NBA followers are forgiven for not having seen lots of the high 2021 NBA Draft prospects. To maintain up with these younger hoopers this 12 months meant preserving observe of which faculty basketball video games have been truly going to occur, learning G League Bubble video games in the course of a weekday, or doing the sleuth work of paying for a subscription to observe FIBA video games.
Fortunately, we even have an NCAA Match this 12 months, which is when many get an opportunity to make amends for the faculty gamers they didn’t get eyes on in the course of the common season. The standard vibrant lights and high-level matchups that signify March Insanity make for some nice alternatives to see future NBA gamers go up towards elite competitors, and whereas groups aren’t selecting based mostly on a number of video games in March, it all the time performs a job in a participant’s inventory.
Not each sport has a participant who can be at the top of the draft, however we’re right here that can assist you know which of them to tune into (the full TV schedule is here) for those who’re an NBA-only hoops fan or in case your workforce finds itself within the draft lottery for the primary time in awhile and also you’re out of form with these things (hey, Houstonians).
We’re breaking it down by area, beginning within the “West” — each sport is being performed in Indy — the place there are a number of heavy-hitters.
Jalen Suggs, G, Gonzaga
Again in November, we broke down Suggs’ sport and the way he had improved his movement as a ground basic and talent to create and make 3s sufficient to turn into a high five-type prospect. All that’s true, and Suggs has gained at a excessive degree all season. He’s precisely the kind of electrifying participant who might dominate March.
Corey Kispert, F, Gonzaga
Smoothness, child. Kispert has mastered his function and it’ll translate completely to the NBA. The success of gamers like Duncan Robinson and Joe Harris offers the template for Kispert to make an impression as a professional.
Evan Mobley, F/C, USC
The most effective participant you may not have heard a few ton, Mobley has flown considerably underneath the radar (as many Pac-12 prospects do), however is among the many extra ready-made trendy huge man prospects to come back by way of faculty basketball since Anthony Davis. Watch him, as he very effectively could possibly be headed to whoever picks No. 2 overall.
Chris Duarte, G/F, Oregon
The Geese have a knack for producing wings like Duarte, from Tyler Dorsey and Dillon Brooks to Troy Brown and Damyean Dotson. That’s a strong observe document, and Duarte’s enchancment from deep (43 p.c this season) means he’ll get a glance from NBA execs.
Luka Garza, F/C, Iowa
He might not have probably the most simply translatable NBA skillset within the match, however Garza is among the many front-runners for Nationwide Participant of the 12 months and has gotten higher yearly at Iowa.
Franz Wagner, G, Michigan
The brother of the Wizards’ Mo, this stretch huge man (albeit smaller than the elder Wagner) shot 38 p.c from deep for the Wolverines and has become a wonderful turnover-creator on protection, ending second within the nation in Defensive Field Plus-Minus at 6.4.
Cameron Thomas, G/F, LSU
This one-and-done prospect from Oak Hill is a pure scorer who didn’t faucet into lots of his different athletic expertise in Baton Rouge. The workforce Will Wade put collectively round him is powerful, however Thomas wants to indicate different expertise to excite NBA scouts.
Scottie Barnes, G/F, Florida State
Say it with me: ‘Nooooles. Cade Cunningham’s highschool teammate is a quintessential Leonard Hamilton recruit, at 6’9 with ball expertise, a excessive IQ, and defensive versatility. The most effective motive to observe him is so you possibly can inform his sport aside from the likes of Patrick Williams, Jonathan Isaac and Malik Beasley.
James Bouknight, G, UConn
The NBA success of Beasley, Malik Monk and even somebody like Immanuel Quickley ought to bode effectively for Bouknight, a easy tweener guard who can rating with anybody. Whereas Bouknight’s three-point effectivity went down as a sophomore, he contributes to successful and might create pictures at a excessive degree.
Greg Brown and Kai Jones, F/C, Texas
This area is so stacked with prospects that we’ve to double up on Longhorns. Shaka Sensible’s squad boasts two projected first-round picks, with the sophomore Jones a stretch huge man who may play some protection and Brown a bit smaller however extra athletic and unrefined huge. Each take a variety of threes and convey robust bodily instruments and thus ought to have a transparent function within the NBA.
Jared Butler, G, Baylor
Few gamers have solidified themselves as draft prospects over this season like Butler, who has all the time had NBA instruments as a protracted, 6’Three guard with 3-and-D potential however now could be a legit play-making possibility along with a very elite taking pictures prospect after hitting 43 p.c of his triples this season.
Davion Mitchell, G, Baylor
A enjoyable factor about these Bears is that Butler and Mitchell are so related, with Mitchell now additionally coming off an elite three-point taking pictures season and upping his assists. They’re principally two elements of a complete, however not like the Harrison brothers or different related duos prior to now, they each should be high-level NBA function gamers in the fitting state of affairs.
Day’Ron Sharpe, F/C, North Carolina
Few NCAA gamers are as enjoyable as Sharpe. One other former Montverde stud, Sharpe is sensible. His help totals don’t inform the entire story, however his unbelievable turnover creation numbers on protection do. The Heels are largely solely nearly as good as they’ve been due to Sharpe’s underrated impression.
Tre Mann, G, Florida
One other participant who improved his deep taking pictures in his second faculty season, Mann additionally practically quadrupled his help totals from a 12 months in the past whereas sustaining a excessive steal fee. A great comparability for the way in which he stuffed out his sport may be Kira Lewis Jr., who grew to become a lottery choose after two years at Alabama.
Moses Moody, G/F, Arkansas
The final of the Montverde squad outdoors of Cunningham, it was a singular faculty path for Moody, who went to Arkansas, which isn’t sometimes a high-profile hoops program. However the Little Rock native helped Eric Musselman take this system a step additional in 2021 whereas flashing what makes him particular as a prospect. Moody is a near-lock to go high ten, as there are simply not many basketball gamers alive who’re 6-6, elite shooters, environment friendly all-around shot creators, and versatile defenders.
Ayo Dosunmu, G, Illinois
One other participant who will get a variety of credit score for contributing to successful, Dosunmu doesn’t wow as an athlete however has improved as a shooter and play-maker whereas filling out his 6’5 body. Possibly he’s only a backup combo guard, however he’s a pacesetter for the spectacular Combating Illini and retains getting higher.
Keon Johnson, G/F, Tennessee
Johnson has been within the high ten of mock drafts since earlier than the season, and for good motive. His athleticism and smarts make him an interesting challenge, and he performs inside himself on offense as effectively, taking pictures 51 p.c on twos this season.
Jaden Springer, G/F, Tennessee
The co-pilot of the Volunteers’ elite younger wing rotation, Springer is a little more refined on offense than Johnson however is equally athletic and versatile, as is Rick Barnes’ choice in recruits. A sizzling taking pictures match from Springer might vault him up NBA groups’ draft boards.
Josiah Jordan-James, G/F, Tennessee
That is the man who was purported to be the following nice Tennessee rep within the NBA however ended up coming again to Knoxville, and the choice paid off. Jordan-James’ three-point taking pictures fell off a bit, however his free-throw share stays fairly robust and he received loads higher from contained in the arc. Jordan-James additionally minimize down his turnover fee in a smaller function and upped his turnover creation skill with extra expertise round him. He might use a pleasant tourney.
Cade Cunningham, G, Oklahoma State
We saved the perfect for final. For those who aren’t tuned into each minute of Cunningham’s run, are you actually a hoops fan?