It’s only a handful of games in March but being a hero on the national stage of the NCAA Tournament
can do a lot for a players draft prospects. These heros have played well in March and are moving up draft boards:
Gorgui Dieng – PF/C – Louisville
With impressive performances in Louisville’s run to the Final Four Dieng has shown that his defensive ability and emerging offensive game are first round worthy! His instincts and timing on blocked shots is exceptional and he projects as a Larry Sanders type of defender in the NBA. He has expanded and improved his offensive game and is now dangerous on the pick n’ roll and from mid range. Dieng is just scratching the surface of his potential.
Adreian Payne – PF/C – Michigan State
Although they lost a tough one to Duke, Payne played well enough in March to warrant consideration as a first rounder in June. Only a junior, Payne has improved dramatically in each of the past three seasons; improving his strength, defensive fundamentals and vastly improving his offensive game. Once a suspect free throw shooter, Payne shot nearly 85% from the line this season and has expanded his shooting range out to the college three, hitting at a 38% clip from downtown. He has the length and athletic ability to excel at the next level and the work ethic it takes to stick around in the League.
Mitch McGary – PF – Michigan
Another big man who is making a big move in March. McGary has been the most dominant interior player in the NCAA Tournament. His all-out hustle, team play, rebounding and intensity are a big reason for Michigan’s success. He plays a very efficient game and, although he doesn’t have the upside of some other prospects, his combination of skills and intensity should make him a lottery pick. He has committed to playing another year at Michigan but that could change if he sees himself projected in the top 10.