Five March Madness Hoops Stars Getting Ready for the NBA
March Madness 2023 is now in the books and most basketball fans are eagerly looking forward to the NBA playoffs. But as soon as the season finishes, all eyes will turn to the NBA Draft taking place in Brooklyn, New York in June. Some of the college stars we enjoyed at the NCAA Division I Men’s Championship will be making the step up to the big league.
Most of the NBA betting markets will be concentrating on the playoffs and who will win the championship. But soon there will be that new class of rookies coming into the league, hoping to make a difference for their new teams. Here are five of the most exciting players looking to trade March Madness for the NBA this year.
Jordan Hawkins, UConn
There might not have been too many that had the Huskies down to win the NCAA championship this year before March Madness started. But guard Jordan Hawkins certainly played his part in bringing a fifth title to UConn. He scored 16 points against San Diego State in the championship game.
Although Hawkins is an undoubted star in the making, he has not always found college hoops to be that easy. He suffered a concussion in his freshman year and missed out on the Big East and NCAA tournaments. He suffered a repeat injury last season and missed some early games before coming back to help his team win the biggest prize of all.
Jaime Jaquez Jr., UCLA
It had been a while since UCLA was a big name in college hoops. But four years of having Jamie Jaquez Jr. as a forward and the California school became a regular contender. The Bruins were fancied to go further than the Sweet 16 this year but Jaquez Jr. had previously helped his team reach the Final Four two years ago.
This season was his best yet though. He averaged 17.8 points and 8.2 rebounds per game and showed potential suitors just why he is expected to go early on in the first round at the NBA Draft. He is no stranger to the big stage, having also represented Mexico at the 2019 Pan American Games in Peru.
Jalen Wilson, Kansas
Kansas was named as a number one seed at the NCAA Championship this year but became just one of a whole host of top teams to exit early. The second round loss to Arkansas was a disappointing end to a glittering four-year college career for Jalen Wilson – but he is sure to do well in the NBA.
Wilson actually missed most of his first year at college level after breaking an ankle in just his second game. But he became an integral part of the Jayhawks team in the following three years, recording a college career high 20.3 points per game last season. He will definitely be one to keep an eye on in the NBA.
Brandon Miller, Alabama
After just one year in college hoops, Brandon Miller has announced his decision to enter the draft at the end of March and will be one of the most eagerly anticipated new players in the NBA. He was expected to guide the Crimson Tide to the championship but couldn’t help his team get past San Diego State in the Sweet 16.
After being named the SEC Player of the Year, Miller endured a disappointing March Madness but that could have had a lot to do with off-court controversies. He was involved in a criminal case involving a firearm and a murder. Hopefully he will be able to put all that behind him and concentrate on his game in the NBA.
Colby Jones, Xavier
Jones was another college hoops star that couldn’t make it past the Sweet 16 this year, as his Xavier Musketeers team fell to Texas. But NBA scouts will have seen enough of the 6-foot-6 guard in his only season in the NCAA to know that he will be a prized possession in the pro game.
He was selected to the Big East All-Freshman Team even though he missed the first five games of the season. Finishing with 15 points, 5.7 rebounds, 4.4 assists, and 1.3 steals per game, Jones is an all-round threat and is likely to be taken sometime late in the first round of the draft.