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America's new favorite player: Louisiana Lafayette's J.J. Davenport

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SAN ANTONIO – With a little more than 13 minutes remaining in the first half of the Creghton-Louisiana Lafayette West regional matchup Friday at the AT&T Center, a potential folk hero named J.J. Davenport checked into the game.

Listed at 6-foot-6, 325 pounds on Louisiana Lafayette's website, Davenport is indeed a large man. But he had an instant impact, immediately drawing a charge and getting to the foul line on the ensuing possession.

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The transfer from New Mexico Junior College has dropped more than 30 pounds, according to the school, to improve his quickness and endurance since joining the team. A center from Abbeville, La., Davenport averages 4.6 points and 3.5 rebounds in 12.1 minutes per game and is a 73.1 percent free-throw shooter.

And just like that, he finished with six points and five rebounds in 11 minutes in the Ragin' Cajuns' 76-66 loss to Creighton. Davenport also had a sweet assist near the hoop to Kevin Brown that tied the score at 46 with 13:28 remaining in the game. I mean, talk about stepping up.

A quick poll of members of the Louisiana Lafayette band asking if Davenport had a nickname drew a lot of blank stares and "Are you serious?" looks. But hey, when a player as unique as Davenport steps on the floor and works that hard, you just have to take notice.

It's unfortunate his tournament run lasted just one game, but let's hope we haven't heard the last of Mr. Davenport.

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