With the NCAA tournament over and the NBA regular season also drawing to a close, the draft is starting to take shape. While the top of the draft seems to be rather set, the rest remains in flux and has certainly changed based on performances in the NCAA tournament.
The tournament offers a great chance for NBA teams to see how prospects react to the pressure and stress of the tournament. Some players thrive playing for large crowds, while others get overwhelmed by the moment.
Here are some of the prospects that helped their draft stock during the NCAA tournament.
Trey Burke, PG, Michigan
Michigan Wolverines point guard Trey Burke did everything he could to lead his team to the title game, despite terrible shooting performances. His overall play showed he's capable of leading a team at the next level. His leadership was a big reason why Michigan was able to avoid an early upset and beat top teams.
Scouts will see that Burke isn't a poor shooter, but rather he's just in a slump. It happens. The most important thing is that Burke still found ways to be effective and impact the game. He upped his rebounding and figured out ways to hit big shots when the team needed him.
Burke has definitely cemented his stock as a lottery pick. He's a top 10 player and likely the second point guard to be selected behind Marcus Smart.
Michael Carter-Williams, PG, Syracuse
Syracuse sophomore guard Michael Carter-Williams did a lot to help his stock as Syracuse made their run to the Final Four. The lengthy, defensive talent showcased some offensive skill and aggressiveness that was sorely missed at times during the season. His ability to run the offense and get to the basket were solid improvements.
While showing off some offense, Carter-Williams also delivered his strong, pesky defensive skills that make him a great option in the draft. He's not the most solid point guard coming out of college this year, but his frame, agility and strong defensive understanding can make him a weapon.
Carter-Williams has probably cracked into the lottery range of the draft, but it wouldn't be surprising to see him fall just outside. How he does in the NBA will largely depend on which team selects him and the fit.
Gorgui Dieng, C, Louisville
Gorgui Dieng's strong play during Louisville's run through the NCAA tournament has surely helped out his draft stock. The true center will offer some team great size and athleticism in the middle of the floor with his 6'11", 245-pound frame.
Throughout the tournament, Dieng showed physicality on both ends of the floor. He was very active and showed great attentiveness for the majority of the tournament.
Dieng entered the tournament as a likely end of the first round prospect, but may have jumped up towards the middle of the round. As one of the few true centers in the class, Dieng has a great chance to get selected high and get some immediate action.
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