Florida Gulf Coast University sophomore point guard Brett Comer has emerged as one of the surprise stars of the NCAA Tournament.

But to those inside college basketball, Comer’s rise on college basketball’s biggest stage isn’t so shocking.

Miami coach Jim Larranaga called Comer “one of the best point guards in the country.” Florida coach Billy Donovan compared Comer to Missouri point guard Phil Pressey in terms of his court vision and ability to get others around him involved. Comer is 16th nationally in assists at 6.4 per game, compared to Pressey’s 7.1 assists per game.

And ESPN national men’s basketball recruiting analyst Dave Telep said he had Comer graded out as “a high mid-level player” coming out of high school.

“Everyone keeps talking about Florida Gulf Coast having these kids no one else wanted, but with Comer, that was not the case,” Telep said. “For a program like Florida Gulf Coast to get him, it was a huge coup.”

Telep watched Comer extensively when he teamed with Austin Rivers at Winter Park High School.

“He had a swagger about him, even playing alongside Austin Rivers,” Telep said. “Just a really, hard-nosed competitive player with good skills.”