College / Mar 16, 2009 / 10:29 am

March Madness Players 2 Watch: DeMar DeRozan

DeMar DeRozan

Going into this year, DeMar DeRozan was supposed to be the next O.J. Mayo — not because he and the possible NBA Rookie of the Year play anything alike, but rather because DeRozan was supposed to follow a similar path as his USC predecessor: one-and-done, a quick Big Dance appearance, and onto the Green Room.

But for the majority of this season, DeRozan’s production didn’t equate to the potential everyone saw when he came out of Compton (Calif.) High School as an All-American and the most highlight-friendly prep player in the country.

Averaging 12.8 points in the regular season, he was largely inconsistent; for every game where he was impressive (22 pts, 8 rebs, 3 stls vs. Arizona State), there was another time when he was invisible (3 pts, 1-4 FG vs. Seton Hall). He was third on the team in scoring behind Taj Gibson and Dwight Lewis, didn’t crack either of the All-Pac-10 Teams, and DeRozan lost out to Washington’s 5-foot-8 Isaiah Thomas in the conference Freshman of the Year voting.

During the Pac-10 tournament, however, DeRozan put together a string of games to prove he’s Lottery-worthy: 17 points, 11 boards and three blocks against Cal; 21 points and 13 boards against UCLA; and 25 points against Arizona State in the championship game. In USC’s unexpected tournament win, he connected on 57 percent of his shots from the field, and after hitting an ugly 18 percent of his threes in the regular season, knocked down 50 percent of his shots beyond the arc.

If he does in fact go pro this summer, DeRozan’s immediate impact in the League will probably be somewhere between Von Wafer and Jamario Moon. But for the time being, the 6-7 wing looks like he could dispel another similarity between himself and Mayo: He could take USC farther into the tournament than O.J. was able to.

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  • MoxWestCoastRep

    Great call AB>
    It took Demar a little longer to figure it out-but the kid is the truth. This USC team is better than last years and is a team that should win a few games

  • Michorizo

    I like Memphis to win it….just thought i would throw that out there.

  • danksy

    Pitt is my pick to win it all. They will beat louisville in the final

  • doc

    Nova Nova!But youngin nice though.Lil Vince to me.Play just like him when Vince was a freshman.U know they 2 guards in the future but they kinda play a power forward game still because they can jump so fucking high.

  • TJ 2

    he most likely will go pro, although he could use another year. all he needed was a couple good games and NBA scouts will drool over his potential!

  • Kermit the Washington

    “Going into this year, DeMar DeRozan was supposed to be the next O.J. Mayo”

    Ok, that’s enough of that. It stops NOW!! No more “this guy’s the next that guy” crap!! Kobe’s the next Jordan, and that’s IT. LOL

  • Chaos

    dude is obviously nice but watching hi play he is just coming into his own as premier college player so he needs another year of college to polish his game