The 2021 NCAA Tournament is in full swing. This is where players can put themselves on the NBA map and where many NBA fans acquaint themselves with these players for the first time. We’re going to take the chance to look at some players mocked to the Charlotte Hornets around the Internet, then I’ll provide a list of some other players in the tournament Hornets fans might want to keep an eye on.
SB Nation: Usman Garuba, Big, Real Madrid (Spain)
We get this started with a prospect that isn’t even in the tournament. Garuba has tremendous defensive potential but his offensive game is a work in progress. He could provide the defensive anchor the Hornets need, but his lack of offensive polish might not fit well with the motion heavy Hornets offense.
Tankathon: Alperen Şengün, Big, Besiktas (Turkey)
Another international player not in the tournament (I promise I’m not doing this on purpose). Şengün seems to be a kind of antithesis to Garuba. He has soft touch and a good all around offensive game, but there are questions about his defense.
The Athletic: Josh Giddey, Wing, Adelaide (Australia)
You guessed it, another player not in the tournament. I don’t know why the whole Internet wants to mock international players to the Hornets. Giddey is a do-it-all wing that can handle the ball as a secondary creator. Plus the Hornets did pretty well the last time they drafted a versatile player out of the NBL in Australia.
I was going to post a couple more, but I realized even where I found NCAA players mocked to the Hornets, they still weren’t in the tournament. So we’re going to skip to the part where I list off players to watch.
Corey Kispert, Wing, Gonzaga
Kispert might be out of the Hornets’ range as teams apparently still want to draft one senior per year too high in the lottery. But he’s a wing that can shoot the ball insanely well.
Franz Wagner, Wing, Michigan
Brother of less-good NBA player Moritz Wagner, Franz is a key cog in a Michigan team that looked like the best team in the country for a spell. He’s a good passer for a wing and can do a little bit of everything.
Moses Moody, Wing, Arkansas
Moody is one of the best shooters in the draft, especially given his youth. The Hornets need depth and shooting on the wing, and Moody could provide that. He also has arguably the best name in the draft.
John Petty, Wing, Alabama
Petty is a second round prospect that is a similar, older version of Moody. He can shoot, but maybe not do much else. But we’ve seen that being a good enough shooter can make all other ills disappear.
Trendon Watford, Forward, LSU
Watford was a five star recruit coming out of high school but has seen his draft stock slip during his time at LSU. He’s a good scorer and passer from the forward spot, but he needs to clean up his outside shot.
Jason Preston, Wing, Ohio
I don’t know much about Preston’s draft stock, but he’s a cool story to follow. He is the latest of bloomers; he scored just 52 total points as a bench player his senior year of high school. Now he’s the best player on an Ohio team that just took out Virginia. He can shoot, rebound, and pass and is just fun to root for.