Sometimes it's not about the drama of now, but about the hope and the doubt of the future. Sometimes it is not a brilliant moment, but a glaring mistake. Sometimes it just does not bother you to see college basketball as a bastion of basketball purity, but a step ladder to the ultimate destiny of your NBA team. Here are 10 questions about the round of 64 that might help only the NBA fan in your life who did not invest in March Madness, aside from the impact of the draft.
For more information about NBA design reports, see our 2019 NBA Draft Guide,
How will Ja Morant survive under the brightest lights of his career?
Murray St. vs Marquette (Thursday, 16:30, East each)
For our purposes, the Murray State phenomenon is the biggest draw of the tournament. From what we know, Morant will face Marquette only on Thursday to give the world a final proof that he should be an undisputed top 3 perspective on the game board before the predrafting process officially begins.
At 6ft-3 and 175lbs, Morant combines speed, exceptional two-in-one explosive power in space, and a true point-keeper, though his blatant scores believe that fact. He was the Russell Westbrook of the Ohio Valley Conference with an average of 24.6 points and 10 assists per game. The biggest hit on Morant has little to do with him: the OVC does not offer a first-class level of competitive evenings. But Morant has regularly prevailed against tougher opponents. In four games against Alabama (a competitive team in the ultra-competitive SEC), Auburn (a tournament team that completed his SEC run with an incredible eight-victory series) and Belmont (a tournament slumber) scored 29.8 points at 47.1 Percent shooting, seven rebounds and six assists. NBA fans hope his performance against the Golden Eagles is close to the standard he set for himself.
How will the Blue Devils look like under duress?
ND State vs. Duke (Friday, 19:10)
When Duke buzzes, his games become free-form dunk exhibitions or competitions among the team's four elite newbies to see who can steal the ball in the most powerful and humiliating manner from an unlucky opponent. But we've seen the Blue Devils break out for significant sections this season, and strange things happen in the March Madness Crucible.
Overall, this Duke team has a problem that most blue chip factories of the past decade may be made up of the nation's physically superior newcomers: they can not shoot at all. R.J. Barrett, a ball of a wing's dominant sledgehammer, prefers more than six 3-point attempts per game, but converts it by only 30.4 percent – one of the worst percentages among high-volume shooters in the last five years. Cam Reddish looks like a 3-and-D star built from an algorithm, but at the level of the NCAA, something has been lost in translation: he's nowhere near as good as a shooter and seems to be a Wraith His judgment that occupies the space that a bodily body should take. Tre Jones, younger brother of former Duke tournament hero Tyus Jones and newcomer quartet Ringo of Duke, is an on-ball defender, but has the group's worst 3-point shooting numbers a lot of,
Zion Williamson is the country's most talented player and the glue that holds these different parts together. Nobody can question the sheer talent that Duke has at their disposal, but the talent does not guarantee anything for the NCAA tournament. A rising tide lifts up all the boats, but I'm curious how these young stars will match when that wave recedes.
How tall is Jarrett Culver today?
Northern Kentucky Vs. Texas Tech (Friday, 1:30 ET)
The Texas Tech course is listed at 6 feet 5. In my heart, I believe that it is him a lot of taller than that. Because of his versatile talent at both ends of the ground, height could decide whether to become a star or roleplayer.
How often do Tennessee's two beefy guys play in their planned NBA roles?
Colgate Vs. Tennessee (Friday, 2:45 pm)
The volunteers are one of the tournament's most impressive teams, with distinctive emphases in Grant Williams (6ft 7, 236lbs) and Admiral Schofield (6ft 6, 241lbs), which are unique to guys who could easily pass as tight ends. Williams is a true post-presence with legitimate skill and improved accuracy from the depths. Schofield is perhaps the strongest, muscle-stressed specialist in shooting. As my colleague Jonathan Tjarks noted earlier this week, Tennessee is almost invulnerable when it surrounds its two best players with perimeter players. How often do the Vols come to this facsimile of the Death Lineup? The answer could point us to the ultimate future of Williams and Schofield in the NBA.
We understand: Virginia is boring – but at what point can it be an NBA factory?
Gardner-Webb vs. Virginia (Friday, 15.10)
The Cavaliers have played the slowest pace in Division 1 basketball for the last three seasons and have been among the last five in the last five. This is not a revelation. The slow, slow burning has, however, allowed the development of some exceptional role-players: Mike Scott, Joe Harris and Malcolm Brogdon have all contributed to the NBA playoffs this season. When the tournament is over, expect two more from Bennett system players Join the fight
De'Andre Hunter is the centerpiece, with a 3-and-D game that seems to be better equipped for the NBA than the methodical churn of the NCAA. Hunter has been in the lottery debate all season, but has recently seen a rise: he was no. 4 players on our Bigboard Tray February and now is the # 5 prospect for the latest design from ESPN. Hunter has the versatility to create a shot from dribbling, a point from deep (where he shot 42.6 percent in his two-year career in Virginia) and defend every position on the ground. Powerwings that can disguise themselves as tall men have become a crucial modern positional archetype in the NBA, but teams often have to gamble to take advantage of them: OG Anunoby, who has a similar profile, had to play the role of which everyone saw grow in him during his first two seasons with the Raptors; Nassir Little learns the hard way at UNC how hard it can be to achieve consistent production. Hunter's projected ceiling could be a result of Virginia's greenhouse effect, but at least its bottom seems to be incredibly high. That alone makes him incredibly valuable.
Hunter is not the only player who has much interest in the NBA. The 6-foot-5 combo guard Ty Jerome will probably hear his name from the early second round because, like Hunter, there is already a precedent for the type of players using Jerome as a pro player, and it is one of them the most sought-after forms in the game. Landry Shamet was a surprise in his rookie season, a plus-minus god for both the Sixers and the Clippers, serving as a secondary playmaker, a willing shooter who can create his own looks through permanent movement, and one Player who makes smart, quick decisions with the ball. Jerome is a talented player who knows the pick-and-roll as well as he bends around the screen for a quick fire. 3. The teams indicate how limited an athlete actually is, but actually He already has NBA-enabled skills that may not need much restructuring.
This must be the NBA talent of all Gonzaga members, right?
FDU-Gonzaga (Thursday, 19:27)
Brandon Clarke, an amazingly effective, two-way acting Shawn Marion – a real big man who claims to be the second best player in college basketball. Rui Hachimura, a classic pioneer with serious straight-ahead driving. Killian Tillie, a clever, all-rounder from France who has returned well in time for the big dance following a serious injury in the season. Zach Norvell Jr., a slick left-hander who understands the power of the 3-pointer: More than 60 percent of the field hits in his NCAA career come from the background of the arc.
Gonzaga could see up to four players by the middle of the second round. If the bulldogs advance as far as their talent dictates, there is ample opportunity to explore each and every perspective.
Who is the best view of Tar Heel?
Iona vs. UNC (Friday, 9:20 pm)
Is it Nassir Little? The 6-foot-6, 220-pound dynamite was one of the top recruits in the nation, and its size, explosiveness, length (an absurd wing span of 7 feet-2) and distinguished abilities screamed prototypically NBA Mini Ball 4, However, the adjustment period never made room for consistent production. It would not take long for an NBA team to talk to their players about their inexcusable gifts. (For example, if magic designs it, we can actually confirm that Orlando's design mantra of Length over everything is officially stuck in the loop.)
Is it Coby White? He is certainly the more impressive freshman (16.3 points and 4.2 assists per game) and one whose modern template is not entirely theoretical. The Tar Heels Point Watcher has a size (6ft 5, 185 lbs), a capacity for 3-point shots (36.2 percent from the depth at 6.6 tries per game) and the fluidity of his regress – he is a clear acolyte from the Church of Harden, except that the lushness of Harden's beard is instead mounted on White's Head.
Is it Cam Johnson? The fifth-year senior is not the group's best-known player, but he's the only Tar Heel with a first-class NBA talent: In his career, he shot up from 3.6 percent to 40.6 percent and shoots absurdly this season 46.5 percent. At 6ft-9 he has enough size to act as a flawless, faultless track 4. If none of these players necessarily stars, Johnson's ability to stretch the ground could be the safest thing for a pro team.
Will the funky newcomers of the state of Iowa consolidate their design stock
Ohio St. against Iowa St. (Friday, 9:50 am)
Freshman Cyclone's Talen Horton-Tucker and Tyrese Haliburton are two of the most interesting players in the tournament, effectively reversing each other.
Horton-Tucker, a bully-ball guard at 6ft-4 and 233lbs, is a barrel-chest with absurdly disproportionate arms (an alleged wing span of 7ft-1!) And ballistic feet. He's sort of Mike D'Antoni Dream Chimera – a player somewhere on the Eric Gordon-P.J. Tucker Continuum, who could probably play any position from 1 to 5 in D'Antoni's deformed floor. In every game there is at least one offensive move from him that makes you speechless. The rest of the game is mostly missed jump shots, but after he turned 18 just a few months ago, it was fun to give a talented player like THT a sense of what he can and can not do in real time.
Haliburton, on the other hand, is a paltry 6 foot 5, 172 pound guard who plays so inwardly that you wonder if he's actually caught. He has a support ratio of 4.6 to 1; His 2-point shooting percentage (67.3) is higher than Matt Haarm's 7-foot-3 Purdue center, which has nearly 100 pounds on him; it has a microscopic use rate of 9.3. Haliburton was recently ranked sixth out of all planned prospectus drafts in ESPN author Kevin Pelton's annual rating based on his WARP metric, mainly because he is brutally efficient across the board. Without a complete reversal of the norms in the tournament, Haliburton is unlikely to make a statement. Landry Shamet, who succeeds in the NBA with a similarly weak frame, needed three years of college spice to prove he could keep up. Haliburton has to develop physically, but also has to take risks.
Is PJ Washington alright?
ACU vs. Kentucky (Thursday, 19:10)
Kentucky fans were startled earlier this week when it was reported that the Wildcats' star player had been in a cautious running shoe since Sunday after spraining his foot in the SEC semifinals against Tennessee. John Calipari's press conference on Wednesday seemed to dampen fears: Cal expects Washington to play on Thursday. However, it is unclear how much we can expect from the big man.
Washington was one of the country's strongest improving players, posting an upward trend in almost every statistical category in its second campaign. He has become a better shooter, presenter and decision maker. At 6ft-8, 228lbs, with a spread of 3ft-3, the expansion of his game has also opened up new possibilities for his potential NBA players. With his strength and length, there are opportunities in Washington to play small 5 in the future, and with his ever-improving 3-point shot, he will certainly be able to play 4. But it would be difficult to expect Washington to have its full range of sports equipment available in the opening rounds of the tournament. Washington could move closer to Carl Landry without his sliding sportiness, who had been a successful indoor junior scorer over a decade ago both at the NCAA and NBA levels, and certainly not as versatile as Washington has become.
Of course, Washington is not the only meaningful design for the Wildcats: Keldon Johnson, another potential lottery specialist, is a die-hard wing slicer who was a much better shooter than most people expected; Tyler Herro is an obvious candidate to boost his share considerably with a good tournament run as he has the rare ability to beat the 3 out of the movement; Since February, Herro has scored 44.6 percent from 3 to 4.3 attempts per game. But all three main Wildcats' perspectives could use the extra season of a deep tournament run, and it all depends on how healthy Washington is.
Shai Gilgeous-Alexander had a star race tournament run; will the story be repeated for his cousin?
St. Louis vs. Virginia Tech (Friday, 9:57 am)
Virginia Tech's Nickeil Alexander-Walker will have the chance to engage in a serious lottery discussion with a strong tournament, as his player profile throughout the season suggests he already deserves to be there. Alexander Walker moved in his first season from a one-dimensional top player to the undisputed best player of the team and took more shots, more game responsibility and more defensive work. Its efficiency has increased only with the five-point improvement in the application from its first to the second campaign.
Like his cousin, who will probably have his first NBA playoff appearance in a matter of weeks, NAW is in the form of a modern point guard – that is, a player who may not be a point guard at all. However, as the requirements for a position become more and more amorphous, the Lead Guard position encourages players to be in or out of control with or without a ball, the size to defend multiple positions, and a confidence of 3. NAW checks these boxes could, however, use dramatic punctuation.
That's 10 questions. How about a quick round of your favorite sleeper?
- Auburn's Chuma Okeke, a player with flawless fluidity and sentiment as a mediator and defender, whose 6-foot, 8, 230-pound build should keep on 4 at the next level. New Mexico St. Vs. Auburn (Thursday, 13:30)
- LSU's Naz Reid is a 6-foot-10, 250-pound, sweet-shoot, playmaker freshman, big man. What is not to love? Yale vs. LSU (Thursday, 12:40 pm)
- Michigan's Ignas Brazdeikis has had an outstanding offensive season in his first season in Michigan. Therefore, it is interesting that he was no longer talked about as a late flight of the first round. That could change if his production goes into the tournament. Montana vs. Michigan (Thursday, 9:20 am)
- Washington's Matisse Thybulle has the best name in the tournament and could be the best college defender lately – no less in the wing position. He is an unorthodox type of game changer. We will see how this is translated in the tournament. Washington vs. Utah State (Friday, 6:50 pm)
- Dylan Windler of Belmont is a legitimate NBA player. He has a great size on the wing (6-foot-8, 200 pounds), is a career 40-percent three-point shooter and has good athleticism to support his refined advances on the rim. Belmont vs. Maryland (Thursday, 15.10)