Great basketball is not only played in places like Durham and Chapel Hill; sometimes it is played in places like Provo and Omaha.
Early in the 2010-11 season, Jimmer Fredette grabbed the national spotlight and didn't let go until after he led BYU to a 32-5 record and a consistent Top 10 ranking, as well as taking home just about every national Player of the Year Award that was handed out.
Doug McDermott plays for a lesser known mid-major (Creighton) in an overlooked conference (Missouri Valley).
But the BlueJays' sophomore shooting forward phenom could just be the player to launch the small school from Nebraska into the national discussion and himself into consideration for this year's Player of the Year accolades.
Could McDermott be this year's Jimmer?
The similarities are intriguing.
In the last poll before Christmas 2010, BYU was 10-1 and ranked No. 23. In the last poll before Christmas 2011, Creighton was 8-1 and ranked No. 21.
Fredette finished the 2010-11 season as the D-1 scoring champ. McDermott is currently tied for the lead with Damian Lillard from Weber State.
In his final season in Provo, Fredette scored 28.9 points per game; McDermott is currently scoring 25.3 ppg.
Last year, Jimmer shot 45.2 percent from the field, 89.4 from the line and 39.6 from beyond the arc; McDermott is shooting 63.3 percent from the field, 85.3 from the line and 57.8 from beyond the arc.
Fredette and McDermott are throw-back players. They both rely on sharpened shooting skills not just freakish athleticism.
Hopefully, the national media will feature McDermott as the season unfolds, allowing for college basketball fans from across the country to follow this highly overlooked small name from a small school as he pursues excellence on the collegiate hardwood.
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