This article is part of our College Basketball Waiver Wire series.
The season is entering the homestretch as we're only a few weeks away from March. This week's waiver column features the traditional injury replacements, but also a handful of freshmen who have grown throughout the year and are beginning to shine for their clubs.
Au'Diese Toney, G/F, Pittsburgh
Toney has started six in a row for the Panthers, and enjoyed his best week of the season last week, putting up 42 points and 14 rebounds against Miami and Duke, playing 40 minutes in each contest. The scoring could be a bit of an outlier, but the increased opportunities don't appear to be. He should be a steady producer throughout February.
Chaundee Brown, G, Wake Forest
Brown saw only 12 minutes in his return to action after missing seven games due to a foot injury, but that should trend upward with each future contest. He managed to take seven shots in that limited run, and is a difference maker for the Deacons when healthy. He had two 20+ point outings just prior to injury, and can rebound well from the guard position as well.
Wendell Moore, F, Duke
Moore is a tough guy to peg, as he's likely too good to not own, but probably isn't good enough to start in most formats. He's back from a six-game absence due to a hand injury, and should see 20+ minutes moving forward, providing peaks and valleys in production in the process. Based on his showing at Syracuse, his return is bad news for Jordan Goldwire, Jack White and Alex O'Connell, who all saw a decrease in minutes, while Joey Baker didn't even get into the contest.
Duane Washington Jr., G, Ohio State
There wasn't a clear uptick in minutes for anyone off of the Buckeye's bench Saturday against Indiana, the first outing played without D.J. Carton (personal), so this is a bit of a leap of faith with Washington. Carton was a scoring spark off the bench for the Bucks, and we've seen Washington be capable of that scoring punch as well, going for double-digits in three league games. He's also hoisted at least nine shots in each of the team's last four, so there's no doubting the opportunity.
Tre Jackson, G, Iowa State
Jackson earned his first career start Saturday, and saw 40 minutes against Texas. The production wasn't ideal, as he put up just nine points a rebound and a steal, but it's hard to ignore someone when they don't leave the court. Prentiss Nixon was benched in favor of Jackson, saw just 11 minutes and hasn't been able to throw it in the ocean of late, shooting just 22.9 percent over his last five games. As such, Jackson has a chance to grow in his newfound role.
Jahvon Blair, G, Georgetown
Blair's appeal is tied directly to the health of Mac McClung, who missed Sunday's game due to a foot injury. Blair played 40 minutes in McClung's absence, putting up 23 points, three rebounds and five assists in the process, and would have appeal in all formats if McClung is sidelined for a prolonged period.
Riley Battin, F, Utah
Battin has started every game this season for the Utes, but his confidence appears at a season high of late. With Both Gach missing a few contests, Battin averaged 12.0 points and 7.0 rebounds last week. While Gach's not expected to miss much more time, Battin's increased confidence could have him being a more consistent third scorer for Utah over the season's final month-plus.
Paris Austin, G, California
Austin has started the last three games for the Bears, averaging 12.7 points across 33.0 minutes. He's not doing much else, putting up 3.0 assists and 1.7 rebounds, but his role moving forward looks stable thanks to injuries elsewhere, and he did average 4.3 assists, 3.1 rebounds and 1.4 steals a year ago. If he can return to that level thanks to the increase in minutes, he'll be appealing in Pac-12 heavy formats.
D.J. Stewart, G, Mississippi State
Stewart is another freshman who seems to be budding late in the year. He's started six straight for the Bulldogs, is coming off of a career-high 20 points against Tennessee and is averaging 12.5 points and 4.8 rebounds over his last four outings, playing 34.3 minutes.
Uros Plavsic, C, Tennessee
Plavsic appears to be coming into his own for the Volunteers. Making his first career start against Mississippi State, he responded with 16 points and six boards in 26 minutes, sporting a 32.6 percent usage rate. With center eligibility, he's well worth a flier to see if that production can become the norm. The Volunteers' season isn't going anywhere, so there's no reason not to run him out there and let Plavsic gain experience.
Tier 2 Conferences
Drew Timme, F/C, Gonzaga
Timme may be one of the more obvious adds this week. He started Saturday with Killian Tillie (ankle) sidelined, and provided 19 points, four rebounds, three assists and three blocks in 30 minutes. With Tillie sidelined for the short term and likely limited even when he does come back, Timme looks poised for at least a one-week heater, if not more.
Lester Quinones, G, Memphis
Quinones has been an inconsistent producer for much of the year despite starting 13 times in his 16 appearances. But with D.J. Jeffries sidelined 4-to-6 weeks due to a knee injury, Quinones is a priority add this week. He posted 14 points and eight boards in 36 minutes in Jeffries' first absence, and has the opportunity to average much better than the 10.1 points, 3.8 boards and 2.2 assists he's currently providing as the Tigers will rely on him more moving forward. Lester Thomas looks like a nice addition too if you're in need of frontcourt help, having started the last two games, while Boogie Ellis and Alex Lomax are worth a look in deeper formats.
Blake Francis, G, Richmond
Following Saturday's win over George Washington, Spider coach Chris Mooney said it's possible Francis (sternum) returns this Saturday against Fordham. That immediate matchup may not be a spot for huge minutes, but now is the time to add the Spiders leading-scorer (17.6 ppg) before others do.