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Mid-major stars Canaan, McCollum, McDermott thriving in return to school after passing on NBA

  • 25632a22d07f5023240f6a706700acbe.jpg

    FILE - Creighton's Doug McDermott (3) drives past Akron's Jake Kretzer (15) in the second half of an NCAA college basketball game in this Dec. 9, 2012 file photo taken in Omaha, Neb.As the college basketball season nears its midpoint, the player of year honor appears to be up for grabs with roughly two dozen players who could be considered the best in the country. Doug McDermott is among a Pick 6 of players having outstanding seasons so far. (AP Photo/Dave Weaver, File) (The Associated Press)

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    FILE - In this March 15, 2012 file photo, Murray State guard Isaiah Canaan (3) soars to the basket as Colorado State guard Wes Eikmeier (10) pursues during the second half of an NCAA tournament second-round college basketball game in Louisville, Ky. As the college basketball season nears its midpoint, the player of year honor appears to be up for grabs with roughly two dozen players who could be considered the best in the country. Isaiah Canaan is among a Pick 6 of players having outstanding seasons so far. (AP Photo/Dave Martin, File) (The Associated Press)

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    FILE - In a Friday, March 16, 2012 file photo, Lehigh's C.J. McCollum, right, and Duke's Seth Curry reach for the ball during the second half of an NCAA tournament second-round college basketball game in Greensboro, N.C. Seniors Isaiah Canaan of Murray State and McCollum of Lehigh and Creighton’s Doug McDermott, all returned to school in 2012 instead of entering the NBA draft. All three are averaging better than 21 points per game while their teams are a combined 29-4 to start the year. (AP Photo/Gerry Broome, File) (The Associated Press)

Murray State's Isaiah Canaan, Lehigh's C.J. McCollum and Creighton's Doug McDermott are making headlines for mid-major programs instead of trying to find supporting roles as NBA rookies.

The three Associated Press preseason All-Americans all returned to school instead of entering the NBA draft. They knew there was a good chance they could have fallen out of the first round, making it even harder to succeed in the league without a guaranteed contract.

All three are averaging better than 21 points per game while their teams are a combined 29-4 to start the year.

Canaan says he doesn't regret passing on the NBA, while McCollum promised his family he'd earn his degree. McDermott says he decided quickly to return and knew he wasn't quite ready for the NBA after last year.