College basketball: 5 under-the-radar stars who've burst onto the DI scene
From highly-touted recruits to seasoned veterans, the stars of college basketball come from every corner of the country. But for some, the road to stardom wasn't as easy as others.
Here are five players who came from nowhere and now can't be stopped:
Stefan Moody, Ole Miss
Moody transferred to Ole Miss in 2014 from Kilgore College, a small JUCO school in east Texas, and after a year in Division I, he’s already one of the most dynamic players in the SEC. Last season, Moody averaged 16.6 points, 3.4 rebounds, 2.4 assists, 1.7 steals and 28.7 minutes per game to earn All-conference honors. This season, Moody’s upped his game and is sixth in the nation in scoring averaging 24.3 points per game, including a career high 33 points against LSU on Jan. 13. Rebels head coach Andy Kennedy called Moody the “most complete scorer” he’s coached at Ole Miss.
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Duncan Robinson, Michigan
Robinson found his way to Ann Arbor in an unorthodox manner. The rangy guard played at Division III Williams College during the 2013-2014 season where he averaged 17.1 points per game and helped the Ephs to a runner-up finish at the national championship. But after his coach left for DI, so did Robinson. And after a year of sitting out due to NCAA transfer rules, Robinson is lighting up opponents for the Wolverines. Robinson is second on the team with 11.9 points per game and shoots a nation-leading 51.6 percent from behind the arc.
Jaysean Paige, West Virginia
Paige is at his third school in four years, but he’s finally found a home (and a role) with the Mountaineers. After dominating at the JUCO level with 20.4 points per game at Moberly Area Community College during the 2013-14 season, Paige crashed down to earth in DI. Paige averaged 5.6 points per game and less than two rebounds in his first season at WVU, but has flourished this year, averaging 13.2 points per game. The defining moment of Paige’s breakout season came on the biggest stage. When WVU upset then-No.1 Kansas on Jan. 12, Paige came off the bench to score a game-high 26 points for the Mountaineers.
Kahlil Felder, Oakland
Now a household name, Felder burst onto the scene this season when Oakland took then-No.1 Michigan State to overtime on Dec. 22. Felder scored 37 points in that game and never looked back. Now, Felder is fourth in the nation in scoring with 25.5 points per game and leads the country with 8.4 assists per game. Despite his small frame (5-foot-9), Felder’s big game has helped put the Golden Grizzlies on the college basketball map, and looks to keep them there as they head into the back-end of their schedule
Justin Robinson, Monmouth
Like his Hawks, Robinson is making a name for himself this year. Behind team-leading 20.7 points, Robinson has helped Monmouth shock Georgetown, UCLA and Notre Dame. Robinson led the team in scoring last year as well, but this season has been a coming-out party for him and Monmouth, and neither look to be going away quietly.