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NCAA Tournament's potential breakout stars
With the NCAA Tournament officially underway, amNewYork takes a look at some unheralded players from low-seeded schools who have an opportunity to make a big impact with their play in the coming weeks. Although all four players are currently projected to go undrafted this summer, they have the potential to step into the spotlight and increase their NBA stock.
The senior guard has a great chance of making a splash when No. 10 Saint Joseph's (24-9) takes on No. 7 seed UConn (26-8) tomorrow. Galloway averaged 22.3 points in this year's Atlantic 10 tournament for the conference champion Hawks, including a game-high 31 points and the game-winning 3-pointer against Dayton in the quarterfinals. The Baton Rouge, La., native led the team in scoring (17.5) and 3-point percentage (.439%) this season.
Cotton ranked 22nd in the nation with 5.8 assists per game this season for Providence (23-11). He also led the Friars in scoring (21.4) en route to their first NCAA Tournament since 2004. At 6-foot-1 and just 165 pounds, the senior guard is a bit small and shoots a pedestrian .413 field goal percentage, but he can impress a lot of people if he has a good game and leads his Friars past sixth-seeded North Carolina (23-9) on Friday.
This 7-foot-2 Canadian has some serious potential that could shine in the national spotlight in the coming weeks. Bachynski led the nation in shot blocking, averaging 4.1 per game for No. 10 seed Arizona State (21-11), including a season-high nine against Oregon on Feb. 8. He also added 11.1 points and 8.3 rebounds per game. He will look to wreak havoc in the paint against No. 7 Texas (23-10) tomorrow.
The massive sophomore center from No. 13 New Mexico State (26-9) is listed as 7-foot-5 and 355 pounds. He has the chance to prove that he is more than just an enormous body in the middle. Bhullar averaged 10.3 points, 7.9 rebounds and 3.4 blocks per game this season. Bhullar and the Aggies, who have now made the NCAA Tournament three years in a row, will face No. 4 San Diego State (29-4) tomorrow. The Aztecs' two tallest players are each 6-foot-10, giving Bhullar a 7-inch height advantage and a perfect matchup to show scouts that he is a force inside.