The NCAA men’s basketball tournament is here. NBA scouts are high-spirited as some of the top draft prospects play on the biggest stage of college basketball. NitroBetting shares a look into the top players in the 2022 NCAA tournament we are likely to see in the highest level of professional basketball.
Top 10 NBA Prospects In The 2022 NCAA Tournament
10. Blake Wesley, Notre Dame
After falling short of the NCAA tournament for four years, Notre Dame returns to the picture and is eager to get the ball rolling once again. Wesley helped the Fighting Irish escape the drought. The guard showcases athleticism and scoring abilities that give Notre Dame the spark it needs.
The six-foot-five shooting guard handles pressure remarkably. He has two game-winners to his name this season. Wesley is ice cold from outside and when he sets his sights on a goal, he is nearly unstoppable. Notre Dame’s defeat to Wake Forest highlights Wesley’s 24-point game and six three-pointers. Despite a questionable status in the tournament due to the team’s inclusion in the play-in game, NBA talent scouts are excited to see Wesley light up the floor and improve his draft stock.
9. Keegan Murray, Iowa
Murray topped the scoring charts in the Big Ten and set a new record for total points in the same division with 105 points to his name. Iowa took down Purdue to claim the conference title and is now headed to the NCAA tournament with plenty of momentum.
The sophomore Iowa Hawkeyes forward is a high-volume shooter that brings value to any offense. Murray provides Iowa with a seamless and efficient offense that plays well to their advantage in the tournament. He averages 56% from the field and an incredible 41% from deep. In addition, Murray has five 30-plus points games this season. His skills and numbers can be carried over to the NBA, making him a hot commodity in the upcoming draft.
8. Jalen Duren, Memphis
Duren is among the younger talents on this list, but also in the class of bigger players. The six-foot-ten, 250-pound big man from Memphis earned the ACC Freshman of the Year honors this season. He helped his team get a shot at the NCAA tournament and out of the bubble.
With Holmgren, Smith, and Banchero leading this selection, Duren offers the next best numbers. It’s surprising to find a player of his size and height moving the ball very well. Duren is also a great rim protector and shot blocker. The potential matchup with Holmgren in the second round is what NBA scouts want to see. If Duren can step up and keep Holmgren under pressure, we might just find the former ranking up the draft this year. Moreover, Duren is at the peak of his college career and produced a monster victory over Central Florida where he collected 20 boards on top of 21 points in 27 minutes.
7. TyTy Washington, Kentucky
Washington returns to the court with hopes of getting his team a deep run in the NCAA tournament. He just recovered from an ankle injury last month, which puts a question mark on how he will perform moving forward. Nevertheless, we’ve seen him take on ball handler duties for the Wildcats. This is an aspect that NBA scouts dwell on. Washington produced an incredible game this season against Vanderbilt in the SEC tournament where he ended the night with 25 points going 4 for 5 from three in 32 minutes of play.
Kentucky needs a floor general like Washington. He will play a crucial role in their run to the Final Four. So far, the six-foot-three player from Phoenix averages 12.8 points, four assists, and 3.5 rebounds per game.
6. Ben Mathurin, Arizona
Arizona topped the charts under head coach Tommy Lloyd. Mathurin tried his luck in the NBA but elected to return for a second year with Arizona. The six-foot-six player can hold the guard or forward position, providing versatility in any lineup. He has a solid vision through the defense and is a talented passer in the open court. Mathurin was outstanding in the Pac-12 championship game where he finished with 27 points and seven assists. We expect his draft stock to see an upward trend as the tournament progresses.
Mathurin is a player we would like to see in the Final Four where he can shine further. This season, he averages 17.4 points, 5.6 rebounds, and 2.6 assists per game.
5. Jaden Ivey, Purdue
Ivey is a scoring machine and Purdue’s pillar this season. In his first year, he impressed NBA scouts after scoring the most points by any freshman in the Big Ten. Ivey recorded 26 points in the first round of the NCAA tournament and is one of the deadliest shooting guards in the league today. He has incredible range and killer instinct that puts plenty of pressure on defenders. The 20-year-old averages 37% from the three-point line and has over 13 games with 20-plus points.
His sophomore season features a more involved role in the team. Ivey documents 17.4 points, 4.9 rebounds, and 3.2 assists per game this season. NBA talent scouts and basketball fans look forward to his presence in the NCAA tournament once again.
4. Johnny Davis, Wisconsin
Davis upped his performance as a sophomore in Wisconsin. The improvement was enough to get him a Big Ten Player of the Year honors in a list of impressive players. Many compare him to Jalen Suggs, a player that led Wisconsin to the championship game last season. He is a tough competitor and leaves everything on the court. Davis was injured in the final game of the season and fell in the hands of Nebraska. He recovered and registered a double-double despite losing to Michigan State in the Big Ten tournament. Additionally, Johnny Davis also attracts interest from NBA scouts.
This season, Davis averages 19.7 points, 8.2 rebounds, and 2.2 assists in 29 games, and the 20-year-old is predicted to help Wisconsin stay alive in the tournament.
3. Paolo Banchero, Duke
Banchero proved his worth to the Duke Blue Devils in his freshman season, claiming the ACC Rookie of the Year honors and was included in the All-ACC first-team list. The 19-year-old forward averages 17 points and 7.8 rebounds per game and delivers consistent numbers for his team. The Italian-American basketball player holds the team-high in points and rebounds this season. He is comfortable playing the guard or forward position, making him one of the more versatile players on this list.
However, since Duke misfired against rivals North Carolina and Virginia Tech in the ACC tournament, Banchero needed to find his groove back to help Duke score its sixth NCAA championship.
2. Jabari Smith, Auburn
Smith topped the SEC division in three-point field goal percentage. The 6-foot-10 forward recorded 43% from the three-point line. He put on a show against Vanderbilt in February and knocked down seven shots from downtown. Smith can be a scary player when he gets hot and we expect the freshman to help Auburn accomplish a deep run in the tournament.
The rookie averaged 17.1 points and seven rebounds per game, earning him the SEC Freshman of the Year honors. His numbers are enough to get him a potential top-five pick in the 2022 NBA draft. Smith’s soaring basketball IQ and athleticism make us believe that he is already NBA material at this stage of his career.
1. Chet Holmgren, Gonzaga
Freshman Chet Holmgren is under the radar of scouts. The seven-footer showed his dominance from the beginning of the conference play despite playing only five games against Power Five teams. He has exceptional moves for a tall player and can knock down shots from deep. Holmgren can produce plenty of threats in the open court.
Analysts expect Holmgren to land as the first-overall pick in the upcoming NBA draft. He provides value on both ends of the court, shooting 61% from the field on offense. Holmgren also snatched the West Coast Conference Defensive Player of the Year honors as a rookie. At the time of this writing, he averaged 14.2 points, 9.6 rebounds, and 3.6 blocks per game. These numbers are sure to catch the eye of any professional team out there and it will be interesting to see him match up with the big guns of college basketball in the NCAA tournament.
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