NCAA Tournament - Midwest Region
Ethan Farina covered the Midwest Region for us, starting with the top-seeded Kansas Jayhawks.
1. Kansas - Ochai Agbaji, G
Most intriguing attribute: He’s ready to contribute right away. Unlike many other projected first-round picks, Agbaji is a four-year senior who started in nearly every game he’s played in college. The moment won’t be too big for him.
How he’d help the Spurs: Agbaji has had his stretches of inconsistency but is a strong-bodied wing who has steadily improved his scoring from behind the arc. He’s gradually worked his way up to being a 40% shooter from behind the arc. He could be another scoring option off the bench with potential to grow into more.
16. Texas Southern - Shaqir O'Neal, F
Most intriguing attribute: Untapped potential stands out here. As the son of Shaquille O'Neal, there’s no telling if Shaqir has another growth spurt in him. Already an athletic 6’7 wing, he could be an intriguing player to watch if he continues to approach his dad’s size.
How he’d help the Spurs: It’s really hard to say how he would help the Spurs - if he even can. He didn’t see the floor in his freshman season due to TSU’s veteran-loaded roster, but a quick look at high school footage shows a physical wing with some ability to create his own shot and a developing jumper. If he can improve his game and grow to be nearer to his dad’s size, then there could be something here.
8. San Diego St. - Matt Bradley, G
Most intriguing attribute: Combination of size and scoring ability. Similar in stature to Malcolm Brogdon and Marcus Smart with an improving jumper. Bradley can score at will but struggles with consistency.
How he’d help the Spurs: Bradley could come in and give the Spurs a reliable scoring option off the bench. He wasn’t the most efficient player this season but he was carrying a heavy scoring load for an Aztecs team that just ended their season in the MWC Championship. If he’s able to play off of an established playmaker, he could shine as a complementary scorer.
9. Creighton - Ryan Nembhard, G
Most intriguing attribute: There’s a lot of potential here. Nembhard is young but started in every game he played for Creighton this season. He’s a solid distributor but will need to take better control of the basketball.
How he’d help the Spurs: With a few more years of experience under his belt, Nembhard could run the second unit for an NBA team someday. That’s probably not a role the Spurs will need to fill anytime soon, but the fit could work if San Antonio suddenly needs to find a player to take up that mantle.