Scott G. Winterton, Deseret News
It happens nearly every year: an unheralded player, maybe from a school few people know about, goes on a scoring tear or single-handedly carries his team through a couple of rounds of the NCAA tournament.
Two years ago, little Stephen Curry from Davidson dashed his way through the bracket, shooting the Wildcats past Gonzaga, Georgetown and Wisconsin on the way to the regional finals.
There was Wally Szczerbiak taking Miami (Ohio) to the 1999 Sweet Sixteen, Bo Kimble carrying Loyola Marymount into the 1990 regional finals after the death of Hank Gathers, Fennis Dembo hoisting Wyoming to the regional semis in 1987. Perhaps the greatest one-man show was Larry Bird in 1979, leading Indiana State to the title game against Magic Johnson and Michigan State.
So who could be this year's Curry, Kimble or Bird? The guys who aren't Evan Turner, Sherron Collins, John Wall or Scottie Reynolds?
Here are a few to keep on eye on. Actually, five from each region:
Jimmer Fredette, BYU, Jr., 6-2, 195 — The only D-I player to score 40 points twice this season, Fredette patterns his game after John Stockton, but is a better scorer. He can change a game shooting or passing.
Derrick Caracter, UTEP, Jr., 6-9, 280 — Randy Culpepper was the Conference USA player of the year, but Caracter made the Miners an inside-out team after transferring from Louisville. He's a lane-clogger who can be a game-changer.
Jordan Crawford, Xavier, So., 6-4, 195 — Remember the secret video of someone dunking on LeBron James? That was Crawford. Turns out, he's far more than just a dunker. The leading scorer in the Atlantic-10 has a great all-around game.
Derick Nelson, Oakland, Sr., 6-5, 236 — You might want to keep an eye on a guy scores 36 points in the Summit League title game — with a broken nose.
Dominique Sutton, Kansas St., Jr., 6-5, 210 — It's not always the scorers who make a difference. Sutton doesn't have much range outside 12 feet, but can change a game with defense and rebounding. He's a shutdown cornerback in a hoops jersey.
James Anderson, Oklahoma State, Jr., 6-6, 210 — It's hard to be unheralded as the Big 12's player of the year, but Anderson doesn't get the same attention as other scorers in the country. Don't be surprised if he drops 40 on someone.
Armon Bassett, Ohio, Jr., 6-2, 180 — Explosive scorer who led the Bobcats to a surprise win in the Mid-American Conference tournament, scoring a record 119 points in four games.
Jordan Eglseder, Northern Iowa, Jr., 7-0, 280 — The big fella has a good touch around the basket and is a force in the lane at both ends.
Aubrey Coleman, Houston, Sr., 6-4, 200 — Might be the most likely player to go on a Curry-like run. The nation's leading scorer (25.6 points) will be ready to fire after going 4 for 20 in the Conference USA title game.
Brady Morningstar, Kansas, Jr., 6-3, 185 — OK, OK, he plays on the nation's No. 1 team, but Morningstar's contributions often go unnoticed. He makes the Jayhawks go with his entry passes, spot-up shooting and denying defense.
Kevin Anderson, Richmond, Jr., 6-0, 175 — The Atlantic-10 player of the year has given opponents a case of arachnophobia, averaging 17.8 points a game this season to help the seventh-seeded Spiders win 12 of their last 13.
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