Who to Watch in the College Basketball Conference Tournaments

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While the Spurs season may be winding down, the college hoops season is just heating up. It’s championship week, which means a lot of casual college basketball fans are getting a last chance to watch the teams that will be battling in the round of 64 after selection Sunday.

For San Antonio fans it means getting a chance to see some players that may be joining the team with their first or second round selection in the NBA Draft. The Spurs currently have the 3rd worst record in the NBA, and are tied with Houston and Detroit for the best odds at the number-1 pick. The lowest pick the Spurs can possibly get is the 7th pick. That means fans should be looking at the top end of the draft for future Spurs.

Here are the players to watch ahead of the NCAA Tournament.

Nick Smith Jr., 6-5 Guard, Arkansas

At this point in the rebuild, the Spurs should not be focused on fit. Rather, they should be taking swings on guys that could potentially become superstars. Nick Smith Jr. fits the bill.

Arkansas was a preseason darling, but faltered in a difficult South Eastern Conference, mostly due to injuries to key players like Smith Jr., who appeared in just 12 games this season. The freshman guard was a tantalizing talent coming out of high school with his length, (6-9 foot wingspan) shooting and athletic ability. Unfortunately, he hasn’t had a great opportunity to showcase that for the Razorbacks.

Smith Jr. has been wildly inefficient, averaging 13.8 points while shooting 39.5 from the field and 34% from three. This isn’t out of the normal for young guards with a knack for scoring at the college level, and maybe with more experience he could clean up his erratic shot selection. Another thing that hurts his profile as a prospect is he isn’t a great playmaker, so when he isn’t making shots, he doesn’t bring another aspect to your offense by getting others involved.

He is however a plus defender. With his size and length, he can disrupt bigger opposing players. He brings a frenetic energy to the court that can be frustrating on offense, but inspiring on defense. Regardless of his shot falling, the freshman guard will compete on the defensive end.

The Spurs have a lot of perimeter players, but none that jump off of the page as a potential star (yet!) Smith Jr. isn’t there either, but he has a lot to gain from a strong run this March. He could be a riser on draft boards if the Razorbacks make some noise in the SEC and NCAA tournaments.

Jarace Walker, 6-8 Forward, Houston

Walker is arguably the most impactful player for the number one team in the country. The Cougars are…

Read More: Who to Watch in the College Basketball Conference Tournaments 2023-03-09 00:30:38

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