Bossi's Best: Senior values
In this week’s editions of Bossi’s Best, national basketball analyst Eric Bossi spotlights college seniors who ranked in the Rivals150, but outside of the national top 50, and have proven to be tremendous values.
CALEB AND CODY MARTIN, NEVADA
Bossi's high school lookback: Like all twins, the Martin brothers were almost always evaluated as a tandem. However, I do remember that Caleb had clearly separated himself as the better shooter and more skilled player while Cody was more of an intangibles guy, so Caleb was ranked a bit higher.
Why they are senior values: Things didn't work out at N.C. State, but they've sure worked out better than could have been expected at Nevada. Nevada is a popular pick for the Final Four this year and either twin could compete for national honors if they have the season that is expected. What a one-two punch in Reno.
PHIL BOOTH, VILLANOVA
Bossi's high school lookback: Phil Booth was one of those guys who stood out by not really standing out. What I mean is he was highly regarded because he made the right play. He hit quality shots, got great coaching with his high school and summer teams, and was just generally solid.
Why he's a senior value: Ok, if we are going purely by numbers then Booth wouldn't make this list. But, he's got a pair of national championship rings and he's been an important part of the Villanova program. For the first time in Jay Wright's tenure, the Wildcats have been hit hard by NBA Draft early entry so the leadership that Booth (and Eric Paschall, who was an unranked three-star prospect) makes him extremely valuable to have around as a fifth-year senior.
CLAYTON CUSTER, LOYOLA
Bossi's high school lookback: Clayton Custer went to high school pretty much down the street from my house, so I saw lots of him. He wasn't the biggest or strongest, but he was a big-time leader and could knock down an open shot. I thought for sure he would start at least two or three seasons at Iowa State.
Why he's a senior value: While the Cylcones didn't end up being the right fit, Loyola sure was. As a junior, Custer was the Missouri Valley Player of the Year and helped to lead Loyola on one of the NCAA Tournament's all-time great Cinderella runs to the Final Four. He's easily one of the most experienced and battle-tested point guards in the country.
JAMES PALMER, NEBRASKA
Bossi's high school lookback: A summertime teammate of the previously mentioned Booth on DC-based Team Takeover, James Palmer looked like a solid ACC pickup for Miami. He had some athleticism, he had some toughness and he could score off the dribble.
Why he's a senior value: Frankly, Palmer's first two seasons at Miami were a major disappointment. But after transferring and redshirting for a year at Nebraska, he emerged as one of the Big Ten's top players last season. Tim Miles and the Huskers really need to find their way into the NCAA Tournament this year and to do so, Palmer is going to have to raise his game to an even higher level.
ETHAN HAPP, WISCONSIN
Bossi's high school lookback: I didn't get to see a lot of Happ in high school. But I saw enough to convince me that we needed to find a place for him in the Rivals150. I liked his toughness, thought he was a good athlete and just saw him as the type of kid that Wisconsin develops into a good player.
Why he's a senior value: He took a redshirt year, hit the weight room, grew a little bit and turned into a total monster. He's set to be a three-time All-Big Ten selection. He'll go over 1,000 career rebounds and at least has a puncher's chance at 2,000 points. That's some value.
KEVAUGHN ALLEN, FLORIDA
Bossi's high school lookback: I remember Kevaughn Allen as a bit of a wild man and I was worried about his jumper on the college level. He also had an interesting recruitment where there was question about whether he was or wasn't committed to Florida for most of his senior year when he had been solid all along.
Why he's a senior value: Allen is still a little bit of a wild man and he's not the best shooter from a pure percentage standpoint. But, he has tons of experience, is a threat to go off for huge numbers at a moment's notice and has steadily emerged as a player capable of leading. He could be an All-SEC guy as a senior.
NOAH DICKERSON, WASHINGTON
Bossi's high school lookback: There were never any questions about Noah Dickerson's ability to play with power and to rebound. However, I did have some worries about whether he was going to be mature enough to handle college basketball after previous commitments to Georgetown and Florida before settling on Washington.
Why he's a senior value: There were some minor bumps along the way, but Dickerson has turned into a very productive college player. He and fellow senior Matisse Thybulle (who was also a Rivals150 prospect in 2015) have proven to be tremendously productive and they will be a huge part of any Husky resurgence this season. Averaging a double-double while shooting close to 60 percent isn't out of the question for Dickerson this season.
DEAN WADE, KANSAS STATE
Bossi's high school lookback: Because he's from Kansas, I got to see Dean Wade each step of the way. It wasn't until the spring of his junior year that he started to really blossom and look like he might be able to play at the high-major level as a face-up four man. Kansas State won a scrum for his services after his stock blew up in July 2014.
Why he's a senior value: Playing without an injured Wade, the Wildcats nearly made last season's Final Four. With Wade this year, the Wildcats are trending as a potential top 15 team and he could compete for Big 12 Player of the Year. He's a dangerous shooter, a good athlete and has a chance to put himself in contention for the NBA Draft with a strong finish.
JUSTIN ROBINSON, VIRGINIA TECH
Bossi's high school lookback: I remember Justin Robinson as a tough kid and a good leader who could knock down shots. When he picked Virginia Tech, I thought he would be a nice part of a very good recruiting class.
Why he's a senior value: Things have been building up for a big year at Virginia Tech for a while now and this could be the year the Hokies make a run. If they do, Robinson's leadership at the point is going to be a huge part of that. He could be one of the two or three best seniors in the ACC and that usually matters.
JUWAN MORGAN, INDIANA
Bossi's high school lookback: Another player who was fairly local to me during his high school days, Juwan Morgan had a nice motor and an overall feel for the game. I worried a little that being on the small side and not overly athletic could limit him at the Big Ten level.
Why he's a senior value: After fighting through injuries and playing various roles, Morgan has really cemented himself as one of the most versatile Big Ten frontcourt players. He has developed into a scorer, he can rebound and he's emerging as a leader under the direction of Indiana coach Archie Miller.
JORDAN MURPHY, MINNESOTA
Bossi's high school lookback: Originally committed to VCU until Shaka Smart left for Texas, I had been high on Jordan Murphy as an energetic combo forward. But, when Smart and his staff elected to pass on him at Texas, I couldn't help but wonder if there were some underlying red flags. Between that and a questionable jump shot, I was a little dubious about his future when he settled on Minnesota.
Why he's a senior value: If there's been one thing reliable about Minnesota basketball the last three years it has been Murphy's production and effort. He's a monster on the glass and a walking double-double who will be among the nation's top rebounders this year. Considering when and how he ended up at Minnesota, I'm not sure there has been a much better value from the class of 2015.
QUINNDARY WEATHERSPOON, MISSISSIPPI STATE
Bossi's high school lookback: I always liked Quinndary Weatherspoon as a scorer who could be dangerous from behind the three-point line and a good secondary ball handler. He also played second fiddle in his own recruiting class and some during the summer to the more highly touted five-star Malik Newman -- who also signed with Mississippi State but transferred to Kansas.
Why he's a senior value: Newman didn't pan out in Starkville, but Weatherspoon has been a reliable and constant performer while putting up the numbers expected from Newman. Mississippi State is one of those teams expected to make a big jump and it'll need more excellence out of Weatherspoon.