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Are BYU’s Alex Barcello, Utah State’s Justin Bean among college basketball’s least appreciated players?

The pair of Utah college hoops stars help elevate their respective programs

BYU guard Alex Barcello (4) shoots as Utah State forward Justin Bean (34) defends.
BYU guard Alex Barcello (4) shoots as Utah State forward Justin Bean (34) defends during an NCAA college basketball game on Saturday, Dec. 14, 2019, in Salt Lake City.
Rick Bowmer, Associated Press

BYU guard Alex Barcello and Utah State forward Justin Bean do many things well for their respective programs.

Does that kind of versatility make them a bit underappreciated?

College Hoops Today’s Jon Rothstein placed the pair on his list of the 10 least appreciated players in college basketball entering next season, highlighting players whose attributes may not, for whatever reason, have gotten the respect they deserve.

The 6-foot-2, 192-pound Barcello will be a super senior for the Cougars during the 2021-22 season, due to the COVID-19 pandemic, after he announced in May he was returning to the program. Barcello, who started his college career off at Arizona before transferring to BYU, has transformed himself into a leader inside the Cougar program while earning honorable mention All-American honors last season.

“Barcello’s offensive numbers aren’t just good — they’re extraordinary. The 6-2 guard averaged 16.1 points last season while shooting 52.3 percent from the field, 47.7 percent from three-point range, and 85.6 percent from the free throw line,” Rothstein wrote. “Barcello also averaged 4.7 rebounds and 4.3 assists. He’s a bonafide All-American candidate as a fifth-year senior.”

Since arriving in Logan for the 2017-18 season, the 6-foot-7, 210-pound Bean has been a key member of an Aggies program that’s become a consistent force in the Mountain West Conference. The senior Bean is known for his double-double abilities — he averaged 11.4 points and 7.7 rebounds per game last year — and earned all-Mountain West second-team honors last season, his second year as an every-game starter.

“One Mountain West coach recently referred to Bean as the league’s Dennis Rodman,” Rothstein wrote. “It’s hard to argue with that sentiment. The 6-7 forward has done everything for the Aggies over the past two seasons, tallying 26 double-doubles during that span. There’s no 50-50 plays when Bean’s on the floor — it’s 90/10 in favor of the Aggies’ unsung star.”