Between select hoops, all-star games and internet recruiting websites, it has become rare that a talented basketball player slips through the cracks of hype coming out of high school, but it does happen occasionally. Sometimes players develop late, are overshadowed by more regarded high school teammates or play in an area that doesn't receive much attention.
The vast majority of the roster of the All-Conference team for the Pac-12 is usually full of five-star rated recruits who were lauded by Scout and Rivals and were fought over by the nation's best programs coming out of high school. However, there is usually a player or two each year who seems to come out of nowhere and ends up being one of the best players in the conference.
During the last 10 years, there hasn't been an overwhelming amount of sleeper type stars, but the conference has seen its fair share. Taking into consideration, how high the player was rated by the recruiting services, the number and level of offers they received compared to how much they accomplished during their college career, I put together the 10 best "sleeper" recruits to play in the conference in the last decade.
- Kyle Weaver - SG - Class of 2004 - Beloit, WI (Memorial) - Washington State
Weaver came to Pullman from Wisconsin a couple years after Dick and Tony Bennett headed West and ended up being the best all around player to ever play for WSU in the modern era. Despite being an all-state selection, Weaver wasn't offered by any of the major in-state schools and the Cougars scored big when they pulled him in. Weaver was an excellent defender, passer and an underrated scorer and ended up leading the Cougars to back to back NCAA Tournaments, including a Sweet 16 trip before being drafted by the Bobcats after his senior year.
- Nate Robinson - PG - Class of 2002 - Seattle, WA (Rainier Beach) - Washington
If I remember correctly, Robinson was actually on a football scholarship and his signature was sealed by Rick Neuheisel making a free throw in Hec Ed. Robinson was actually overshadowed at Rainier Beach by twins Rodrick and Lodrick Stewart and until Neuheisel stepped up his football recruitment, he was likely headed to USC. After playing one season of football, Robinson focused on basketball and was a key part of the rebirth of Husky hoops before leaving after his junior season and being selected in the first round and starting an exciting NBA career.
- Jorge Guitierrez - SG - Class of 2008 Henderson, NV (Findlay Prep) - Cal
A native of Mexico, Guitierrez played for national powerhouse Findlay Prep where his non-prolific stats and star teammates probably led to him having an under the radar recruitment where Cal snagged him with little fanfare. A tough defender and leader, Guitierrez was the 2011-2012 Pac-12 Player of the Year and a key component in Cal's recent teams that have finished around the top of the conference and made the NCAA Tournament.
- Derrick Low - PG - Class of 2004 - Honolulu, HI (Iolani) - Washington State
The Cougars made a very wise offer to one of the best players to every come out of Hawaii and were able to lure him to the Palouse from the Aloha state by offering the chance to play in the Pac-10. A legend in his home state, Low astoundingly won state player of the year all four years of his high school career. A leader from the get go, he started as a freshman and led the Cougars to some of their best seasons in the history of the program as a sharpshooting and unselfish point guard with a great knowledge of the game.
- Brock Motum - PF - Class of 2009 - Canberra, Australia - Washington State
The Cougars have relied heavily on under the radar recruits to bolster and maintain their program and Australian product Motum is currently anchoring the team. Motum initially followed in the footsteps of recent Australian Cougar big man Aron Baynes and established himself as one of the most skilled and versatile big men in the conference in 2011-2012 and could contend for conference player of the year as a senior in 2012-2013.
- Tajuan Porter - PG - Class of 2006 - Detroit, MI (Renaissance) - Oregon
Despite leading his high school team to two state championships, Porter was overlooked by most schools due to his diminutive height of 5'6, but received his only division one offer from the Ducks who already had his high school teammate Malik Hairston on the team. Porter's incredible three-point range made him a valuable asset for the Ducks from anywhere on the floor and he was a key cog in the team's run to the Elite 8 in 2007. Porter would end up graduating as the top three-point shooter in Oregon history.
- Andre Roberson - SF - Class of 2010 - San Antonio, TX (Wagner) - Colorado
Roberson was a late bloomer and didn't start to receive major offers until very late in the game and Tad Boyle was able to scoop him up quickly after getting started in Boulder, fighting off Penn State and some lower level schools. Roberson made a name for himself in his first season in the Pac-12 as a shot blocker and rebounder and is one of the leading candidates for conference player of the year next year.
- DeAngelo Casto -PF - Class of 2008 - Spokane, WA (Ferris) - Washington State
Casto was well known in the state of Washington after leading Ferris to a state championship and being named the state player of the year, but his academics were a major concern, preventing the talented big man from piling up more offers. Undeterred by his academics, the Cougars offered Casto and it paid off handsomely with him becoming one of the best shot blockers and rebounders in the conference during his three year career. The only downside for the Cougars was Casto declared for the draft prematurely after his junior season and was not drafted into the NBA.
- Theo Robertson - SF - Class of 2005 - Concord, CA (De La Salle) - Cal
Robertson was a standout at De La Salle but wasn't heavily recruited and was ranked as only a two-star recruit by Scout. However, Robertson made an immediate impact at Cal and had standout years as a junior and senior after having to sit out a year with a hip injury. Robertson was particularly effective in Cal's NCAA Tournament trips in 2009 and 2010.
- Derek Glasser - PG - Class of 2006 - Lakewood, CA (Artesia) - Arizona State
Glasser teamed with James Harden to lead Artesia High School to a state championship as a senior but the Sun Devils were the only Pac-12 school to offer him a scholarship. Glasser ended up being one of the greatest shooters in Arizona State history and started in almost every game of his career. I'm not sure if Glasser was crucial in luring Harden to Tempe but it couldn't of hurt having him on the team, making Glasser's legacy at ASU even more valuable.
Robbie Cowgill (PF Class of 2004 Austin, TX Washington State), Nikola Dragovic (SF Class of 2006 Belgrade, Serbia and Montenegro UCLA), Calvin Haynes (SG Class of 2007 South Kent, CT Oregon State), Reggie Moore (PG Class of 2009 Seattle, WA Washington State)