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NCAA Hoops: Mid Major Report
by Nick Parsons

Approaching College basketball early in the season, can be a daunting task. Players, coaches, and philosophies change more frequently than Kim Kardasian's love interests. However one angle that seems to work early on is to identify pro talent at small schools

Last season everyone knew who Derrick Williams and Kyrie Irving were, but very few knew about Kenneth Faried. The Morehead State power forward went out to have an outstanding senior season which helped make him the 22nd overall pick in this year's draft..

For handicappers, Faried's team provided early value as they covered in 6 of their 9 games last November and December. During that stretch they were only favored by double digits once.

We begin our mid-major weekly reports with a quick glance at hidden NBA talent in Small schools.

Alex Young – IUPUI

The 6'6 senior swingman caught the eye of NBA scouts last December thanks to two impressive performances against Ohio State and San Diego State. Everyone was there to see Jared Sullinger and Kawhi Leonard, but Young helped IUPUI stay competitive in both matches and put him on the draft radar.

Young stayed consistent throughout the year finishing with 19.6 ppg and 6.4 rpg and is projected to go in late in the first round of this year's draft. IUPUI is favored by most publication to finish 4th in the Summit which should put added value on them.

Two key dates to look forward to are Nov 28th when the Jaguars visit Georgetown and Dec 7th against Louisville. It’s doubtful that IUPUI will pull off upsets, but Young will look to raise his stock and backers will also have the benefit of inflated spreads.

Mike Glover - Iona

Nicknamed “Optimus Prime,” the 6'7 small forward averaged a double double last season (18.4 ppg, 10.1 rpg) and helped make Iona one of the better cover teams down stretch, with the Gaels finishing the year at 5-2 ATS. They reached the CIT finals and this year they are among the favorites with Fairfield and Rider for the MAAC title.

Glover was set to attend Seton Hall in 2007 but was ruled ineligible, which perhaps allowed him to develop better as a player. He took to JUCO route and is now projected to go in the early 2nd round.

Zeke Marshall - Akron

Three years ago there was a ton of hype (well Mid-Major hype) around Zeke Marshall, who was the highest profile recruit to sign for the MAC. Marshall was a Top 50 player out of high school and he has experienced his struggles in his first two seasons of college ball.

However the MAC tournament last year showed signs of his pro potential. In the championship game, the 7-footer had 9 points, 13 rebounds and a school record 9 blocks. Many do not expect the Junior to leave early this season, but what makes Akron a value team is the fact that Marshall does not have to do it on his own. Scoring is spread out on the team, which will allow Big Zeke to focus on his role as a rebounder and shot blocker. In a poor offensive conference like the MAC, prospects like Marshall will make bettor's happy.

Other mid-major NBA talents to be aware of

Jarrod Jones – Ball State

Big 6'9 230 lbs power forward is expected to go in the 2nd round and had 25 points and 9 rebounds in their near upset over Arizona this year.

C.J. McCollum – Lehigh

Quick 2-guard is easily the most talented player in the Patriot League this season. Averaged 21.8 points and 7.8 rpg last year.

Greg Mangano – Yale

With all the hype on Harvard this season, some may forget that the 6'10 center dominated all big men last year. Magano averaged 16.3 ppg, 10 rpg and had 85 blocked shots. He began this season with a 23 points and 13 rebounds in their 73-6 win over Central Connecticut

Next Week: Impact Freshman at Mid-Majors and the Hype around Harvard

This article was written by Nick's research assistant Myles Valentin

Get all of Nick Parsons' NCAA basketball picks at Vegas Experts.
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