Who is the Most Underrated Player in the Big Ten?

By Alex Dale
Howard Smith- US Presswire

There are so many fantastic players in the Big Ten, this season.  Many of these players have been talked plenty about nationally.  The Big Ten touts two AP All-Americans; in Trey Burke and Cody Zeller.  Other players in the conference get plenty of national love, like Deshaun Thomas, Christian Watford and Kieth Appling.

The term underrated is definitely overused, an overrated term if you will.  First off, if people think someone is underrated then that assumes that people are actively rating them.  The term underrated really means that someone feels a player isn’t talked enough in the media.  However, if everyone feels that someone is underrated that makes them highly rated.  This often happens in sports where a player is considered so underrated that they become overrated.

An example of this in the NBA is James Harden.  Harden is a very good player.  In fact, he is one of the best shooting guards in the league, right now.  However, such a big deal was made that he was the under appreciated third banana for the Oklahoma City Thunder that he became overvalued.  The Thunder ended up trading him for Kevin Martin, Jeremy Lamb and two first round picks to the Houston Rockets. The third best player on a team, who was awful in the NBA Finals was just traded for potentially four very good players.  A sixth man was traded for a potential core of a team.  What happened is Harden became so over-hyped, because he was underrated before last season, that a desperate team, Houston, traded way more value than Harden was worth.  When the sports world finds someone who is widely believed to be underrated a polarization about the player’s true worth happens.  To overcompensate for this, the player becomes overrated.  The funny part is the blow-back from the media has already begun, calling Harden overrated.  Soon, after a few months of being overrated and overly ridiculed, Harden will return to being underrated.  Why?  Because that is how sports work.

Now, there are no trades in college basketball.  That makes it tougher to see the perceived value, or rating, of a player.  The next best way to find a player’s perceived value is by how much they are talked about and how well known they are to the common fan.

So, really the question I am asking is who is the most undervalued player by college basketball fans?

The answer I came up with is Tim Frazier.  Frazier is a senior guard from Penn State.  He averaged 19 points a game last season, being the Nittany Lions only strong point, last season.  Frazier was a First Team All-Big honoree last season, despite being on the worst team in the Big Ten.  Frazer led his pathetic Penn State team in scoring, rebounds and assists. The fact that he lead his team in rebounding probably says more about the rest of his team than him. He even led the conference in assists, while finishing second in scoring.  His quickness and strength, despite his small size, makes him a potent scorer.

That is a very impressive resume.  So, why is Frazier not a household name in college basketball circles?  Why is his perception so undervalued?

The reason is probably because he plays for Penn State.  Yes, Penn State has a basketball team.  The lack of exposure the team gets heavily contributes to the lack of exposure for Frazier.  Frazier is not seen on national TV, and he will never be in the NCAA Tournament.  Even Penn State alumnus and fans don’t follow the basketball team, for the most part.  This is one of the biggest reasons that a guy who lead the conference in assists and was second in scoring is not widely talked about as one of the best players in the country.

Frazier can turn this lack of notoriety around.  If he plays like he did last season he should shoot up NBA Draft boards.  His combination of talent and, the fact he is one of the only players who can score on Penn State will give him crazy numbers this season.  Frazier must be considered as one of the several best players in the conference and one of the best scorers in the country.   Frazier is not talked about nearly enough, so if you want, you could even call him….underrated.


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