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10 non-Zion stars who could become household names this March

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10 non-Zion stars who could become household names this March

By: Noah Akey

 

The NCAA Tournament is a wild and dramatic way to name a champion in college athletics. It’s moments like cutting down the net make little-known players/teams shine. It’s also where stars are born. These are some of the top 10 potential breakout players, some known to the audience, and others not so much. These players are looking to gain stardom through the NCAA tournament.

JA MORANT, G, MURRAY STATE: The 6-foot-3, 175-pound South Carolina-ian is an athletic freak. Morant is the first player in modern NCAA history to average more than 20 points per game and at least 10 assists. He’s a future top 5 pick in the 2019 NBA Draft and looks like a Russell Westbrook starter kit. Morant isn’t likely long for March as a No. 12 seed. But no player in this bracket has the potential for breakout stardom like Morant. A dose of instant offense and highlights on a dangerous mid-major, Morant would truly emerge as a star if the Racers ran to the Sweet 16.

FLETCHER MAGEE, G, WOFFORD:  Wofford advanced past Seton Hall, which drew Kentucky in the second round, giving the Terriers a gigantic stage. Few players could embrace that like Magee. The senior is Wofford’s leading scorer averaging 20.5 points per game. He’s done so by making 43 percent of his 3s. Magee has had his troubles against Power Five competition this season, but he’s scored 20-plus points in 12 of his last 15 games. Magee is a scorer. Although Magee went 0/12 on 3s against Kentucky, his entire career will stand for how he was, and hopefully help him in the draft.

 

DE’ANDRE HUNTER, F, VIRGINIA:

The 2018 NCAA Tournament would’ve likely been a bit different had Hunter not been injured. The UMBC’s upset might never have happened, and Virginia might not have endured an entire year of mockery. Hunter is healthy this year, and Virginia is a No. 1 seed again. Before Hunter heads off to the NBA lottery, you have to watch him play. Not only is Hunter a versatile defender who can guard reliably from the 1-5, but Hunter is an efficient scorer, shooting 53%FG and 46%3P, who fits in seamlessly with Virginia’s possession/heavy offense. Virginia isn’t sexy, but it should go much further in 2019. Hunter is the biggest reason why in what will likely be his only March Madness appearance.  

 

CAM JOHNSON, F, NORTH CAROLINA: Can the best player on a No. 1 seed North Carolina team be a national secret? Yes. Not very people know who Cam Johnson is and they need to. Johnson is the Tar Heels’ leading scorer and one of the most efficient players in the nation. He makes an eye-opening 46.5 percent of his 3s, averaging 16.9 points and 5.8 rebounds per game. Yet, the former Pittsburgh transfer often is one of the lesser buzzed about players on his own team. Local kid Luke Maye is the fan favorite, Coby White is the star freshman and Nassir Little is the energetic lottery pick. But it’s Johnson, a senior, who is the steadiest scoring presence for the Tar Heels. If North Carolina goes far it’ll be because Johnson had a great tournament.  And few players can help their draft stock more than Johnson this March.

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10 non-Zion stars who could become household names this March