Best NBA Prospects In NCAA Tournament’s Sweet 16

    The best NBA prospects in the NCAA Tournament's Sweet 16 round, prepare to see these eight players balling on the professional hardwood in the future.

    March 22, 2016

    The best NBA prospects in the NCAA Tournament’s Sweet 16 round, prepare to see these eight players balling on the professional hardwood in the future.


    Millions of viewers tune in annually for the NCAA Tournament. Even with all of the brackets, betting and peripherals that come with March Madness, no one watches the tournament more closely than NBA scouts.

    Personnel from the league’s 30 teams will tell you scouting goes back much further than the tournament, and that a prospect’s full work of art is considered. However, there is no denying a player can make a name for himself and see his stock rise thanks to three good weeks in March.

    Gone are Kentucky’s Jamal Murray and Providence’s Kris Dunn. So, too, are the California duo of Jaylen Brown and Ivan Rabb. Yet with talent-rich programs like Duke, Kansas, Maryland and North Carolina still in the tournament there’s plenty of NBA talent on the court this Sweet 16.

    So who are the best pro prospects remaining in the tournament? Here’s a look at the top eight still dancing.

    Sweet 16’s Best NBA Prospects

    8. Melo Trimble


    School:
    Maryland

    Position:
    Point Guard

    Height:
    6-foot-3

    Weight:
    185 lbs

    The Maryland sophomore has averaged 21.5 points and 5.5 rebounds, but only 2.5 assists. He has also struggled from downtown, having connected on only 1-of-10 attempts during the tournament. If Trimble aspires to be a first round pick, he’ll need to show more signs of consistency, particularly when it comes to shooting the ball.

    7. Grayson Allen


    School:
    Duke 

    Position:
    Shooting Guard

    Height:
    6-foot-5

    Weight:
    205 lbs

    The Duke sophomore has played in every minute of his team’s first two games, averaging 26 points and connecting on 19-of-21 at the charity stripe. Last season’s NCAA title game served as his breakout moment as came off the bench to tally 16 points in 21 minutes. A confident player who can knock down shots, Allen is projected to be a late first round pick.

    6. Thomas Bryant


    School:
    Indiana 

    Position:
    Center

    Height:
    6-foot-10

    Weight:
    245 lbs

    The Indiana freshman averaged only 22.4 minutes this season, but he makes the most of his time on the court. He’s averaging 16 points through a pair of contests, and during the Hoosiers’ win over Kentucky on Sunday, Bryant scored 15 of his 19 points in the final eight minutes. That’s the kind of performance that catches the eyes of scouts and puts someone like Bryant in the first round of the draft, should he decide to make the jump.

    5. Brice Johnson


    School:
    North Carolina 

    Position:
    Forward

    Height:
    6-foot-9

    Weight:
    228 lbs

    The North Carolina senior has averaged 19.5 points and 8.5 rebounds through two games. What really jumps out are the eight blocks he swatted in the Tar Heels’ first round win over Florida Gulf Coast (he added two more in the second-round victory over Providence). Johnson may not have the same perceived upside as the younger players, but he’s a safe pick for a team sitting in the middle of the first round.

    4. Domantas Sabonis


    School:
    Gonzaga 

    Position:
    Forward

    Height:
    6-foot-11

    Weight:
    240 lbs

    The Gonzaga sophomore has turned in a pair of double-doubles thus far – recording 21 points and 16 rebounds against Seton Hall and following that up with 19 and 10 against Utah. As the son of Lithuanian star Arvydas Sabonis, he possesses the DNA to play at the next level. If the Bulldogs’ jumbo lineup can get past Syracuse, Sabonis will have more opportunity to solidify himself as a mid-first round pick.

    3. Diamond Stone


    School:
    Maryland

    Position:
    Center

    Height:
    6-foot-11

    Weight:
    255 lbs

    The Maryland freshman is a work in progress. Stone has averaged eight points per game, though he’s not a focal point on offense for the Terrapins. A breakout performance against Kansas would certainly serve him well. Regardless, he has the body and skillset to potentially crack the lottery should he decide to move on.

    2. Buddy Hield


    School:
    Oklahoma 

    Position:
    Shooting Guard

    Height:
    6-foot-4

    Weight:
    214 lbs

    The Oklahoma senior hasn’t disappointed, dropping 36 points to go with seven rebounds in a second round victory over VCU. While Hield finished with 27 points and five boards against CSU Bakersfield in the first round, the most impressive are his shooting percentages: 55.8 percent from the field, 45 percent from downtown and 84 percent from the line. Hield is looking every bit like a top-10 prospect.

    1. Brandon Ingram


    School:
    Duke 

    Position:
    Guard/Forward

    Height:
    6-foot-9

    Weight:
    190 lbs

    The Duke freshman was already projected to challenge Ben Simmons for the No. 1 overall pick in the draft. His performance thus far – 22.5 points, seven rebounds and 4-of-9 from long range through two games – has done nothing but bolster the notion that he’s the tournament’s best player. The more Ingram scores and shows off his incredible length, the more he’ll be considered when it comes time for the draft’s first selection to be made.

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