The 2023 NCAA tournament field is set and that means the chase for the college basketball national championship is on. However, this next month will also be important for several prominent players who are hoping to take their talents to the next level. Here’s a look at the top NBA prospects in this year’s NCAA tournament.
2023 March Madness: NBA prospects to watch
Brandon Miller, F, Alabama Crimson Tide
There’s a lot of controversy surrounding Miller, but he’s been amazing this season for Alabama. The Crimson Tide forward can score from anywhere on the court and is also an excellent rebounder. If Miller is able to continue blocking out the noise and make a deep run with the No. 1 overall seed in the field, he could challenge Victor Wembanyama and Scoot Henderson to be the draft’s top prospect.
Nick Smith, G, Arkansas Razorbacks
The Razorbacks have been missing Smith for a good portion of the season but he’s back at the perfect time. The guard has to improve his efficiency and is still playing his way back into game shape, so this is an important tournament for him. If Smith can lead No. 8 Arkansas on a deep run, he should rise up draft boards.
Jarace Walker, F, Houston Cougars
Walker is similar to Miller in terms of potential. The Cougars forward is more raw and could use this tournament to gain some traction. With Houston being a No. 1 overall seed and Marcus Sasser’s injury situation unclear, Walker is going to be a huge piece for his team. If he heats up and carries the Cougars on a deep tournament run, he should intrigue some teams in the lottery.
Keyonte George, G, Baylor Bears
The efficiency leaves a lot to be desired but George has been a solid player for Scott Drew’s Bears. The physical profile is great for the guard at 6-4, 185 and George does a little bit of everything. He might not be a star in the making but he’s one of those all-around players you need to have on your team. There’s enough potential here for lottery teams to be interested.
Anthony Black, F, Arkansas Razorbacks
When Smith was sidelined, Black was able to carry the Razorbacks through the heart of SEC play. He’s improved a lot as a passer this season, which is something NBA teams will like to see. If Black can keep being a strong distributor for Arkansas he’s going to attract a lot of attention from NBA scouts.
Jalen Hood-Schifino, G, Indiana Hoosiers
The Hoosiers guard was under the radar entering the year due to the presence of Trayce Jackson-Davis, but he’s come into his own this season. The efficiency from deep leaves something to be desired, although that’s really the only hole in his game right now. Hood-Schifino has a good all-around game and the developmental curve is great for the freshman.
Cason Wallace, G, Kentucky Wildcats
Wallace might be the best backcourt defensive player in the tournament, and he’s going to be responsible for making Kentucky forget about last season’s disaster. If he can show some more promise offensively in a prime matchup, he can skyrocket up draft boards.
Gradey Dick, F, Kansas Jayhawks
The Jayhawks are looking to repeat, and Dick will be the key for this team. He’s been a bit inconsistent as a scorer at times, so that’ll be something he has to work on going forward. His in-game instincts are second to none and he can shoot the ball extremely well from the perimeter. Dick might not have the elite athleticism of some top prospects but he routinely makes winning plays. NBA teams will like that.
Dariq Whitehead, G, Duke Blue Devils
Whitehead might be a little behind some of the other freshman from a statistical standpoint and his role on this Duke team hasn’t quite been as prominent as expected. When you shoot over 40% from deep though, that doesn’t really matter. Scouts like his measurables and might be willing to give him a bit of a pass due to some injuries. If he stays hot from deep in the tournament, some team could be willing to bank on his upside.
Kris Murray, F, Iowa Hawkeyes
Murray didn’t follow his brother Keegan to the NBA last year and it has paid off in a big way. The forward has taken on a bigger role and while his percentage from deep has dropped off a bit, his overall development has been awesome. If Murray can rediscover his shooting form from the perimeter and help Iowa move past last year’s tough exit, he will rise ahead of the draft.