Antonio Gates, William Moore

What NFL players were hoopers in college? There’s more than you think

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College Hoopedia is a one-stop shop for some of the best random hoops information on the web.

On Wednesday, they took a look at NFL players that also played college basketball. While some of the most famous names on that list — Donovan McNabb, Terrell Owens and Jason Taylor — are no longer in the league, there are still 14 former college hoopers donning pads on Sundays.

Some of them are quite well-known. We all know the story of Antonio Gates, who was a standout power forward for Kent State’s 2001 Elite Eight team before going on to become a fantasy stalwart at tight end for the San Diego Chargers. Jimmy Graham was a power forward for Miami before switching over to tight end and becoming Drew Brees’ favorite target. Old-timers and all-pros Tony Gonzalez and Julius Peppers played college ball for California and North Carolina, respectively.

Most of the athletes listed by College Hoopedia played very minor roles on their basketball teams. Connor Barwin, for example, walked on to the Cincinnati team in 2005-2006 when they were in desperate need of bodies. But there are a couple of other names on that list worth mentioning:

– Jordan Cameron accepted a basketball scholarship to BYU out of high school, but after redshirting his first year with the Cougars, he transferred to USC to pursue a football career. He currently plays tight end for the Browns.

– Demar Dotson played two seasons for Southern Miss after transferring in from a JuCo. He averaged 5.0 points and 3.6 boards as a senior.

– Julius Thomas, currently a tight end with the Broncos, is probably the best basketball playing NFLer you haven’t heard of. He played four seasons for Portland State, averaging 10.8 points and 5.9 boards as a senior in 2009-2010. As a junior, he averaged 6.9 points for a team that won at Gonzaga and made the NCAA tournament as a No. 13 seed.

Rob Dauster is the editor of the college basketball website Ballin’ is a Habit. You can find him on twitter @robdauster.

PREGAME SHOOTAROUND: A Big 12 and a Big Ten showdown

Denzel Valentine
(AP Photo/Al Goldis)
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GAME OF THE NIGHT: No. 10 West Virginia at No. 6 Kansas, 7:00 p.m.

The last time these two teams got together, West Virginia actually knocked off Kansas in Morgantown. It was the third time in the last three seasons that WVU has beaten KU at home. So there’s some revenge at stake here. But there’s also the whole Big 12 title race, which West Virginia currently leads. If the Mountaineers win tonight, they’ll be up by two games on Kansas with the tie breaker and just seven games left to play. The Jayhawks regular season title streak could be over if that happens.

THIS ONE’S GOOD, TOO: No. 8 Michigan State at No. 18 Purdue, 7:00 p.m.

We think the Spartans are back to their early season form after wins over Maryland (at home), Northwestern, Rutgers and Michigan. If Michigan State really wants to prove something to the college basketball world, they will go into West Lafayette tonight and get a win. Denzel Valentine vs. Raphael Davis will be fun.

FIVE THINGS TO WATCH FOR

  1. Pitt will pay a visit to No. 12 Miami in a game the Panthers could really use a win in. Pitt hasn’t been the most consistent team in the country and without adding a few quality wins they could be looking at the bubble.
  2. Duquesne will be paying a visit to No. 19 Dayton, who moved into a tie for first place in the Atlantic 10 thanks to VCU’s loss on Saturday.
  3. Georgia is right there on the bubble, and they will have a chance to try and push themselves into a better spot when they play at No. 22 Kentucky tonight.
  4. Creighton probably has to win out to have a shot of making the NCAA tournament, and that includes tonight, when they host No. 5 Xavier.
  5. No. 7 Virginia will be hosting Virginia Tech, who picked off the Wahoos in Blacksburg earlier this year.

THE REST OF THE TOP 25

  • No. 1 Villanova at DePaul, 8:30 p.m.
  • No. 25 Wichita State at Drake, 8:00 p.m.

 

PLAYER OF THE YEAR POWER RANKINGS: Buddy Hield isn’t going anywhere

Oklahoma guard Buddy Hield (24) drives to the basket as LSU guard Antonio Blakeney (2) defends in the first half of an NCAA college basketball game in Baton Rouge, La., Saturday, Jan. 30, 2016. (AP Photo/Bill Feig)
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It’s Tuesday, which means that it is once again time for the NBC Sports Player of the Year Power Rankings.

And you’ll be shocked to find out that Oklahoma guard Buddy Hield is still No. 1 in those rankings. By a pretty wide margin.

The rest of the top 10?

They can be found here, at the CBT FaceBook page. Follow that page for the countdown: