NCAA March Madness 2024: Four Players Who Boosted Their NBA Draft Prospects

NCAA March Madness 2024: Four Players Who Boosted Their NBA Draft Prospects

College basketball’s biggest night ended with the UConn Huskies successfully defending the NCAA championship against the Purdue Boilermakers to become the first back-to-back national champions in 17 years.

Beyond the coveted title, the March Madness tournament serves as a springboard for many players – a chance to elevate their stock with dazzling displays under the brightest lights.

This year was no different, with several prospects seizing the national spotlight and potentially impacting their NBA Draft trajectory.

UConn took advantage of one of the most talented draft classes to power their way to another national championship. Their dominance was undeniable, with each victory a showcase for their top prospects.

However, beaten finalists Purdue can also hold their heads high. They were led by Zach Edey, who was a revelation at the tournament. Edey is one of a select few players who have seen their draft stock skyrocket during March Madness. 

Here’s a closer look at four players who have improved their NBA Draft value with stellar performances in the most pressure-packed games of the college basketball season.

Johnny Furphy

Melbourne’s Johnny Furphy is rapidly becoming a name synonymous with excitement, not just amongst Kansas Jayhawks fans but across Australia.

The 19-year-old freshman shrugged off a slow start to his college career to establish himself as a key player for the Jayhawks, averaging a solid nine points, 4.9 rebounds and one assist per game.

While Furphy’s heroics couldn’t propel the Jayhawks to the final, his impressive performances and all-round profile suggest he would be a decent addition for the Cleveland Cavaliers.

The Cavaliers are in play-off contention this season, but remain a few players short of having a championship-winning squad. Furphy could be a potential asset for the upcoming campaign.

If Furphy lands in Cleveland, international betting sites will likely be hit with a flurry of bets on the Cavaliers from Australian punters keen to follow his fortunes.

Landing Furphy would ignite a surge in Australian basketball fans tuning in to watch the NBA, and their passion for wagering would be fuelled even further by his presence in the league.

The Cavaliers last won the NBA title in 2016, but acquiring Furphy could improve their odds of delivering a winning return to bettors who back them next season.

Jared McCain

Duke Blue Devils freshman guard Jared McCain turned heads in the NCAA tournament even though his team fell short in the quarter-finals.  

The guard wasn’t fazed by the bright lights, bagging 32 points in the heartbreaking defeat to NC State Wolfpack. McCain was a scoring machine for Duke, averaging 14.3 points per game while shooting at a 41.4% rate from beyond the arc.

For a man with his small frame, his quick release and deep range make him a constant threat, both off the dribble and in catch-and-shoot situations.

McCain has a winner’s mentality, and his ability to elevate his game on the biggest stage is a rare and valuable trait.

The youngster would be perfect for any NBA team. His ability to shoot and score consistently could be a valuable asset for teams looking to bolster their backcourt.

Zach Edey

Edey is the most dominant player in college basketball and arguably one of the best rookies of the last two decades.

The Canadian is poised to get first-round books from NBA teams. While he may not necessarily be a lottery pick, it is impossible to ignore what he has done in the college game.

Edey’s improved conditioning was evident during the March Madness as he led Purdue to the final and imposed himself in the tournament showpiece with 37 points, ten rebounds and two blocks.

The 21-year-old made everything look easy during the tournament, and if a team is looking for a back-up centre, Edey is a perfect draft.

Donovan Clingan

Donovan Clingan was part of the UConn side that retained their NCAA championship.

The American played a crucial role to the team’s success with 11 points, five rebounds, an assist and a block in the final.

He was one of the best players in the team during March Madness, with his dominance particularly evident in the Final Four, where he had 22 points and five blocks. 

Clingan has undoubtedly bolstered his draft stock after overcoming injuries to establish himself as a vital cog in the UConn team.

He is a huge prospect and should attract plenty of attention from NBA teams in the upcoming draft.

About the author

Miller Willson

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