Big South Conference Players to Watch

Scott McGrathCorrespondent IJanuary 2, 2010

GREENSBORO, NC - MARCH 19:  Artsiom Parakhouski #45 of the Radford Highlanders dunks against the North Carolina Tar Heels during the first round of the NCAA Division I Men's Basketball Tournament at the Greensboro Coliseum on March 19, 2009 in Greensboro, North Carolina.  (Photo by Streeter Lecka/Getty Images)
Streeter Lecka/Getty Images

The eighth installment of the Players to Watch segment, this time featuring the Big South Conference.

David Singleton, High Point Panthers

David Singleton, now a sophomore for the Panthers, had a stellar freshman season.  In limited minutes, Singleton put up six points, four rebounds, and five assists per game.  His great passing ability landed him at second in the Big South in total assists, behind Amir Johnson of Radford.

This season Singleton has not received as much playing time, but don't let that take away from his talent.  He's showed with the time he has gotten that he is still valuable, with a seven assist performance against Presbyterian in only 14 minutes.

Hopefully, Singleton starts to see some more action this season as he has shown he has what it takes.  This season in a game against Hampden, Singleton put up an impressive 10 points, two rebounds, four assists, and six steals.  Talk about filling up a stat-line.

Those six steals were not a fluke either, as Singleton finished fourth in total steals in the Big South last season.  Do not forget Singleton is only a sophomore.  Look for him to develop nicely over the next three years for the Panthers.

Joseph Harris, Coastal Carolina Chanticleers

This season has been a coming out party for Harris and the Chanticleers.  Harris is averaging a double-double and Coastal Carolina is leading the Big South.

Harris, a fifth-year senior, is continuing right where he left off in a great season last year.  He is currently averaging 17 points per game, along with 11 rebounds and two steals per game.

He has put up many impressive performances this season, including a stellar game against the College of Charleston, where he dropped 21 points, grabbed 17 boards, and gathered four steals.  The only thing worrisome about Harris is how he performs against big time teams, which could be troublesome since the Chanticleers have a good shot at going dancing this year.

In Coastal Carolina's game against Duke this season, Harris only scored six points and brought in seven rebounds.  Coastal Carolina has not faced any other sizable opponents past the game against the Blue Devils for Harris to test the waters.  However, a game to watch will be on January 14 against Radford and the next "player to watch."

Artsiom Parakhouski, Radford Highlanders

Parakhouski, a senior center for Radford from Belarus, has budded into one of the best players in the Big South.  Last season, Parakhouski led the Big South in total rebounds, averaging 11 per game.  This season, Parakhouski has surpassed that average, now pulling in over 13 boards a game.

To complement his excellent rebounding ability, he's also adding 23 points per game.  No big deal really.  He has been so impressive that he has scored in double digits in all of Radford's 11 games, and he had a double-double in nine of those games.  He is a real gem in a small conference.

Parakhouski has had two particularly excellent games this season, one showcasing his rebounding ability, while the other showcases his scoring ability.  In a loss to Duquesne, Parakhouski grabbed 20 rebounds, and added 26 points.  In more of a scoring performance in win over George Mason, he led the Highlanders with 34 points and 12 rebounds.

And don't think that Parakhouski is only good because he plays inferior competition.  He is truly a talented player.  When Radford faced Duke this season, Parakhouski lit the Blue Devils up for 23 points and 14 rebounds, even though Radford lost big.

Oh, and did I mention that Parakhouski finished fourth in scoring and third in blocking last season in all of the Big South, and is currently leading the conference in scoring and rebounding.  Yeah, this kid is the real deal.