We’re back with our second part of our Tournament NBA Prospect watch guide. If you missed part one (which also has some Friday games) click here.
Whether or not the Dallas Mavericks keep their first round pick this summer remains to be seen, they will definitely have an early second round pick. And there’s always a chance they sneak their way back into to the first round one way or other. So Mavs fans and scouts alike should be keeping tabs on these players:
First Round Prospect: Grant Williams (Tennessee)
3/22 vs Colgate - 1:45 CT, CBS
IAN: One of my absolute favorite players in college basketball, Grant Williams is a 6’7 big who makes up for his lack of height with a tremendous basketball IQ and a very high skill level. His intelligence shouldn’t be surprising, given his mother works for NASA. Grant also plays several instruments, and was at one point a nationally ranked chess player. He is one of the most efficient high-scorers in college with the Volunteers, and he fills out the stat sheet as a passer and defensive playmaker, as well. Exactly what position he plays in the NBA I’m not sure(he’s strong enough to make it as an undersized big, but he also might skilled enough to possibly shift down and play as a combo forward), but he’ll play.
Second Round Prospect: Ty Jerome (Virginia)
3/22 vs Gardner-Webb - 2:10 CT, truTV
JORDAN: The reputation of Virginia basketball, both that it’s often ugly to watch as they pack in their defense and slow the game down and that they can’t make it all the way through the tournament, is often true. But they’ve also produced some pretty interesting draft prospects recently. And this team, though distinct in that style, is good and Ty Jerome is one of the primary reasons why. A 6’5 guard who is a career 39 percent from three, Jerome doesn’t put up flashy numbers necessarily (though he has 166 assists to just 52 turnovers). What he could provide an NBA team (like the Mavericks) is the ability to play on or off the ball, run an offense, hit the three, and provide a high IQ two-way player off the bench.
First Round Prospect: Matisse Thybulle (Washington)
3/22 vs Utah State - 5:50 CT, TNT
JORDAN: Pac-12 basketball has been pretty ugly this season, but Matisse Thybulle might be one of the more intriguing late first round prospects not being talked about enough right now. His offensive stats don’t jump off the page, and his three point shot has fallen off this season. But he’s also one of the more dynamic defenders in college ball. Averaging over three steals and two blocks per game, the 6’6 200 lb senior wing is the prototypical size for the NBA. Both size and length (7 foot wingspan). He may not be consistent offensively, but his defense and athleticism is going to have scouts all over the country demanding their NBA bosses bring him in.
Second Round Prospect: Cameron Johnson (North Carolina)
3/22 vs Iona - 8:20 CT, TNT
IAN: Though Freshman Coby White has been getting a lot of the attention for the Tar Heels this season, former Pitt Panther Cam Johnson has put together an outstanding Senior season. His three point shooting has seen a huge jump this year, from 34 percent as a Junior to 46 percent this year. He’s a willing passer who can move the ball without mistakes, and at 6’9 offers some position flex, as well. His off-dribble game won’t wow you, and he’s already 23, so the ceiling isn’t likely terribly high, but the shooting will probably get him drafted and could allow him to contribute fairly soon.