CBB's most underutilized players

Players who need more time, plus Miami's potential and other takeaways

Originally Published: February 10, 2013
By John Gasaway | Basketball Prospectus

Alex OriakhiAP Photo/Jae C. HongAlex Oriakhi has played well in limited minutes for Missouri this season.

Watching little-used Garrick Sherman score 17 points across five overtimes in Notre Dame's thrilling 104-101 win over Louisville gave me an idea. Might there be other players nationally who are underutilized and just waiting for their own moment in the spotlight?

Unlike Sherman, the following three players at least get steady minutes. But maybe if we put these guys into a 65-minute game and fouled out enough of their teammates, we'd see something special and unprecedented from each of them. Here are my choices for the three most underutilized players in the nation:

Alex Oriakhi, Missouri
Oriakhi's had a career arc that few players can match either for the highs or the lows. As a sophomore, his beastly postseason offensive rebounding was a crucial (though often overlooked) element in Connecticut's run to the 2011 national championship. The following season, however, his minutes actually went down as the Huskies carved out room in the rotation for all-everything freshman Andre Drummond. And truth be told, Oriakhi's minutes should have gone down. Whether it was because he was unhappy or he'd lost confidence -- or both -- his level of performance did decline.

That decline is now a distant memory.


To read about the most underutilized players in the nation, plus other takeaways from Saturday's games, you must be an ESPN Insider.