One game during the 2018-19 season, Mike Daum will become the all-time leading scorer in NCAA history. One of a few records the junior forward from South Dakota State will eventually claim.
So why isn’t anyone talking about him?
In the last 20 years, he is only the second player to average at least 25 PPG and 8 RPG, while shooting 50+% on 2s and 40+% on 3s. The other player? KEVIN DURANT.
Daum averaged 15.2 points per game his freshman year only to best that output last season at 25.1 points per game. Now, he enters his junior year as the nation’s highest returning scorer and has the NCAA record books in his crosshairs.
If Daum is projected to score the same total points in each of his final two years, as he did last year, he’d finish third in career points. But most players increase their average in their final years - Lionel Simmons, the current record holder, saw an increase of 17.8% in his PPG average from his sophomore year to his final two seasons.
Doug McDermott, third on the list, and the most comparable player to Daum, increased his average by 8.95% over that time. If Daum sees the same increase over his next two years, he’ll claim the title Simmons held for 30 years - most career points in NCAA history.
McDermott… but better?
Daum’s offensive game and production resemble Doug McDermott’s first two seasons at Creighton. Their sophomore season numbers are almost identical.
They even have comparable shot type distributions. Shots coming off of post-ups, handoffs, and screens accounted for 39% of both player’s sophomore year points.
The only significant difference between the two player’s shots distributions is in points as the roll-man in a pick and roll. Roll-man points were 12% of Daum’s production last season, while just 8% of McDermott’s sophomore year points.
Why is this number so high for Daum? He’s not rolling, he’s popping. He is a pick and pop machine!
Film Review: Daum – Pick and Pop
Daum was the second most efficient player last season in pick and pop scoring. Defenses knew Daum was popping (he popped on 77% of his ball screens), yet they still could not stop him.
Even the fourth best defensive eFG% team, Wichita State, had trouble defending Daum on the pop. Here, Daum does an excellent job sealing the on-ball defender and quickly gets his feet around to prepare himself for an open shot.
Later, Daum exhibits a strong secondary move after he pops. Wichita State forward, Markus McDuffie, attempts a quick closeout, but Daum pumps and powers his way to the rim.
He will set the career points record as a senior and will then lead his team to the second weekend of the NCAA tournament. It won’t be long before he starts to receive All-American level hype.