It’s that time of the year again! After missing out on the 2020 NCAA tournament due to the global pandemic, March Madness is back.
For most of the nation, this is the best sporting event of the year. For young prospects preparing to take their talents to the NBA, it’s one last opportunity to boost their draft stock in what many are projecting to be one of the deepest talent pools in recent NBA history. But according to ESPN’s Mike Schmitz, there’s so only so much they can do.
No matter how well they perform, the NBA Draft analyst thinks one guy is a lock to go No.1 regardless of who gets the top pick.
It’s Cade Cunningham. Step back threes, 6-8 point guards, 40 point games, game-winner after game-winner — he’s your guy.Mike Schmitz, ESPN
The 19-year-old forward (19.6 PPG, 6.4 RPG, 3.6 APG, 1.4 SPG, 41.2% from the 3-point line) is a star for the Oklahoma State Cowboys, leading the team to its first tournament appearance since 2017. The Midwest Region fourth-seeded Cowboys will face 13th-seeded Liberty in the first round on Friday, and Schmitz has no doubt they will be the team with the most talented guy on the floor.
He’s the Luka Dončić of college basketball when you talk about his positional size, his ability to get to his spots; he can score at all three levels, he makes everyone around him better.Mike Schmitz, ESPN
Schmitz even went out to Stillwater, Oklahoma, to spend some time with the freshman phenom. After being around Cunningham, the ESPN Draft analyst drew another parallel between him and the Mavericks superstar, marveling at Arlington native’s maturity level, praising his mentality even at such a young age.
I thought I was talking to an NBA veteran. He has this unshakable confidence about him, and experts didn’t even think this team would be in the NCAA tournament, and here they are doing as well as they have.Mike Schmitz, ESPN
The top of the bracket with Michigan, Baylor, Gonzaga, and Illinois is strong, but Schmitz still sees the Cowboys as a dark horse entering the tournament. So don’t write them off just yet — not with the Luka Dončić of college basketball leading the way.