Who are the Top 10 Players to Keep an Eye on in the National Tournament
It’s the most exciting time of the basketball calendar!
The NCAA Tournament kicks off in less than 24-hours with four consolation games on the schedule, while the first round starts off on Thursday. As the Tournament heats up, the NBA playoffs shall very quickly follow the madness. This year’s Tournament is no different from any other – a tournament filled with very talented young players and a tournament that will surely have plenty of nail-biting finishes.
Cinderella teams, clutch shots, new stars being born. This is what March Madness is all about.
Of course, before going into March Madness, let’s get reacquainted with the best players we will see on our television screens. The players who hope to not only lead their teams to the tournament crown, but the players who hope to leave an ever-lasting impression on NBA teams as the 2018 NBA Draft quickly approaches.
Honourable Mentions: Keita Bates-Diop (Ohio State), Collin Sexton (Alabama), Carsen Edwards (Purdue)
10. Mikal Bridges (Villanova)
One of the two big names on the one-seed Villanova Wildcats, Mikal Bridges is the Klay Thompson of on the collegiate basketball level.
A catch-and-shoot marksman, the guard has shot 43.3% from beyond the arc in his junior season while averaging 18-points per game. The Wildcats may be the most dangerous team in all of college basketball and rightfully earned the one-seed. Bridges will continue to be a big part of this Wildcats team as the Tournament heats up!
9. Jevon Carter (West Virginia)
He may be a 17-points per game scorer, but don’t get the story twisted when it comes to Jevon Carter.
The West Virginia guard is one of the best defenders in the nation with quick hands, great instincts, and a knack for being a pest on defense. No wonder he is a two-time Big 10 Defensive Player of the year!
8. Miles Bridges (Michigan State)
Miles Bridges returned to college after an excellent season last year and only got better.
He has a big strong body and is now a much-improved shooter. Similar to what Draymond Green was in his time with the Spartans, Bridges is a player that causes a ton of mismatches for the opposition and along with super-prospect Jaren Jackson will be leading the way for the Spartans in March Madness.
7. Trevon Bluiett (Xavier)
“You can’t relax on him,” Commented a rival coach on Trevon Bluiett. “You can’t mess up a ball screen. If he gets a couple layups or gets to the free throw line and sees the ball go through, the next thing you know he’s stringing off three or four threes in a row.”
One of the best shooters in the nation on the one-seeded Xavier, Bluiett is one of the biggest names in the entire tournament, and one opposing teams will need to stay glued to.
6. Jaren Jackson (Michigan State)
While Miles Bridges is the biggest name in Michigan State, and rightfully so, Jaren Jackson may just be one of the most talented prospects in the entire nation.
With the spotlight once against on Tom Izzo and the Spartans, Jackson will have his time to shine before he heads to the NBA Draft. With incredible athleticism and length, Jackson has agility, and the potential to develop a strong post and face-up game. This is a name to keep a close eye on.
Once again, watch out for the Spartans.
5. Devonte Graham (Kansas)
A first-team All-American, a big reason behind Kansas landing a one-seed is the play of Devonte Graham
A high-motor player who is able to log in as many minutes as necessary for his team, Graham has averaged 17.6-points and 7.2-assists per game. Bill Self consistently has one of the strongest teams in the nation and this year is no different. Like in-season, Graham will be leading the way.
4. Trae Young (Oklahoma)
If you are a basketball fan, you must’ve heard about Trae Young – a very appropriate name for the guy in Oklahoma who can drain ‘traes’ from all over the floor.
A game similar to Stephen Curry’s, Young makes up for his lack of size and athleticism, with deceptive skill, an ability to create space and a quick release. From Blake Griffin, to Buddy Hield, Young is the new big name in Oklahoma, and he will need to do just about everything if the Sooners can stand a chance in the Tournament.
Get ready, because Trae Young is a fun name player to watch when he goes off!
3. Jalen Brunson (Villanova)
A former National Champion, Jalen Brunson isn’t one of those impeccable freshmen who are set to take over the NBA for years to come.
Brunson is a different kind of animal and one who has the ability to lead Villanova to yet another National Championship game. With excellent basketball IQ and court vision, Brunson is able to slow the game down and make the right plays. This is a stage that he has been on and is comfortable with the pressure that comes with it. Villanova may very well be the best team in the nation going into this tournament and Brunson has been their best player from start to finish.
2. Marvin Bagley (Duke)
Another one-and-done player on a Duke basketball team? What a concept?
Since before the onset of the collegiate basketball season, Marvin Bagley asserted himself as one of the best players in the nation and as the season went on that fact hasn’t changed. The ACC Player of the Year owns supreme athleticism and explosiveness, and is an offensive force who alongside the infamous Grayson Allen will aim to lead Duke University to another National Championship.
1. DeAndre Ayton (Arizona)
Simply put, DeAndre Ayton has separated himself from the pack.
As the big man position continues to evolve, Ayton is that next great centre. In the mold of a Joel Embiid, Ayton is an elite defensive player and rebounder, and on the collegiate level, he is a man amongst boys. Dropping 30-points and close to 20-points frequently throughout the season, Ayton will be tasked with willing the Arizona Wildcats through the National Tournament.