirt year helped him and he’s got a lot to his game. He can score in the post, he can stretch you out a little bit and tonight he rebounded.”

Yves Missi

Cameroonian 7-footer Yves Missi has put on a defensive show in his last few outings, and he continued to protect the rim in a 77-62 Baylor win over the Gardner-Webb Bulldogs. Missi tallied 5 rejections as well as eight rebounds in 20.3 minutes on the floor. Missi tallied 11 points at a 63.2% clip and came off the bench in a solid supporting role. He also had a highlight-reel dunk for the Bears and has proven to be a reliable inside option at only 18 years old.

Dillon Jones

Columbia, SC native Dillon Jones has been a reliable outlet for Weber State in his four years at the program, but he has been playing at an entirely new clip in his redshirt junior season. Jones and company took down the 23-ranked Saint Mary’s Gaels 61-57 in a huge upset over a team expected to make a title chase in the WCC. He lead the Wildcats with 29 points in 40 minutes, shooting 55% from the field with two three-pointers. To complete the stellar performance, Jones pulled down 10 rebounds for his second double-double of the season. Jones’ outburst couldn’t have come at a better time, as Weber State looks to make another push for the Big Sky title this year.

Kenan Blackshear

Nevada senior Kenan Blackshear is making the most of his final campaign so far, putting up an impressive 31 points in an 83-76 win over Washington on the road. Blackshear distributed the ball well also, tallying five assists and six rebounds in the big win for the Wolf Pack. He was solid from the line as well, going 7-10. Blackshear has put himself on the map for Mountain West player of the year as he looks to lead a Nevada team past the First Four this year after they lost to Arizona State 98-73.

These five are looking to lead their teams to deep runs in the postseason, and are ones to watch as they start to put the rest of the college basketball world on notice. As we get closer and closer to March, expect to hear their names a lot more.

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