A brief rundown of some possible second-round targets and future draftees, shamelessly piggybacking off of Prava’s watch list with moar names to check out during the evening slate.
Ron Harper Jr., SF, Rutgers (vs. Clemson, 9:20 PM)
Surprisingly nimble for looking so much like a defensive end. I think he’s going to get a draft bump due to how thoroughly everyone seems to be enjoying the Talen Horton-Tucker experience.
Aamir Simms, PF, Clemson (vs. Rutgers, 9:20 PM)
Good shooter and 6-8 and 245. Very old, but pretty good! He appeared on an early draft of my undrafted-targets list last year before eventually deciding to return to school.
Matt Mitchell, SF, San Diego State (vs. Syracuse, 9:40 PM)
A bowling ball with touch, he seems like something of a better-shooting version of Ron Harper Jr. who is quite as overwhelmingly gigantic. Like Simms, I thought he was kinda interesting last year.
Alan Griffin, SG, Syracuse (vs. San Diego State, 9:40 PM)
Adrian Griffin’s other son is a fairly real shooter at 6-5. (Little brother AJ is a possible contender for the #1 overall pick in 2022.) No, I don’t like watching Syracuse, either.
Miles “Deuce” McBride, PG, West Virginia (vs. Morehead State, 9:50 PM)
Everybody remember Laz and the “hellhound” lineup last year? It would have included, among others, Isaac Okoro and Bruce Brown. Anyway, Deuce would fit right in. I recommend Henry Ward’s excellent series the 5-Point Play, where he recently discussed Deuce and his all-world “mirroring” capability as an on-ball defender. He can shoot a bit too, and fits neatly in the conceptual phylum of Mario Chalmers and Pat Beverley and Derek Fisher.
Derek Culver, C, West Virginia (vs. Morehead State, 9:50 PM)
Undersized center who is just really tough and good. This year’s Isaiah Stewart?
Jeremiah Robinson-Earl, C, Villanova (vs. Winthrop, 9:57)
This game is everyone’s favorite upset alert now that Villanova leader Collin Gillespie is out for the season with an injury. JR-E is a bit too much of an undersized stretch-5 for my liking, but he remains a fringe radar prospect, as do his wing-ier teammates Justin Moore and Jermaine Samuels.
Houston (vs. Cleveland State, 7:15) has an ensemble cast that has added up to a really good team. Kelvin Sampson can still really coach. Kansas transfer Quentin Grimes can shoot now, and still has prototype 2-guard size. DeJon Jarreau and Tramon Mark have some fans among Draft Twitter, but these are deep cuts even for me.
RJ Davis is tiny, and North Carolina is once again a mediocre team with too many big men, but Davis is AWESOME at shooting. If the NBA is still hiring 5-11 gunners a decade from now, he’ll probably be one of them. Day’ron Sharpe would be the first big to mention here if I believed in drafting centers. Caleb Love had some, well, love coming into the season, but shot it horribly and a lot, so he’s not a pro yet, and might never be. Anyway, these guys play Wisconsin today at 7:10.
Speaking of tiny shooters, Max Abmas of Oral Roberts led the entire nation in scoring this season as sophomore who is listed at 6-1 and 165. His teammate Kevin Obanor averages 18-10. I don’t know if either of them are NBA players, but they have absolutely struck fear into the heart of Ohio State alum (and host of the Game Theory podcast) Sam Vecenie. Rooting against Ohio State (3:00 PM) is one of my favorite pastimes.
Neemias Queta of Utah State remains a defensive menace; he led the entire nation this season in Defensive Box Plus-Minus. Fun fact: Franz “German Paul George” Wagner was second! Franz was also second in the entire nation in overall Box Plus-Minus, trailing only Excellent College Player and NPOY finalist Luka Garza of Iowa. GPG be playing tomorrow, but you already know that.
Enjoy the games, everyone!