South Dakota State Might Have An NBA Star On Their Hands With Mike Daum

The 2016-17 NCAA Basketball season was full of surprise performers. One name that has caught the attention of NBA scouts is that of Mike Daum, a player you’ve probably never heard of.

Not many big names come from South Dakota State. They’ve had one alumnus reach the NBA with Nate Wolters. Judging by the attention Daum has received this past year, he might continue the Jackrabbits NBA success.

Daum is a 6’9 Junior from Nebraska. He’s arguably one of the most underrated players in all of the Nation.

His Sophomore season was one for the record books. Daum scored 25.1 points for the Jackrabbits, one of the highest averages in the Nation. This led him to the Summit League Player of the Year award. In addition, he was an All-American Honorable Mention.

All of this success on the court almost never happened. Daum went unrecruited in High School. It wasn’t until South Dakota St. coaches saw him play at an AAU tournament that he was offered a scholarship. Unfortunately, Daum was nowhere near Divison 1 basketball caliber, and he redshirted his Freshman season.

As we look at Mike Daum now it’s impossible to think this is the same players who almost never got a scholarship offer, and wasn’t good enough to play his true freshman year.
He’s on the verge of playing in the NBA. And some believe he will get there.

South Dakota State coach, T.J. Otzelberger, told CBS Sports writer, Gary Parrish, the following for an article written October 27, 2016.

“People connected to the NBA tell me they believe he can play in that league,” 

Otzelberger would go on to tell Parrish the following,

“In the NBA today, everybody plays with stretch-fours. Mike fits that bill. He could play for anybody in the country. He’s a real talent. He would fit in on any team, and with any coach, in the country”

These quotes were taken at the onset of last year before Daum’s breakout 25.1 point season. You’ve got to think Otzelberger has an even better idea of his star players NBA chances. And as it stands now, Daum could be a first round pick in 2018. A lot will depend on whether he can maintain his pace from last season. If Daum does, the NBA will come calling.

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