College Basketball Waiver Wire: Pickups of the Week

College Basketball Waiver Wire: Pickups of the Week

This article is part of our College Basketball Waiver Wire series.

Power Conferences

 Brandon Robinson, G, North Carolina

Conditioning didn't appear to be an issue for Robinson, who averaged 29.7 minutes in three games in the Bahamas despite seemingly re-injuring his ankle nightly. He took 16 3-pointers during the road trip, and it's clear head coach Roy Williams values Robinson's veteran presence in addition to his outside shooting. He's not a star, but UNC's rotation is short, and Robinson is going to provide perimeter scoring and fall into peripheral stats by default given his minutes.

 Matthew Hurt, F, Duke/Wendell Moore, G/F, Duke

Cassius Stanley's potentially serious knee/leg injury is going to open opportunities up throughout the rest of the Duke rotation. While Joey Baker, Jordan Goldwire and/or Alex O'Connell could see boosts, it's freshmen Hurt and Moore I'm most intrigued by. Both were likely over-drafted a month ago, and potentially released after slow starts. Hurt put up season-highs in points (20) and rebounds (8) Friday, topping 24 minutes for the first time and looks like he'll see more offensive opportunities. I don't trust Moore as much. His higher usage rate is offset by inefficiency, but he's seen 34+ minutes in two of three, and that shouldn't decrease with Stanley out.

 Isaiah Livers, F, Michigan

Your weekly reminder that projecting ownership varies dramatically across leagues. Maybe Livers is already owned in your league and maybe he isn't presently, but after his showing in the Bahamas over Thanksgiving, he needs to be. He averaged 16.7 points in three games against Iowa State, North Carolina and Gonzaga, and that's enough to make me believe. He may not do much more than score, but Livers is in the midst of a breakout junior season after averaging 7.9 points a year ago.

 Trayce Jackson-Davis, F, Indiana

Jackson-Davis looks like a streaming candidate, as there's no way he shoots 66.1 percent once Big 10 play begins, and I doubt he'll maintain the 2.3 block average he's currently providing. That said, he's crept over the 30 minute mark in his last two games, posting double-doubles in each. He's shown an ability to reach the foul line consistently as well, so he's not likely to completely bottom out as the competition increases either. He was likely taken in formats that require freshman, but his utility has now spread to more generic formats.

 Isaac Likekele, G, Oklahoma State

Likekele has seen statistical growth across the board during non-conference play, with his biggest fantasy asset being a category-carrying 2.9 steals nightly, a number he's topped in three straight. Likekele isn't going to hurt you elsewhere either, averaging a solid 5.3 rebounds as a guard to go along with 5.0 assists and double-digit scoring. 

 Austin Reaves, G, Oklahoma

The Wichita State transfer has wasted no time acclimating himself with the Sooners. Reaves is coming off of his first double-double of the year and has scored in double-digits in every outing to date, averaging a team-high 17.0 points. Having already faced a schedule that includes Missouri, Stanford, Oregon State and Minnesota, there's no reason to think Reaves will tail off once league play begins.

 Collin Gillespie, G, Villanova

Gillespie doesn't seem to be getting enough ink through the first month of the year. He's clearly established himself as the Wildcats go-to option, averaging 15.1 points and 5.4 assists, taking 11.1 shots nightly. He's hitting only 42.3 percent of those, partly due to the fact he's forcing shots up, but there's room for that to improve as his supporting cast gets more comfortable.

 Mark Smith, G, Missouri

The guard position is plenty deep nationally, and Smith seems to be a known commodity at this point. While he's not any better or worse than he was a year ago, currently averaging 12.9 points and 5.1 rebounds, he leads his team in both categories. He's played 33 or more minutes in four of the last five, something that will continue in conference play, which should lend itself to a nice floor nightly. He may not merit starter consideration in any lineup, but Smith can be a valuable depth piece and/or bye week plug in.

 Austin Wiley, F/C, Auburn

Frontcourt help likely should be a focus here weekly, and Wiley looks like he's capable of providing that. Minutes are a concern as he frequently fouls, but he's averaging 10.7 points and 8.6 rebounds in just 18.0 minutes, up from 6.9 points and 4.0 rebounds a year ago. The minutes are a concern when considering sustainability, but the schedule is favorable for the 6-foot-10, 260 pounder (at least through December).

 Oscar da Silva, F, Stanford

We featured Tyrell Terry here recently, and it seems only a matter of time that Spencer Jones is worth a few lines, but for now, we'll target the Cardinal's leading rebounder in da Silva. He's seen an uptick in scoring by 5.9 ppg despite nearly three fewer minutes from a year ago, speaking to efficiency. Da Silva has scored in double-digits in all but one game to date, and his minutes appear limited only by the Cardinal's non-competitive early season schedule. He's at worst a stash and hold for conference play when there should be more minutes, and won't hurt you in the interim.

Tier 2 Conferences

 Baylee Steele, C, Duquene

The center position is a void across Tier 2 leagues, so where that's strictly the player pool, Steele has likely long been owned. But he's meriting consideration wherever available, putting up 12.5 points and 5.3 boards in the early going. Duquesne's non-conference schedule is ripe for the picking, with no opponent in December capable of matching Steele's size. He's a great grab in all formats as such, with the knowledge you should sell high in the coming three weeks.

 Tremont Robinson-White, G, East Carolina

Robinson-White missed the team's first five games, saw seven minutes in their sixth, and didnt play again in their seventh. He then magically entered the starting lineup against JMU, and provided 14 points, three assists, two rebounds and two steals in 24 minutes, hoisting 13 shots. The new-found opportunity makes him a speculative add for the 2-6 Pirates, who have every reason to see what they have in the sophomore.

 Collin Smith, C, UCF

Smith seems to be blossoming in his second season with the Golden Knights. While not putting up traditional center stats (0.9 blocks, 6.6 rebounds), the 6-11 junior is averaging a personal best 15.5 points, including two 20-point outings, and has had some surprising assist totals in the early going as well, handing out three or more three times.

 Nate Hinton, F, Houston

Hinton has put up two double-doubles in his last three outings. Unfortunately, he's had just 18 points and 19 rebounds combined in the Cougars other three outings. That inconsistency means he's likely still available. Hinton is locked in to a starting role, and the rebounding (9.0 per game) looks real. He's shooting just 37.8 percent from the floor, so with a little improvement there, his offensive game should creep up to respectable levels.

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Chris Bennett
Bennett covers baseball, college football and college basketball for RotoWire. Before turning to fantasy writing, he worked in scouting/player development for the Atlanta Braves and Montreal Expos. He's also a fan of the ACC.
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