We lost 13 of our draft prospects after Round 1 of the NCAA Tournament, but let’s take a look at how the remaining 39 that were still around did in Round 2.
The Top-4 Players
Jabari Smith (PF, Auburn)
Auburn is out because they got controlled for the entire game by a savvy Miami team. Jabari Smith’s struggles from the field contributed mightily to the loss, as he went 3 of 15. Smith was able to pull down 15 rebounds, dish out 4 assists, and block 3 shots, but those weren’t enough to overcome the poor shooting from him and fellow first round hopeful, Walker Kessler. Smith is the first one of the top-4 to go home and will now turn towards draft preparation. Don’t believe that he hasn’t made a decision on declaring yet.
Chet Holmgren (PF/C Gonzaga)
It seemed as if Gonzaga was in trouble versus Memphis but managed to do just enough to head to the Sweet 16. Chet Holmgren found it difficult to get many quality looks against an athletic Memphis front line, but still managed to hit 4 of 7 shots. He finished with 9 points, 9 rebounds, 4 blocks, and 2 assists. Having Drew Timme in the front court with Holmgren is definitely helping to take some of the defensive focus off of him. Gonzaga has Arkansas up next, with a good defending big in Jaylin Williams. Watch to see if Williams ends up guarding Timme or Holmgren more and if the one he’s not guarding has a big game.
Paolo Banchero (PF Duke)
The bad for Paolo Banchero was his 5 turnovers. It was pretty much all good outside of that though for the star Duke forward. He scored 19 points on 9 of 14 shooting. Banchero also grabbed 7 rebounds and dished out 4 assists. Duke advanced to take on Texas Tech. The Red Raiders are one of the best defensive teams in the country. Banchero will once again need to have a good game for Duke to continue in the tournament.
Jaden Ivey (PG/SG Purdue)
In the first half, Jaden Ivey didn’t even register a field goal attempt against Texas. He had 3 points at the half, all on free throws. The 2nd half was a completely different story for Ivey, scoring 15 points after the break to finish with 18. This included a huge three pointer with a little over a minute left after Texas had come back to trail by just 3. The big shot proved to be the dagger that sent Texas home. Purdue will face Saint Peter’s next.
AJ Griffin (SF, Duke)
It was another mediocre game for AJ Griffin, scoring just 7 points on 7 shots. The Duke wing played 37 minutes and played decent defense, but his first two games of the tourney have been disappointing for someone who is in the conversation to go as high as the 5th pick in the draft. Griffin will get another chance to play better against Texas Tech.
Johnny Davis (SG, Wisconsin)
The superb sophomore season is over for Johnny Davis. The Wisconsin guard had his moments in the game against Iowa State, but overall it wasn’t a good game. He shot just 4 of 16, including missing all 7 of his three point attempts, and had 4 turnovers. In what was most likely his last college game, Davis had 17 points, 9 rebounds, 4 blocks, and 2 steals. It will be interesting to see what happens to his draft stock leading up to the draft as he could slip a little bit, but there’s no chance he’ll fall out of the lottery.
Bennedict Mathurin (SG/SF Arizona)
Much like his first game of the tourney, Bennedict Mathurin shot poorly from the field. He went 8 of 19 overall, including just 3 of 11 from three. However, if you just look at those numbers you’d miss his sensational display of shot making in the clutch as he made several plays to help his Arizona Wildcats advance. After TCU took a 3 point lead with 1:17 left, Mathurin received a pass on a backdoor cut for a dunk to cut the lead to 1. TCU scored again with 37 seconds left to go back up by 3. Mathurin then hit the game-tying three pointer to send it into overtime. In OT, he scored 6 of Arizona’s 10 points, finishing with 30 points for the game.
Jalen Duren (C, Memphis)
All eyes were on Jalen Duren to see how he’d stack up against the two Gonzaga big men. Unfortunately for Duren, it didn’t go particularly well. Due to foul trouble, he only played 19 minutes in the loss. He did have 7 points and 7 rebounds, but shot just 3 for 11. Duren should look super impressive during the draft process, which will likely lead a team to take him in the top-10.
Jeremy Sochan (PF, Baylor)
Jeremy Sochan’s overall stats look similar to his Round 1 numbers with 15 points, 11 rebounds, and 3 assists. However, it was a poor shooting game for Sochan, going just 4 of 14 from the field. He also committed 4 turnovers. Baylor’s season is over and Sochan is expected to declare for the draft. He can do a little bit of everything and has good size that will have some team calling his name no later than the middle of the 1st round.
Mark Williams (C, Duke)
In Round 1, Mark Williams had 15 points, 8 rebounds, and 5 blocks. In Round 2, he had a nearly identical 15 points, 7 rebounds, and 5 blocks. The big man has been consistently good the entire season on both ends of the court. He made 7 of 9 shots against MIchigan State and has an impressive field goal percentage of 71.4% for the year.
Ochai Agbaji (SG/SF, Kansas)
For his standards, it was another subpar game for Ochai Agbaji. He scored 15 points but shot just 5-14 from the field. However, Kansas took care of Creighton and is moving on. Agbaji had 8 rebounds, 3 assists, 2 steals, and just one turnover. Kansas will play Providence in the Sweet 16. The other half of their region saw both the 2-seed Auburn and the 3-seed Wisconsin both lose to lower seeds. If Agbaji can play a little better, Kansas should be in line for a trip to the Final Four.
Kendall Brown (SF, Baylor)
With his Baylor team coming back from a 25 point deficit against North Carolina, Kendall Brown mostly watched from the bench until foul outs forced Baylor Coach Scott Drew to put Brown back in. His inability to shoot from the outside is one of the main reasons Brown hasn’t lived up to the hype as a prospect. In this game he was 2 for 7 from the field and 0 for 4 from deep. Brown is still getting it done on the defensive end but until the shooting becomes less of a liability it’s hard to know where to slot him in the draft.
Walker Kessler (C, Auburn)
Walker Kessler followed up a dominating first round game by having an absolute dud in Auburn’s loss to Miami. He played just 13 forgettable minutes. The final numbers for Kessler were 2 points, 2 rebounds, 2 blocks, and 0-6 shooting. It would be surprising if Kessler doesn’t declare for the draft. Look for him to still be a mid-to-late first round pick.
Kennedy Chandler (PG, Tennessee)
Tennessee is headed home after their loss to Michigan. Kennedy Chandler led the Volunteers in scoring with 19, but it took 19 shots to get them. He also added 9 assists, but didn’t get much help from his teammates. Chandler was inconsolable after the loss. It’s possible that Chandler goes back to Tennessee, but it’s looking like he’ll be a 1st round pick so I’d be surprised if he did.
EJ Liddell (PF, Ohio State)
It was a similar performance to game one for EJ Liddell. He finished with 17 points, 6 rebounds, 3 assists, 3 steals, 2 blocks, and 3 turnovers. The difference is he only got to the free throw line 5 times instead of 10. Liddell tested the draft waters last year before deciding to go back to Ohio State. This year however, expect him to stay in the draft.
Malaki Branham (SG, Ohio State)
Malaki Branham made some big plays for Ohio State in the 2nd half. At one point a 15 point Villanova lead was cut down to 2 points, but the Buckeyes ran out of gas and their season is now over. Branham made 10 of his 19 shots on his way to scoring 23 points. He also had 4 assists, but also 4 turnovers.
Blake Wesley (PG/SG, Notre Dame)
Notre Dame lost to defensively tough Texas Tech, and Blake Wesley’s bad shooting night was a big reason why. He made just 3 of 14 shots and finished with 11 points. Wesley had 8 rebounds and 3 assists, but also had 3 turnovers. It’s most likely a one-and-done tenure at Notre Dame for him.
Late 1st/Early 2nd
Christian Koloko (C, Arizona)
Christian Koloko followed up his great Round 1 game with another masterful performance. The Arizona big man scored 28 points while only missing 1 of his 13 shots from the field. Koloko also added 12 rebounds and 3 blocks. It still doesn’t make sense why he’s not higher on draft boards. Arizona next takes on a tough Houston squad in the Sweet 16.
Max Christie (SG/SF, Michigan State)
After a bad 1st game, Max Christie was a little better against Duke with 9 points. However, much like most of the season, he left people wondering if he was overhyped or just needing time to develop. His potential will still get him drafted, but scoring just 11 points in two games in the tourney doesn’t help his case.
Caleb Houstan (SF, Michigan)
Michigan upset Tennessee, but Caleb Houstan wasn’t much help. He failed to score in 32 minutes, going 0 for 4 in the game. He’ll get another chance to have a better performance against Villanova in the Sweet 16. Add Houstan to the list of players that have failed to live up to their recruiting rankings prior to the season.
Wendell Moore Jr (SG/SF, Duke)
In scoring 15 points, Wendell Moore Jr shot just 6 times, making 3, but got to the free throw line 10 times. He also added 4 assists and only had 1 turnover. Moore continues to be a very reliable wing for Duke Coach Mike Krzyzewski.
Trevor Keels (PG/SG, Duke)
Trevor Keels scored 12 points, shooting 4 of 8 from the field. One of those shots most likely saved Duke’s season. With his team trailing by 3 with under 4 minutes to go, Keels confidently pulled up on a deep three and hit it to tie the game at 72. The long bomb sparked a 16 to 4 run to end the game for Duke. They’ll face Texas Tech next.
Christian Braun (SG/SF, Kansas)
Another solid game for Christian Braun in a win over Creighton. He had 13 points on 5 of 9 shooting. Braun also had 8 rebounds and 4 assists. So far he’s outplayed star Kansas guard Ochai Agbaji, but Kansas will need both to be at their best to avoid an upset to Providence in the Sweet 16.
Jaylin Williams (PF/C Arkansas)
Despite a horrific team performance on offense, Arkansas played just well enough to beat New Mexico State. They are now the lone SEC left. Jaylin Williams was just 3 of 9, scoring 10 points. He did however get 15 rebounds and had 3 assists. Williams will go up against Gonazaga’s dominant duo of Drew Timme and Chet Holmgren next game. The whole Arkansas team will need to play better if they have any chance in that one.
Julian Strawther (SF, Gonzaga)
Gonzaga needed Julian Strawther to step up, but they got away with another poor performance from him. He shot just 3 of 11 and 0 for 6 from three, finishing with 7 points and 8 rebounds. Even when his shot isn’t falling he contributes on the defensive end, which is why he still played 33 minutes.
Drew Timme (PF/C, Gonzaga)
Two games, two dominating performances from Drew Timme. After scoring 32 in Round 1, Timme had 25 points against Memphis. Gonzaga needed every one of them down the stretch. He made 10 of his 16 field goal attempts and also had 14 rebounds and 4 assists. He has a chance to go down as a college legend if he’s able to guide Gonzaga to a title, but it’s still uncertain if his game will translate to the NBA.
Andrew Nembhard (PG, Gonzaga)
Andrew Nembhard played the entire game and trailed just Drew Timme for the team lead in points. He poured in 23 points on 50% shooting from both the field and from three. Another steady performance from the reliable point guard with 5 assists as well. He did have 3 turnovers but that is more than acceptable when playing 40 minutes and with how much he has the ball in his hands.
Kofi Cockburn (C, Illinois)
Kofi Cockburn was as productive as he normally is against Houston. He received very little help from his teammates though and Illinois was blown out. Cockburn finished with 19 points and 8 rebounds. He still has another year of eligibility left at Illinois, but he’ll most likely try to make it at the next level.
Josh Minott (SF, Memphis)
Only 8 minutes for Josh Minott against Gonzaga. It continues to be a mystery as to why he isn’t given more of a chance. In those 8 minutes he made both of his shots leading to 4 points. He also got 4 rebounds. Once again if he declares, teams will have to project his skill set at the next level.
Moussa Diabate (PF/C, Michigan)
Moussa Diabate had a much better second game in the tournament than his first. He scored 13 points, making 5 of 10 shots. He also pulled down 6 rebounds and played some solid defense, blocking 3 shots. Tennessee doesn’t have a lot of talent on their front line so this was a hard game to judge Diabate on.
Caleb Love (PG/SG North Carolina)
Caleb Love had an awful game against Baylor, but luckily for him North Carolina pulled out an overtime win. They were ahead by 25 points when Brady Manek got ejected for a Flagrant 2 elbow. Shortly thereafter, Love fouled out. Without their two best players, North Carolina blew the lead but managed to regroup in OT. For the game, Love had 5 points on 1 of 6 shooting and 6 turnovers. Look for him to bounce back against UCLA in an intriguing blue blood matchup.
Trevion Williams (PF/C, Purdue)
The 4 turnovers weren’t good, but other than that it was a dominant performance for Trevion Williams in Purdue’s win over Texas. The backup big man has taken a bit of a back seat to Zach Edey this year. In this game though, it was WIlliams who stole the show. He made 10 of 13 field goals, on his way to 22 points. He also grabbed 7 rebounds.
Zach Edey (C, Purdue)
Texas had all kinds of trouble with Purdue’s size in their front court, especially with Zach Edey. Despite attempting just 6 field goals, he got to the foul line a whopping 12 times. He had a double-double with 11 points and 10 rebounds in just 15 minutes. Purdue has Saint Peter’s up next, a rare time a 15-seed has made the Sweet 16. They’ll be heavy favorites to move on. With Baylor losing in their region as well, Purdue could be looking at a path to the FInal Four.
Terrence Shannon Jr (SG/SF, Texas Tech)
Terrence Shannon Jr played some good defense against Notre Dame, as usual, but was a non-factor on the offensive end. He had just 3 points on 1 of 4 shooting and missed both of his free throws. Texas Tech has Duke up next and will need players like Shannon to be at his best if they want to move on.
Johnny Juzang (SG/SF, UCLA)
Much better shooting from Johnny Juzang against Saint Mary’s, hitting 6 of 11 shots. That was good for 14 points. Juzang also grabbed 8 rebounds. UCLA had a much easier time with Saint Mary’s than expected and now find themselves in a region where the number 1-seed Baylor and the number 2-seed Kentucky are both out.
Jaime Jaquez Jr (SG/SF, UCLA)
An identical 6 of 11 shooting to Johnny Juzang for Jaime Jaquez Jr. He contributed 15 points for UCLA. The Bruins next take on North Carolina, who has been playing really well lately. This team will still go as far as Jaquez and Juzang can take them.
Peyton Watson (SF, UCLA)
10 minutes of action for Peyton Watson against Saint Mary’s, up from 6 minutes in Round 1, but still nothing really notable. He took and made his only attempt. Perhaps he could still be a wildcard if given more minutes but until he plays more there’s not much to go off of other than potential from high school.
Mike Miles Jr (PG, TCU)
TCU had Arizona on the ropes but weren’t able to get the job done, losing in overtime. While Mike Miles Jr did score 20 points, he did so on 5-20 shooting. He also had 6 turnovers. A little better performance from Miles and they likely would’ve upset Arizona.
Justin Moore (SG, Villanova)
After leading Villanova in scoring in Round 1, Justin Moore’s follow up game in Round 2 was a dud. He managed to score just 8 points, making only 3 of his 9 shots. His teammates picked up the slack though and Villanova was able to hold off Ohio State to move on to the Sweet 16. Moore will try to bounce back in their next game against Michigan.