NCAA Tournament Players to Watch

The NCAA Men's Basketball Tournament offers a chance to see many of the players that will be considered to play at the next level in the NBA.

Here are some thoughts on the top players and when you can see them:

Reed Sheppard - Kentucky. 6'3" 187 lbs. Sheppard is that rare point guard that has a defensive rating significantly better than his team's DEFRTG. To make his prospects even sweeter, he is a knock-down three-point shooter that has connected on 52.5% of his three-point attempts this season! He has an uncanny knack for getting deflections and steals and he seems to be a step ahead in all facets of the game. He is 19 years-old. Kentucky plays Thursday at 4:10 pm on CBS.

Robert Dillingham - Kentucky. 6'3" 176 lbs. SG. Dillingham makes plays. He is a gifted, 19-year-old, athlete that is quicker than the vast majority of guards that come along. He is shooting 44.9% from three-point land and he sees the floor well. Dillingham needs to show more desire to compete on the defensive end. Kentucky plays Thursday at 4:10 pm on CBS.


Donovan Clingan - Connecticut. 7'2" 265 lbs. C. The leader in Big East boxscore plus/minus, Clingan is a BIG that rebounds and blocks shots at a high level. He is shooting 64.6% FG this season. His weakness is his free throw shooting (57% FT). U-Conn plays Friday at 11:45 am on CBS.

Dalton Knecht - Tennessee. 6'6" 197 lbs. SF. Knecht is a wing scorer that has the skill to make difficult shots look easy. Known as a gym-rat, he offers deceiving athletic ability and the chops to make 39.7% of his three-point shots. Tennessee plays at 6:20 pm on TNT.

Zach Edey - Purdue. 7'4" 300 lbs. C. Edey eats rebounds as a regular part of his diet. He makes 61.9% of his field goal attempts. He's averaging 24.4 points, 11.7 rebounds, and 2.2 blocked shots per game. Purdue plays at 4:25 pm Friday on TBS.

Cody Williams - Colorado. 6'8" 190 lbs. SF. Cody Williams is the brother of Jalen Williams of the Oklahoma City Thunder. Cody is a work in progress as a player but his flashes of upside will have an NBA team chasing the stardom that may lie ahead. Colorado plays at 6:10 pm tonight (Wednesday) on TruTV.


Terrence Shannon - Illinois. 6'6" 210 lbs. SF. The fastest wing player with the ball that we have seen in awhile. Shannon turns up a gear and leaves opponents in his dust in transition. An improved three-point stroke has NBA teams truly considering him even though he will be 24 years-old when the next NBA season begins. Illinois plays at 12:10 pm Thursday on TruTV.

Tyler Kolek - Marquette. 6'3" 182 lbs. PG. If there is a player to be labeled trustworthy, it is Tyler Kolek. He makes the correct reads routinely. He has a 2.74-to-1 assist-to-turnover ratio, shoots 40% from three-point land, and 88% FT. Marquette plays Friday at 11:00 am on TBS.

Ja'Kobe Walter - Baylor. 6'5" 195 lbs. SG. Walter has great size for a 19 year-old, two-guard. While his best basketball is in front of him, Walter passes all the eye-tests. Baylor plays at 9:40 am Friday on TruTV.

Kyle Filipowski - Duke. 7'0" 230 lbs. C. Filipowski has the pick-and-pop potential that NBA teams covet. He continues to improve his deep shooting while being willing to compete inside as well. Duke plays Friday at 4:10 pm on CBS.

K.J. Simpson - Colorado. 6'2" 175 lbs. PG. Simpson shows a complete, skilled game. The 21 year-old works hard on defense while being able to score at the other end. Colorado plays at 6:10 pm tonight (Wednesday) on TruTV.

Johnny Furphy - Kansas. 6'9" 202 lbs. SF. Furphy's 6'9" frame has scouts excited because he also can shoot and make correct reads. The Australian had 23 points and 11 rebounds in a win over Cincinnati in January that teased what he might become. Kansas plays at 6:55 pm Thursday on TBS.