by user

The main player that I’m planning on keeping a close eye on during March Madness is forward LeMarcus Aldridge of Texas. He isn’t a “sleeper” because he plays for a top ranked college and is a top five draft pick but he’s a player that I’m pegging to do big things this month. Aldridge hasn’t had the breakout season that most Texas fans expected but I think he’ll take advantage of the spotlight this month to ensure improve his chances of being the top pick in this summers Draft. Dime jumped aboard his bandwagon this morning and dropped this gem - “when CB4 says you’re legit, you’re legit. Bosh played against Aldridge twice in high school, two games in which LaMarcus averaged 23 points and 13 boards. Did we mention that Aldridge was a prep sophomore when Bosh was a senior? Bosh has publicly vouched for Aldridge ever since. LaMarcus is averaging about 15 points, nine boards and two blocks a game. He’ll be a top three pick whenever he decides to leave school.”

Another player that I’m excited to watch play is Duke’s J.J. Redick. As a Tar Heels fan this guy was a player that I loved to hate but this year I couldn’t help but cheer for him. He ranks second in the country in scoring at a shade under 28 points a game and was able to score over 40 points against Texas, Georgetown and Virginia (Texas and Georgetown are Tournament teams). Throw into the mix that Redick is the career leader in three point shots made in NCCA history, the ACC’s all-time leading scorer and Duke’s career leader and points and the kid has quite the resume heading into the draft this Summer. A lot of attention was given to Gerry McNamara this weekend for how he willed Syracuse to the Big East Championship but Redick did something similar for Duke this weekend in Greensboro. Redick injured his knee Saturday yet he returned to spark his team to a come from behind victory against Wake Forest and then hit some daggers Sunday afternoon in the ACC Final.

After watching the ACC Tournament this weekend a “sleeper” I want to draw your attention to is Craig Smith of Boston College. Most ACC fans are familiar with his game but he looks poised to become a household name if Boston College is able to go deep into the Tournament. Look for Smith to will his Eagles to some wins and along the way start to create a buzz for himself on draft night. Smith has a chance to change the minds of scouts just like Ed O’Bannon and Corliss Williamson did after strong showings in the Tournament. Most online forecasts have Smith going somewhere in the second round due to being an undersized power forward at the NBA level but I feel he should be able to jump into the first round if Boston College is able to go deep in the Tournament

The West Virginia Mountaineers made a deep run last March into the Elite Eight and I wouldn’t be surprised to see them survive to at least the Sweet Sixteen this year. Last March Kevin Pittsnogle became a household name due to his exceptional outside shooting and he looks poised to have a strong tournament again this year. Pittsnogle shed some of his baby fat and he averaged 19.6 points per game this year. Another player on that team that should play some inspired ball is senior guard Mike Gansey. Gansey is ranked as one of the top 20 seniors in NCAA hoops by CBS but will need a strong showing in the Tournament to convince scouts at that he can play at the next level. Both seniors for WV are currently predicted to be second round picks in the draft but a strong showing in the Tournament may change some scouts minds and allow them to sneak into the first round and give them guaranteed money.


Tue 03/14/06, 12:28 am EST

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