Early sleeper teams

NCAA basketball is as much about the flashy programs at the top as it is about the teams waiting in the shadows to become the next great thing. After all, it takes just one game to change a team’s fate in March. Here are some early sleeper teams the Inside College Basketball crew thinks you should look out for.

Coach Pete Gillen: VCU (13-3)
Gillen likes VCU's unbelievable athleticism and their intensity, which he says just jumps out at you. Sophomore guard Treveon Graham (aka Freight Train) leads the VCU rush. With young rising star Shaka Smart at the helm, Gillen sees this group as a threat.

Mateen Cleaves: Oklahoma State (11-3)
Sometimes all you need is two good players and OSU’s got that, Cleaves says, and he likes the play of sophomore small forward Le'Bryan Nash and freshman guard Marcus Smart, who he thinks may be the best freshman in the country.

Wally Szczerbiak: UCLA (12-3)
Szczerbiak says the Bruins qualify as a sleeper even though they're not a top 25 team right now. Coach Ben Howland did a great job with the recruiting class by scoring No.1 recruit Shabazz Muhammad (19.6 ppg). Also, redshirt junior forwards David Wear (8.2 ppg) and Travis Wear (11.3 ppg) -- the brother duo -- are holding down the scoring in the middle. The Bruins need to defend like they play on offense and they will be a dangerous team in March.

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