CJBL Tournament - Bracket Preview (Part 3)
- By Tim Wallis, Day 137, 2020
#1 Duke vs #16 Tennessee StateThe Blue Devils have gone 28-7 this season, finishing 2nd in the ACC and ranked 3rd in the nation. Freshman forward Zach McCray is a first round prospect who was top five in the conference for both rebounds and blocks while junior wing Ty Kreiner led the ACC in steals. Freshman two guard Landon Gladden led the team in scoring. Tennessee State won the Ohio Valley Conference (East) with a 15-12 record behind the play of Jeremy Yarbrough who was 3rd in the OVC in scoring.
#2 Arizona vs #15 AkronProjected as a top ten pick, freshman center Jamaya Sprinkle was the Pac-12 MVP, finishing 4th in the conference in scoring and 10th in rebounding as the Wildcats went 22-6. Sidekicks Mitchell Van Bree (freshman SF) and Sergio Loyola (senior PG) are expected to be picked up later in the draft. Akron took out the Mid-American Conference with a 19-14 record, with All-MAC point guard M.J. Telfair finishing 3rd in scoring and top ten in assists and steals.
#3 Michigan State vs #14 MaristThe Spartans get much of their scoring from their sophomore wings Kaiser Robinson and Jalan Howard, but diminutive All-Big Ten point guard Anthony Conroy gets much of the credit for their 23-9 season and will be hoping to play his way into the first round. Marist’s Ak Jones is hopeful of being picked up late in the draft or as a rookie free agent. The senior wing led the Red Foxes to a 20-12 season and the Metro American Athletic Conference title.
#4 Oklahoma vs #13 MaineFreshman combo guard James Barrett (3rd in the Big 12 for PPG) and senior big man Clay Stanback (1st in RPG, 10th in APG) can move into 1st round draft consideration with strong tournaments and freshman point guard Eli Custer (3rd in APG, 7th in SPG) is one to watch for the future. Maine’s senior center/forward Jarvis Kamasa finished top ten in the America East Conference for rebounds, assists and blocks.
#5 Kentucky vs #12 ValparaisoJaDante Hicks is considered a potential lottery pick after finishing 5th in the SEC in scoring, All-SEC small forward Jordan Barreno is a deadly three point shooter and freshman point guard Mehdy Brown (4th in APG) sets up for them well. Valparaiso’s Avery Houston was named to the All-Horizon team and finished top ten in that conference’s scoring.
#6 Louisville vs #11 Virginia Military InstituteThe Cardinals had a 19-12 record in the ACC behind the offensive prowess of point guard Evan Coleman who led the conference in scoring. Junior guard Tyson Bonsu has shown similar scoring ability despite being relegated to a bench role. VMI is led by Southern Conference MVP Colen Jackson who was 6th in the conference in scoring, 3rd in rebounds and 5th in blocked shots. Shooting guard Rasheed Harvey was 7th in scoring and led the conference in steals per game.
#7 Northwestern vs #10 VillanovaTyrn Kendley was the All-Big Ten center as a freshman and sophomore small forward Jonas Rudrud was a top ten scorer and top five in steals for the conference as Northwestern went an impressive 24-10. Villanova’s senior shooting guard Jay Jones will be hoping to get drafted after leading the Big East in steals and sophomore power forward Connor Dixon was top ten in the conference for rebounds and blocks.
#8 Arkansas vs #9 ClemsonA surprisingly low seed for the defending champions after winning the SEC with a 25-9 record. A trio of their championship heroes are eligible for the draft and hoping to make it a repeat. Sophomore small forward Diamante Oliver led the team in scoring and was 9th in the conference in assists, senior power forward Shaheed Duke was the SEC’s 2nd leading shot blocker and senior point guard Bakari Kostur was 2nd in assists. Clemson’s sophomore swing man Damien James was 8th in the ACC for scoring and 5th in steals as the Tigers battled to a 17-15 record.
Click to read Part 1 (North Region).
Click to read Part 2 (West Region).