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The Undefeated’s 2018 NBA draft unheralded prospects

Players you should keep an eye on in the NCAA tournament and NIT

The 2018 NCAA tournament will be highlighted by such well-known freshman stars as Deandre Ayton, Marvin Bagley, Michael Porter, Jaren Jackson, Trae Young and Collin Sexton. But what about the NBA prospects who aren’t getting all the hype but will draw the attention of the scouts?

With the NCAA tournament and NIT starting this week, here are some prospects you should get to know better if you’re an NBA fan, according to some NBA scouts who talked to The Undefeated for this story.

“These are guys that have an interesting NBA upside that the average NBA fan might not know much about,” one longtime NBA scout said. “These are guys that are moving themselves into the first round and up the draft. Everyone knows about Deandre Ayton or Marvin Bagley. These are some guys that the average fan might not know, but the NBA scout and the college coaches know this guy.”

The Undefeated’s 2018 NBA draft unheralded prospects in the NCAA tournament and NIT:

Mikal Bridges, Villanova

AP Photo/Frank Franklin II

Position: Guard-forward

Height/weight: 6-7, 210 pounds

Class: Junior

NBA scout’s comment: “Above-average shooter with range. Better in spot situations. Average skill set. Decent athlete who uses his length to his advantage. Can guard multiple positions.”

Mike Daum, South Dakota State

Position: Forward

Height/weight: 6-9, 250 pounds

Class: Junior

NBA scout’s comment: “Daum is a typical stretch forward-center who can score. He is a proven scorer who has NBA 3-point range and a solid post game as well.”

Daniel Gafford, Arkansas

Position: Forward

Height/weight: 6-11, 234 pounds

Class: Freshman

NBA scout’s comment: “May have improved more than any freshman from November to March. He is very athletic and also a shot-blocker.”

Shai Gilgeous-Alexander, Kentucky

Andy Lyons/Getty Images

Position: Point guard

Height/weight: 6-6, 180 pounds

Class: Freshman

NBA scout’s comment: “Tall Canadian point guard that can score and pass. He has impressive positional length and quickness. The problem is he often gets overpowered by stronger defenders.”

Rui Hachimura, Gonzaga

Position: Forward

Height/weight: 6-8, 225 pounds

Class: Sophomore

NBA scout’s comment: “The Japan native has unlimited potential. Still learning the game … great body and solid athleticism.”

Aaron Holiday, UCLA

Brian Rothmuller/Icon Sportswire

Position: Guard

Height/weight: 6-1, 185 pounds

Class: Junior

NBA scout’s comment: “Folks are sleeping on how good the brother of Jrue and Justin is. Unlimited potential.”

De’Andre Hunter, Virginia

Position: Guard

Height/weight: 6-7, 222 pounds

Class: Freshman

NBA scout’s comment: “Hunter is very long and athletic. He should really stay around another year, but there is buzz around him because of his ability to defend and attack from the wing.”

Chandler Hutchison, Boise State

Position: Guard-forward

Height/weight: 6-7, 197 pounds

Class: Senior

NBA scout’s comment: “He is a very smooth point forward. He needs to improve his shooting.”

 

John Petty, Alabama

Keith Gillett/Icon Sportswire

Position: Guard

Height/weight: 6-5, 195 pounds

Class: Freshman

NBA scout’s comment: “Petty is a wing who can shoot the ball and plays a position that everyone is looking for as a 3-pointer and defend guy. He has solid ballhandling skills and can compete.”

Jontay Porter, Missouri

Position: Forward

Height/weight: 6-11, 240 pounds

Class: Freshman

NBA scout’s comment: “Michael Porter’s younger brother reclassified and should still be in high school. Right now, he is a 3-point shooter and a rebounder. Hearing the Porters are both going pro.”

Landry Shamet, Wichita State

AP Photo/Phelan M. Ebenhack

Position: Point guard

Height/weight: 6-4, 180 pounds

Class: Sophomore

NBA scout’s comment: “Tall point guard with excellent passing vision. He needs to become a more consistent shooter.”

Khyri Thomas, Creighton

Position: Guard

Height/weight: 6-3, 210 pounds

Class: Junior

NBA scout’s comment: “Great defender. A two-time Big East Conference Defender of the Year. His offense is improving.”

Jarred Vanderbilt, Kentucky

Position: Forward

Height/weight: 6-9, 214 pounds

Position: Freshman

NBA scout’s comment: “He is a freshman who missed the first half of the season due to a foot injury. The multiposition player does everything well but shoot.”

Lonnie Walker, Miami

Position: Shooting guard

Height/weight: 6-4, 200

Position: Freshman

NBA scout’s comment: “He is an explosive athlete. He has had big improvement in his jump shot that has helped him create his own shot over people. A little wild and out of control.”

Marc J. Spears is the senior NBA writer for The Undefeated. He used to be able to dunk on you, but he hasn’t been able to in years and his knees still hurt.