After an eventful opening round of the NCAA Tournament, there have been 32 teams who saw their season come to an end. Players were given the opportunity to show out in front of scouts on the largest stage, and some opened more eyes than others. I am detailing which direction the arrow is pointing for NBA prospects after round one.
Zion Williamson (Freshman, Power Forward Duke) – Stock: Even
Zion is the likely top pick in the draft, and the only thing that has a chance of changing that is an injury (knock on wood). North Dakota State had no answer for him, en route to 25 points on 12-16 shooting.
RJ Barrett (Freshman, Small Forward Duke) – Stock: Even
Barrett is a top-three pick. His dominant 26 point, 14 rebound performance, does not change that. Going 2-4 from down town is a good sign for the Blue Devils.
Cam Reddish (Freshman, Shooting Guard/Small Forward Duke) – Stock: Even
As the tournament progresses, Reddish is going to have ample opportunities to show off his ability as a shot-maker with teams playing zone and loading up on Zion and RJ. He had 12 points in a very average performance. Depending on the team, he could probably go anywhere from 4 to 7 in the draft.
Tre Jones (Freshman, Point Guard Duke) – Stock: Even
Jones has struggled with scoring in the second half of the season. He is an elite defender who knows how to run an offense. Similar to his brother Tyus, if he can get hot from the outside, he could really help his stock. He had a quiet five points and four assists against North Dakota State.
Joey Baker (Freshman, Forward Duke) – Stock: Even
Baker was supposed to redshirt, but had it pulled during Zion’s injury stretch. He had his best game as a Blue Devil, hitting a three and pulling down two rebounds late in the game. Look for Baker to make some more noise next season.
Marques Bolden (Junior, Center Duke) – Stock: Even
Returning from injury, Bolden played 18 minutes off the bench, providing little impact. Defensively, he has a shot to make a roster, but this would not be the year to leave.
Alex O’Connell (Sophomore, Shooting Guard Duke) – Stock: Even
O’Connell took advantage of his 11 minutes, scoring 7 points against the Bisons. At 6’6, his shooting ability and athleticism is intriguing. There is still some inconsistency in playing time and production that makes it hard to consider him a serious prospect right now.
Tako Fall (Senior, Center UCF) – Stock: Up
The mammoth 7’6 center is in the midst of one of the best stretches of his career. Facing a pesky, undersized VCU team, he had 13 points, 18 rebounds, and 5 blocks. He will need to control the paint and create easy opportunities against Duke for UCF to have a chance. You look at what Boban has done in the NBA, and wonder if Fall can serve a similar low-minute, high-output role.
Marcus Evans (Junior, Guard VCU) – Stock: Down
Evans was silent against UCF, scoring six points on 1-7 shooting. He was frustrated by their pressure, looked out of sorts, and had six turnovers. Expect the Rice transfer to regroup over the offseason.
Quinndary Weatherspoon (Senior, Shooting Guard Mississippi State) – Stock: Up
Even in a loss, Weatherspoon looked every bit like a senior playing for his season to stay alive. I have him in my top-100 prospects and really appreciate his toughness on both ends. He had 27 points and made 13 free throws in a valiant effort. I could see him on a two-way deal next year.
Lamar Peters (Junior, Point Guard Mississippi State) – Stock: Even
The lefty guard was solid, putting up 21 points and 5 assists in the loss to Liberty. He was viewed as a breakout prospect a year ago, but this season has actually been more of a respectable year. Despite the performance, Peters has the athleticism and playmaking potential, but there is an inconsistency in his shooting. With Weatherspoon departing, Peters could compete to be All-SEC next season.
Reggie Perry (Freshman, Power Forward Mississippi State) – Stock: Even
Perry ended his first year in a disappointing offensive effort, with only five points. He did have 10 rebounds and worked on the defensive end. The former McDonald’s All-American should become the focal point of the Bulldog offense next year, where his all-around game can be on display for NBA teams.
Robert Woodard (Freshman, Small Forward Mississippi State) – Stock: Up
In what was an up-and-down freshman year, Woodard was one of the bright spots against Liberty. The athletic, powerful wing had 13 points, seven rebounds, and a thunderous dunk. He has an NBA body and great intangibles. A summer building off this performance will do wonders for Woodard.
Aric Holman (Senior, Power Forward Mississippi State) – Stock: Even
As a floor spacing big that can protect the rim, Holman has been garnering some attention this season. Heading into the NBA Draft process, his 5 point, 6 rebound, 3 block game is not going to sway decision-makers either way.
Nickeil Alexander-Walker (Sophomore, Shooting Guard Virginia Tech) – Stock: Up
It was a great start to the NCAA Tournament for a guy that is a fringe lottery pick. Alexander-Walker scored 20 points and added six rebounds and three-steals. He is a 3-and-D guy with some playmaking punch. A matchup with Liberty is next before an eventual showcase game against Duke in the round of 16.
Kerry Blackshear (Junior, Power Forward Virginia Tech) – Stock: Even
Blackshear was a revelation for the Hokies in the regular season. He did what he needed to do, scoring 15 points, with 11 coming at the line. Nothing much has changed with his stock.
Bruno Fernando (Sophomore, Center Maryland) – Stock: Up
The more you watch Fernando, the more his potential jumps off the screen. Belmont had to send doubles at him, but he still managed 14 points, 13 rebounds, and four assists. He didn’t force against double teams and found shooters and Jalen Smith regularly. LSU will be an interesting matchup, with Naz Reid looking to contain Bruno.
Jalen Smith (Freshman, Power Forward Maryland) – Stock: Up
Smith was the MVP of the game for the Terps. He is sometimes overlooked in their frontcourt, but his 19 points and eight offensive rebounds were huge to hold off the bruins. A handful of powerful dunks highlighted a great effort by the active, rim-running big. He would be selected if he declares after this year, or could take on a lead frontcourt role next season. Performances like that hint towards the former.
Anthony Cowan Jr. (Junior, Point Guard Maryland) – Stock: Down
Cowan could not hit anything against Belmont. His outside shooting and poor foul shooting aided Belmont’s efforts to stay in the game. He was 1-10 from three and 3-18 overall. Being hounded by Tremont Waters today won’t be an easy matchup.
Aaron Wiggins (Freshman, Small Forward Maryland) – Stock: Even
Wiggins was fine against Belmont, nothing of note. He was only 1-5 from three, but did a decent job defensively. Wiggins still looks more like a guy to jump on radars next year.
Dylan Windler (Senior, Shooting Guard/Small Forward Belmont) – Stock: Up
Windler had one of the best performances for his draft stock of any player in the tournament. Coming out hot, Windler exploded for 35 points, 11 rebounds, and went 7-14 from three. His release is lightning quick and he showed his ability to get to the rack when defenders close out too hard. I could see a team late in the first round falling in love with his all-around impact and floor-spacing ability at 6’8.
Naz Reid (Freshman, Power Forward/Center LSU) – Stock: Even
Reid had a double-double with 14 points and 10 rebounds but also struggled to dominate against some of the bigs on Yale. His body transformation has been great for his game. Maryland’s frontcourt will test him and many NBA scouts will be watching both sides.
Tremont Waters (Sophomore, Point Guard LSU) – Stock: Even
Waters was unable to catch fire against the Bulldogs. He was, however, able to regularly penetrate and create for his teammates. His defense was disruptive as always, but his shot-making will need to pick up for LSU and to convince NBA teams.
Emmitt Williams (Freshman, Power Forward LSU) – Stock: Even
Energy and effort is always apparent for Williams. He had eight points and five rebounds. Though he’s a bit undersized, he looks like a player that could be an NBA role player in the long-term.
Javonte Smart (Freshman, Point Guard LSU) – Stock: Even
Smart was second on the Tigers in shot attempts at 1, but only hit 4. Throughout the game, he maintained his aggressiveness, one trait NBA teams have to appreciate. He still needs some time to work on his playmaking, but there is a lot of talent there. The deeper they go, the more opportunities he will have.
Miye Oni (Junior, Shooting Guard Yale) – Stock: Down
Oni was the one guy who needed to show up for Yale. Unfortunatley, he struggled all game, going only 2-16 from the field and not getting to the line at all. He was the best player in the Ivy League and has the skillset of an NBA wing. This was a tough showing, but expect him to come back ready next season to bring Yale back to the Big Dance.
Jordan Bruner (Junior, Power Forward Yale) – Stock: Up
I was very impressed with Bruner all game for the Bulldogs. He is a long, athletic big that can shoot it from three, where he hit just two of eight attempts. But it was his defensive effort down low against a big LSU front line that was most eye-opening. Bringing back most of the key pieces, Bruner can add some strength and return as one of the top bigs in the Ivy.
Jordan Murphy (Senior, Power Forward Minnesota) – Stock: Up
Double-double machine Jordan Murphy was held to “only” 6 rebounds. But he had 18 points, including two threes, and manhandled Louisville in the interior. He is a player to watch against Michigan State.
Amir Coffey (Junior, Small Forward Minnesota) – Stock: Up
It’s hard to deny that Coffey is one of the most talented players in the Big Ten. It has just been a matter of consistency. Louisville was a victim of Coffey’s good side, as he scored 18 points and continuously hit daggers. The point forward is excelling in his ball-handling role, showing off a complete game.
Daniel Oturu (Freshman, Center Minnesota) – Stock: Even
Oturu utilized his size well, scoring 13 points and grabbing 6 rebounds. He is further along than most freshman bigs, physically and in terms of his confidence. There’s not really a chance he declares for the draft.
Jordan Nwora (Sophomore, Small Forward Louisville) – Stock: Even
I wanted to see Nwora more aggressive seeking his shot, especially when the game started to get out of hand. He did contribute 11 rebounds. Now after a breakout sophomore campaign, the 6’8 sharpshooter will continue to add to his game.
Malik Williams (Sophomore, Power Forward Louisville) – Stock: Even
Williams was largely invisible in 15 minutes of action. Steven Enoch gained a lion’s share of the interior minutes. He has yet to put all of his tools together.
V.J. King (Junior, Small Forward Louisville) – Stock: Down
King played 9 minutes. A top-25 recruit coming out of high school, King has regressed in a lesser role under Chris Mack. It will be interesting to see if he earns more time in his final season.
Cassius Winston (Junior, Point Guard Michigan State) – Stock: Up
Cassius isn’t a very athletic point guard, but his IQ and shooting ability are through the roof. He was Michigan State’s saving grace to avoid a loss to 15-seed Bradley. When the time comes to turn pro, Winston will find a way on a roster.
Xavier Tillman (Sophomore, Power Forward Michigan State) – Stock: Even
Tillman was good for the Spartans, notching a double-double with 16 points and 11 rebounds. He was instrumental in their comeback, running the floor and initiating the break. That was to be expected against a smaller Bradley team.
Nick Ward (Junior, Center Michigan State) – Stock: Even
Ward has dealt with some injuries and played only 10 minutes. His draft prospects are interesting because he is only 6’8, but has a massive wingspan, soft touch, and good hands. Obviously, health may limit him in the tournament.
Marcus Bingham (Freshman, Power Forward Michigan State) – Stock: Even
Like many games this season, Bingham did not play against Bradley. He has intriguing gifts but has physical development needed before Tom Izzo puts him into the regular rotation.
Rui Hachimura (Junior, Power Forward Gonzaga) – Stock: Even
Hachimura scored 21 points in 24 minutes in an efficient effort in a rout of Farleigh Dickinson. He did what you would expect out of an All-American in a 1-16 matchup.
Brandon Clarke (Junior, Power Forward Gonzaga) – Stock: Even
Clarke, like Hachimura, was solid with 12 points, eight rebounds, and five blocks in only 23 minutes. The high-flying forward still looks like a mid-first round prospect whose energy is his differentiating factor.
Zach Novell Jr. (Sophomore, Shooting Guard Gonzaga) – Stock: Even
Norvell had a strong game for the Zags, hitting three three-pointers and dishing out a team-high seven assists. Known more as a scorer, the lefty guard did a nice job setting up the frontcourt players for easy looks. He is a likely second-round pick if he declares after this season.
Killian Tillie (Junior, Power Forward Gonzaga) – Stock: Up
Only a few weeks back from a second injury, Tillie was the most impressive of any Gonzaga player, scoring 17 points in 18 minutes on 7-8 shooting. As one of the more experienced tournament players on the team, expect Tillie to continue to provide a boost as a sixth man. I had him as a first-rounder coming into the season. If he can show his stretch ability, activity, and face-up skills over a long stretch, he may be wise to declare.
Filip Petrusev (Freshman, Center Gonzaga) – Stock: Even
More of a future prospect, Petrusev was solid in 9 minutes with four points and three rebounds. He should be the beneficiary of the likely departures in the most-loaded frontcourt in college basketball.
Tyus Battle (Junior, Shooting Guard/Small Forward Syracuse) – Stock: Even
Battle was inefficient, hitting only six of his 15 shot attempts along with four turnovers. He was coming back from injury, so he gets a little bit of a pass. It may be his last game for Syracuse, as he should be a second-round pick if he leaves.
Oshae Brissett (Sophomore, Forward Syracuse) – Stock: Even
In terms of scoring, Brissett showed off the full package. Baylor did a nice job of contesting, though, and never sent him to the line where he typically gets easy points. Brissett’s six turnovers did not help Syracuse late in the game. I like his offensive ability in an NBA system, but his shooting has been sub-par all season. Another year with the Cuse honing that trait would be wise.
Makai Mason (Senior, Point Guard Baylor) – Stock: Up
The only reason Mason isn’t talked about more is that he has been hurt so much. He is a killer with deep range when healthy, and showed that against Syracuse. 22 points on 50 percent shooting was a good way to remind teams of what he did while at Yale. He will be on a summer league team with the chance to play in the G-League or make a nice penny overseas.
Markus Howard (Junior, Point Guard Marquette) – Stock: Even
Howard is exactly who he has been all year. A high-volume, dynamic scoring guard that can go through cold stretches. After lighting it up in the first half, he ended with 26 points on 9-27 shooting. Defensively and as a playmaker, he is not up to NBA standards, especially at his diminutive size. But his scoring is special. Another shot at a deep tourney run should bring him back for his senior year.
Sam Hauser (Junior, Forward Marquette) – Stock: Even
All year, Hauser has been the Robin to Markus Howard’s Batman. He does a lot of the dirty work for Marquette. After a third season shooting over 40% from three, Hauser has proven to be one of the elite snipers in college basketball at 6’8. In a 16 point, 10 rebound game against Murray State, he struggled against some pressure and couldn’t find a lot of easy offense. He is still the best NBA prospect on the team and could be one of the top senior prospects next year.
Joey Hauser (Freshman, Power Forward Marquette) – Stock: Even
Foul trouble hindered Hauser, who finished with only eight points. What was nice to see is how comfortable he was bringing the ball up against pressure when Murray State hounded the guards. He is going to be a good Big-East player for a long time. As he gets his body right, his versatility will continue to shine. By his junior year, NBA talks should heat up.
Ja Morant (Sophomore, Point Guard Murray State) – Stock: Up
It will be a discussion of Morant versus RJ Barrett for that second pick in the draft. Team need will probably determine it, but Morant is doing everything in his power to make his case. In a historic 17 point, 16 assists, 11 rebound game, the electric playmaker ran circles around Marquette. Florida State’s depth will send a lot of bodies at him. I would imagine he is prepared for it.
Mfiondu Kabengele (Sophomore, Power Forward Florida State) – Stock: Up
Kabengele has been a bit of a hidden gem in the ACC. Arguably the best sixth man in college basketball, he had 21 points and 10 rebounds in another noteworthy game. At one point he beat a triple team to get a dunk. At 6’10, 250, his athleticism and improved outside shot are going to get more attention.
Terance Mann (Senior, Shooting Guard Florida State) – Stock: Even
Though Mann was solid with 19 points and 8 rebounds, the Murray State game will show more to evaluators. His downhill, attacking style has done a lot over the last few years for Florida State. We will see if he can take them back to the Sweet 16.
M.J. Walker (Sophomore, Shooting Guard Florida State) – Stock: Even
Walker was quiet in the opening game versus Vermont, with only 5 points. Next year’s team will be more suited for him to do a little bit more.
C.J. Massinburg (Senior, Point Guard Buffalo) – Stock: Even
Massinburg has been solid all season. Against former Buffalo coach Hurley, he scored 18 points in a demolition of Arizona State. I look to find out a lot about Masinburg in a matchup with defensive-minded Texas Tech.
Luguentz Dort (Freshman, Shooting Guard Arizona State) – Stock: Down
Dort was contained and frustrated against Buffalo. Used to bullying opponents at the rim, he was restricted to only 5 attempts from inside the arc. He should still be a first-round pick, but this wasn’t the best showing for Dort.
Taeshon Cherry (Freshman, Forward Arizona State) – Stock: Even
Cherry hasn’t done a ton his freshman season and played only 15 minutes against Buffalo. He finished with 5 points in a forgettable game.
Zylan Cheatham (Senior, Power Forward Arizona State) – Stock: Up
The one Arizona State player who looked engaged was Cheatham. It doesn’t matter what the score is, Cheatham is going to play with fire. He fouled out after scoring 22 points and getting 8 rebounds. That energy, along with his comfort as a passer, will bode well moving into his professional career.
Jarrett Culver (Sophomore, Shooting Guard Texas Tech) – Stock: Up
Culver was wonderful against Northern Kentucky, scoring 29 points, dishing out 7 assists, and having 8 rebounds. He is going to need to be on offensively against high-scoring Buffalo, but Culver is safely in the lottery for the 2019 NBA Draft.
Drew McDonald (Senior, Power Forward Northern Kentucky) – Stock: Down
McDonald could not find anything easy against a terrific defensive team. He was 2-13 and 0-6 from three. Texas Tech has done similar things to other talented players, but this was McDonald’s chance to stand out and he was unable to do that.
Caleb Martin (Senior, Shooting Guard/Small Forward Nevada) – Stock: Down
Caleb was bad against Florida, plain and simple. He did have 19 points and 8 boards, but shot 5-22 and had 6 turnovers. It was a rough way to go out. I still think he would be worth a look in the second round.
Cody Martin (Senior, Small Forward Nevada) – Stock: Up
Playing sick, Cody Martin was the best player on the floor. He hit a couple threes, played his typical lockup defense, and had 23 points on 8-12 shooting. His outside shooting is all that is really limiting him from being a solid second-round pick.
Jordan Caroline (Senior, Forward Nevada) – Stock: Even
Caroline couldn’t find his rhythm for the Wolfpack. He had seven points and 10 rebounds (seven offensive). His game is well-rounded, but he is an undersized forward that doesn’t excel at anything.
Jordan Brown (Freshman, Center Nevada) – Stock: Even
Brown only logged 2 minutes against Florida.
Andrew Nembhard (Freshman, Point Guard Florida) – Stock: Up
From the SEC to now, Nembhard has continued to show composure and big-shot making ability that any team would like. He is almost 6’5 as a point guard and uses that to his advantage. An 8 point, 7 rebound, 5 assists round one performance was a solid start.
Keyontae Johnson (Freshman, Forward Florida) – Stock: Even
Johnson has been a big part of Florida’s recent success. He struggled with his shot, but had 10 points and 10 rebounds. A year or two of polishing his skills will do him wonders.
Jalen Hudson (Senior, Shooting Guard Florida) – Stock: Up
After struggling for a large part of the season, Hudson is starting to look like the borderline-NBA pick from a year ago. 15 points and three big threes did a lot for the Gators.
Ke’Vaughn Allen (Senior, Guard Florida) – Stock: Even
Allen did what he needed to do, scoring 10 points against Nevada and taking care of the ball. There wasn’t too much he needed to do and he is still unlikely to be a draft pick in June.
Ignas Brazdeikis (Freshman, Forward Michigan) – Stock: Even
Iggy brought that tenacity that he has become known for, scoring 14 in 28 minutes. The lefty forward doesn’t have ideal NBA athleticism, but he is wired to score from all three levels and is strong off the dribble. I could see him terrorizing fan bases in the Big Ten for two or three years.
Charles Matthews (Junior, Small Forward Michigan) – Stock: Up
Looking fully back from injury, Matthews played like a guy with tourney experience. He had 22 points and 10 rebounds. His ticket will be his defensive versatility and quickness on the ball. After a couple of years at Michigan, it looks like he is comfortable in his role. Declaring and hopefully receiving a combine invite may be the best option to test the waters.
Zavier Simpson (Junior, Point Guard Michigan) – Stock: Even
Simpson lacks size, but he has the heart, toughness, and playmaking prowess of an NBA guard. Now, becoming an NBA guard may not come easy due to his size, but he is continuing to show how well he can run an offense and push in transition. He only scored 4 points but dominated the game with 10 assists and seven rebounds.
De’Andre Hunter (Sophomore, Forward Virginia) – Stock: Up
In what was looking like a repeat of last year, Hunter was a steadying force for the Hoos. With a team-high 23 points, Hunter continued to make it known that his two-way potential is right at the top in the country. He is a top-five pick in my eyes based on what I have seen.
Ty Jerome (Junior, Point Guard Virginia) – Stock: Up
Jerome was one of the players that turned things around for Virginia with his defensive focus. On top of 3 steals, he used his 6’5 size and lateral quickness to frustrate Gardner-Webb. Jerome’s playmaking, shooting range, and defensive ability will trend up as the tournament goes on.
Kyle Guy (Junior, Shooting Guard Virginia) – Stock: Even
It was a little bit of an off-day for Guy, going 3-5 from the line and 2-8 from the field. His threat scoring on the move opens things up for the entire offense. He is slight, but shooting, IQ, and defense are going to play well.
Mamadi Diakite (Junior, Power Forward Virginia) – Stock: Up
Diakite was arguably the player of the game for Virginia, well surpassing his averages with 17 points and 9 rebounds. His athleticism and potential as a switching defender have always been interesting. Diakite is not a prospect for this year’s draft, but his offensive role could be much greater next year.
Jay Huff (Sophomore, Power Forward/Center Virginia) – Stock: Even
Some guys just look and move differently. Huff, at 7’1, is one of those guys. He only played five minutes, but he is going to burst onto the national scene next season. Using his size, he covers ground exceptionally well on defense and has range out to the three-point line.
Christian James (Senior, Shooting Guard Oklahoma) – Stock: Even
James played well in the thrashing of Ole Miss, scoring 20 points on 4-7 shooting from three. Without great height, he is a shot maker who can defend a little bit. Likely an undrafted senior, he will get a shot on a summer league team.
Brady Manek (Sophomore, Power Forward Oklahoma) – Stock: Even
Oklahoma’s stretch four has been a solid player all year for the Sooners. He was good last season playing with Trae Young and is doing more as a rebounder this year. He had 18 points on only 9 shots against Ole Miss. Despite the Larry Bird look, Manek isn’t ready to take that leap to the next level yet.
Kristian Doolittle (Junior, Power Forward Oklahoma) – Stock: Up
This wasn’t a huge game for NBA prospects, but Doolittle was the most impressive player on the court. Oklahoma fans have seen glimpses throughout his career. This was a top-tier performance at 19 points, 15 rebounds, and 5 assists. Doolittle is a strong player who lacks a jump shot or easy offensive skill. When his motor is running high, he can really impact a game.
Ethan Happ (Senior, Power Forward Wisconsin) – Stock: Even
I thought Happ might struggle against the size of Oregon and it turns out he did. He had 12 points and 8 rebounds, along with being limited to no assists with five turnovers. Shots he normally finishes were disrupted. I don’t think that reduces his stock, though, as length and athleticism have been an issue before. Projecting Happ is tough, as he is a great college player that has good defensive instincts, low post game, and passing ability. His non-existent jumper, foul shooting, and inferior length is a problem. The second round is still in play.
Nathan Reuvers (Sophomore, Power Forward Wisconsin) – Stock: Even
Reuvers was aggressive in 17 minutes of play, going 3-10 for 9 points with 5 rebounds. Overall, it was a good year for the 6’11 sophomore, asserting himself more on offense and emerging as a defensive anchor. I would expect the offense to lean on Reuvers next year, and he has the inside-out game to eat with more touches. NBA scouts will be attending more Wisconsin games at this time next year.
Louis King (Freshman, Small Forward Oregon) – Stock: Up
An injury held King down for the early part of the season. He is in full swing now, reminding people why he was a consensus top-50 recruit. It was a smooth 17 points, hitting all of his threes and finding his shot with ease. At 6’7, his offensive creativity is going to get some looks.
Kenny Wooten (Sophomore, Power Forward Oregon) – Stock: Up
Wooten has a long ways to go with his offensive game. Defensively, similar to former Duck Jordan Bell, he can impact a game without scoring a point. He had four blocks against Wisconsin and played a large point and deterring Ethan Happ.
Xavier Sneed (Junior, Small Forward Kansas State) – Stock: Even
In a nine-point game, Sneed never got hot for the Wildcats after a big March a year ago. He will likely be the best player on the team next season.
Barry Brown Jr (Senior, Guard Kansas State) – Stock: Down
Brown was 2-9 from the field with only five points. UC Irvine shut him down in his last game before he is probably an undrafted prospect.
Eric Paschall (Senior, Power Forward Villanova) – Stock: Even
Paschall started slow but ended strong with 14 points and 6 rebounds. He reminds me a lot of Paul Milsap, with the ability to shoot and bang with post players. Expect Paschall to be a fringe first-round pick if he continues his level of play.
Phil Booth (Senior, Point Guard Villanova) – Stock: Up
Booth is the leader of the Wildcats and showed it once again with 20 points and six assists against a very good Saint Mary’s team. There is a good chance that Booth tags on with a team via a two-way deal.
Carsen Edwards (Junior, Guard Purdue) – Stock: Even
All season, Edwards has had to shoot a lot to score a lot. He had 26 points on 23 shots in a necessary effort. He is the beginning and end of the Purdue offense. In the NBA, he has a role as a bench microwave.
Matt Haarms (Sophomore, Center Purdue) – Stock: Even
At 7’3, Haarms is a good paint protector who moves fairly well on the perimeter. His strength is still an issue, but with his outside shooting, there will be reason to expect him to be better on offense. Five turnovers took a little away from the 13 points and pair of blocks he contributed. Villanova lacks size, so he will need to take advantage.
Jarron Cumberland (Junior, Shooting Guard Cincinnati) – Stock: Even
The top player in the American this season, Cumberland went for 18 points in a tough loss to Iowa. He will be back next season to improve his stock.
Tyler Cook (Junior, Power Forward Iowa) – Stock: Down
Cook had one of his worst games, making only one shot. The good news for Cook is that he has another game to update evaluators’ memory. He considered leaving last season, so my expectation is that he will leave after the year, even though I don’t think he is a lock to be selected.
Joe Wieskamp (Freshman, Shooting Guard Iowa) – Stock: Up
The best in-state Iowa recruit in school history, Wieskamp has been as advertised. Big shots have not scared him and they didn’t in the first round. Hitting four threes and missing only two shots, Wieskamp had an efficient 19 points. If he was doing this at a larger basketball school, more people would be talking. He has serious long-term potential.
Admiral Schofield (Senior, Forward Tennessee) – Stock: Up
It was another valiant effort by Schofield. When the Volunteers need a big play, Admiral is the guy. He had 19 points in an unexpectedly tight game with Colgate. I see him as a late first-round/early second-round pick.
Grant Williams (Junior, Forward Tennessee) – Stock: Down
Williams did not assert himself like the SEC Player of the Year. He made four of his six shots. Six shots won’t cut it for this team as they move on. His NBA stock is going to move with his ability to hit outside shots, which he has been average at from the college line.
Coby White (Freshman, Point Guard North Carolina) – Stock: Even
Even in a game where he went 4-14 from the field, White made the winning plays he has been making all season. The more I watch him, the more I think he will be a starting point guard in the NBA. He is creeping up into the lottery.
Cam Johnson (Senior, Small Forward North Carolina) – Stock: Up
Johnson was a first-team All-ACC player for a reason. With 21 points on 4-8 shooting from three, he just continued to validate the selection. You don’t often find 6’9 wings who can run off screens and shoot 40 percent from deep. He will be a rotation player early on in his NBA career.
Nassir Little (Freshman, Forward North Carolina) – Stock: Up
Little was a top-5 recruit expected to set the ACC on fire. He is not as refined as a ball-handler and jump shooter as many hoped. I still look at Little for the elite two-way player he could potentially be in the NBA, even if it takes a little time. Iona had no answer for his athleticism, as he had 19 points in only 17 minutes. This tournament could be the breakthrough Heels fans and NBA scouts have desired.
Leaky Black (Freshman, Small Forward North Carolina) – Stock: Even
With only 6 minutes, Black had a travel and three rebounds. If Little and White leave, Black could be the best player on the team next season. He’s that talented. Injuries have slowed him and minutes are not available right now, but keep an eye on Leaky.
Noah Dickerson (Senior, Power Forward Washington) – Stock: Up
Dickerson has quietly been giving Washington good minutes for four years. Coming in as a high recruit, he has found his comfort and erupted for 20 points and 12 rebounds. He will have a big stage against North Carolina on Sunday to make some more noise.
Jaylen Nowell (Sophomore, Shooting Guard Washington) – Stock: Up
You might expense a player with the accolades of Nowell to press in an NCAA Tournament game. He let his offense come to him, scoring 19 points on only seven shots to go with five rebounds and five assists. Nowell could be a second round pick if he enters this season but may decide to return to a team that will feature top-5 recruit, Isaiah Stewart.
Matisse Thybulle (Senior, Small Forward Washington) – Stock: Up
Thybulle is one of the best defensive players in recent NCAA history and he showed it once against a solid Utah State team. He had five steals, three blocks, and a pair of threes. His defense alone will garner attention for teams selecting in the second round. If he can prove his shot in workouts, that could increase.
Sam Merrill (Junior, Point Guard Utah State) – Stock: Down
I was excited to see Merrill against a zone featuring a lockdown defender in Matisse Thybulle. The MWC had no answer for the 6’5 guard all year, so to see him be held to 10 points with six turnovers was surprising. He is a competitor who will head back to the lab and come back better for his senior season.
Bryce Brown (Senior, Shooting Guard Auburn) – Stock: Even
Brown missed most of his threes but did add five assists. He’s not a likely draft pick, so nothing has really changed.
Chuma Okeke (Junior, Power Forward Auburn) – Stock: Even
Okeke is in the midst of a breakout year at Auburn. When he plays well, Auburn usually wins. He was sufficient against New Mexico State, with 13 points and five boards. I would like to see him attack the basket more instead of settling for jumpers, which he can hit. Declaring for the draft to get some feedback might not be a bad idea.
Jared Harper (Junior, Point Guard Auburn) – Stock: Up
For being so small, Harper is absolutely fearless. He hit a couple big shots late before fouling out. There is always space for a point guard with his quick play style in the NBA, unfortunately, his size will come into question. Harper has already proven plenty of people wrong, so don’t be surprised if he finds a way on a team. He would be an excellent player overseas if he chose that route.
Austin Wiley (Junior, Center Auburn) – Stock: Even
Wiley has not been as healthy or dominant as I expected after a year off. Not a lot of players do damage in the post, which makes Wiley different. He will need to get in better shape and improve his durability to have a shot. He mustered four points in 11 minutes in round one.
Devon Dotson (Freshman, Point Guard Kansas) – Stock: Up
I never thought of Dotson as a one-and-done guy. Here we are, coming off an 18-point game in the tournament, and Dotson is one of the best freshman floor generals in America. There is an old-school composure with modern flash to his game. In a weak point guard class, this may be the time to enter the draft.
Dedric Lawson (Junior, Power Forward Kansas) – Stock: Even
Lawson has been putting up numbers since he stepped foot in college basketball. Northeastern had no shot against him (25 points, 11 rebounds). He is a bit of an enigma as a prospect because he has excellent vision, can rebound and push in transition, and can score with space. At the same time, he struggles with length, has an on-and-off jumper, and isn’t a great athlete. A two-way contract or second-round pick is the most likely outcome.
Quentin Grimes (Freshman, Shooting Guard Kansas) – Stock: Down
Bill Self called Grimes one of the most talented players he’s had in the preseason. It hasn’t led to production yet, though he has started every game. Grimes can shoot it a bit, pass, defend, and rebound. But not with the frequency of a sure-fire pick. I would like to see him come back for his sophomore year to establish consistent results.
Ochai Agbaji (Freshman, Shooting Guard Kansas) – Stock: Up
Agbaji has a lot of tools for a guy that didn’t play until halfway through the season. He was a perfect 5-of-5 from the field for 13 points against Northeastern. His jumper is fluid and he can guard. Though he’s raw, NBA teams are definitely taking note.
Marcus Garrett (Sophomore, Shooting Guard Kansas) – Stock: Even
A defensive stalwart, Garrett had eight points in 26 minutes. He’s a strong defender who doesn’t offer a lot as a scorer. His stock is low at this point.
Talen Horton-Tucker (Freshman, Small Forward Iowa State) – Stock: Down
For a guy who was getting some first-round discussion, Horton-Tucker had a disastrous NCAA Tournament debut. He had just two points in 15 minutes. Playing in a Draymond Green-type role for the Cyclones, his defensive versatility and passing are solid. He would be wise to at least declare and gain some analysis from teams if he is considering leaving in the slightest.
Marial Shayok (Senior, Shooting Guard Iowa State) – Stock: Even
Shayok has been a consistent 20-point scorer, which he held on to with 23 points against Ohio State. Coming from Virginia, Shayok is an adept defender as well. He should be able to find a spot on an NBA team with his professionalism and two-way impact.
Tyrese Haliburton (Freshman, Point Guard Iowa State) – Stock: Even
Haliburton has looked to be a year or two away from being NBA-ready all season. That seemed true when he scored four points over 38 minutes. He is long, 6’5, and a good playmaker. He’s not there yet.
Nick Weiler-Babb (Senior, Point Guard Iowa State) – Stock: Even
Converted to a point guard, Weiler-Babb proved to be a natural distributor. He was a non-factor with four points against Ohio State. He will need to take advantage of his summer league opportunity.
Lindell Wigginton (Sophomore, Guard Iowa State) – Stock: Even
Wigginton was a dynamo off the bench for Iowa State when he’s been healthy this season. Yesterday was more of the same, with 14 points in 29 minutes. He wasn’t the player he was as a freshman, in part due to injury. I’m not sure if he will go pro, but if he does, he could be a second-round pick after this year.
Tyler Herro (Freshman, Shooting Guard Kentucky) – Stock: Up
Herro is everything and more than what Kentucky hoped for when he committed. Other than being a deadeye shooter, he passes the ball well and competes defensively. He had 14 in the first game. Herro could be a late-first round pick if he declares.
Keldon Johnson (Freshman, Shooting Guard Kentucky) – Stock: Up
On a team known for churning out NBA prospects, Johnson is the top one on this Kentucky team. His effort is hard to find, let alone from a five-star talent. Coming off a 25-point round one win, Johnson will look to impress some more against Wofford. He is safely locked in around that 10-20 pick range.
Ashton Hagans (Freshman, Point Guard Kentucky) – Stock: Even
Hagans is one of the best on-ball defenders in college basketball, constantly disrupting opposing offenses. He was quiet with four points in a game he didn’t need to do much but take care of the ball. He could be a second rounder if he declares this year, with the chance a team in the first round really like his youth and athleticism.
Reid Travis (Senior, Power Forward Kentucky) – Stock: Even
A big transfer from Stanford, Travis doesn’t have an easily transferrable game to the NBA. He is a below the rim finisher that doesn’t have finesse finishes in the paint or ability to stretch the floor. Against less athletic teams like Abilene Christian (18 points and 9 rebounds), he can overwhelm teams. NBA length could be an issue. He’s probably more of an overseas or G-League player.
E.J. Montgomery (Freshman, Power Forward Kentucky) – Stock: Even
Now starting, Montgomery had 11 rebounds in the opening game. He could make a jump similar to P.J. Washington, who is now a first-round prospect. The gifted lefty big has the agility and versatility to be a solid NBA player with some more seasoning.
Nick Richards (Sophomore, Center Kentucky) – Stock: Even
Richards had eight points in 17 minutes against Abilene Christian. His offensive game is a work in progress, with his defense being his more desire NBA skill. I would imagine he wouldn’t be a lock to be selected in this upcoming draft.
Immanuel Quickley (Freshman, Guard Kentucky) – Stock: Even
Quickley was a five-star recruit who may need another year or two to really make a large impact. His shooting is his best trait right now, even though he went 0-for-6 in the first round.