Weekend Preview

Breaking down the games with NBA draft prospects going head to head this weekend

 

#4 Virginia (16-0) at #1 Duke (14-2) Sat. 6 p.m ESPN

Prospects: 

RJ Barrett (Duke)

Cam Reddish (Duke)

Zion Williamson (Duke)

Deandre Hunter (Virginia)

Ty Jerome (Virginia)

Virginia comes in undefeated to Cameron indoor on Saturday for arguably the biggest game of the season thus far, while Duke looks to rebound from a loss to Syracuse and an injury to Tre Jones. A classic match up of opposites, Virginia prefers to control and slow the tempo with suffocating defense, and Duke brings star power no other team in the college game has. It will be interesting to see how Reddish, Barrett, and Williamson handle the UVA defense which has shut down so many prolific scorers in the past. Cam Reddish finally got going in the game against Florida State hitting the game winning three before missing the Syracuse game with an illness. Scouts will be looking to see what all of the Duke stars with the toughest defense they have faced in their young careers. If Williamson is forced to take shots from long distance and he plays well, this could be a huge game for his development. On the UVA side, it is never easy for NBA teams to evaluate players coming out of Virginia due to the style of play, they are essentially forced to predict their production in a more high powered offense. If Jerome and Hunter want to make a statement in front of all 30 teams, out-dueling Duke is the place to do it. Jerome needs to show that he can score against the NBA level talent that Duke has on the wings, and Hunter will be asked to do a lot on the defensive side of the ball, giving him the ability to showcase his two way ability. 

#12 Kentucky (13-3) at #14 Auburn (13-3) Sat. 4 p.m. on ESPN

Prospects:

Keldon Johnson (Kentucky)

Ashton Hagans (Kentucky)

P.J. Washington (Kentucky)

Chuma Okeke (Auburn)

Austin Wiley (Auburn)

The two teams looking to challenge Tennessee for the SEC crown, this game will be closely watched by all NBA teams. Ashton Hagans comes into the game after breaking out offensively in the Georgia game, and showing an impressive ability on the defensive side of the ball since taking over the starting job putting him on the draft radar. This will be a big game for Washington and Johnson, as both players have not been playing well over the last few games. Scouts will be looking for the Kentucky prospects to handle Auburn’s length and fast pace, and all 3 players need to show the ability to hit the 3 pt. shot. Johnson needs to improve on his ability to impact games when he does not have his shot going, and games where he score 0 points like the Georgia game will not go over well with scouts.  Both teams will be looking to push the ball, which should allow plenty of opportunities for the Auburn prospects to shoot from the outside and score in transition. Wiley is long and has shown an ability to shoot from the outside as a big man, and Okeke possesses elite athleticism, but NBA teams need to see that they can be more effective on the offensive end. 

#25 Indiana (12-5) at Purdue (11-6) Sat. 2 PM on Fox

Prospects:

Romeo Langford (Indiana)

Carsen Edwards (Purdue)

Langford and Edwards have put up some impressive numbers so far this season. Edwards can make a shot from anywhere when he is on, and Langford uses his athleticism to get his shot. Langford needs to continue to show scouts that his outside is improving, and he has shown flashes at some points. For Edwards, the big question will continue to be his size on defense and ability to get the shot off at the NBA level, and being efficient against Big Ten teams goes a long way to show he can do that. 

Wake Forest (8-8) at #9 Virginia Tech (14-2)

Prospects:

Nickeil Alexander-Walker (Virginia Tech)

Jaylen Hoard (Wake Forest)

Scouts will be looking for Alexander-Walker to continue being one of the most efficient players in college basketball. His position will be something that a team will need to figure out, and games like this in the ACC will help them determine which route they prefer. Hoard needs to continue to score at a high rate for a freshman, and keep up his flashes of rebounding at a good rate. NBA teams will want to see him score from the outside against a top ten team like Virginia Tech. 

Stanford (8-8) at Washington State (7-9)

Prospects:

KZ Okpala (Stanford)

Robert Franks (Washington State)

Okpala is high on some boards and lower in the first round on just as many. Teams will want to see his improvement from 3 this season, and he has shown there is some. He should have plenty of chances to show off his scoring skill to scouts against a Washington State team that is not very good. Franks has been a solid scorer and a decent rebound before he went down with an injury earlier in the season. Scouts will be watching to see how healthy Franks looks in his return, and if he can continue to dominate on the offensive end of the floor. 

UCLA (10-7) at Southern California (9-8) Sat 4 p.m. on CBS

Prospects:

Jaylen Hands (UCLA)

Kris Wilkes (UCLA)

Bennie Boatwright (USC)

With Kevin Porter Jr. suspended indefinitely USC will have it’s hands full with UCLA. Both Wilkes and Hands are player sthat scouts view with a high upside but players that has not fully put it together on the college level. They need to continue to show that they can shoot outside jumpers at an efficient level. Boatwright has proven he can defend and get rebounds while also stepping outside, he needs to shoot the ball well continuing to show his ability to stretch a defense with his outside shot to NBA teams.

#24 Mississippi State (13-3) at Vanderbilt (9-7) Sat. 8:30 p.m. on SEC Network

Prospects:

Aric Holman (Mississippi State)

Simisola Shittu (Vanderbilt)

Holman has shown this season the ability to shoot from the outside much more than previous seasons. If he can show he can rebound at a high level as well as continue to shoot it from the outside at a good rate, scouts will become more intrigued than they already are. Shittu has the right size and skill set to be a stretch four in the league if he can extend his game beyond the 3 point line, which is more of a long term project. He needs to rebound and defend well and continue to score in a variety of ways enticing scouts to give him time to develop his outside shot.

Oregon (10-6) at Arizona State (11-5) Sat 4 p.m. on Pac 12 Network

Prospects:

Louis King (Oregon)

Luguentz Dort (Arizona State)

Zylan Cheatham (Arizona State)

King has come on lately offensively, which is his production starting to catch up to his talent. Scouts need the Oregon freshman to continue to show his game extends to the 3 point line, and use his athleticism to get to the rim. Dort is one of those players that fits into the position-less basketball that the NBA is favoring. He needs to show teams he can be a Bradley Beal type of scorer and shoot better from the outside. Cheatham can put a double double up on any night, but he needs to improve on his outside game and show scouts that he can used on the wing in the league. 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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