Top 5 NBA Draft Prospects in March Madness


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Here are the top 5 NBA Draft prospects to watch in the NCAA tournament:

[Highlights] PG, Oklahoma, FR: 20.2 PPG (48% FG | 41% 3P), 6.3 RPG, 3.6 APG, 0.8 BPG, 1.4 SPG, 4.2 TOV

Athletics: B +

NBA skills: A

Production: A

Risk: A

OVERALL: A

If one were to create the prototype of a modern NBA guard, Cade Cunningham wouldn’t be so far away. The Oklahoma State first-year point guard is this year’s top all-rounder and will most likely be selected first in this summer’s draft. Cunningham has an incredible feel for the game and lets the game develop in front of him to make the best possible move for his team.

Sometimes that means getting back into play with his scoring ability, as he did against his rival in Oklahoma state with a 40-point double-double. He also sometimes settles more into a facilitating role while letting his teammates carry the offensive load. This quality is something that most professional players don’t understand until the latter part of their careers and is the more mature part of Cade’s game.

Cade doesn’t shy away from big moments, with all of his performances over 24 points against ranked teams. This should result in an exciting March Madness run for Cunningham and his Cowboys. He has all the tools to be a great two-way player to the next level and will be crucial for his future team.

[Highlights] C, USC, FR: 16.8 PPG (58% FG | 31% 3P), 8.6 RPG, 2.2 APG, 3.0 BPG, 0.9 SPG, 2.4 TOV

Athletics: A

NBA skills: B +

Production: A

Risk: A-

OVERALL: A

Top prospect in his class out of high school, Evan Mobley enjoyed a dominant season in the PAC-12, scoring in double digits in all but one conference game. Mobley’s size and reach are the first things that stand out, but he has a lot of potential to grow into a big one who can stretch the ground if he develops his jumping shot. USC took sixth place at the tournament this year, and Mobley is looking to lead the Trojans on one final winning streak before turning pro.

Mobley has been very productive during his freshman campaign with 16.9 points, 8.6 rebounds and 3 blocks per game. He added nine doubles-doubles and proved himself a threat at both ends of the court. His defensive ability as a rim protector should translate into the NBA, and as he matures he can become one of the best big men in the NBA. His attacking game is a bit difficult at times, and he relies heavily on his natural ability instead of fixed shots. Nonetheless, he will be a much sought-after prospect and a top pick in this summer’s draft.

[Highlights] PG, Gonzaga, FR: 14.3 PPG (51% FG | 35% 3P), 5.5 RPG, 4.5 APG, 0.3 BPG, 2.0 SPG, 2.8 TOV

Athletics: A-

NBA skills: A-

Production: B +

Risk: A-

OVERALL: A-

Gonzaga’s highest rookie in school history didn’t disappoint in his second All-American tag team campaign, the first year of the COE campaign. Alongside Corey Kispert and Drew Timme, the former high school quarterback led Mark Few’s incredibly effective offense to an unbeaten season. He is expected to leave Spokane after this season and be one of the top picks in this year’s NBA Draft.

The Minnesota native was dominant from game one to last. Early in the season against Kansas and Iowa, Suggs had some fantastic games. In the WCC Championship, he hit huge shots en route to Zags’ victory over BYU. He has a reasonable frame for a modern NBA playmaker and is the perfect leader of a transition attack. He’s very explosive but has the size to ensure his durability throughout his career.

[Highlights] G, Arkansas, FR: 17.4 PPG (44% FG | 38% 3P), 5.9 RPG, 1.8 APG, 0.6 BPG, 1.1 SPG, 1.6 TOV

Athletics: B +

NBA skills: B +

Production: B +

Risk: B +

OVERALL: B +

Moody came to Arkansas this year as a much-touted but relatively unknown rookie nationally. He made a big announcement and was the clear leader of an Arkansas team whose SEC surge has landed them a No.3 seed in this year’s tournament. He projects himself as a proficient defender and scorer on the wing and could be an important part of the future of a lottery team.

Moses led the Razorbacks in scoring this year, averaging 17.9 points per game and closing the season with 28 points in a row. He can burn deep and connected opponents on 3 or more three in six games this season. On defense, he’s got the size to cover opposing guards or wings, which will be invaluable in the ever-changing NBA defenses. Eric Musselman has his team playing their best basketball of the year at the right time, and Moody could be the key to a March run.

[Highlights] G, FSU, FR: 11 PPG (50% FG | 30% 3P), 4.3 RPG, 4.2 APG, 0.4 BPG, 1.5 SPG, 2.3 TOV

Athletics: A-

NBA skills: B +

Production: B

Risk: B

OVERALL: B +

Barnes probably would have been off the radar in a different generation, but his versatility and two-way potential make him one of the most unique and modern prospects of all time. Barnes does a bit of everything, including bringing the ball back for Leonard Hamilton’s side. Most NBA teams consider his defense to be the best part of his game. He has a solid frame and wide stature that should make him the main defender of the ball in times of crisis. With a little experience, Barnes could rise to an All-Defensive level.

Barnes averaged 11 points, four rebounds and four assists, playing just 24 minutes per game. Florida State still uses a very deep rotation which makes it difficult to develop large production numbers by eye. What’s unique about Barnes doesn’t show up on the stats sheet. He constantly gives his total effort and is the type of player everyone wants on their team. His stock has grown all year round, and a run in March Madness would only increase the excitement around this rookie.

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