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Top Mid-Major Players to Watch in 2014-15: 45-41

We keep cruising down the list of the top 50 mid-major players for the upcoming season with a look at those who rank between 45 and 41.

Steve Dykes

We march on in our Top 50 countdown with a look at players ranked 45 to 41. If you missed 50-46 then be sure to check it out.

45. Alec Peters, Valparaiso, F: Peter's busted out his freshman year for Bryce Drew's Crusaders averaging 12.7 points and 4.8 rebounds. Now it's time for the 6'8 big man to refine his game in year two as he recently noted to Mid-Major Madness at Horizon League Media Day, "As you play you don't’ get away with as much as you do when you are a new player. You got to find different ways to get yourself open and find different ways to score. My coaches have talked with me a lot. People know who you are now, everyone is going to do their scouting report.". It'll be interesting to see how Peters matures this season.

44. Mamadou Ndiaye, UC Irvine, C: The "Big Anteater" is back for year two at Irvine! The 7'6 Ndiaye busted out last year to average 8 points, 6.2 rebounds, and a Big West best 3.1 blocks per game. Ndiaye's coming out party came in a early season 86-72 upset of Washington where he dropped 18 points, 8 rebounds, and 9 blocks on the Huskies. That block total wasn't even his season high as he blocked Cal Poly 11 times (ELEVEN!) in a February win.

43. DeAndre Bembry, St. Joseph's, G/F: Let's get one thing out of the way...Bembry has the best afro in college hoops. Now that we've settled that we can talk about his game a bit. Last year Bembry averaged 12.1 points, 4.5 rebounds, and 2.5 assists for the Atlantic 10 champs. Expect those numbers to go up a little this year as he's now the focal point of the Hawks offense. Bembry will need to step up not only because of the graduation of Halil Kanacevic, Langston Galloway, and Ronald Roberts, but also the early season loss of Papa Ndao and Markell Lodge.

42. E.C. Matthews, Rhode Island, G: Matthews was another big time freshman in the A10 and ended up being voted the conference's best youngster by many. Matthews now has black hole volume shooter Xavier Munford out of the way, so expect him to build upon his 14.3 points and 4.3 rebounds per game a year ago. If Dan Hurley and the Rams want to make some noise in the A10 then they are going to need a big year from Matthews.

41. Lawrence Alexander, North Dakota State, F: The big names, like Taylor Braun, are gone from last year's Cinderella squad but guard Lawrence Alexander is left to lead the Bison in Fargo. Alexander averaged 11.1 points, 4.3 rebounds, and 2.6 assists a year ago and expect those numbers just to go up now that he'll be the top dog in David Richman's offense. The senior guard has already been voted a Preseason Summit League First Teamer.