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  • #1263213
    NorrinRaddNorrinRadd
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    Figured I’d post my bracket of integrity here… Don’t feel as good as I did last year, but you never know… Anyways, feel free to post yours too!

    Round 32
    Northwestern
    Auburn
    Illinois
    Drake
    Mississippi State
    St. Mary’s
    New Mexico
    Nevada
    Nebraska
    James Madison
    NC State
    Marquette

    Sweet 16
    San Diego State
    BYU
    UNC
    Arizona
    Duke
    Boise State/Colorado
    Purdue
    Texas

    Elite 8
    Iowa State
    Baylor
    Houston
    Kansas

    Final 4
    Alabama
    Creighton

    Championship
    UConn over Kentucky

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  • #1263234
    NorrinRaddNorrinRadd
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    64 teams are set… play in are done. Tons of games today… Michigan State/Mississippi State starts us off. Akron could give Creighton a challenge if Enrique Freeman has the game of his life. I’m nterested in watching the Oregon vs South Carolina game after the Creighton game… some good matchups in that one, especially looking forward to the Kwame Evans, Jr. vs Collin Murray-Boyles one.
    I love this time of year!!! So many good games to choose from too.

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  • #1263236
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    Riley Minix is kind of interesting. He is an NAIA All-American up-transfer who has had a great year, and had a nice one against Illinois. I don’t think he moves quite well enough to be an NBA prospect, but has showed off the full Creighton-era Doug McDermott array. I feel as though he should have a nice run in the G-League next year.

    Marcus Domask joins quite the list of players who have triple-doubles in NCAA Tournament games: Ja Morant, Draymond Green twice, Cole Aldrich, Dwyane Wade, Andre Miller, David Cain, Shaquille O’Neal, and Gary Grant. That is a nice list to join.

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  • #1263237
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    Jermaine Couisnard has put up an impressive 40 point game for Oregon to shock the higher seeded South Carolina. in the Midwest Region. Another 11th seed turned over 6th seed in East where Duquesne beat BYU.

    Ryan Kalkbrenner also had a good game for Creighton and most have a chance of being a 2nd round pick if he declares. He has great size and has been looking to develop his 3 point range so will be on a few teams workout lists. Again like Edey he may lack speed for today’s NBA and isn’t the dominant scorer that Zach is.

    The South Region looks loaded and could have some really tough games. North Carolina vs Arizona in Elite 8 in West Region looks a standout potential matchup.

    ESPN have done a very good list of the best 50 draft prospects as they rate them in March Madness so that is a useful reference point for me. I’ll keep an eye out for prospects doing well but will mostly look to enjoy watching some of the big match ups.

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  • #1263238
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    Jack Gohlke probably just had the most remarkable individual performance in an upset in tournament history. Ali Farokhmanesh, Bryce Drew, Sherwood Brown, Jairus Lyles… none compare. Moments, sure, but not full game. The fact that he made only 4-8 from inside the arc while attempting more than 330 threes all season makes his story even better.

    Also, the SEC is not a serious basketball league, and someone has to show the league results in the tournament to the selection committee.

    How long does it take Kentucky to raise enough money to fire Calipari?

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  • #1263239
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    Still laughing about the used car salesman Cal having his team dumped out of the tournament. Bang does go the chance to see more of his draft friendly bench too.

    Gohlke scoring all his open play points from beyond the 3 point line is not something I’ can remember ever happening for that volume of points. Let alone not even taking a shot in the paint.

    Cal’s buyout would be $33.75 million I just checked up so if you add on the cost of hiring a new coach I don’t see him going anywhere soon.

    Most bracket predictions will have been burnt too but who doesn’t love a shock. I do like UK but Cal was so much all about getting his one and done guys drafted I can laugh when he comes up short. This ranks with his 2015 Final 4 when Wisconsin became the one in 38-1.

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  • #1263240
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    The thing is they had Antonio Reeves and Tre Mitchell who were both covid 5th year players. They got less than they expected from Aaron Bradshaw and Justin Edwards, but more than they possibly could have expected from Reed Sheppard. It wasn’t about living and dying with one-and-dones. It was that they wanted to live and die by the three and not worry about guarding anyone. They didn’t have to play that way. While I never thought they were as talented as some people claimed, they were talented enough so that playing such a high variance style of basketball was foolish. Trey Townsend had a great game, but is listed at 6’6″. Chris Conway is listed at 6’9″. I saw enough Ivisic this year to know he wasn’t well conditioned enough to play big minutes, but he did did have a 22-13-3 game over 23 minutes in a professional league’s playoffs 10 months ago. Maybe after that glorious Georgia game where he became a mock draft wonder, they could have come up with some sets to take advantage of him being a skillsy 7-footer. They chose to play a style suited the strengths of Reeves, Sheppard, and Dillingham, but not everybody on that team. They sacrificed both balance and a Plan B for a hyped up 23-10 season where they went out in the first round of the tournament. Playing a game where you trade threes at Kentucky would be like Tyson Fury foregoing his jab and just trading uppercuts on the ropes. Maybe he wins, but that style gives his opponent a better chance. A school like Oakland can have Jack Gohlke have the same kind of hot shooting night they came to rely upon from Reed Sheppard.

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  • #1263246
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    Maybe some of those UK players need to return. As you say BTPH they had a couple of 5th year seniors and big defensive presence Soph. Surely you could play the freshmen around them aor even use the size advantage in the frontcourt and go more halfcourt.

    Sheppard and Dillingham both seem a bit undersized for current NBA backcourters and I don’t think they are as good as other hohly touted Cal one and done guys. Isivic I think really needs to return to college and try and build a draft position like how Clingan at UConn has done.

    UK hand Knox and Fland coming in next year if we assume Ivisic, Bradshaw and say at least one out of Edwards and Wagner return along with Oneyenso as the defensive anchor then that is a nice core. With UK’s budget and profile they can add a couple of transfers and they’d have a solid core for next year and beyond.

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  • #1263247
    NorrinRaddNorrinRadd
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    Wow… that Colorado/Florida game really came down to the wire…

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  • #1263248
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    Could Jaedon LeDee of SDS Aztecs be a dark horse to be drafted in the 2nd round. He hadn’t really done much in his 4 years in college but has had a real breakout year as a 5th year senior and not having made a single 3 pointer in his first 4 years is now shooting 41% from behind the line. If he still has more upside to come he’ll at worse get some summer league and training camp invites IMO.

    The Colorado and Florida game was probably the most exciting game of the tourney so far and a fairly rare game where an NCAA team will score 100 and lose.

    Donovan Clingan continues to cement his place as best NCAA big likely to be in this year’s draft class. Stephon Castle I’m still not sure on, he isn’t a great 3 point shooter but has good length and size for a guard so has the ability to be a great potential defender and glue guy. He also has a huge amount of upside as regards scoring and being a ball carrier. I guess he’ll declare as he’s a first round lock but part of me would like to see him return to UConn and be the main man next year. If his upside is what was touted then he could be the next best in next year’s draft after Cooper Flagg and Ace Bailey.

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  • #1263249
    NorrinRaddNorrinRadd
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    LeDee has been on my radar for quite some time at least this year. He really broke out and has San Diego State riding on a good wave this year.
    I get it if you don’t believe in Castle due to the shot. I think it will get better but I don’t understand how some have Topic as a top 3 pick with the same concern. I think Castle’s a better prospect than Topic – Castle defends better and is naturally quicker. More to work with coaching imo. He should declare. Next year is going to be a really solid draft top to bottom anyways.
    Donovan Clingan might be the best NCAA big prospect. I wouldn’t say he cemented anything though. He should be considered at least nonetheless.
    That Colorado game was a big exchange of runs… that was crazy… Can’t wait for this Charleston vs Alabama game… I like both of those teams a lot.

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  • #1263251
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    Ivy League Yale have just dumped out East Region 4th seeds Auburn Tigers which is a shock.

    As regards Stephon Castle there was a lot of hype he could go very high in the lottery picks so things like his shooting percentages I have to look at in today’s 3 point centric NBA. But even if he might not be that star player yet he still has an elite athletic skillset and size which teams will think they can develop. There is nothing wrong with being a very solid NBA starter and an elite defender on a good team which I see as his mid to downside draft risk. Plus if UConn does go deep and he is effective in the big games then this does his prospects no harm.

    Zach Edey dominating in the Purdue game even if his FT’s aren’t really doing great.

    The Crimson Tide seems to be engulfing Charleston.

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  • #1263252
    NorrinRaddNorrinRadd
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    Alabama looking solid. Mark Sears having an incredible game. Probably too small to play in the NBA though…

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  • #1263253
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    I tend to agree about Mark Sears, he had a very good 21/22 season but didn’t declare then so maybe not quite NBA level. When he does finish his college career he’ll get summer league/training camp opportunities but I don’t see him being drafted. He might get onto a roster and stick but maybe more a G League or overseas pro.

    Edey ended up with 30/21 so was 2nd highest scoring 7ft 4ins guy tonight after Wemby who is 31/16 tonight.

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  • #1263254
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    The Tar Heels led by Bacot and RJ Davis have looked very solid and have the tools and experience to go deep in the tournament.

    Oakland and NC State game is going to the wire.

    DaRon Holmes’ Dayton have been put out by Arizona but DaRon had a couple of good tournament games after a great season and I’d have him as a potential 2nd rounder. He may not be a superstar but he is a high energy big who can shoot 3’s, good rebounder and blocker so can be an NBA bench rotation guy IMO.

    Gonzaga have totally blitzed the Jayhawks in what should have been a tight game on paper. The Jayhawks did have a tight turnaround so that was a factor plus McCullar has been out and he was a key senior for them. Bill Self has admitted he is already looking at next season and will likely add a few quality transfers.

    Gonzaga have been runners up twice in recent years and are through to their 9th straight last 16 so know how to go deep in March Madness. HC Mark Few must be a Naismith HOF entry in the next few years surely?

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  • #1263255
    NorrinRaddNorrinRadd
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    Oregon/Creighton game has been a close one so far.

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  • #1263256
    NorrinRaddNorrinRadd
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    N’Faley Dante/Jermain Couisnard good tandem and giving Creighton all they can handle…

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  • #1263257
    NorrinRaddNorrinRadd
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    … And Creighton eeks out a win by dominating the 2nd OT.

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  • #1263260
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    Terence Shannon Jnr looks a likely first round pick despite being a 5th year senior as he has been on a role in recent games after a couple of very good seasons. He may turn 24 this year but has good size and is NBA ready so would be a lower risk solid pick for a play off team wanting extra rotation or even a rebuilding side not wanting another a project but a rookie who can contribute from day one.

    I don’t see the draft differential between Shannon and Knecht at the moment. I’m happy to have Knecht as a lottery or even a top 10 contender but he doesn’t look a top 3 to 5 level player to me yet. But if the draft is lacking star potential maybe a safer less risky pick might be the way to go.

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    • #1263261
      NorrinRaddNorrinRadd
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      While I agree with the Terrence Shannon, Jr. draft assessment you gave, the rape charge investigation has teams backing off of him for now at least. He’s not Brandon Miller and not considered a top 2 pick. Knecht is the safer prospect regardless. Shannon’s a better defender than Knecht and can score well too, but Knecht scores even better imo. Terrence Shannon, Jr. in a impact sense is more closer to his former teammate Kevin McCullar. Maybe Baylor Scheierman.

      What I don’t get is DaRon Holmes surely in the 2nd. He could be a 2nd rounder, but with all he’s done he should at least be considered a first rounder in this draft. Dayton might be out, but against Arizona he looked like both the best player and prospect on the court. Pelle Larrson also had a good game for Arizona and that team is just deep so it didn’t surprise me when Zona’ is still in, but they are a very good and deep team. Dayton has like 2 and a half players that carry them on a nightly basis.

      A couple things I noticed within the tournament:
      The PAC12 and the Big East had down years, but the top 3/4 teams in those conferences are really good. Too bad they’re beating each other up in the tournament. That Oregon/Creighton game was amazing and the first game today between Colorado/Marquette should be another one…
      Speaking of the PAC12, where have their freshmen been? Cody Williams has a chance to shine today again, however he looked lost in the tournament so far and not close to a top pick consideration. Good thing we don’t judge only by the tournament. Kwame Evans, Jr. had less than stellar performances before exiting too. I’m expecting mock drafts to be worse than my bracket this year. Everything is everywhere and nowhere this year.

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  • #1263262
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    I’d forgotten about TS Jnr’s arrest and possible charges – he is directly implicated in the case not indirectly like Brandon Miller was. Plus didn’t he take his college to court so he could continue to play, that might not sit well well with some front offices?

    I’ve got DaRon as a minimum 2nd rounder as I cannot really look where he might fit in until we know who picks where. But Denver 28 and Boston especially at 30 would be natural fits for him. I had him as a possible draftee and now on my big board in my head he’d he late first round to mid 2nd round so I’ve pegged him as a guy who should IMO get drafted. I don’t want to say first round lock and say he goes 40-45 for example.

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    • #1263263
      NorrinRaddNorrinRadd
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      Yeah my sources say Terrence Shannon, Jr. has been getting the cold shoulder because of the charges…

      I get what your saying about DaRon… yeah I agree he’s a top 40ish player. Imo he could be as high as the lottery and as low as about 45… I thought you meant he’s a 2nd round guy. hahaha.

      Marquette looks better now with Kolek back. I wasn’t sure how healthy he’d be. He looks good. Marquette is playing good team ball atm.

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  • #1263264
    NorrinRaddNorrinRadd
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    Good game between Colorado and Marquette… Colorado was the better team in the 2nd half, but couldn’t close Marquette out. Cody Williams finally came through but they still fell short. Joplin had a pretty good game for Marquette too.
    Now we get to see if Utah State can hang with Purdue.

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  • #1263273
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    DaRon I’d say his draft range is 20 to about 45. I think he is possibly more likely to be a 2nd rounder than a first rounder.

    Kolek is one of Marquette’s go to guys and if he is fully fit then they have a very strong starting 5. If we do see them vs Duke or Houston in the last 8 then that could be a great match. Marquette will have a few guys drafted mainly in the 2nd round I’d say.

    Jared McCain draining 8 out of 11 threes for Duke would have made some front offices sit up too I’d think. I had him as a late first/early 2nd rounder but might have to consider him as top 20/late lottery if he continues on this run.

    Purdue overwhelmed Utah State with Edey dominated again and his support crew hitting 47% of 3’s. I never knew the wonderfully named Great Osobor was born in England either?

    Purdue vs Gonzaga looks another must watch game. What can Mark Few do to stop Edey or can Edey lead his team to a deep run to cap off a great college career.

    Clemson have dumped Baylor out which is a slight shock. UConn seem to be overwhelming Northwestern with Clingan dominating again on the boards.

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    • #1263274
      NorrinRaddNorrinRadd
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      Yeah I’m on and off watching the GCU vs Alabama game… I’m confident UConn will blow out Northwestern, so I’m switching later to Texas A&M vs Houston after… That one should be a fun matchup, especially in the backcourt. This Tyon Grant-Foster Mark Sears game of H.O.R.S.E. is entertaining.

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  • #1263275
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    Tyon Grant Foster can really play… He kept it close til’ the end. Grant Nelson… smh that dude should be dynamite. He was almost a waste in foul trouble most of the game. Alabama is pretty deep though, They should be a tough out.
    Looks like I’m right about Houston being a good game too…

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  • #1263278
    NorrinRaddNorrinRadd
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    Wow, Texas A&M came back in that one… down by 13 with 35 seconds left… about caught up to Houston and even had their chances… several of them. … Sharpe having the game of his life for Houston to stay in this… Looks like we’re in OT and no LJ Cryer for Houston… Obaseki out for Texas A&M.

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  • #1263279
    NorrinRaddNorrinRadd
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    …And Houston eeks it out despite so many foul outs… a little lucky if you ask me. Texas A&M had them. FTs killed them.

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  • #1263289
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    Houston cannot give away that many FTs as the tournament goes on as they will be made to pay by one of the other powerhouse teams. Also they gave up 74 points in open play so will need to tighten their defence up.

    Jaedon LeDee I’m now going to say will get drafted likely in the 2nd round but if he does well against UConn then I might put him as a possible first rounder like DaRon Holmes.

    A few days to take stock until the last 16 starts. Out East I think UConn will be far too strong for San Diego and I fancy Ilinois over Iowa State. Then UConn to win in the last 8.

    In the West I’ll take North Carolina over Alabama and Arizona over Clemson with NC to make Final 4.

    I’ll take Creighton over Tennessee and Purdue over Gonzaga which could be the match of the tournament in the MidWest. I just think Creighton could upset Purdue and make Final 4.

    Finally in the South I think Marquette will take out NC State and I think Duke’s braintrust will figure out a way to beat Houston. Then Duke gets past Marquette.

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    • #1263292
      NorrinRaddNorrinRadd
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      I’m with you on a lot of the bracket stuff… I have Alabama over UNC, but otherwise I think I agree with you on the games… I think… really not sure what to think of Houston/Duke.
      I like LeDee a lot, not sure he goes in the first though… he’s a few years older than even DaRon Holmes. The one thing this draft does have isn’t lacking is the depth in bigs. He should get drafted for sure, don’t know about a first though… Maybe. He’s somewhere in my top 60ish prospects. If somehow San Diego State pulls a major upset though… you never know…
      I like Creighton better than Purdue. Both teams are built similar but Creighton has some solid guys.
      Big East seems to be the most top heavy conference.

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  • #1263306
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    Creighton potentially have Ryan Kalkbrenner who they can put on Edey so that could be a huge match up.

    NBA Draftroom have DaRon in late first round and Givony and co have him at 52 on thir latest mock on ESPN. Givony and Woo question his defence a bit but agrees he can be a good NBA scorer so he must be well in the mix. They also float the idea he returns for his senior year and can further refine his game.

    Clingan varies from 5,16 and 42 on the 3 mock drafts I looked at so it shows the difference there.

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    • #1263307
      NorrinRaddNorrinRadd
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      If Givony really questions DaRon Holmes defense… he hasn’t watched much DaRon Holmes this year… Personally I take his opinion and Woo’s with a grain of salt… just like other opinions… infact Givony to me isn’t even the best at evaluating anymore… He used to be a great DraftExpress scout guy… Now ESPN has had him on some high horse for a few years and his opinion is more cluttered imo. Not that pick 52 can’t happen, it’s just a terrible take. NBADraftroom is ahead of Givony in the curve per say on that one. I use various big boards if I want the algorithm of what scouts are thinking and saying. But for consensus matters I’ll use Rookiescale. They include many credible scouts from different avenues and angles. Infact, Rookiescale was updated again yesterday and according to the consensus Clingan is currently at 12 and Holmes is currently at 33. Both plausible. I can see both prospects drafted about that range. Holmes could slip to 33 because there are a lot of bigs. It’s possible he’s an odd big out at 33 or even 40ish like said before. Pick 52 is a joke though.

      Clingan’s stock since the tournament should be cemented as a first round pick at least… Anybody imo who has updated their big board or mock that has him less than a first round pick at the moment I’d say hasn’t been really watching the tournament. Clingan as a 2nd rounder is another terrible take. I mean anything can happen I suppose, but it’s a bit delusional to have him in the 2nd – that is if the mock/board is updated…

      I like the Kalkbrenner/Edey potential matchup too. Edey should surely get the best of Kalkbrenner, but then Kalkbrenner is a player that plays within the team. Edey is his team. Creighton I like a little better overall.

      A none big that imo improved his stock is Tyon Grant-Foster. This guy’s a case where he’s just gaining traction somehow so he hasn’t quite made the consensus at least yet. But I suspect he’ll get drafted, despite some health concerns.

      Imo Tyler Kolek may have boosted his stock. Marquette looks really poised with him back in the lineup and Kam Jones might have some buzz again just from Kolek being in the lineup.
      And you mentioned LeDee before… Imo he went from a fringe prospect to a 2nd round guy. He has been the reason San Diego State has been on a terror.

      I have Tennessee losing next round… That isn’t a guarantee though. They have some good college players and maybe a couple fringe prospects… and of course Knecht. He’s been high on boards for a while now. He’s also a threat to score 40 points any given game…
      A guy I’m starting to question draft value on is Johnny Furphy… His defense is questionable and he’s not a prospect that can generate his own game… He needs to play off of others and without McCullar he wasn’t that good.

      I have a feeling DJ Wagner after his performance and possibly Aaron Bradshaw – they might stay another year whether it’s at Kentucky or entering the transfer portal.
      The prospect on other mock/boards I’ve been scratching my head on for 2 years now is Adem Bona. I don’t see his game translating to the NBA at all. Don’t understand why he would even be considered more than a super fringe prospect. He hustles – ok. And…?

      Arizona has some guys that can crack the 2nd round. Pelle Larrson – I just haven’t grasped where to rank him yet, but he’s been pretty good and showing the most promise. But to make some noise they’ll have to get by PJ Hall and Clemson. Could be a tough task.

      The matchup I’m really curious about for both a game perspective and a draft perspective is the Alabama/UNC matchup. That has the makings of a good showdown between a lot of good potential guys…

      Thursday will be interesting… Oh yeah and the NIT meanwhile has 8 teams left. Some prospects could still improve their stocks there too. We’ll see!!!

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  • #1263310
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    I wouldn’t overly concern oneself with perception of draft ranges on a guy. DaRon Holmes is a projectable big man prospect. He has good length and athleticism, and took a step forward skills wise. He was a better passer and shooter. I think he and Coleman Hawkins, should they declare and stay in, are interesting developmental big men for teams. I think I would have them behind Kel’el Ware, though I am guessing others might feel differently. I think it is worth investing in big men who have showed versatility offensively.

    Tyon Grant-Foster is hard to have a strong opinion on because ultimately his stock will be determined by team doctors. He missed two years after having multiple heart surgeries. You aren’t going to find consensus on him after such circumstances. I don’t think Blake Hinson’s issues were as serious, but he also missed two years with health issues. He was fantastic this year. While not stylistically the same, they have the physical makeup teams want. Are their doctors going to ok them? Technically, Bronny James would fit into that category if one was to believe the Lakers – or other teams- were interested in him independent of his father.

    Kolek has the covid year if he wants to return. I think he is a wonderful point guard. He and Juan Nunez offer an organizing, distributive point guard who can make everyone else’s job easier is a great asset. The difference, other than Kolek being 22 and Nunez 19, is that Kolek can shoot it well enough to be effective off the ball as well. With Minnesota rapidly becoming an expensive roster, could he be an understudy/successor to Mike Conley? If San Antonio doesn’t go PG early, and doesn’t get aggressive in its build, wouldn’t he be the kind of organizer and distributor they would want long-term with their early 2nd rounder? Even if they only look upon Victor and Vassell as certain long-termers, and maybe add Risacher, you need a point.

    Purdue benefited from the matchup with Utah State, who was not a good shooting team. Edey’s size in the middle minimized Great Osobor’s strength in the post, and got a bad perimeter shooting team to be reliant on taking threes. You have to be able to win in the mid-range and perimeter against them. Gonzaga took some time to figure themselves out post-Timme, but really found themselves as the season went on. Part of that was also shooting the ball well from three. They were 18-36 from deep in the opening weekend around 40 percent since the start of January. They have the multitude of big bodies to throw at Edey. I think Few will see that for some odd reason Purdue has taken to switching screens, which can certainly be exploited. I think they are a live dog. Similarly, Creighton can beat Purdue from the perimeter. For Tennessee, it would have to be an absurd Dalton Knecht game, outlier shooting performances from Zeigler and Vescovi, and the luck refs that don’t want to blow the whistle. I can see Purdue being in the bonus mid-way through each of the halves against them.

    DJ Wagner probably has to return to some college, Kentucky or otherwise. I don’t think he would be a lock to get taken, and even if he is a 2nd rounder might only get a two-way offer (which is not a guaranteed contract as teams churn through them quickly come January). His size isn’t great, his shot wasn’t great, was mostly poor against better opposition, and was splitting point duties. I don’t think there is a ton for teams to get excited about. I think Bradshaw and Edwards would be more likely to find favorable feedback from the NBA, even if they are nowhere near ready to see the floor. The size and athleticism to go with their prep regard means they probably don’t risk falling too far, but certainly would benefit if they take the Ware approach following a poor freshman season.

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    • #1263311
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      I have a feeling Edwards will do well in workouts/combine. He had a streak of improvement towards the end of the season. He’s a tough one to read though. Good points about him and Bradshaw’s athleticism. I think Bradshaw stays in college ultimately. The one thing this draft has is depth for bigs.

      Kel’el Ware though… I agree, he’s on another level… infact he’s a sleeper to be the first NCAA center drafted imo. He has drastically improved last year where he’s obviously more comfortable than he did at Oregon last year where he was a shell of himself.

      Coleman Hawkins is pretty solid. He’s not an alpha but I think he’d be a great complimentary player which is gold in this draft. He’s been playing good this year.

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  • #1263312
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    I agree Kel’el Ware will be a clear first rounder possibly lottery and likely top 20. He’s 7ft, has an NBA ready build, is athletic,he can defend and can shoot 3’s.

    With Kentucky I agree that Edwards and Bradshaw could well be first rounders on upside we could even make a case for Ivisic if we look at size and upside. But I cannot see how some sites have Onyenso in their mock drafts. In the 2000’s teams would have taken him for his defensive game but with no real scoring threat can he merit being considered if he declared.

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    • #1263313
      NorrinRaddNorrinRadd
      NorrinRadd
      Participant

      I think the Onyenso thing is that he’s young and had a streak a while ago that was pretty good. It was a while ago though and he hasn’t done much since. He has a lot of improvement to do. I agree, some sights have him too high. But then it might not be an updated version of the board/mock either in some cases. Hope he returns to school and improves his range and handles. That might not be the case though and yeah he for sure isn’t in the 2000s… he was born in the 2000s. lol!

      Anyways, in the NIT right now Georgia/Ohio State game is going down to the wire. Kind of funny seeing Georgia finally coming to play.

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  • #1263314
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    I was thinking of a player with a similar skillset to Onyenso potentially being drafted high in the 2000’s as team’s loved high potential defensive shot blockers back then. Diop springs to mind when I see Onyenso play and even the likes of Thabeet put up double figure scoring in the NCAA.

    I’d hope Onyenso returns to college as he can be a dominant rim protector there and develop his shooting as you say. A frontcourt of him and Ivisic would be a good twin towers pairing for Cal to develop his roster around.

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  • #1263325
    NorrinRaddNorrinRadd
    NorrinRadd
    Participant

    Going to be some games and matchups tonight…
    I think the best 2 games will be the late ones.
    LeDee vs Clingan should be interesting though.

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  • #1263327
    NorrinRaddNorrinRadd
    NorrinRadd
    Participant

    Clemson beat Arizona. UConn dominating San Diego State but LeDee is giving it all he’s got.
    Next 2 games should be better…

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  • #1263328
    BothTeamsPlayedHard-BothTeamsPlayedHard-
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    I have seen enough of Ian Schieffelin this year to know that he is a really solid college player, but it is somewhat crazy when you can’t help but notice he is at best as tall as Pelle Larsson while playing the 4 or 5.

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  • #1263329
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    LeDee virtually tried to carry SDS but UConn were far too strong. Castle had a very good game and has shown potential at both ends of the court. His defensive potential guarding 1 to 3 is huge and if he can improve his shooting can do well in the NBA. I’ll say he is a likely rather than possible lottery pick now.

    Watching on ESPN they said thar UConn are the first defending champions to make the last 8 since Florida in 2007!

    Wondered why Dan Hurley told his players not to shoot with only 30 seconds left on the clock and the game won?

    Clemson have their first last 8 appearance for 44 years and only their 2nd ever which is a great feat for a Gridiron centric college.

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  • #1263330
    NorrinRaddNorrinRadd
    NorrinRadd
    Participant

    Roll Tide!

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  • #1263331
    NorrinRaddNorrinRadd
    NorrinRadd
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    Looks like Terrence Shannon, Jr. just closed out this Illinois/Iowa State battle after being in foul trouble. He’s going to make Illinois a tough out. Even for mighty UConn…

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  • #1263334
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    The second two games of the night were the pick as Norrin hinted. UConn vs Illinois will be a good game and TSJ is on fire but UConn has a lot of defensive options and could put Castle on him. Also does Illinois have the size to combat Clingan who could dominate the boards.

    I think this game will be closer than some think but unless Shannon has a huge 30 plus point game I see UConn winning by about 10 points.

    Alabama and Clemson both have a chance to make their first final 4 but are coming off hard won games so this game might not be the prettiest with so much at stake. Alabama I think will edge it as they have a huge amount of experience and a stronger roster.

    Mark Sears has the chance to play himself into draft conversation and despite his lack of size the likes of Marcus Sasser was drafted last year so smaller guards can get a chance.

    Some huge match ups tonight between some real powerhouse teams . I think Duke vs Houston could be the pick but also can Gonzaga stop Edey and Purdue. Creighton vs Knecht and co also has the potential to be close. Marquette could have the easiest night which could be vital come the weekend’s games.

    But all these games are pitting the best teams against each other in knockout situation so it is almost like every game is a play off game 7 or play in game. WE can see who can step up, go clutch, make the right calls or changes. It might not flip the draft board upside down but its a great advert for college ball.

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    • #1263336
      NorrinRaddNorrinRadd
      NorrinRadd
      Participant

      Well said there Hitster, like the way you broke that all down.

      Mark Sears is playing like a diamond in the rough right now, still think he’s slightly on the outside looking in… but totally agree with you here. He’s played his way into the draft conversation. RJ Davis did too. Both not quite drafted imo, but both probably get signed by a team ala 2 way deal or something.

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  • #1263345
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    Great win for the Wolfpack vs the much more fancied Marquette. They played as a team and nailed some big 3 pointers when the game threatened to be close. I must admit I hadn’t realised how big DJ Burns Jnr was his 275lbs looks a bit like Shaq’s 325lbs.

    Purdue have been too strong for Gonzaga. It was a tight game at HT but Edey had a bigger 2nd half and crucially Purdue outscored Gonzaga by 9 points on their 3’s which when combined with what Edey did meant that Purdue were never going to lose.

    Braden Smith with 14 points, 15 assists and 8 rebounds also had a huge game. If Purdue carry on like this they look UConn’s biggest danger IMO.

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    • #1263346
      NorrinRaddNorrinRadd
      NorrinRadd
      Participant

      Idk, if Creighton gets by Tennessee – they did beat UConn before. That could be a good round again… Purdue’s got guys that shoot around Edey. They are a tough out for sure. And Creighton still must go through Tennessee… no easy task. But I think Creighton could have what it takes to beat Purdue. I doubt Tennessee can beat Purdue if that happens though.

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  • #1263347
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    It’s 2:30am in England so not staying up much longer as final two games have only just started. I was going to log off but Brunson is having a massive game vs Spurs and will go over 60 points plus Wemby might beat his best score so far as he has 35 points.

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  • #1263352
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    Brunson got 61 only one off franchise record but Wemby lead his team to victory with 40/20 and 7 assists!

    Two very tight final two matches in the last 16 but Duke and Tennessee moved from sweet to elite. Duke vs Houston was always going to be tight but the Duke coaching trust and players ground out a win. The Wolfpack are on a roll but I just feel Duke will grind out a win and have that bit of extra class amongst their top players.

    Scheierman had a mighty game for his last in a Creighton shirt but Knecht and co got the Volunteers through. I did think Creighton would match up better than Tennessee vs Purdue but Tennessee make a very interesting contrast. A lot of the starters from both teams played very heavy minutes yesterday so that could affect the game. It could come down to the bench depth and thoise look pretty equal.

    So it comes down to can Tennessee keep Zach Edey to under 25 points and somehow stop him dominating the boards or can Purdue keep Knecht quiet and to no more points than Edey gets. Purdue have the size in their kingpin and score well around him whilst Tennessee will probably take more shots and it could depend whether Knecht outscores Edey and gets over 30.

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    • #1263353
      NorrinRaddNorrinRadd
      NorrinRadd
      Participant

      Only way Tennessee has a chance is to run Purdue out of the building imo. That can happen though…

      I missed that crazy Wemby showdown – only saw some highlights since I was going back and forth in the tournament games. That’s a crazy stat line though – sheesh!

      There are going to be some good tournament games today… Does Illinois have a shot at UConn? Can Clemson slow down Alabama and Sears? Should be some good games.

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  • #1263357
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    Tennessee and Purdue are both good 3 point shooting teams so if Purdue match the Volunteers pretty much points wise in that stat category then Tennessee will need to really run and gun and get more shots in to try and get Edey out of his comfort zone or try to tire him out. Tennessee’s perfect scenario is to get ahead and make Purdue try to chase the game as that would speed up their normal rhythm whilst Tennessee could run the shot clock more. But I think Knecht needs to outside Edey by 10 to make it an even game.

    I think UConn takes Illinois and I’d like Sears to make a Final 4.

    Wemby did only have one block so that wasn’t so good but the one block he got he took the ball and went right up the other end and scored.

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  • #1263358
    NorrinRaddNorrinRadd
    NorrinRadd
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    Here we go!!! Illinois/UConn about to tip off!

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  • #1263359
    NorrinRaddNorrinRadd
    NorrinRadd
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    I think Illinois forgot to show up in the 2nd here… meanwhile UConn is dominating again…

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  • #1263360
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    Illinois only shot 25% with their FG so no way a team can ever win a game with that stat line. Domask was the only one who had any sort of game but even if TS Jnr had hit 20 plus points they would still have lost. Clingan has cemented his place as best NBA game ready big man in the NCAA I’ll give Edey the respect as the best big man in the NCAA but I now have Clingan as a top 10 pick and 2nd big taken after Sarr more strongly enforced.

    I’d be interested to know what Stephon Castle’s +/- are as despite not being a good shooter yet he always seems to chip in with rebounds, assists and has a good defensive game. He might not be a franchise changer but can be the glue guy around the stars and who can give a contending team great service in due course.

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    • #1263361
      NorrinRaddNorrinRadd
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      Illinois was down by 5 at the half. Then UConn went on a 28-2 run immediately after the 2nd half… They had no answer for Clingan. That one series where he just swatted it on one end and dunked it on the other was fantastic. Castle I guess has some similarities as Anthony Black, but he’s more quick, better handles and maybe even a better defender. If he develops his shot more though I think he’ll be crazy good.

      Looks like Alabama has Clemson where they want them atm.

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  • #1263362
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    Crimson Tide into first ever Final 4 with Mark Sears having his 3 pointer shooting boots on.

    If Castle can improve his shot then he can go right to the top. Just needs to get on the right team.

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  • #1263363
    NorrinRaddNorrinRadd
    NorrinRadd
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    UConn looks pretty unstoppable… Maybe Alabama can test them, but then I thought Illinois might and they failed.

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  • #1263364
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    I don’t see Alabama beating UConn. My head still says a UConn and Purdue final, Duke still being in the tournament always has to be respected but its not Coach K still running the team and us thinking he can come up with some system to overturn the odds.

    Jon Scheyer learnt under the great man and has had a hood start to his coaching career and if he gets to the final 4 will be a fine achievement in only his 2nd season in the top job.. Plus with a very elite recruiting class led by Cooper Flagg incoming he will have a great chance for next season with the core of his team getting great tournament experience.

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    • #1263366
      NorrinRaddNorrinRadd
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      Tennessee is doing good, but still has no answer for Edey…

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  • #1263367
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    Knecht is on fire 5 out of 7 from the 3 point line. Also Volunteers outscoring Purdue by 18 points on 3 point shots but are still behind. Smith and Loyer are both almost in double figures so Lurch is getting good support. James is providing some support scoring for Connect but Aidoo or Ziegler needs to get some points as that seems to be the difference.

    Maybe Tennessee need to speed up the tempo a bit to try and get Edey out of his rhythm or running the court as he is dominating the boards and so getting his team the crucial balls.

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  • #1263368
    NorrinRaddNorrinRadd
    NorrinRadd
    Participant

    Looks like Purdue takes this one… Edey dominated, Knecht an outstanding game… however the pace was clearly in favor of Purdue. They will await the winner of the ACC matchup coming up… Either way it could be a good matchup. DJ Burns, Jr. might have the strength to give Edey a challenge. And if Duke wins – well they would have just got past NC State’s frontcourt, a warmup for Edey and Purdue… should be interesting.

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  • #1263369
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    Duke match up well against Purdue IMO and Filipowski’s shooting range could mean Edey has to move away from the basket. Also Edey’s supporting cast will need to be at their best as Duke have 5 double digit scorers on their team and don’t rely on one or two players.

    Edey vs DJ Burns Jnr will be a physical match up and Burns’ strength make things difficult for Edey and with Diarra being a very good rebounder then Edey won’t have the boards to himself like he has in other games.

    I’m still trying to find the perfect fit in the NBA for Edey.

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    • #1263370
      NorrinRaddNorrinRadd
      NorrinRadd
      Participant

      Idk, but I can see Edey going to Canada and playing for the Raptors, especially as a rotation guy getting around 20 minutes a game or so. Guess he can do that for a lot of teams though. Imo he can be an 8-10 guy in the rotation depending on team.

      Duke’s looking good here early. McCain is continuing his tournament success.

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  • #1263371
    NorrinRaddNorrinRadd
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    Filipowski has fouled out. It’s all but over now. Dismal shooting from both teams, it’s no surprise NC State wins this game… Imo Purdue will out play NC State. Too much 3 point shooting + Edey to off set anything I think NC State would throw at them…

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  • #1263372
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    I thought of Minny for Edey as he could be back up for Gobert and KAT but with one of their picks via other teams the Raps make sense.

    DJ Burns is having a great game now does that big unit get drafted. Be worth seeing what his combine measurements are. But all joking apart he’ll get a nice pro contract somewhere as he can score in the paint and is a good ball handler for his size.

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    • #1263373
      NorrinRaddNorrinRadd
      NorrinRadd
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      DJ Burns, Jr. reminds me of a little like Oliver Miller. He could be a better version though. Not sure but if he declares it’s possible he’s a late 2nd round flyer. I think he’s pretty fringe though and should go back to school and get paid by NIL pathway… Who knows, maybe he plays his way in the convo and wins a title…

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  • #1263374
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    He was already a 5th year senior so he has to declare I’d think. A pity he couldn’t return as he’s such a likeable guy he’d do well via NIL pathway.

    I noticed Jack Gohlke is now on Cameo. Rumours that Cal requested him to do a message for his used car lot are unconfirmed.

    DJ could get a look from a few teams he’d be a very serviceable bench guy to use in short blasts or a big body to put in the post if needed. He seems to have a good basketball IQ so could do the job required of him and he is an above average passer for his size so could be a distribution outlook to get the ball to the creative players.

    Wemby looks to be filling up the stats sheet again a possible 5×5 could be on.

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    • #1263375
      NorrinRaddNorrinRadd
      NorrinRadd
      Participant

      I didn’t realize he was a 5th year guy… should have known, as he just was invited to the PIT mock… Assuming he plays in that tournament, he can probably carve out a small career. Jamaree Bouyea had a good showing a couple of years ago doing that… (I know different player and position altogether) Or even maybe pull off a 2nd round grade at some point. Hard to say though, there is a cluster of bigs. Not sure how he translates at the NBA level – not to say he won’t make it, but he’ll get signed somewhere… He doesn’t have that prototypical build for an NBA player though of course.

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  • #1263376
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    DJ Burns with his scoring will get a nice deal in a decent overseas league at worse. He has the Edey match up, draft process, summer league, training camp to have a crack at the NBA so he’ll have options.

    Talking of 5th years does Edey return if Purdue doesn’t win as the college could build a “win now” team around him with transfers. I know its a long shot as he should be a first round pick but just putting it out there.

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    • #1263377
      NorrinRaddNorrinRadd
      NorrinRadd
      Participant

      That’s an interesting take… he would make bank off of NILs too… I think that can happen. There are so many players that have already entered the portal. I doubt it does, but interesting take for sure. I think Edey’s stock is about as high as it will be though, so he’s likely going to declare.

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  • #1263378
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    With the portal it can also get incoming freshmen decommitting if suddenly there is a 4th/5th year guy in front of them. Didn’t UConn have someone do this last year?

    With no current redshirting it can allow a college to always have a few experienced heads on the roster. Any of the top teams will be able to add players from less fashionable teams who want to raise their profile. I know this might not be great for less fashionable colleges but they will have roster places they can fill or players who aren’t getting playing time and want to be “the man” may move to less likely colleges.

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  • #1263385
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    With the likes of DJ Burns gaining a lot of attention I was drawn to the fact that Adama Sanogo who lead UConn to the title last year wasn’t drafted when he declared. Also Armando Bacot who has completed a fine college career is no certainty to be drafted this year and both those guys would be seen as a better athlete than Burns is.

    But I am still looking forward to the Purdue vs NC State marth can Burns shoot over Edey or does he have the post game to get the ball to others to take an easier shot. How will Edet fair against Burns’ width and superior body strength or if he is double teamed by Burns and Diarra. The risk for the Wolfpack is that then one of Purdue’s supporting cast will have an open shot.

    I’d love to see NC State in the final but my head says Purdue.

    For the Crimson Tide to have a chance vs UConn I feel that Mark Sears would need a 25 to 30 point game or someone would have to really step up like Jarin Stevenson did in the Clemson match. Alabama won that by draining 16 three pointers compared to 8 for the Tigers, They will likely need something similar to keep in the game with UConn but whether they can get their shots off vs UConn and with Clingan in their as a shot changing presence is another matter.

    Alabama aren’t a bg rebounding team so if Clingan dominates the boards before you factor in UConn’s strength in depth then I just cannot see Alabama winning unless someone has a really hot shooting night.

    If the final is UConn vs Purdue then a lot comes down to Clingan vs Edey. If Clingan can match Edey around the boards and keep him under 30 points then I think UConn’s other key players are better than Purdue’s and will restrict their scoring and score enough themselves to win. So unless Edey goes for well over 30 or someone else from Purdue has a good scoring game I think UConn retain.

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  • #1263386
    NorrinRaddNorrinRadd
    NorrinRadd
    Participant

    Idk what to think at this point… Alabama could have a really good game if they somehow run UConn out of the building… If they got to the finals, they have the run and gun to beat either other team… that being said, I don’t think they get past UConn. Infact UConn will probably win by double digits again. As good as Sears has been, Castle can shut down about anybody and Tristan Newton’s no scrub… btw just heard a great Castle comparison if his jump shot ever falls – Brandon Roy. Castle is a special defender. Clingan is a beast. Grant Nelson has talent, but as athletic as he is, Clingan has a no fly zone. With UConn’s other weapons, they can play multiple styles and probably defeat Alabama even at Alabama’s pace.
    Purdue is a tough out. Imo it would take a miracle for NC State to beat Purdue. They are similar, I think Braden Smith and Fletcher Loyer will be the X factors in this game. Edey will get his but he’ll have to earn it some. NC State will need a huge game from Horne. He’ll have to outplay Smith by a big margin. Purdue’s shooters just nail it usually. If they go cold NC state has a slim chance. Every dawg has his day though….
    UConn is the team I’m sticking with to win it as long as they’re healthy. If they likely play Purdue, I think they beat Purdue maybe even by double digits. Clingan can keep Edey in check. Castle and Newton with some shooters to counter – I mean the writing is on the wall…

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  • #1263391
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    If Castle can be a lockdown NBA defender then his draft value will be pretty high. There are teams who are “win now” or contenders picking well inside top 20. They already have franchise level players in place who are prolific scorers so a lockdown defender with a good basketball IQ they don’t have to worry about his scoring or they figure they can improve his shooting in due course.

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  • #1263441
    NorrinRaddNorrinRadd
    NorrinRadd
    Participant

    The battles begin in a couple hours!!! We’ll see what happens!!!

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  • #1263443
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    Edey dominating and getting great support from Braden Smith who is a really underrated player and fills those stats columns. DJ Burns has ordered a triple whopper for HT to inspire him in the 2nd half.

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    • #1263444
      NorrinRaddNorrinRadd
      NorrinRadd
      Participant

      NC State having a good finish to that first half clawing back in it for a minute. DJ Burns, Jr. looks very awkward when he shoots over the towering Edey… They could utilize that situation better…

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  • #1263445
    NorrinRaddNorrinRadd
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    Beginning of the end of NC State.

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  • #1263449
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    Purdue winning wasn’t a great shock. The Crimson Tide are hanging with UConn despite Stephon Castle having one of his best scoring games. If Castle can develop his shooting then he has NBA All Star potential with his already elite defensive game.

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    • #1263450
      NorrinRaddNorrinRadd
      NorrinRadd
      Participant

      If Castle ever gets a jump shot he’s a star.
      Alabama is playing really tough so far… but then again last time the sleeping giant was awaken, they destroyed Illinois in the 2nd half. Clingan/Castle combo is special.
      Purdue awaits a tough team either way, but UConn imo has what it takes to go back to back the way they’re looking.

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  • #1263451
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    Yep Castle will shut down a lot of Purdue’s shooting so emphasis has to go back on Edey. With Castle I’ve not worked out his ideal NBA landing point or who if he gets drafted before Clingan.

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    • #1263454
      NorrinRaddNorrinRadd
      NorrinRadd
      Participant

      I would say Castle… If Clingan somehow developed a 3 point shot – He would be really really good. Still possibly not the best player to come out of this draft class though… If Castle does – he’s the best in the draft. Defensively he’s been really making Sears earn it… Looks like this game will be UConn’s, but it’s been a game of runs…

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  • #1263456
    NorrinRaddNorrinRadd
    NorrinRadd
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    UConn’s got this… Clingan is too much atm for Alabama to handle and it’s too late…

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  • #1263457
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    Clingan often seems to come on strong in the 2nd half of recent games. Looking down the likely lottery teams in this years draft I can find more natural landing spaces for Castle than Clingan at first glance. Castle is now in my top 10 and if the Spurs don’t get a top 3 lottery pick I could see Pops and co loving Castle’s defensive game and the potentially of his offence.

    Any way the NCAA final is what we thought it was likely to be from the Final 4 pairings. Unless Edey has a 30 point plus game and outscores Clingan by about 20 points I just cannot see Purdue beating UConn. If NC State could keep Purdue to 63 points I don’t see how they will score much more vs UConn and Purdue will need their greatest defensive game ever to keep UConn under 70 to 75 points IMO.

    UConn have more scoring options in their starting 5 who all reached double figures last night so I think they edge it by about 10 points to retain their title.

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    • #1263458
      NorrinRaddNorrinRadd
      NorrinRadd
      Participant

      If Purdue wins imo it’s because Zach Edey gets Donovan Clingan in foul trouble. That would force more double teams and give more open looks to sharp shooters. And the shooters would have to be on and even a little lucky.

      UConn imo takes this game in probably the 2nd half. UConn figures teams out by then. UConn also has a complex offence. Alabama actually did pretty good against them despite falling. Who knows if Purdue can keep up… I think it could be close for most the game, but I see the depth of talent of UConn pulling away.

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  • #1263459
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    I wonder whether UConn might look to try and run more plays via Clingan and try to get Edey into foul trouble for if Edey hasa to be careful and sit part of the game then UConn would be far too strong for Purdue. If Clingan and Edey both fouled out then it is a bigger advantage to UConn.

    With Uconn what team they can put out next season will be of interest as Newton and Spencer have both used up their eligibility as 5th year seniors. Castle and Clingan are likely lottery picks and Karaban could be a first round option too. Last year they lost Jackson, Hawkins and Sanogo to the NBA but had Karaban and Newton returning as starters as well as Clingan who would have been a likely first round pick last year but decided to stay. Spencer came in via portal to fill one position and Castle as an elite recruit filled another.

    This year all the current starting 5 or at least 4 of them will go so guys like Diarra and Johnson would really need to step up as the incoming HS class doesn’t have a Castle level player and Clingan will need to be replaced. But with an elite coach and being a powerhouse college UConn should be a top location target for a lot of players in the portal..

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    • #1263490
      NorrinRaddNorrinRadd
      NorrinRadd
      Participant

      with Calipari leaving to Arkansas and Bradshaw in the transfer portal, I wonder if Bradshaw at UConn could be a good fit?

      Counting down now til tonight’s game!

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  • #1263495
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    Cal leaving after so many years is a surprise. The NCAA Head Coaches have amazing contracts in their favour whereby they can move on without another team having to pay compensation.

    Bradshaw is a good call for UConn.

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  • #1263498
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    Omar Ballo would be a good choice for UConn as he has entered the portal and he would be a 5th year senior giving the team a load of instant experience. Actually Ballo and Bradshaw as a frontcourt combo would work as Bradshaw has a decent 3 point range and could play as PF and would give the team a twin towers combo.

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  • #1263500
    NorrinRaddNorrinRadd
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    Looks like Edey won the stat battle, but UConn’s about to win the war. Just about over now. UConn has a sizeable lead… Newton’s having his way.

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  • #1263501
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    You called it perfectly Norrin – a tight 1st half and then UConn pulled away. Edey had a monster game and Brdaen Smith gave him good support but when the rest of the team only scores 11 points with just 2 from the bench they were never going to hold UConn to such a low points total.

    Purdue only scored a single 3 pointer whilst UConn hit 6 so that is your winning margin. UConn have a rock solid starting 5 regardless of who gets drafted where. Newton had a superb final game for the Huskies, Castle has improved his scoring post season and boosted his draft potential. Clingan was outplasyed by Edey but made a contribution and helped limit the Purdue support crew from scoring at all. Cam Spencer another departing 5 year veteran reached double figures too. Karaban only got 5 points but did his glue guy job and ensured that UConn’s starting 5 outscored Purdue’s even with Edey’s huge effort.

    Johnson and Diarra both provided the key extra points from the bench and will be crucial 4th and 5th year returning seniors for the Huskies next season if they want to try and make it 3 in a row. This would be an amazing and I would say currently unlikely feat unless they get some great portal transfers in or Waterboy Hurley Jnr steps up ( his mum is quite hot actually)

    But well done Huskies and hard luck to Edey and Purdue.
    l

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    • #1263512
      NorrinRaddNorrinRadd
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      Newton deservingly got MOP. He might have played his way in getting drafted. Not a turnover in the game.

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  • #1263514
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    He’s a good ball handler, has good PG size, solid rebounder, not an elite athlete but still a good one. Could easily be a role playing back up NBA guard on a contending team where they could give him minutes around the top guys knowing he’ll do a solid job.

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  • #1263520
    BothTeamsPlayedHard-BothTeamsPlayedHard-
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    UConn played in a really endearing way that Nova did during its run where you can talk yourself into their guys. It is far from certain that Tristen Newton or Cam Spencer will get drafted, but they don’t play like prospects. They play like guys teams can use. I want to see how Newton and Spencer measure out. Newton seems to have a similar frame and athleticism to Ayo Dosunmu, and there are stylistic similarities coming out of school. Newton is more of a natural point guard, but similar in that he is very quick getting down hill. Like Ayo, Newton’s three-point shooting will be a work-in-progress. Dosumnu’s measuring out at 6’5″ with a 6’10” wingspan gave him versatility to be useful while his shot came around. He is now a 40% three point shooter, and seems like a lock to be a valuable role player for the next five to ten years. Newton appears to have a big wingspan, and doesn’t seem to be one of those 6’5″ guys who stands nose-to-nose with 6’3″ guys. Still, we won’t know for sure until the combine. Spencer is one of those guys where you don’t know if he has the physical makeup for teams to want to take him. He can really shoot, really smart and competitive, and both him and Newton will dip in from the arc and crash the glass. That is a mentality guys either have or don’t. Stephon Castle had a spell early in the Big East season where his perimeter shot seemed to be coming around, but that turned out to be a blip. I think he will get drafted in the lottery as he is a ready and able defender, but his shot is going to be the thing that limits him early on. Last year’s lottery had a run of athletic guards/wings who could defend but not shoot (the Thompson twins, Anthony Black, and Bilal Coulibaly) and it was a chore for their coaches to play them prior to tank ball (which was like November for Detroit and Washington). Karaban’s decision to stay or go will be interesting. On one hand, a proven stretch four seems like someone a team will take. On the other hand, he could go the way of Matthew Hurt.

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    • #1263521
      NorrinRaddNorrinRadd
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      Interesting takes. I don’t think Spencer’s an NBA player, but still a pro somewhere. Probably same with Karaban depending on who enters the draft this year. Although I’ve seen both on big boards before… Newton’s in the conversation now, not certain he’ll get drafted. I could see a world where Castle is late lottery. Doubt it though. Any top prospect has flaws this year and it’s probably a draft where we might get a future All-Star or maybe 2. That’s not even a guarantee this year though. Upper management across the NBA will be picking on best role player outcome, versatility to team, overall fit – etc. Castle brings so much to the table other than his lack of a jump shot that he can play a Marcus Smart role as a floor or at least to begin with. Worst case scenario for Castle is that he’s a similar player as Anthony Black as you mentioned. Not great yet – not terrible but shows promise. (Imo he’s a little better than Black already) I think his jump shot will take a while to come around if it ever does, but hey a guy that can do about everything else on both ends of the court well in theory with good athleticism still brings a lot to the table. But then I have to admit Castle’s my favorite prospect in the draft.

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  • #1263522
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    With elite defenders who play as guards or wings but may not have a great shot I always feel it depends on the players around them. If the team has scorers in place then these guys can be hidden on offence or rotated with pure scorers who may not be so good defensively. But in today’s NBA where everything seems to be about shooting range whereby it is even a metric for bigs to have an elite defender who doesn’t offer much offensively in positions 1 to 3 can be hard for a team to carry.

    But they may be of most value on a rookie deal as this doesn’t impact on the salary cap so much.

    With UConn I do think all 5 starters will declare I see Clingan and Castle being lottery picks. minimum. Karaban would be the guy most likely to return but if his draft stock is high and UConn not having such a strong team next year I think he’ll keep his name in. I’d love to see Castle return to UConn and be the ball handler and the focus of the team but with being a lottery pick I cannot see him not declaring.

    Newton and Spencer I’d see as 2nd rounders but with contending teams at the end of the first round it wouldn’t surprise me if either were snapped up there as they’d have a guy who could play rotation minutes from day one and the guys would be on a powerhouse team.

    Phoenix, Memphis, Philly, Bucks and Knicks all have picks between 31 and 40 so I don’t see either Newron or Spencer falling past these teams.

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    • #1263525
      NorrinRaddNorrinRadd
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      Interesting takes too… Spencer to me passes all the numbers test, Idk about the eye test. He’s not the best creator – especially for a lead guard, but good enough. He gets open and can shoot like a sniper though. He’s also going to be over 24 years old come draft day and I don’t think he sustains such good numbers if he were the guy carrying UConn. What could change my mind though is if he measures well/has a good combine. He’s been a tough one for me to rank this year tbh. I prefer Newton’s ability to run the offence or even a Shead, Kolek or Juan Nunez who I consider maybe 2nd rounders. I guess I get the appeal for Spencer though – he can shoot. If the consensus means anything either, (I use it – but take it with a grain of salt) Spencer is not ranked in the top 60. Proving he’s better than guys like Hunter Sallis would even be tough if you want to categorize him as more of that kind of guard. Guess we’ll see – and we’ll see who declares.

      If Karaban returned – that would be great for both him and UConn imo. Karaban isn’t a lock to get drafted and he could make some good bank next year whatever decision he makes. To be fair though, he’s the 47 overall prospect currently according the consensus.

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  • #1263528
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    Newton can run an offence very well I agree and Spencer is an elite shooter so with their NCAA championship success I could make a strong case for both on a contending team.

    Karaban is a good shooter if a little bit on the small side for a stretch 4 in the NBA although he is a good rebounder and probably Uconn’s 2nd best shooter after Spencer so would be a perfect fit in today’s NBA in that sense.

    If he did return to UConn he could well be the focus of the offence but without Newton to create for him I don’t know what his scoring would be like. Could he be turned into a [point forward I wonder?

    He could likely make a nice amount via NIL and like Clingan improve his draft status with another year in college.

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    • #1263532
      NorrinRaddNorrinRadd
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      I think you’ve convinced me a little on Spencer. Not sure he gets drafted, but I can see him being an off ball Alex Caruso style player at best. That can get you in the league for sure if he pans out to be something in that nature…

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  • #1263534
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    Teams do draft on upside but I just don’t see every team passing on a guy like Spencer. He makes no sense to a team like Detroit with a lot of young backcourters but any contending team wanting minutes from an NBA ready guy who is an elite shooter I din’t see them passing on him given his NCAA title winning experience.

    He’d not start demanding extra minutes but would play his required role and help spread the floor.

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