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The Whiteboard: NBA Draft prospects to watch on the first day of March Madness

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The usefulness of the NCAA Tournament as an evaluative tool for NBA Draft prospects is dramatically overstated, which should be especially true in a chaotic year like this one. But it’s still fun to get a first and more detailed look at players who you’re going to be hearing a lot about over the next few months. We never know exactly who will be getting their name called on draft night but here are a few likely lottery picks that will be playing today:

Which top NBA Draft prospects are playing on the first day of March Madness?

12:45 p.m. ET: Moses Moody, Wing Arkansas

Moody is a strong slasher and shooter with decent defensive potential. He’s a likely lottery pick but could move up by showing the ability to shoot on the move and really create plays off the dribble.

1:15 p.m. ET: Ayo Dosunmu, Guard, Illinois

Dosunmu has been phenomenal for Illinois all season long but he’s likely sitting on the edge of the first and second round. He has size and scoring chops but questions about his upside as a creator have him beyond several other top guard prospects. A strong tournament performance could keep him in the first round.

1:45 p.m. ET: Terrence Shannon Jr., Guard, Texas Tech and Neemias Queta, Big, Utah State

Shannon and Queta are both fringe first-rounders who could move up with strong showings. Shannon is an athletic wing who makes a difference with energy, effort and versatility at both ends. He needs to show he can score and continue to turn athletic tools into actual production. Queta is an athletic mobile, big but there are questions about his upside and what skills he can translate to the next level.

3:30 p.m. ET: Jared Butler and Davion Mitchell, Guards, Baylor

Mitchell and Butler are both likely late first-round picks but showing off their scoring, shooting and creation chops could help separate them from a crowded pool of guard prospects.

4:15 p.m. ET: Jaden Springer and Keon Johnson, Guards, Tennessee

Springer and Johnson are both likely lottery picks but, as freshmen, they have a lot to gain as well. Springer is a combo guard with strong defensive chops who can prove that his upside is playing well at both guard spots, not fading between them. Johnson is an elite wing defender who is still working on fleshing out the parameters of his offensive game.

5:15 p.m. ET: Cade Cunningham, Wing, Oklahoma State

Cunningham is likely the No. 1 pick in the NBA Draft and it’s hard to imagine anything happening in the tournament to change that. He has incredible size and tools, and makes an enormous impact at both ends of the floor. He’s an exceptional shooter and passer but some explosive scoring performances could really make him a legend.

6:00 p.m. ET: Day’Ron Sharpe, Big, North Carolina

Sharpe is one of the most interesting players in this class, a big without much stretch in his offensive game but plenty of upside as a passer and with his defensive mobility. His ceiling is probably not as high as Bam Adebayo’s but his skill set is similar.


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