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Which college players need strong NCAA tournaments to improve draft status

Updated on March 18, 2014

Check your brackets twice

The Madness is upon us
The Madness is upon us | Source

Let the March Madness begin

March madness is upon us and while fans are filling out their NCAA brackets, NBA scouts are looking for a star to emerge. Most of the country is familiar with the fab freshman class of 2014. Names like Jabari Parker of Duke, Andrew Wiggins of Kansas, and Aaron Gordon of Arizona have a chance to improve their already high draft stock. These are also the final opportunities for juniors and seniors to make a name for themselves on a national stage. Let’s take a look at some players who could improve their draft status with strong NCAA tournament play.

A look back at some great NCAA tournament highlights

Just the next step before the NBA

Kansas freshman forward Andrew Wiggins
Kansas freshman forward Andrew Wiggins | Source

Andrew Wiggins(Kansas)

Averaging 17 points and 6 rebounds per game Andrew Wiggins has had an up and down season to say the least. As the preseason top ranked player in college basketball, Wiggins has dropped in many rankings due to his inconsistent play. Some would say he may not even be the best player on his team, but Andrew has a chance to improve his stock with strong tournament play. With Joel Embiid health a question he will have to take control of the team Kansas to advance to the final four. In a bracket which boast Ohio St. and Syracuse, Wiggins may be able to raise his stock dramatically.

Smart has allot to play for

Keeping his focus
Keeping his focus | Source

Marcus Smart(Oklahoma St.)

Marcus Smart was well on his way to yet another great basketball season and then there was the Texas Tech game. While trailing in the game Smart shoved a fan, and in that instance may have fallen on some NBA teams draft board. Marcus will need to have a strong tournament maybe more than any other player. The problem could be that he may not get the chance. Oklahoma St. will play a strong Gonzaga team in the first round and if they win Arizona will be waiting in the wings. Averaging nearly 18 points per game Smart has pulled off some big games in the past, but he will have to put the entire state of Oklahoma on his back to make a deep run.

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A look under the Hood

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Rodney Hood(Duke)

Rodney Hood began the season scoring in double figures in the first six games of the season including a 30 point performance against East Carolina. The problem is that Hood has struggled down the stretch and did not perform well versus raked teams this season. Hood seems unable to play off his very talented freshman counterpart Jabari Parker. In order for Duke to have a strong tournament both Parker and Hood will have to dominate games. Rodney may be a mid to late first round pick, but strong play has been known to increase stock.

Started from the bottom

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Russ Smith(Louisville)

Some may not recognize the name Russ Smith, but many may after this NCAA tournament. Smith is averaging 18 points and 4.5 assist per game for the Cardinals this season. He scored in double figures in every game but two in which he scored 7 and 3 points. The 7 points were in a 51 point blow out against Rutgers and the 3 came in a 33 point blow out against then number 19 ranked Uconn. Oh Russ also had a 42 point game as Houston. What makes him special is that he’s a senior and his experience will play a big factor in the tournament.

Best of college basketball

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