March Madness is upon us, and 2014’s college basketball stars are out to make an impact on their draft value with strong performances in their most-watched moment of the season. Here’s a look at a few names who could benefit from a strong March-April ahead of what is expected to be one of the most stacked NBA Drafts of all times.
Jabari Parker has been lighting it up with Duke this season, averaging a double-double while pulling the Blue Devils into the top tier of teams in the college hoops. Still, sportsbooks like TopBet list Creighton’s Doug McDermott as the odds-on favorite over Parker to take home the John R. Wooden award given to the best player in college basketball. A massive ACC Tournament and March Madness run might bring the award back in range Parker, and in turn spike his 2014 NBA Draft ranking.
After being considered a likely top-five pick in the 2013 draft, Smart chose to return to Oklahoma State this season, where he has put up even better numbers than in 2012-2013, averaging 17 points, five rebounds, and almost five assists a game.
But on-court play isn’t everything. Smart’s altercation with a fan led to his suspension, and the Cowboys’ guard could now use a big run in the big dance to help NBA teams forget his potential for controversy.
The consensus No. 1 pick coming into the 2013-2014 season, college basketball’s prodigious Canadian has seen his value drop, mainly on account of playing on another strong Kentucky team. While there’s little doubt Wiggins will be a top three pick, a NBA superstar, and the beneficiary of one of the most lucrative apparel deals in history, the Jayhawks forward would still benefit from proving he can be the difference on a championship winning team.