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Instead of calling this No. 17, it may be more time appropriate to reference this as the Sweet 16 And-1. At this point in the process for the 2013 NBA Draft, there are only 15 total games left before the season is over and we get into the combines leading up to the event. How Sweet are the matchups in the Sixteen?
Here is the NBA Draft Fast Five.
ONE: What Game Has The Most Future NBA Talent?
The entire slate of games on Friday are appointment viewing — from Cinderella stories to coaching icons facing off to NBA prospects galore.
In terms of the biggest game with the most future NBA talent, it is hard to argue with Kansas/Michigan in the East Region. That game in particular features Ben McLemore (No. 2 rated prospect), Trey Burke (6), Glenn Robinson III (15), Jeff Withey (25), Tim Hardaway Jr. (41), Mitch McGary and Elijah Johnson.
As of late, every name mentioned has shot up draft boards with the way they have been playing.
Withey and Hardaway Jr. have been playing at a very high level, especially Hardaway Jr. Statistically, it may not be his best stretch of games during his three-year career, but he is playing with more confidence than ever. Withey is a shotblocking machine, and in the tournament he has put his length, activity and overall defensive efforts on full display.
There are three potential lottery picks in this game and maybe even three top 10 picks if everything falls down accordingly. There’s no question this game will feature a handful of future stars.
TWO: The Other Games?
One of the funny things about parity in college basketball is that the teams at the top were not consistently great, but they are all, for the most part, in the Sweet 16. Along with that, the top talent is spread out as well. Of the top 40 prospects, there are still 13 remaining in the tournament, 22 in the top 60 and 24 in the top 75.
THREE: Who Is The Prospect To Watch?
The key to the success of Michigan this postseason has been the play of Glenn Robinson III. He has taken his game to the next level offensively and that his teammates are recognizing it. All season, it has felt like GR3 was waiting to break out, but with Hardaway Jr. and Burke dominating the offense, he has had to wait in the wings. Now he has opened up his game playing along the baseline, hitting three-point shots, and getting out in transition. The full package is on display.
FOUR: Which Prospect Has The Most To Lose?
Moving through the tournament, Deshaun Thomas has been playing great basketball as Ohio State’s leading scorer and go-to guy on the offensive end. He is a player capable of catching fire and winning two more games to get his team to the Final Four.
He has a tough matchup against an Arizona team with a handful of athletic defenders that can throw him out of his comfort zone. A bad performance against quality athletic defenders will bring up the same concerns scouts have had about Thomas for three years now.