NBA playoff seeding hasn’t been decided yet, and neither has the seeding for March Madness. With that being said, it’s late enough to get an idea of where teams will be drafting. March Madness will be watched by scouts throughout the entire league as they look for new players to pick up. The tournament is also often used by players to improve their own draft stock. For example, players such as Davion Mitchell and Chris Duarte made it into the draft lottery last season after impressive March performances. Now, not all players will be thrust into the lottery, but they can find themselves improving their 2022 NBA Draft stock.
2022 NBA Draft: Three Players Who Can Improve Stock in March Madness
The Mountain West Player of the Year
David Roddy of the Colorado State Rams was just named the Mountain West Player of the Year. This in itself is a great achievement, and he’ll look to further his draft stock this month.
Roddy is averaging 19.5 points, 7.6 rebounds, and 2.8 assists per game. On the defensive end, he’s also averaging a block and a steal per game. Most importantly, Roddy is shooting from deep at an impressive 46 percent clip. His ability to shoot from deep will make him a dangerous option as an off-ball player. If Roddy finds his space then he’ll score, it’s that simple.
He plays solid defense, can rebound the ball, and is a decent athlete. Although a forward, one aspect that may affect his draft projection is his size. He may be a tad small to guard opposing bigs, making him feature as a wing player. At the same time, although his defense as a whole is solid, quicker players can take advantage of him. NBA teams love their “three-and-d” types, so Roddy can become a hot commodity if he takes his defense to another level in March. As long as he continues to drain threes at a high rate, he will be drafted.
A Clear Team Leader
Mike Miles out of Texas Christian University is the team’s clear leader. He’s their best player by a wide margin, and they struggle mightily on offense when he’s not playing. This is partly due to roster construction, but Miles is an obvious game-changer.
This season he’s averaging 15 points, 3.5 rebounds, and four assists per game. TCU is an excellent defensive squad, and Miles contributes to this with his 1.4 steals per game. He doesn’t back down from a challenge and when he drives he’s often compared to a football running back. Miles plays with a combination of power and skill which makes him an intriguing prospect.
Issues with Miles are his three-point shooting and field goal percentage in the paint while shooting in traffic (outside of lay-ups). With that being said he’s shown to be a solid offensive player, so perhaps these percentages are low due to his extremely high usage with the Horned Frogs.
TCU recently won back-to-back games versus Top 10 teams. Against Texas Tech, Miles dropped 26 points and four assists. In the next game versus Kansas, Miles dropped 19 points and six assists. He’s a big-game player.
A Potential 2022 NBA Draft Steal
Christian Braun of the Kansas Jayhawks wasn’t on many NBA radars entering this season. Now he seems to be a surefire first-rounder who has the ability to sneak into the lottery with a great March Madness performance.
This season Braun is averaging 14.9 points, 6.7 rebounds, and 2.7 assists per game. In addition to also averaging a block and a steal on the defensive end, Braun is shooting well from deep at a 38 percent clip. His form is strong enough to improve year by year as well in the shooting department.
The swingman style of Braun will translate well into the NBA, especially on the offensive end. He can score off the dribble, excels off the ball, and has no problem attacking the basket. He probably won’t be a number one option, but he can contribute in a variety of ways. Braun’s defense as a whole is decent as well, and he shouldn’t ever be a liability on that end. If Braun doesn’t end up in the lottery, he can be a possible steal for a team drafting in the 15-20 range.
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