With the 2014-15 Lakers season D.O.A., it's time to turn our attention to who will be donning the purple and gold for Los Angeles next year. Here's a guide for three games to follow during today's NCAA Tournament action.
First, a disclaimer: Many of the best prospects playing today are on Duke, Wisconsin, and Louisville, but we already covered them on Day 2. Here's a guide to some other players to watch today.
1. Michigan State vs. Virginia 9:10 a.m. PT, CBS
Ignoring the potential draft implications, this could be the game of the day. Tom Izzo's Spartans beat Virginia in a nail-biter in last year's sweet 16, and this year's Cavaliers are primed for revenge. Justin Anderson, newly recovered from a hand injury and then appendicitis, is the best NBA talent on the court. The 6-foot-6 guard was second on the team in scoring during the regular season, and first in three-point percentage. If he's all the way back from his latest surgery, Anderson could find himself in the first round of the draft. Keep an eye out for Michigan State's Branden Dawson as well. He's all unfulfilled potential, but like Izzo, brings out his best during March.
2. Wichita State vs. Kansas 2:15 p.m. PT, CBS
The Battle for Kansas features a number of interesting players. Kansas's Kelly Oubre came in a tie for seventh on our Big Board, because who doesn't love an athletic wing. And though he won't be available for this game, Cliff Alexander hasn't lost the attention of scouts. One the other side, Wichita State's Ron Baker and Fred VanVleet are a pair of point guards who have the shooting and the passing, but maybe not athleticism, to play the position at the next level.
3. West Virginia vs. Maryland 5:40 p.m. PT, TNT
Yet another game that could be the best of the bunch. Maryland-West Virginia isn't exactly teeming with NBA talent, but Jake Layman, Dez Wells, and Melo Trimble of the Terps all could make their case. Layman has the best combination of size and athleticism, but hasn't produced nearly as consistently as the Maryland backcourt of Wells and Trimble. Nevertheless, the two guards - especially Wells - will have the ball in their hands more often, giving them the ability to dominate this tournament like many guards have in recent memory.