About 50 NBA Scouts Expected for CBS Sports Classic
Nearly 50 NBA scouts are expected on Saturday for the CBS Sports Classic that features No. 2 UCLA facing Ohio State and No. 6 Kentucky meeting No. 7 North Carolina in Las Vegas, a source told ZAGSBLOG.
UCLA is led by freshman sensation Lonzo Ball, currently projected as the No. 4 pick in 2017 by DraftExpress.com. Freshman big man T.J. Leaf has also seen his draft stock rise with his play of late for the unbeaten Bruins (11-0).
“With Lonzo [in the] top 5, I know if I’m at that level, I’ve got him higher than that,” Bruins coach Steve Alford said on The 4 Quarters Podcast. “I just think he’s special. You don’t get point guards that are that size with that length, with that basketball IQ and somebody that can change the game in so many ways. Lonzo can change it through passing, he can change it through defense and his ability to get deflections and steals. He can do it through rebounding and then when you forget about him he can score 9, 10 points in a minute. He’s such a versatile point guard and he’s fun to play with and I think that’s what you see our team enjoying right now, is people like playing with him.”
Kentucky features three projected first-round one-and-dones in No. 5 Malik Monk, No. 10 De’Aaron Fox and No. 15 Bam Adebayo.
North Carolina seniors Justin Jackson (No. 46) and Isaiah Hicks (No. 58) are both projected second-round picks.
Ohio State junior Keita Bates-Diop is the projected No. 40 pick by DraftExpress.com.
Together, Kentucky, North Carolina, Ohio State and UCLA have won 25 NCAA Championships and made 175 NCAA Tournament appearances. Since 2006, each team has appeared in at least two Final Fours, while each of the four has played in at least one national championship game, including North Carolina’s appearance in the final game last year. They are among college basketball’s all-time winningest programs, combining for more than 7,700 victories.
Follow Adam Zagoria on TwitterAnd like ZAGS on Facebook
Adam Zagoria is a New York Times contributor and Basketball Insider who covers basketball at all levels. He is the author of two books and is an award-winning journalist whose articles have appeared in ESPN The Magazine, SLAM, Sheridan Hoops, Sports Illustrated, Basketball Times and in newspapers nationwide.
A veteran Ultimate Frisbee player, he has competed in numerous National and World Championships and, perhaps more importantly, his teams won the Westchester Summer League (WSL) championships in 2011 and 2013.
He lives in Manhattan with his wife and children.