And then there were Four! Make sure to check out the standouts from the first week of March Madness if you missed that. But without any dilly-dallying, let’s get into the three standouts from each round, with an honorable mention for each as well.
Board disclaimer: At this time in the draft cycle, positions are constantly shifting. If there’s any overlap between last week’s board and this week’s, that’s why.
#1: Caleb Love: 30 points (5-11 2P, 6-13 3P, 2-2 FT), 3 rebounds, 4 assists in 40 min in a 7-point win over UCLA
Love is starting to look more like the bucket-getting prospect many projected him to be coming out of high school. Sometimes prospects are late-bloomers, and that’s okay, though he’s still a second round guy for me right now if he comes out, since it’s still a pretty small sample size of these high-volume scoring outputs; two of his three career games with 23+ points have come during this tournament run. Currently 51 on my board.
#2: Paolo Banchero: 22 points (4-8 2P, 3-4 3P, 5-6 FT), 4 rebounds, 4 assists, and 3 steals in 37 min in a 5-point win over Texas Tech
During this tournament, Banchero is starting to show more of that frightening, takeover type player that he’s capable of being, but he still struggles to show that for a full 40 minutes. That keeps him at 2 on my board, behind Chet Holmgren.
#3: Kyler Edwards: 19 points (1-4 2P, 5-9 3P, 2-4 FT), 5 rebounds, 3 assists, and 1 steal in 38 min in a 12-point win over Arizona
Edwards projects as a two-way guy to me, and he’s exactly what I would want out of my two-way flier: veteran who already knows how to play the game, just needs to refine certain things, like playmaking; career 3.5 assists per 40 minutes. Currently 69 on my board.
Honorable Mention: Remy Martin: 23 points (6-9 2P, 1-4 3P, 8-13 FT), 7 rebounds, 3 assists, and 1 block in 27 min in a 5-point win over Providence
Martin is another two-way flier, and he’s always been that since his Arizona State days. He’s not going to succeed at the NBA level unless he develops more of his in-between paces as opposed to always going 0 or 60. Currently 74 on my board.
#1: Ochai Agbaji: 18 points (6-10 2P, 2-2 3P, 0-1 FT), 5 rebounds, 4 assists, and 4 steals in 34 min in a 26-point win over Miami (FL)
Agbaji continues to show his elite two-way impact potential. I have no questions about how he projects. Currently 11 on my board.
#2: Paolo Banchero: 16 points (3-9 2P, 1-2 3P, 7-8 FT), 7 rebounds, 3 assists, 1 steal, and 1 block in 38 min in a 9-point win over Arkansas
The play at the 0:25 mark stands out to me as evidence of Banchero leveraging his size into the passing game, being able to see over defenders. Brilliant flash for his outlook as a primary or secondary initiator of an offense. Still 2 on my board.
#3: AJ Griffin: 18 points (5-6 2P, 2-3 3P, 2-2 FT), 3 rebounds, 1 steal, and 1 block in 26 min in a 9-point win over Arkansas
Griffin keeps shooting the lights out of the ball. He’s now shooting 55.2% from 2 (134 attempts) and 45.8% from 3 (155 attempts), and at this point, it’s enough to say that’s just who he’ll be at the next level. Defense continues to be magnificent as well. Currently 6 on my board.
Honorable Mention: Jaylin Williams: 19 points (8-15 2P, 0-2 3P, 3-3 FT), 10 rebounds, 3 assists, and 2 steals in 34 min in a 9-point loss to Duke
Williams had one of the more fun seasons in recent memory among college ballers. It was a shame to see it end the way it did, but he still showed a lot of what’s going to work for him at the next level, including making pivotal defensive plays like the following. Currently 29 on my board.
While it’s not always the most fun for the Final Four to feature exclusively blue blood programs in Duke, North Carolina, Villanova, and Kansas, but it does usually play into prospect-watching. Excited to see what the final weekend of college basketball has to offer, starting Saturday night from New Orleans!