Can Fletcher Magee Be Wofford's Steph Curry in March Madness Run?

David KenyonFeatured ColumnistMarch 22, 2019

JACKSONVILLE, FLORIDA - MARCH 21:  Fletcher Magee #3 of the Wofford Terriers reacts in the second half against the Seton Hall Pirates during the first round of the 2019 NCAA Men's Basketball Tournament at Jacksonville Veterans Memorial Arena on March 21, 2019 in Jacksonville, Florida. (Photo by Mike Ehrmann/Getty Images)
Mike Ehrmann/Getty Images

Fletcher Magee is a relatively unknown star. But after setting the Division I career record for three-pointers with 509 and producing a second-round showdown with Kentucky, Wofford's senior marksman has a chance to follow in a legend's footsteps.

Eleven years removed from Stephen Curry's memorable run with Davidson, Magee could propel a small school to the brink of college basketball excellence.

And then, millions of people would know his name.

Magee set the NCAA record Thursday during the second half of seventh-seeded Wofford's 84-68 win over No. 10 Seton Hall. He knocked down a triplehis third of the contest and No. 505 overallto pass Oakland's Travis Bader, setting off a raucous cheer in his home state of Florida.

Magee finished with seven threes and scored a team-best 24 points to dispatch Seton Hall.

With a shade over seven minutes remaining, Wofford trailed 60-59. Magee's triple sparked a decisive 25-8 run in which he connected on a trio of three-pointers. That ability to take over a game is simply one of several striking similarities between Curry and Magee.

Both players led their program to a Southern Conference championship. Both players stood atop the nation in three-pointers for a single seasonwhile hitting at least 40 percent of them. Both players will have faced a No. 2 seed in the second round.

Longtime Wofford coach Mike Young has acknowledged the similarities.

"I've been in this league a long time, and I don't think I'm going out on a limb to say Steph Curry's the best player the SoCon's ever seen," he told Chris Dortch of The Athletic in 2017. "I don't like to compare players, but in terms of Fletch's ability to score and do it as efficiently as he's doing it, from all points on the floor, let's just say it reminds me of someone."

That praise is merited. It will also be quickly forgotten if Magee and the Terriers don't advance.

Up next for Wofford is Kentucky, which put together arguably the most impressive showing of March Madness' Day 1. John Calipari's squad cruised to a 79-44 win over 15th-seeded Abilene Christian, which knocked down just five threes.

Unconventional though he is, Magee is fully capable of wrecking UK on the perimeter.

Heading into the Big Dance, the Wildcats ranked 223rd in three-point defense. This season, seven opposing players have drilled at least five threes, and Kentucky is 3-4 in those games. Magee has buried five-plus trifectas 20 times as a senior.

Incidentally, Curry connected on five-plus threes during each of Davidson's three March Madness victories in 2008.

Sure, Magee isn't doing this alone. Wofford boasts the country's second-best clip from long distance, largely thanks to Magee and Nathan Hoover, a 45.7 percent shooter from long range who hit four threes Thursday. Curry didn't have a perimeter sidekick of that caliber.

But the Calipari-coached team knows its biggest threat.

Wofford will go as Magee does.

Kentuckywhich may again be without star forward PJ Washington because of a sprained foot, per Alyssa Lang of the SEC Networkwill do everything it can to slow Magee. After all, he's previously taken down a giant; Magee netted 27 points in the upset of North Carolina in Chapel Hill last season.

Yes, the 'Cats will likely be favored, and nobody would be surprised if the powerhouse program topples the SoCon champions. That's what second-seeded teams are supposed to do in March.

However, they can only prepare so much for the greatest three-point weapon college basketball has seen in a decade. He isn't just a volume shooter; he's exceptionally efficient while hoisting more than 10 threes per game. He's the driving force of a potential Cinderella story.

Wofford is fully capable of beating Kentucky. And if that happens, he'll no longer be the cult hero compared to Steph Curry.

The nation will know him as Fletcher Magee.

            

Statistics courtesy of KenPom.com or Sports Reference, unless otherwise noted. Follow Bleacher Report writer David Kenyon on Twitter @Kenyon19_BR.

Related

    Candid Coaches: Would Your Team Visit Donald Trump?

    College Basketball logo
    College Basketball

    Candid Coaches: Would Your Team Visit Donald Trump?

    Gary Parrish
    via CBSSports.com

    Best Basketball Prospects That Have Yet to Play in NBA

    College Basketball logo
    College Basketball

    Best Basketball Prospects That Have Yet to Play in NBA

    Rob Dauster
    via CollegeBasketballTalk

    25 Hidden Freshman Stars from the 2019 Class

    College Basketball logo
    College Basketball

    25 Hidden Freshman Stars from the 2019 Class

    Busting Brackets
    via Busting Brackets

    Report: Nike Tried to Pay Zion in HS

    College Basketball logo
    College Basketball

    Report: Nike Tried to Pay Zion in HS

    Paul Kasabian
    via Bleacher Report