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NCAA Basketball

15 Underrated College Basketball Players Who Could Make a Difference in the NBA

Underrated College Basketball Players Who Could Make a Difference in the NBA

Russ Smith
Troy Taormina-USA TODAY Sports

Players like Andrew Wiggins and Jabari Parker are naturally going to get the most buzz leading up to the 2014 NBA Draft. However, there are plenty of players who are not getting as much attention, who could make a difference at the next level.

I am not saying that all 15 of these underrated players will be All-Stars or anything like that; however, all 15 could make a big difference in the NBA.

Rodney Hood, Duke

Rodney Hood
Daniel Shirey-USA TODAY Sports

Rodney Hood, Duke

Rodney Hood
Daniel Shirey-USA TODAY Sports

Rodney Hood’s draft stock is actually pretty good, but he goes under-the-radar because he is not as talented as Jabari Parker (and other reasons). Still, he has great size for the shooting guard position (6-foot-8) and he can really shoot the ball (42 percent from behind the arc).

Jordan McRae, Tennessee

Jordan McRae
Brian Spurlock-USA TODAY Sports

Jordan McRae, Tennessee

Jordan McRae
Brian Spurlock-USA TODAY Sports

Jordan McRae is a great scorer. He did average 18.7 points per game this past season. There is no guarantee that he gets drafted, but he could be a late second round steal thanks to his ability to put the ball into the hoop and his great shooting.

Russ Smith, Louisville

Russ Smith
Kim Klement-USA TODAY Sports

Russ Smith, Louisville

Russ Smith
Kim Klement-USA TODAY Sports

Russ Smith was easily one of the best players in college basketball this season. He is undersized for his position, but he is a competitor who can really score the ball.

Patric Young, Florida

Patric Young
Bob Donnan-USA TODAY Sports

Patric Young, Florida

Patric Young
Bob Donnan-USA TODAY Sports

Patric Young’s offensive game is definitely in question, but he still is a good rebounder and great on the defensive side of the ball. Who knows if his offensive game will ever be where it needs to be, but he can still give a team some valuable minutes.

Jahii Carson, Arizona State

Jahii Carson
Scott Olmos-USA TODAY Sports

Jahii Carson, Arizona State

Jahii Carson
Scott Olmos-USA TODAY Sports

Jahii Carson is one of the most exciting players to watch in the draft. He has all of the talent in the world, but his size is the only problem. He stands at 5-foot-10. Still, he managed to put up 18+ points per game in back-to-back seasons for Arizona State and size clearly was not an issue.

T.J. Warren, North Carolina State

T.J. Warren
Kim Klement-USA TODAY Sports

T.J. Warren, North Carolina State

T.J. Warren
Kim Klement-USA TODAY Sports

T.J. Warren went off this season by scoring 24.9 points per game. Underrated or not, he is one of the best scorers in the draft and he has the talent to put up some points at the next level.

Isaiah Austin, Baylor

Isaiah Austin
Kevin Jairaj-USA TODAY Sports

Isaiah Austin, Baylor

Isaiah Austin
Kevin Jairaj-USA TODAY Sports

Isaiah Austin never really met expectations for Baylor, but he was still solid. If he can develop more as a player and show us why he was the No. 3 ranked recruit in the 2012 class, he could easily be the steal of the 2014 NBA Draft.

DeAndre Kane, Iowa State

DeAndre Kane
Kevin Jairaj-USA TODAY Sports

DeAndre Kane, Iowa State

DeAndre Kane
Kevin Jairaj-USA TODAY Sports

DeAndre Kane was awesome in his one and only season for the Iowa State Cyclones. He averaged 17.1 points per game, 6.8 rebounds per game and 5.9 assists per game.

Who knows how he will do in the pros, but he could be one of the surprise point guards of the draft.

Kyle Anderson, UCLA

Kyle Anderson
Nelson Chenault-USA TODAY Sports

Kyle Anderson, UCLA

Kyle Anderson
Nelson Chenault-USA TODAY Sports

Kyle Anderson may be the most underrated player on this list. Sure, he could still go in the first round, but he is a very unique player. After all, he does stand at 6-foot-9 and managed to average 6.5 assists per game this past season.

Xavier Thames, San Diego State

Xavier Thames
Robert Hanashiro-USA TODAY Sports

Xavier Thames, San Diego State

Xavier Thames
Robert Hanashiro-USA TODAY Sports

Xavier Thames put up 17.6 points per game while shooting 37.2 percent from behind the arc this past season. He may not be the most intriguing prospect in the draft, but what he did in the 2014 NCAA tournament cannot go overlooked. He put up 23 points against New Mexico State, 30 against North Dakota State and 25 against Arizona. The man can definitely score the ball.

Mike Moser, Oregon

Mike Moser
Scott Olmos-USA TODAY Sports

Mike Moser, Oregon

Mike Moser
Scott Olmos-USA TODAY Sports

Mike Moser resurrected his career at Oregon this year. He averaged 13.2 points per game and 7.7 rebounds per game. He also shot the ball very well (37.8 percent from three-point land).

Aaric Murray, Texas Southern

Aaric Murray
Howard Smith-USA TODAY Sports

Aaric Murray, Texas Southern

Aaric Murray
Howard Smith-USA TODAY Sports

Aaric Murray has played for a number of different schools -- three to be exact -- but his last stop at Texas Southern showed how good he really can be. The 6-foot-10, 250 pound big man averaged 21.6 points per game. He also shot 33.7 percent from behind the arc.

Johnny O’Bryant III, LSU

LSU basketball
Derick E. Hingle-USA TODAY Sports

Johnny O’Bryant III, LSU

LSU basketball
Derick E. Hingle-USA TODAY Sports

I would have liked to see Johnny O’Bryant III come back for his senior year, but he is still a solid power forward. He stands at 6-foot-9 and weighs 250 pounds. He averaged 15.4 points per game and 7.7 rebounds per game this past season.

P.J. Hairston, North Carolina/D-League

P.J. Hairston
Rob Kinnan-USA TODAY Sports

P.J. Hairston, North Carolina/D-League

P.J. Hairston
Rob Kinnan-USA TODAY Sports

P.J. Hairston didn’t exactly work out at North Carolina, but he is still one of the best players in the draft. He only played 23.6 minutes per game in the 2012-13 season and he still averaged 14.6 points per game on 39.6 percent shooting from behind the arc.

His numbers in the D-League were very impressive and he is going to make one NBA team very, very happy. This guy has the talent to go in the top 10. That probably won’t happen, though.

Jabari Brown, Missouri

Jabari Brown
Kim Klement-USA TODAY Sports

Jabari Brown, Missouri

Jabari Brown
Kim Klement-USA TODAY Sports

Jabari Brown can score in a number of different ways, but it is his great shooting that should have NBA scouts impressed. After all, he shot 41 percent from deep this past season and made 80 threes in the process. Oh yeah, he also put up 19.9 points per game.

Trevor Lowry is a Senior Writer and Copy Editor at RantSports.com. If you’re a tweeter feel free to follow him @TheTrevorLowry or add him to your network on Google.