With the top two prospects of the 2023 NBA draft class, Victor Wembanyama and Scoot Henderson, coming from outside collegiate basketball, it’s as clear as ever that the NCAA is slowly losing its hold on the top talent of the future. But while that may be a problem for the future of college basketball, there are several NBA prospects every basketball fan should be aware of as we enter March Madness. Here are four NBA prospects to watch in the Dance.
Of all the collegiate prospects, Miller is both the most talented and most controversial. The Alabama freshman leads his team with 19.8 points and 8.2 rebounds, accelerating the Crimson Tide to one of the coveted number one seeds in the tournament. As a 6’9” combo wing, he is a silky smooth shot maker, is capable of scoring on all three levels and has a great feel for playmaking for a guy of his size. However, for all his talent, Miller is currently embroiled in a firearm incident. A Tuscaloosa police officer testified that Miller brought his teammate Darius Miles the handgun that was used the night of the fatal shooting of Jamea Jonae Harris. Alabama has allegedly declined to suspend him as the legal process plays out, and the incident has cast an unsavory shadow over the outstanding season he and Alabama are having.
As part of the tournament-favorite Houston Cougars, Walker is one of the main reasons that his team has been the number-one ranked team in the country for most of the year. Walker is the definition of a bruiser. At 6’8”, he’s a versatile big man who plays with an explosiveness and athleticism that pops out to those sitting on their couch at home. On offense, he can power his way to the rim in ways that are reminiscent of Paolo Banchero and Julius Randle. But where he shines is on defense. Walker’s defensive versatility has significant potential: He can play as a small-ball center, he’s capable of switching onto guards but can guard the post and his offball awareness allows him to lurk for transition steals and helpside blocks. Overall, Walker is an elite defender who fits seamlessly into the modern NBA.
George is going to be exciting for people who are yet to see him play this season, because he is a flat-out bucket. He’s an electrifying scorer; he can shoot the three, get to the rim, pull up for a mid-range jumper — you name it, he can get it. At 6’4”, his size grants him a sturdy frame as a guard to shrug off physical defense, which will be critical when he faces NBA-level talent. At times, George can fall into the trap of streaky volume shooting, but that’s in part due the large role he carries in conducting the Baylor offense. But he has great upside when it comes to his vision; as a playmaker, George sees things developing before the other player realizes what’s happening. March has a way of favoring these score-first guards; his ability to get points at will might help Baylor squeak by in crunch time.
The Kansas freshman Gradey Dick is the best shooter of the 2023 NBA draft prospects. Dick is shooting around 40% from the three point line and is absolutely blazing beyond the arc. His 6’8” frame and high release point create a nearly unguardable shot off the catch-and-shoot. But what separates him from the run of the mill sharpshooter is his ability to move off the ball as a slasher and cutter. He cuts with purpose, using his opponent’s desperation to prevent him from getting open around the arc to get some backdoor layups. But even contested, Dick is a crafty finisher who can adjust midair and use both hands. He’s a minus defender because of his frame, but he’s another player such as George who can light up an arena with his scoring.