Bossi's Best: Three-star players who became studs in college
Not all college stars were highly ranked high school players. North Carolina's Luke Maye is another in a long line of players who have proven that you don't have to be highly rated at 18 years old to be a highly productive college player.
In this week's edition of Bossi's Best, National Basketball Analyst Eric Bossi takes a look back at 11 college seniors who were non-ranked three-stars coming out of high school but have emerged as stars in the college game.
BARRY BROWN, KANSAS STATE
As a high schooler: Playing alongside the likes of NBA players Ben Simmons and Antonio Blakeney during the summer, Brown was a little bit overlooked. I remember him being able to score and playing in attack mode, but he was a questionable jump shooter and looked to be a borderline Big 12 player.
How he's become a college star: Credit Kansas State for doing its homework and Brown for putting in the work. He's become one of the BIg 12's premier two-way players because of his ability to score and defend. Big things are expected in Manhattan this year, and he's a big part of those expectations.
BRYCE BROWN, AUBURN
As a high schooler: Because there's so much talent in the Atlanta area some guys can slip through the cracks. Brown was one that I never got much of a look at but thought had promise as a slender jump shooter. My co-worker, Dan McDonald, was pretty high on him and always said he would be a sneaky good college player.
How he's become a college star: First of all, Brown had lots of early opportunity at Auburn. The Tigers needed bodies and he was able to jump right in. He's added strength, but most of all he isn't just a good deep jump shooter, he's proven to be a great college jump shooter. He'll finish with over 300 makes from beyond the three-point line, barring a major setback as a senior.
CHRIS CLEMONS, CAMPBELL
As a high schooler: To this day, Clemons is one of the more athletic high school point guards I have ever seen. However, he was a bit of a wild man and his listed size (5-foot-10) was pretty generous, so bigger schools never really came around on him.
How he's become a college star: One of the most productive players that hardly anybody knows about, Clemons has put up monstrous numbers -- well over 2,000 points in his first three seasons -- during his time at Campbell. He's a highlight waiting to happen and could become a media darling if Campbell breaks through to the NCAA Tournament this season.
ROBERT FRANKS, WASHINGTON STATE
As a high schooler: Not very well known outside of the Pacific Northwest, Franks was primarily seen as a mid-major prospect and his recruitment reflected that. Washington State took a flier on him as an in-state tweener.
How he's become a college star: For his first few years in Pullman, Franks looked like he may have been better off at the mid-major level. However, thanks to some added strength and his development as a dangerous three-point shooter he's one of the most improved players in the West Coast and a dangerous stretch four-man.
JALEN HUDSON, FLORIDA
As a high schooler: I first saw Hudson as a high school sophomore and loved his size and physical tools. However, I was concerned about how his all-around game and inconsistent jump shooting would translate to the ACC when he signed with Virginia Tech.
How he's become a college star: There were ups and downs at Tech, but Hudson has really found a home at Florida. He's turned into a dangerous deep jump shooter and he's rounded out his overall game. The marriage between him and Mike White's playing style has been a mutually beneficial union.
JUSTIN JAMES, WYOMING
As a high schooler: There's not much way to put it other than I pretty much missed on James coming out of high school. So did a lot of other people. Wyoming did a great job of going across the country and realizing that they had themselves a potential steal in this big, skilled wing.
How he's become a college star: A lack of strength hurt James some early, but his overall skill and versatile game has won out. He's quietly put up big numbers over the past few years and has a chance to compete for conference player of the year in the Mountain West while getting some NBA interest.
JEREMIAH MARTIN, MEMPHIS
As a high schooler: I remember seeing Martin as a scoring combo guard on the summer circuit with Team Thad, and he originally committed to Louisiana Tech during a highly decorated high school career. When he backed off of his commitment to Tech, Josh Pastner jumped in and offered a scholarship.
How he's become a college star: Part of it is that myself, many coaches and the recruiting industry simply missed on how good Martin could be in college. He also appeared to thrive under Tubby Smith once he landed at Memphis. This year, he'll provide vitally important leadership for Penny Hardaway as he looks to reshape the program in his own image.
LUKE MAYE, NORTH CAROLINA
As a high schooler: I remember watching Maye play in NIke's EYBL and he put up good scoring numbers. But, he shot relatively poor percentages, seemed to have trouble playing against size and length and looked to be just below a Rivals150 level player. I remember explaining that to a family member of Maye's who wondered why he wasn't ranked.
How he's become a college star: Maye began his career at North Carolina as a preferred walk-on and for much of his first two years his high school evaluation rang true. Then Maye beat Kentucky with a buzzer-beater in the 2017 NCAA Tournament and he's been on fire ever since. He's skilled, has improved his shot selection and has turned himself into a potential All-American. To the family member that emailed me some four or so years ago: You were right, and we should have ranked Maye.
ERIC PASCHALL, VILLANOVA
As a high schooler: Paschall was a monster competitor and physically tough dude. But, when I last saw him in high school he was probably around 6-foot-5 on a good day and played primarily in the post. He committed early on to Fordham, and looked like he would be a potential conference player of the year type for the Rams.
How he's become a college star: Sure enough, Paschall was a monster at Fordham and transferred to Villanova after one year. He's not yet been a star for the Wildcats, but he's still incredibly tough, he's reliable and he's really expanded his overall game. Villanova currently lists him at 6-9, which I'm not sure I buy, but who cares? He's a stud and should step up big after a mass exodus of players to the NBA following last season's national championship.
ADMIRAL SCHOFIELD, TENNESSEE
As a high schooler: Schofield was a lot of fun to watch in high school because he was competitive, tough and very physical. He was all of that while liking to shoot jump shots. His game was easy to admire, but tough to project to a level like the SEC.
How he's become a college star: Schofield has worked his tail off, continued to evolve as a jump shooter and thanks to that skill, toughness and long arms he's found a nice home in Rick Barnes' small-ball style of play. The Volunteers have turned into a viable contender to make a deep run in the NCAA Tournament this season, and the development of guys such as Schofield is a big reason why.
B.J. TAYLOR, UCF
As a high schooler: A true scoring machine on the high school level, Taylor was what I like to refer to as a "feels like leather" All-Star. That means that if something felt like leather, he was shooting. I just wondered how well his gunner style projected, but thought that UCF would be a good fit.
How he's become a college star: Now a redshirt senior, Taylor has pretty much stayed true to his "shoot first, ask questions later" style. But, he's improved his selection and does just enough as a playmaker for others that he's made himself extremely valuable. This could be a really big year for UCF, so I wouldn't want to see him change what got him here.