5 NBA Draft prospects to watch heading into 2024 NCAA Tournament


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March Madness is right here, and apart from faculty basketball followers wanting their brackets to work out and see some basic upsets, a few of the NBA’s future gamers shall be on the hardwood making an attempt to up their draft inventory. 

The highest prospects on this yr’s draft shall be enjoying within the NCAA Tournament, and whereas their minds are on profitable all of it, NBA groups shall be watching intently to see how they fare in win-or-go-home contests. 

With that being stated, here’s a have a look at star faculty gamers who could possibly be taken excessive within the draft this June. 

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Reed Sheppard, #15 of the Kentucky Wildcats, celebrates within the first half in opposition to the Texas A&M Aggies throughout the quarterfinals of the SEC Basketball Event at Bridgestone Enviornment on March 15, 2024 in Nashville, Tennessee. (Andy Lyons/Getty Photographs)

PG Rob Dillingham– Kentucky

A projected top-five decide, and a participant some consider could possibly be the most effective prospect in faculty basketball proper now, Rob Dillingham’s aggressive spirit is constructed for March, and his abilities are plain. 

Dillingham’s model of play appears to have been birthed on a pickup basketball court docket, however that’s the kind of grittiness that’s wanted to advance to the following spherical this time of yr. Dillingham’s freshman season noticed 15.4 factors on 48.2% taking pictures from the sphere with 3.9 assists, 2.8 rebounds and 1.1 steals averaged per sport. 

Kentucky’s early exit within the SEC Event didn’t permit Dillingham to indicate off his stuff in massive moments, however the No. 3 seeded Wildcats will tackle No. 14 Oakland on Thursday, when Dillingham can shine. 

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PG/SG Reed Sheppard – Kentucky

Dillingham’s teammate, the sharp-shooting Reed Sheppard is somebody that comes off the bench and gives the scoring jolt head coach John Calipari loves. Bench depth is vital for groups wishing to hoist the nationwide title trophy.

Sheppard shot 52.5% from three-point vary, taking 4.4 makes an attempt per sport and averaging 12.8 factors per sport. He additionally does properly dishing the rock, tallying 4.5 assists per sport whereas bringing down 4.3 rebounds. 

Sheppard is one other projected top-10 decide on this yr’s draft if he decides to depart after his freshman yr. 

Cody Williams, #10, of the Colorado Buffaloes reacts because the Colorado State Rams safe the sport throughout the second half of CSU’s 88-83 win at Moby Enviornment in Fort Collins, Colorado, on Wednesday, Nov. 29, 2023. (Aaron Ontiveroz/The Denver Submit)

F Cody Williams – Colorado 

Cody Williams already has some concept of how the transition from faculty to the NBA shall be because of his older brother Jalen Williams, a ahead with the Oklahoma City Thunder

At 6 toes, 8 inches tall, Williams can play nearly wherever on the ground, as his defensive talents are one thing NBA scouts are loving proper now. He has achieved properly on the offensive finish for the Buffaloes as properly, because the freshman has 12.6 factors per sport with 3.3 rebounds and 1.7 assists over 21 video games to this point. 

Due to his two-way model of play, evaluators have him going within the prime 10 someplace. 

C Kyle FilipowskiDuke

The heartbeat of this yr’s Blue Devils crew, Kyle Filipowski has the Duke offense run by way of him. The sophomore could also be 7 toes tall, however his sport doesn’t simply work within the paint. 

He has improved in lots of sides from his freshman yr, averaging 17.1 factors in comparison with 15.1 final season and taking pictures higher from past the arc at 35% from 28.2%. 

Kyle Filipowski

Kyle Filipowski, #30 of the Duke Blue Devils, reacts following a dunk in opposition to the Virginia Cavaliers at Cameron Indoor Stadium on March 2, 2024 in Durham, North Carolina. (Lance King/Getty Photographs)

The Blue Devils will want him at his finest in the event that they want to get by way of a bracket that features Kentucky, No. 1 Houston, and No. 2 Marquette. 

As for the draft, Filipowski is predicted to be taken halfway by way of the primary spherical. 

SG Ja’Kobe Walter – Baylor

When NBA mock drafts, Ja’Kobe Walter goes wherever from fifth total all the way down to No. 15 total. It simply is determined by what groups mission his sport will appear like on the subsequent stage, however scoring is predicted. 

The Bears’ star freshman is averaging 14.2 factors per sport with 4.4 rebounds and 1.5 assists over 33 video games, however he picked the incorrect time to chill down. He shot simply 34% from three this season regardless of some believing he’s the most effective three-point shooter on this yr’s draft class. 

What higher approach to show doubters incorrect with a strong NCAA Event efficiency, the place Walter can definitely increase his draft inventory with some red-hot taking pictures to assist his crew get again to the nationwide championship, which they received in 2021. 

Rob Dillingham, #0 of the Kentucky Wildcats, shoots the ball within the first half in opposition to the Texas A&M Aggies throughout the quarterfinals of the SEC Basketball Event at Bridgestone Enviornment on March 15, 2024 in Nashville, Tennessee. (Andy Lyons/Getty Photographs)

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Honorable Point out

  • SG Dalton Knecht – Tennessee
  • F/C Yves Missi – Baylor
  • C Donovan Clingan – UConn
  • G Stephon Citadel – UConn

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