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September 15, 2009
With 347 Division I basketball programs, not every player or team gets its fair share of attention.
Rivals.com will try to change that by highlighting some of the top players from some of Division I's least-publicized programs. We start today with 10 of the top players in the low-major conferences.
Dismiss them at your own risk. Last season, we saw major production from low-major players. Lester Hudson, from UT Martin of the Ohio Valley Conference, was second in the nation in scoring after finishing fourth in 2007-08. He also recorded the first quadruple-double in Division I history. And VMI, which didn't even win the Big South, beat Kentucky last season at Rupp Arena with its fast-paced, 3-point-happy offense.
Maybe one of these players will stun a major program or put up some crooked numbers in 2009-10. Don't say we didn't warn you.
An important note: For this list and an upcoming list of the top mid-major players, we considered the following conferences to be low-majors: Atlantic Sun, Big Sky, Big South, Big West, Ivy, Mid-Eastern Athletic, Northeast, Ohio Valley, Patriot, Southland, Summit and Southwestern Athletic.
These 12 leagues were determined to be low-majors by examining NCAA tournament seedings and looking at conference RPI over the past decade.
On to the players:
F Kyle Austin, UC Riverside
F/C Kenneth Faried, Morehead State
G James Florence, Mercer
G Marquez Haynes, Texas-Arlington
G Reggie Holmes, Morgan State
G Anthony Johnson, Montana
G Johnathon Jones, Oakland
F Kevin Palmer, Texas A&M-Corpus Christi
C Artsiom Parakhouski, Radford
G Ryan Wittman, Cornell