March Madness is finally here. After getting robbed of a fun March Madness last year due to COVID-19, it is finally back. Every tournament, teams that go far usually have a player who breaks out and puts on a show. As a result of their performances, their draft stock boosts exponentially. Some recent examples of this are Donte Divincenzo, Draymond Green, Kemba Walker, etc. So, who will break out in the 2021 NCAA Tournament, raising their stock?
Jason Preston, PG, Ohio:
Jason Preston is primed for a huge breakout this tournament. Preston is a point guard that can do everything. The junior is averaging 16.6 PPG, 7.2 APG, and 6.8 RPG. Preston should be on triple double watch this tournament with his ability to score, rebound, and pass. The Ohio Bobcats will face off against a Virginia squad that coming off a rough quarantine with no practice, making them vulnerable. If they make it past Virginia, they have a chance to play Creighton or UC Santa Barbara, which are both beatable opponents. If Preston takes the Bobcats to the Sweet 16, Preston will jump from a late first/early second to a potential lottery pick.
Nah’shon Hyland, PG, VCU
Hyland’s stock has been rising all season and it won’t stop with this tournament. The shifty sophomore has been one of the best scorers in college ball, averaging 19 PPG. VCU has a great supporting cast around Hyland to allow him to show off some playmaking. VCU has a tough first round matchup with Oregon and a win would be a huge upset. If they advance, they would most likely play the two seed Iowa the next round, who hasn’t been convincing towards the end. A trip to the Sweet 16 would change Hyland’s stock drastically.
Aaron Henry, SF, Michigan State
Despite Michigan State being disappointing this season, MSU is still a threat this year and it all starts with Henry. Similar to Draymond Green, Henry is an exceptional defender. Henry is the heart and sole of this Michigan State team and if MSU goes far, he can be the reason for that. Tom Izzo tends to get the best out of his players in March so expect big things from Henry.
James Bouknight, PG, UConn
Even though Bouknight is destined to be a lottery pick, he isn’t put in the group of prospects that includes players such as Cade Cunningham, Jalen Green, Evan Mobley, etc. But when UConn’s offense revolves around a scoring guard like Kemba Walker or Shabazz Napier, they go on a huge run. Bouknight is a dynamic guard who is one of the best shooters in the nation. Bouknight is a great ball handler and is able to set up his teammates nicely. Bouknight might move into that top tier of prospects with a UConn run.
Tre Mann, SG, Florida
Seven seeded Florida has a tough region with player a scrappy Virginia Tech team in Round One and potentially Ohio State in the Round of 32. Tre Mann is the face of this Gators squad and that’s for a good reason. Mann increased his PPG from 5 PPG his freshman year to 16 PPG this year. If Florida pulls off a run, Mann will be a key factor.