What up, dreck. Our March Madness previews continue, this time with the South Region. If you missed the Midwest Region or the Zion Region, click those links. That’s all well and good but let’s get down to the nitty gritty.
De’Andre Hunter, #12
(1) Virginia Cavaliers, Sophomore Defensive Forward
If you remember anything from last March, Virginia getting knocked off by the UMBC Retrievers has got to be at the top of the list. While you may remember the upset, you might have forgotten that De’Andre Hunter was injured and did not play. At that point in the season Hunter was highly regarded as a riser in the draft who was starting to learn his role and figure out his growing body. Then he broke his wrist right before the tournament and... kaput.
This year Hunter has continued to show that he is a heady defender that can blow up actions against all variety of opposition. He is also filling out nicely and has really worked on his shooting stroke. It’s still a little bit mathematical with equal parts dip, measure, hoist and pull but it’s been working for him (except for that one time). As it stands he is connecting on .452% of his 2.5 tries per game, up from .382 last season on 1.7 3PA per. Let’s watch him pick apart this particular team’s defensive tactic.
The questions should be loud and fierce for Hunter, though. For all his reputation as a staunch defender, one must wonder where are the steals and blocks? Is he even athletic? Does he have a position at the next level? I worry about Small Millsap getting selected high and crumbling under unrealistic expectations.
He has developed a chunky little face up game but what NBA scenario can you think of that requires this big catfish to make some simplistic things happen from the elbow? I guess you have to wonder how he’ll look when the restrictive pace Virginia plays with is unbound at the next level. I think he’ll be good, but what if he’s just an updated version of Lance Thomas?
Eek! Just give me Ty Jerome in the second round.
Terence Davis, #3
(8) Ole Miss Rebels, Dynamo Shooting Guard
If you like Damyean Dotson, wait ‘til you get a load of this guy. Above average athlete who likes to get grimy and rip down rebounds. Swat the hell out of some weak shots and jump the passing lane. He can really get going shooting the ball. And what kind of ripped Rebel would he be if he didn’t get up and throw down on fools?
Oh man. The one poor kid gets gunned down in his prime and Terence just rockets to the hoop. I know what you’re thinking, he propelled himself off the one guy and the other guy inexplicably dies, it’s flukey. Well, sir.
That one is rammed on top of Yves Pons. Who is basically a hulking, athletic dunk and block machine. Pons is also a French friend of our boy Frank Ntilikina. So this dunk has now instantly polarized the Knick community.
The other thing Davis does that should help him carve out a role in the NBA is his shooting. He sets his feet quickly, has a very repeatable and springy stroke. Really shoots an easy ball and could have deeper range than Dotson. Similar to D-Dot, he is a very willing ball mover when he doesn’t have something right away. One thing Dotson does that Davis can struggle with from time to time, is staying wholly focused on the defensive end.
Is he wild amounts of hardcore fun? I don’t know, try it out. Is he a lottery pick? No. More than likely he is a guy to take a flier on, or a safety net type of pick. A 3&D muscle bound guard that can finish at the rim and you can comfortably select later on. Maybe that lets you trade the assets you do have, in order to push up in the draft, because it’s Zion or bust.
If you do catch yourself watching Ole Miss bust those Virginia heavy brackets, make sure you follow along.
Grant Williams, #2
(2) Tennessee Volunteers, Power Bomb Wing
Something might be in the water in Knoxville. They take youngsters and chisel them into marble giants.
Watch out now! His pal, Admiral Schofield did a similar diaper situation. These kids are brick shit mansions. Williams in particular, uses his imposing frame, obliterating opponents with screens and crunching defenders underneath his sternum with bruising determination on post ups. He is money from straight away. It starts at the foul line and extends back. As a freshman he shot 67% from the stripe. Now as a junior he’s hitting 83%. Headed down advance alley, his FTr and TS% are impressive and identical at .652%. He’s also learning to put the ball on the deck to create. Let’s watch this clay start to Harden against Vanderbilt:
His buddy Schofield has shown some potential but might be riding a wonky little hype trolley because of his brolic armness. Their spearheading point guard, Jordan Bone, has also looked intriguing this year, probably more than Schofield, but the Vols’ ceiling will be determined by Williams. A big showing in the tournament could vault him to the edge of the lottery.
Carsen Edwards, #3
(3) Purdue Boilermakers, Scoring Mini-Fridge
Got a point guard that can’t shoot? Well, take a bite of this scotch bonnet. Carsen Edwards is going to get hot, it’s gonna happen rapidly and he’s not gonna ease off. If you want a little flamethrower, this might be the guy for you.
Physically Edwards looks like a sturdy version of Trae Young. His passing vision, accuracy and willingness aren’t in the same stratosphere as Trae, let’s just get that clear. Bigger bounce on his jump shot and the ability to hang and bang a little bit, rather than find tricky angles with off-timing, also help distinguish them from one another. One thing they both definitely share is the ability to just decide without notice, oh I’ll shoot this, yea whatever.
While Edwards will probably veer more towards a Patty Mills career arc, he’s absolutely an NBA caliber scorer. He’ll just need to find a team that needs the ball in his hands.
Purdue is a 3-seed this season and it wouldn’t shock me to see them give Tennessee more than they can handle in the Elite Eight. Not that Tennessee will even make it that far.
Yes, I did add salt. I’m sure Carsen wouldn’t want it any other way.
Another region booked. Let us know what you think of these mopes. Pull those Bol Bol takes off the Sternos and slap ‘em on down. I know you’ll have some support from the P&T staff. Personally, I’ll bite ya for it. Actually, you strike me as an Ethan Happ/Dean Wade kinda guy. Ya burnt!
Alex will have the last of our previews shortly. Games start at noon today. Clear your schedules! G’bye.