Hoops Rumors Community Shootaround 3/13/16

Millions of people will be watching the NCAA Men’s Basketball Tournament this week in hopes of hopes of filling out a winning bracket and claiming victory in an office pool. But NBA scouts, coaches and executives pay close attention to the tournament for a different reason. The pressures of “March Madness” can reveal a lot about the NBA readiness of players who hope to be selected in June’s draft.

Jonathan Givony of DraftExpress released a new mock draft today, and most of the top prospects will be on display in the tournament. One glaring exception is projected No. 1 pick Ben Simmons, whose college career is over now that LSU has chosen not to participate in any postseason tournament. Brandon Ingram, Givony’s No. 2 selection, is part of a Duke team that is seeded fourth in the West Region. Teammate Grayson Allen is also a projected first-round choice, with Givony listing him at No. 29.

The rest of the U.S. college players in Givony’s first round who made the tournament are as follows.

  • California: Jalen Brown [3] and Ivan Rabb [14], fourth in the South.
  • Providence: Kris Dunn [5], ninth in the East.
  • Utah: Jakob Poeltl [6], third in the Midwest.
  • Kentucky: Jamal Murray [7], Skal Labissiere [10] and Tyler Ulis [26], fourth in the East.
  • Oklahoma: Buddy Hield [9], second in the West.
  • Notre Dame: Demetrius Jackson [11], sixth in the East.
  • Michigan State: Deyonta Davis [13] and Denzel Valentine [19], second in the Midwest.
  • Vanderbilt: Damian Jones [15] and Wade Baldwin [17], play-in game in the South.
  • Maryland: Diamond Stone [16], fifth in the South.
  • Baylor: Taurean Prince [20], fifth in the West.
  • Gonzaga: Domantas Sabonis [24], 11th in the Midwest.
  • North Carolina: Brice Johnson [30], first in the East.

That sets up tonight’s Shootaround topic: Which of these players is most likely to improve his draft position with a standout tournament performance? Hield has been putting up jaw-dropping point totals all season; can he go on a barrage and vault himself into the top five? Can Kentucky’s trio move up the draft board with another trip to the Final Four? Can Johnson, Davis or Valentine impress by making a deep tournament run with a high seed, or is someone like Sabonis or Dunn in better position with a dark horse?

Please share your thoughts on the subject in the comments section below. We look forward to what you have to say.

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7 Comments on "Hoops Rumors Community Shootaround 3/13/16"

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Xyrak
Member
Xyrak
6 months 14 days ago

I really think Jamal Murray could play his way into the talk for #2. He struggled a bit early in the year adjusted to the 2 guard spot and dealing with a big man they originally wanted to really run the offence through, but the last few months his game has really improved at this level, and he could really put on a showcase in the tourney.

Chris Crouse
Admin
6 months 14 days ago

I like Murray, but there’s no way i’d pass on Simmons or Ingram if had a top two pick.

Xyrak
Member
Xyrak
6 months 14 days ago

No doubt on Simmons – If not making the dance isn’t going to knock the guy down, then he’ll be #1 almost for sure. I agree that Murray actually going #2 might be tough, but he could easily be the best guard in a forward heavy draft, going to a guard-centric league with some of those high picking teams really needing back-court help.

Chris Crouse
Admin
6 months 14 days ago

I think Dunn could solidify himself as the third best prospect if Providence has a nice run.

JLee
Member
JLee
6 months 14 days ago

I like Jamal Murray a lot. He’s at the same point Devin Booker was last year. I was desperate for the Celtics to draft Booker but he didn’t last long enough. Now w the Nets top 4 pick the Celtics should be in position to grab him.

JLee
Member
JLee
6 months 14 days ago

How can Labissiere be a better prospect than Brice Johnson. He was completely exposed as not ready to play at the college level never mind the NBA. He’d be a bust inside his rookie deal. UNC’S Johnson is ready to go now. He is slight in the upper body but has pogo sticks for legs and the drive to succeed. I see him as Marcus Camby 2.0

Dana Gauruder
Admin
6 months 14 days ago

Valentine could move into the lottery if he finishes his career with a flourish and Johnson could climb the ladder toward the lottery with some dominant outings.

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