J.Ross: Don’t Get Too Caught Up in Pro Prospects During the College Basketball Tournament
The first round of the College Basketball Tournament is almost over and we have lost a couple of the power players in the June NBA draft. On Thursday morning, Trae Young and Oklahoma were bounced by Rhode Island. Young had a good game but not an incredible game. He was close to his regular season averages but couldn’t put the Sooners on his shoulder to advance his team to the weekend. Later in the day, one of the tournament favorites, Arizona was stunned by Buffalo. Not only did Arizona lose but they were crushed by the underdog Bulls.
What does that mean for their standout DeAndre Ayton? Not much to be honest with you. Ayton will still remain as one of the top targets for all NBA teams in the upcoming lottery. He is a big that can move, shoot, defend and is very athletic. He will be coveted and his blemish in the tournament won’t stay with him at all. This is all about a full season of sample size and what Ayton can become at the next level.
Marvin Bagley is still playing and could impress those that watch more college hoops during the tournament than in the regular season. Bagley will also be a lottery pick but I don’t believe he will do much to change scouts opinions of him over these tournament games. We can lump Collin Sexton, Mo Bamba, Jaren Jackson and Michael Porter Jr. in this group as well. I don’t believe that their tournament failures or success will have any impact on their draft status. The last two number 1 picks were Markelle Fultz and Ben Simmons. Neither of them took their respective schools even to the big dance. It won’t matter and shouldn’t matter. All of this is about what they will look like at the next level and for most of these guys we will get answers to that very soon.