After a crazy first day of the tournament, we turn to Friday with plenty of hoops left and no shortness of storylines.
The Pro Prospects
You're likely not going to see Walkup's name pop up on many draft lists this offseason, but the gritty senior is going to make a lot of money playing pro ball one way or another. Walkup can do it all and averaged 17.5 points, 6.8 rebounds, and 4.5 assists this season. He doesn't have the elite-level speed or height that you need in the NBA, but he's going to carve our a strong niche whether it be in the NBDL or internationally.
When you think about mid-major success stories in the NBA one of the first case studies that comes to mind is Damian Lillard and the success he's had in Rip City with the Trail Blazers. Lillard will likely have a colleague from his alma mater in the NBA next season, and his name is Joel Bolomboy. Bolomboy is a crafty big who averaged 17.2 points, 12.7 rebounds, and 1.3 blocks per game this past season. He could sneak into the second round of the draft or carve out his stake in Summer League.
DeAndre Bembry, 6'6, F, St. Joseph's Hawks
9:57, vs. #9 Cincinnati Bearcats, TRUtv
Bembry is far and away the most talented prospect you'll see Friday among the mid-major ranks. The 6'6 forward can do it all including handling the ball like a guard despite his size. This past year he averaged 17.3 points, 7.7 rebounds, and 4.5 assists for the Hawks while flexing some rugged defense. Some databases have Bembry in their top thirty for this year's draft, but it's unknown whether or not this junior will leave early. He has done it all at this point after locking up St. Joseph's second Atlantic 10 title in three years.
Next Antonio Gates?
Mo Alie-Cox, 6'7, F, VCU Rams
1:30, vs. #7 Oregon State Beavers, TNT
If you've watched the VCU Rams over the past three seasons, then you've undoubtedly heard an announcer say "he's built like an NFL tight end" when referring to Mo Alie-Cox. It's a fun drinking game if you're looking for that during the early afternoon tomorrow. I have no idea if Alie-Cox is interested in football, but it's fun to think about, and there are always rumblings of NFL scouts being in the Siegel Center.
Looking for someone to fall in love with this March or captivate the nation? We give you Wes Washpun! The diminutive Northern Iowa guard is pure energy and put his team on his back to win the Missouri Valley title. The lightning fast ball-handler averaged 14.3 points, 5.2 assists, and 4 rebounds this season and will give Shaka Smart plenty of headaches Friday night.
Game of the Day
#8 St. Joseph's Hawks vs. #9 Cincinnati Bearcats
Sorry, you have to stay up late, but it will be worth it. The best game on Friday's slate features the hot St. Joe's Hawks against a crafty Cincinnati squad. Why is this game going to be great? Well, you have two teams that go full throttle all the time and are going to beat the hell out of each other for forty or more minutes. DeAndre Bembry is worth a watch all by himself and Bearcats guard Troy Caupain isn't far behind.