NBA Draft Stock: Top Players to Watch in the NCAA Tournament

AJ Griffin

The NCAA Men’s Basketball Tournament is just a few days away – which means NBA scouts will have their hands full evaluating players under the bright lights.

The “top three” – including Gonzaga’ forward/center Chet Holmgren, Auburn’ forward Jabari Smith Jr., and Duke’ forward Paolo Banchero – seem to be a consensus.

However, there are a lot of players who could see their draft-stock fluctuate based on their performance.

Here are a few:

AJ Griffin

Duke’ forward AJ Griffin is a scout’s dream.

Griffin is listed at 6-6 with a 7-foot wingspan; averaging 10.4 points and 3.8 rebounds on 50%/47%/76% shooting splits, via ESPN.

Oh, and he’s one of the youngest players in his class at 18 years old.

Scouts are no doubt intrigued by Griffin’s size and shooting-efficiency – but questions remain over whether he could maintain his efficiency at a higher usage rate.

Jalen Duren

Memphis’ center Jalen Duren is a big-time bruiser.

Duren is listed at 6-11 with a 7-5 wingspan; averaging 12.2 rebounds, 8.1 rebounds, and 2.2 blocks on 63% shooting from the field, via ESPN.

Like Griffin, Duren is one of the youngest players in his class at 18 years old.

Scouts liken Duren to traditional big-men such as Andre Drummond and Nerlens Noel – but they’re also hopeful his game will translate to the current NBA a la Bam Adebayo.

Duren suffered a shoulder injury in the AAC tournament, throwing his status for March Madness into doubt.

Still, few players could rise or fall as much as Duren depending on how they play (or if they play) in the NCAA Tournament.

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TyTy Washington Jr.

Kentucky’ guard TyTy Washington Jr. is a jack-of-all-trades player.

Washington Jr. is listed at 6-3, 197 lbs – which is good for a one-guard, a little undersized for a two-guard; averaging 12.8 points, 3.5 rebounds, 4.0 assists, and 1.4 steals on 46%/35%/75% shooting splits, via ESPN.

Unlike Griffin and Duren, Washington Jr. is older at 20 years old.

Scouts like Washington Jr.’s ability to do a little bit of everything.

Washington Jr. reminds me a lot of former UNC’ guard Coby White – not for his style of play, but rather his draft-stock movement.

White was ultimately selected seventh overall; Washington Jr. would surely love to get picked within the top-10.