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#Top10Thursday: Most underrated players

You could throw a bunch of guys on this list. Every team in America probably has a player who deserves the "underrated" tag. But the following list features players who've played vital roles for their respective teams, yet they've failed to earn adequate recognition.

Perhaps you know about them because they're catalysts for your favorite squad. On the national radar, however, it seems they've been somewhat overlooked.

1. Yogi Ferrell (Indiana)

He's the leader for an Indiana squad that's chasing a respectable seed in the Big Dance. A few years ago, he was the young point guard behind Victor Oladipo and Cody Zeller. Now, he's the veteran guiding young talents Robert Johnson, Troy Williams and James Blackmon Jr. Indiana is a quagmire of a program with its fluid offense and lagging defense. Still, Ferrell is the identity of this team and deserves credit for helping Tom Crean salvage a season that appeared to be on the brink before it ever began.

2. Kris Dunn (Providence)

He's a titan at point guard. The Friars are fighting for a spot in the NCAA tournament largely because Dunn has been one of the most effective players in the country. Tyus Jones, Delon Wright, Monte Morris and T.J. McConnell are all great point guards. But Dunn is in that domain too. He's contributing 15.6 PPG, 5.7 RPG, 7.4 APG and 2.8 SPG. His 4.2 turnovers per game are a problem, but he also leads the nation in assist rate per Ken Pomeroy. He's Mr. Everything for Providence, and he'll be fun to watch in March.

3. Travis Trice (Michigan State)

His contribution is not just confined to the court. He's been a critical leader for the Spartans in a complicated season for Tom Izzo's squad. During Michigan State's current 4-1 stretch, he's registered 27 assists and nine turnovers. This is a critical chapter for the Spartans, who continue to fight for a slot in the NCAA tourney. Trice's contributions have helped Izzo's program rally at a good time.

4. Yanick Moreira (SMU)

Since Jan. 3, SMU has lost just one game. The Mustangs are playing a top-40 offense and defense right now, and they're No. 1 in the American Athletic Conference. Their surge is tied to multiple factors -- including Markus Kennedy's return from an academic suspension -- but Moreira's connection to the rise shouldn't be undervalued. The Mustangs are holding opponents to a 43.1 percent mark inside the arc (30th nationally, per Ken Pomeroy). The team is also 22nd overall in offensive rebounding rate. Moreira (11.7 PPG, 6.9 RPG, 1.2 BPG) is a factor in both.

5. Dyshawn Pierre (Dayton)

Archie Miller has dealt with a sizable share of drama this season. But the Flyers, last season's NCAA tournament darlings, are still in a position to reach the Big Dance. Pierre has helped Miller's program stay afloat and continue to wrestle for an NCAA tournament berth. The 6-foot-6 forward is averaging 12.7 points, 7.8 rebounds and 2.9 assists. He's also playing 31.8 MPG. Everybody knows Jordan Sibert, but Pierre matters too.

6. Phil Forte III (Oklahoma State)

Who would Phil Forte III be without his point guard and best friend Marcus Smart? That was a legitimate question as Travis Ford's team prepared for the season after losing Smart and other contributors from last season's team. The answer is that Forte is an all-Big 12 guard for a resilient Cowboys squad that has been one of the surprises in the league. He's scoring 16.5 PPG and shooting 40.8 percent from the 3-point line.

7. Nigel Hayes (Wisconsin)

Wisconsin's dynamic frontcourt is bigger than NBA prospects Sam Dekker and Frank Kaminsky. Hayes is the Horace Grant of this trio. He's the glue guy and one of the most improved players in America. The Badgers can compete for a national title because Kentucky is the only team in the country with a better frontcourt. Hayes' growth (12.3 PPG, 6.5 RPG) is a significant development for the Badgers.

8. J.J. O'Brien (San Diego State)

The Aztecs have won six of their last seven games and they're pushing to hear their names called on Selection Sunday. They had a rocky nonconference schedule, but they're building momentum at the right time. O'Brien (9.4 PPG, 5.4 RPG, 2.6 APG, 1.5 SPG) has been a multidimensional threat for Steve Fisher's program. He's been a consistent veteran leader who's helped San Diego State rise in the Mountain West Conference.

9. Darius Carter (Wichita State)

They lost Cleanthony Early to the NBA and they're still a top-15 team. How has Wichita State maintained its post as an elite team without a player like Early? Well, Carter has been a gem for Gregg Marshall. He's providing 11.5 PPG and 5.3 RPG in 21.2 MPG. He's shooting 53 percent from the field. Wichita State has legit stars in Ron Baker and Fred VanVleet. But Carter has been valuable for the Shockers too.

10. Daniel Ochefu (Villanova)

Villanova's defense is ranked 14th in adjusted efficiency per Ken Pomeroy. The Wildcats will be a challenge for any team they face in the NCAA tournament. This is America's blue-collar team. The 6-11 Ochefu, with 9.3 PPG, 8.4 RPG, 1.7 APG and 1.2 BPG this season, is a presence in the paint for Jay Wright's program.