One weekend in, the tournament has provided us no stars
So while the NCAA Tournament is generating huge television ratings and tons of excitement, it has done nothing to whet the appetite of Suns fans clamoring for a superstar.
The top five picks in this draft will likely be Nerlens Noel of Kentucky, Ben McLemore of Kansas, Anthony Bennett of UNLV, Cody Zeller of Indiana and Otto Porter of Georgetown. Others in contention for top-10 status are Victor Oladipo of Indiana, Shabazz Muhammad of UCLA and Marcus Smart of Oklahoma State.
The NCAA Tournament provides fans a great look at these prospects in pressure situations. But so far none — and I mean none — of these top prospects has wowed anyone. The best showing we had by any of these players was Oladipo in the win over Temple.
Let’s eliminate Noel, who had a serious knee injury this season and didn’t play when Kentucky got bounced in the first round of the NIT. And we will break down each of the others’ performances thus far.
Anthony Bennett: In a loss to Cal in first round he was 4-11 from the field, scoring 15 points and grabbing 11 rebounds.
Marcus Smart: In the first round loss to Oregon he shot 5-13 from the field while scoring 14 points. He grabbed 9 rebounds, had 5 turnovers and tallied 4 assists.
Otto Porter: In the first round loss to Cinderella Florida Gulf Coast, he shot 5-17 from the field, scored 13 points and grabbed 11 rebounds.
Shabazz Muhammad: In the first round loss to Minnesota he shot 6-18 from the field, 0-6 on three pointers, scored 20 points and grabbed 4 rebounds.
Ben McLemore: In first round win over Western Kentucky he shot 2-5 from the field for 11 points and grabbed 6 rebounds. In the second round win over North Carolina he was 0-9 from the field for 2 points and 5 rebounds.
Cody Zeller: In the first round win over James Madison he shot 4-5 from field for 11 points with 4 rebounds, and in the second round win over Temple was 4-10 from the field 15 points and 6 rebounds.
Victor Oladipo: In the first round win over James Madison was 3-7 from the field for 11 points and 6 rebounds, and in the second round win over Temple was 7-12 from the field 16 points, 8 rebounds and the huge 3-pointer that won the game. But — and the big but — on his performance was the guy he was guarding, Khalif Wyatt, went for 31 and went by him like he was a turnstile in the first half.
So with that being said, there are some good players in this draft, but the reality is there are no stars. This is a pitiful draft, plain and simple. And none of the guys playing in this tournament have had a shining moment.