Draft Scouting: NCAA Games to Watch This Week (Week 13: 2/13 – 2/18)
*All Times EST
Virginia – Miami 9:00 ESPN
De’Andre Hunter has been making a name for himself in the draft community with his play in the ACC. He’ll have a chance to really take his pro stock to the next level with a successful performance against Miami’s star freshman Lonnie Walker. Walker has been making waves on big boards himself recently and will try to help Miami bounce back after a tough loss against Boston College on Saturday.
Prospects to watch: De’Andre Hunter, Lonnie Walker
Duke – Virginia Tech 7:00 ESPN2
A triple header on Valentine’s Day (I’m sure your significant other will love to hear that). It’ll be interesting to see Gary Trent and Nickeil Alexander-Walker match up. Trent and NAW are two of the better outside shooters in this freshman class, but both need to show that they can contribute in other categories in order to really help their draft position.
Prospects to watch: Gary Trent, Wendell Carter, Grayson Allen, Trevon Duval, Nickeil Alexander-Walker
Kentucky – Auburn 9:00 ESPN2
Kentucky has been extremely disappointing this season and players like Hamidou Diallo, Quade Green and Nick Richards have played far below their preseason expectations. Still, there is plenty of talent on this team and they could beat anyone on any given night. Auburn has plenty of talent on their roster as well and are comfortably sitting atop the SEC, lead by their small ball big men DeSean Murray and Anfernee McLemore. However, from an NBA upside perspective, I’d keep an eye on their two bench bigs, Horace Spencer and Chuma Okeke.
Prospects to watch: Horace Spencer, Chuma Okeke, Anfernee McLemore, Kevin Knox, PJ Washington, Jarred Vanderbilt, Nick Richards
Nevada – Boise State 11:00 ESPNU
Caleb Martin will unfortunately still be recovering from his injury to some extent, but it should be fun to see the rematch between him and Chandler Hutchison. The two wings have emerged as arguably the two best prospects in the Mountain West. That’s saying a good deal this season, as there is some serious talent among the conference’s rosters.
Prospects to watch: Chandler Hutchison, Caleb Martin
Purdue – Wisconsin 7:00 ESPN
This is a chance to catch Ethan Happ one more time and to get a look at Dakota Mathias and Carsen Edwards. Vince Edwards is probably Purdue’s best overall prospect, but Carsen and Mathias have NBA talent as well. It’ll be interesting to see what type of performance Purdue comes up with after two disappointing losses in the previous week.
Prospects to watch: Ethan Happ, Carsen Edwards, Dakota Mathias, Vince Edwards
USC – Oregon 9:00 ESPN2
Troy Brown is quietly climbing into the end of the lottery on many big boards. A big game against USC’s athletic lineup could push him up the ranking even more, especially since his ability to be effective against high-level athletes is one of the areas that is considered a possible weakness.
Prospects to watch: Troy Brown, Chimezie Metu
Georgia State – Georgia Southern 9:00 ESPN2
This contest is one of a handful of mid-major games I have planned for the end of February. D’Marcus Simonds and Tookie Brown were once SEC recruits but instead ended up in the Sun Belt, where they’ve predictably become two of the better small school guards in the nation.
Prospects to watch: Tookie Brown, D’Marcus Simonds
Alabama – Kentucky 2:00 CBS
A relatively quiet Saturday. I’m sure there are plenty of great games to watch if you wanted to, but I try to be realistic in the amount of suggestions I make on this list and after the loaded slates of the last few Saturdays, it’ll be good to have some time to catch up on things a bit. This one is a must watch though, even if Collin Sexton and Kevin Knox have disappointed this year, there is a reason I had them in my top ten in the preseason. The talent is still certainly there.
Prospects to watch: Collin Sexton, Donta Hall, Shai Gilgeous-Alexander, Hamidou Diallo, PJ Washington, Kevin Knox, Nick Richards
Villanova – Xavier 4:30 FOX
Xavier has quietly been one of the better teams in the country and this game could very well decide the eventual Big East regular season champion, as the two teams are currently tied at the top of the conference. Outside of this being an amazing college game, check out Mikal Bridges and Jalen Brunson one more time and try to see if any of the Xavier players are being overlooked as prospects. As I mentioned, the Musketeers are one of the best teams in the country, yet none of their players are projected as surefire draft picks. That means there is an opportunity to find a diamond in the rough. Of course, Trevon Bluiett is the star and likely top prospect, but perhaps Tyrique Jones, Kaiser Gates or Naji Marshall are being overlooked.
Prospects to watch: Mikal Bridges, Jalen Brunson, Trevon Bluiett
Ohio State – Michigan 1:00 CBS
Ohio State has to be the most surprising team in the nation overall and Keita Bates-Diop’s break out season is a huge reason behind that. He is another guy who has been flying up big boards and with a strong finish to the season could end up being drafted as high as the late lottery. Charles Matthews and Moritz Wagner are the stars for Michigan, but keep an eye on Jordan Poole, a streaky but talented freshman guard who comes off the bench.
Prospects to watch: Keita Bates-Diop, Charles Matthews
Cincinnati – Wichita State 4:00 ESPN
Cincinnati has been steamrolling the entire American but they’ve also gotten the benefit of playing the relatively easy portion of their conference schedule thus far. Things begin to heat up as they go on the road at Wichita State. The Shockers haven’t been able to replicate their Missouri Valley success in the American, but they are still the second best team in the AAC. From a draft perspective, the wing duos of Jarron Cumberland/Jacob Evans and Markis McDuffie/Landry Shamet should provide some valuable film. Also, don’t overlook the two defensive studs at the forward position for both teams, Rashard Kelly and Gary Clark.
Prospects to watch: Markis McDuffie, Landry Shamet, Gary Clark, Jacob Evans