Darius McGhee is a widely accepted fan favorite as the Flames’ star scorer. He is known for his electric finishing ability and his precision shooting, especially when targeting difficult looks. Henry Barrera claimed in a recent podcast that Darius is the pound-for-pound strongest player on the Flames. As with every unique talent, there are layers to his personality and approach to the game that make him such a special talent.

Let’s take a look at some of the intangibles that make Darius a unicorn success story.

1. A high-level scorer who is also unselfish.

Anyone who tunes into a Flames’ basketball game will quickly notice the sparky scoring guard wearing number two. McKay noted that Darius stands out as a Stephen Curry-like contributor offensively for the Flames. Much like Steph, he finds his opportunities within the Flames’ offense. He thrives off the element of surprise in his shot selection and courageous finishing.

2. He is not obsessed with getting to the NBA.

Darius is currently gaining some national traction with some jaw-dropping performances this season. As of today, he ranks fourth in the nation in points per game (22.5, per ESPN). Regardless, he does not spend much time entertaining questions about the next level. This has been affirmed by Coach McKay, who explained in a recent press conference Darius’ love for winning games above personal achievements. Alongside his appreciation for Coach McKay, the culture among Flames’ teammates was central in Darius being drawn to Liberty.

3. He finds comfort in succeeding with his teammates.

As referenced in the first point, part of Darius’ comparisons to Steph Curry center around his approach to leadership and team-centered success. Darius is soft-spoken, but that doesn’t mean he is a timid competitor. McKay recently noted McGhees’s confidence in his abilities, a usual mark of a great scorer. Still, this confidence extends to his teammates as he leads them with swagger and sureness that they have the right tools and experience to get the job done.

4. Underrated is the norm.

Coach McKay firmly believes that Darius was a five-star talent exiting high school and attributes Darius’ lack of scholarship offers to his short stature compared to most D1 basketball players. Darius has channeled this reservation against him and turned it into an opportunity to express his unique style of play. His craftiness roots itself in Darius’ hidden interest.

5. Darius’ enjoyment of chess.

McGhee mentioned in a recent interview that he is an experienced chess player. He uses this mindset to form the foundation of his offensive attack. By focusing on countermoves and quick reads of the defense, he is able to exploit defensive lapses. Darius’ heady approach to basketball is hidden under his stoic exterior, but he is constantly analyzing and picking his spots. This is a trait he has mastered at the collegiate level as an undersized guard.

6. He is the ever-confident shooter.

There is a joke that often floats around gyms and social media. It is the simple statement,  “shooters shoot.” Darius epitomizes this principle, that any greater scorer and shooter always believes the next one is the bucket that will start their inevitable hot streak. Some basketball purists find this irritating, but it is a joy to watch when a player with this mentality manifests what they believe more than anyone else: they don’t miss (or at least not much). McKay recently called back to a time in high school when Darius was one for 27 from three-point range, and Ritchie called Darius to let him know the green light hasn’t gone yellow. Credit needs to go to Coach McKay and his staff for creating a little slice of Curry-heaven in Liberty Arena.

All in all, McGhee is an exceptional talent and worthy of the praise he is receiving this season. He works remarkably hard and gives fans hope that the underdog can achieve what “reasonable” skeptics say is impossible. Hopefully, Darius will continue to lead the Flames to the successful season he has set his sights on.