As you know, last Saturday an Sunday was move-in weekend for most D-I Colleges, meaning that we are getting closer and closer to the college basketball season.
Some players come into college basketball with tons of spotlight, like Zion Williamson and R.J. Barrett, others don’t. I have come to notice that often the players that aren’t given their career on a silver platter and have to work hard to achieve their goals are the ones that often end up doing the greatest things. Contrary to most public knowledge, Michael Jordan was picked as #3 in the 1984 NBA Draft, or even Manu Ginobli of the Spurs — who would end up winning four NBA Championships– was picked up second-to-last as pick number 57 in the 1999 NBA Draft (FOX Sports).
I have come up with three players that I believe are not getting the spotlight that they deserve:
1. Nico Carvacho, Center — Colorado State
I was lucky to bump into Nico Carvacho the other day. He’s an amazing dude but I certainly would not want to have to play against him! Although if you are on the same team, Carvacho is the kind of teammate that everyone would want to have — he passes, rebounds, dunks, blocks, and throws hooks at an extraordinary level. I had the opportunity to watch him play against Nevada last season. In that game he had a double-double by scoring 20 points and getting 12 boards! In that game he broke the school’s record for the most rebounds by a player in their career. Originally, the record was 851 but in that game he broke the record and set it to 860 (Coloradoan). He has continued to add to that number which will be nearly-impossible to break in the future (that is unless someone comes out with a vertical-increasing shoe that powers people up a few feet, but that is quite unlikely:)
Nico had declared for the NBA Draft last season, but only did it so that scouts could look at him and tell him what they liked and what they thought he needed to improve on. I’m really looking forward to watching him in his Senior season and after that, in the National Basketball Association!
2. Killian Tillie, Guard — Gonzaga
Killian is an outlier. He is 6’10” and weighs 220 pounds, but still manages a way to find shots to fall from downtown. According to 24/7 Sports, Tillie averaged 24 points in the 2018 West Coast Conference Tournament. Not only that, but he also was 13/14 from 3. This isn’t a one-time deal either, because his college 3-point percentage is 47%. Not many players with this build play a position like he does, but Kevin Love does. Regardless of his height, he has found a way to get a shot off fast and still make it in. In fact, in some ways it might be advantageous for him to be so tall while shooting because he doesn’t have to worry as much about arc. When players are taller, they already have that added bonus of being taller and getting the ball up quicker in then shot pocket, so he can focus on other details of his form.
I believe that we will really see a stellar season from the 6’10” guard from Gonzaga and who knows? He might have a few 30+ point games this year…
3. Xavier Tilliman, Forward — Michigan State
Xavier Tillman is a great offensive player, but is also a hard core defender. In my opinion, offensively-oriented players make the most headlines, but defensively oriented players win the most games. He’s also a 6’8″,245 pound beast! During March Madness, Tillman averaged 15.3 points, 8.5 rebounds, 1.8 [assists], and 1 steal per game (24/7 Sports)! To add, he also shot 86.7 percent from the free-throw line, which will also win games. I am predicting that some of the best highlights from this year’s NCAA college basketball will come from Xavier because of his muscle mass, height, and skills.
Overall, this year will be a fun one for college basketball. It seems like forever since the last season ended.
What do you think? Who are your picks for players to watch in this year’s 2019 NCAA Season?