Originally posted on Wizards Extreme  |  Last updated 3/20/13
In 2010 we saw John Wall lead Kentucky to blowouts over East Tennessee State, and Wake Forest before killing the Cinderella story of the Cornell Big Red and finally ending their run at the hands of the West Virginia Mountaneers. In 2012 Bradley Beal earned a spot on the regional all-tournament team leading his team to victories over Virginia, Norfolk State and Marquette before losing to the Louisville Cardinals in the regional finals.  For Wizards fans March Madness brings us hope in the form of talented ball players playing in a single elimination tournament with millions of people watching. Given that Washington wil be back in the lottery we chose 10 players who could be viable options when draft day comes. Each round we will update the player tracker and show you the stats and highlights from that players games. I caveat this list with a couple of points; Nerlens Noel was left off due to ACL injury, I didn't include any Euros because I believe the Wizards should be banned from selecting overseas players for the next decade, and Alen Len and Willie Cauley-Stein are absent because Maryland and Kentucky did not qualify for the tournament. Even though I included McLemore, Oladipo and Smart who all play positions that are established on the Wizards, in the event that Washington lands a higher pick and can trade back I figured it'd be fun to include some other notable players. Here are the 10 players we think you should be watching this weekend.   Ben McLemore – Kansas, Shooting Guard (Fr.) Opponent FGA - FGM FG% RPG APG PPG 3/22 - 9:50PM vs. Western Kentucky           3/24 - TBD vs. North Carolina/Villanova                       Unless something miraculous happens and the Wizards end up with the first or second overall pick the only reason we should be watching McLemore is because he is in the conversation for player of the year and if Washington gets the top pick they could potentially trade the rights to McLemore. Recently his shooting ability has been compared to (stop me if you've heard this before) Ray Allen. Hmmm, sounds familiar right? I'm interested to see what McLemore does with the spotlight on him and if he can lead Kansas to as good a run as our very own Bradley Beal did for the Gators. Depending where he lands Beal and Ben could be fighting for top SG supremacy for the next decade or so. Marcus Smart – Oklahoma State, Point Guard (Fr.) Opponent MPG FGA - FGM FG% 3PT% RPG APG SPG PPG 3/21 - 4:40PM vs. Oregon                 3/23 - TBD vs. Saint Louis/New Mexico St.                                    Again, my only reason for having Smart in here is in the event the Wizards land a top 5 draft pick and are able to potentially trade back for position of need. I haven't seen a lot of Smart and if he plans on having a good tournament it's going to be against some pretty stiff competition. A potential Sweet 16 matchup against Peyton Siva and Lousville would be a fun game to watch for any fan. Just like McLemore I'm interested to see where Smart will land in the NBA and how the matchups between him and Wall will go for the next several years. Shabazz Muhammad – UCLA, Shooting Guard (Fr.)    Opponent MPG FGA - FGM FG% 3PT% RPG APG SPG PPG 3/22 - 9:57PM vs. Minnesota                 3/24 - TBD vs. Florida/Northwestern St.                                      Shabazz came into his freshman year at UCLA with a ton of hype. After serving an NCAA imposed suspension and then having it overturned Muhammad led the Bruins to a regular season championship, 2nd place in the Pac12 tournament and a #6 seed. Shabazz possess an NBA ready body, a very good offensive game and a heck of a motor. The problem I see with him is his inablity to create for his team-mates and the consistancy in his offense. A Sweet 16 showdown against Otto Porter would be every NBA scouts dream and may not be that far of a stretch to see happening. Cody Zeller – Indiana, Center (So.) Opponent MPG FGA - FGM FG% 3PT% RPG APG SPG PPG 3/22 - 4:10PM vs. Whomever wins right to lose this game                 3/24 - TBD vs. North Carolina St. / Temple                                   Zeller plays basketball the way it's meant to be played. He's not going to blow you away with his athleticsim but he gets up and down the court and looks to have a very good basketball IQ. All that said, I just don't get excited over this guy. He doen't really do anything that makes you think "difference maker." What I will say though is that he's steady and I believe he'll be a starter for a good amount of time in the Pros. I've seen a lot of comparisons to Lamarcus Aldridge although from what i've seen of Zeller I was thinking more Spencer Hawes or poor man's Brook Lopez. Anthony Bennett – UNLV, Power Forward (Fr.) Opponent MPG FGA - FGM FG% 3PT% RPG APG SPG PPG 3/21 - 7:27PM vs. California                 3/23 - TBD vs. Syracuse / Montana                                   This is the first guy that I've written about that I'm truly excited to watch and for multiple reasons. While Bennett is a bit smaller than you'd want your full time PF to be I think his ability around the basket makes him a perfect fit for the Wizards offense when you talk about spreading the ball with Beal and Webster and then having a PF/C combo of Bennett and Nene as your frontcourt. Not sure how long this UNLV team can last but anything less than a showdown with Syracuse in the 2nd round would be a disappointment. Victor Oladipo – Indiana, Shooting Guard (Jr.) Opponent MPG FGA - FGM FG% 3PT% RPG APG SPG PPG 3/22 - 4:10PM vs. Whomever wins right to lose this game                 3/24 - TBD vs. North Carolina St. / Temple                                   Let me start by saying that I'm a Michigan Wolverine fan, have been all my teenage and adult life so I'm naturally inclinded to pick against Indiana players. That said, I'm also not helped enormously by my Bullets/Wizards fandom which saw Indiana All-American's Jared Jeffries and Calbert Cheaney have stints with Washington that were less than spectacular. I personally don't think either Zeller or Oladipo are going to be Wizards this time next year but I've seen crazier things happen. Who knows maybe this tournament run for Indiana will make me think of Oladipo as more Eric Gordon and less Damon Bailey and A.J. Guyton. Otto Porter – Georgetown, Small Forward (So.) Opponent MPG FGA - FGM FG% 3PT% RPG APG SPG PPG 3/22 - 6:50PM vs. Florida Gulf Coast                 3/24 - TBD vs. San Diego St. / Oklahoma                                   The undeniable flavor of the month for Wizards fans and for good reason as his he went on a tear to finish up what should amount to his final games as a Georgetown Hoya. Porter made huge strides in his offensive game from last year to this year but still disappears too much in games for my own comfort level. Combined with the fact that Martell Webster has shown he is more than capable of starting at SF, I'm not as excited about a Porter-Wizards relationship as I was when my colleague Trevor Jackson first mentioned it to me. A matchup against Shabazz Muhammad in the Sweet Sixteen would be considered a millionaire matchup because the outcome of that game could have huge financial implications for both players. Mason Plumlee – Duke, Center (Sr.) Opponent MPG FGA - FGM FG% 3PT% RPG APG SPG PPG 3/22 - 12:15PM vs. Albany                 3/24 - TBD vs. Creighton / Cincinnati                                   This may be the first time in the sports fan history that I'm speaking positively about a Duke basketball player. In all seriousness I like a lot of Mason Plumlee's game. He gets up and down the court well, he is a big finisher and obviously plays the game the way it's supposed to be played. I cannot stress that latter point enough on a team that only recently changed the focus of it's players to guys who no longer want to play I-ball or black hole basketball (goes in - never comes out.) Plumlee, Duke’s leading scorer and rebounder, was named a second-team All-American, was second among ACC players in scoring, rebounding and field goal percentage, was a first team All-ACC and also made the ACC all-defensive team. If Washington lands towards the middle to end of the lottery I think Plumlee along with the other 4 and 5's will get serious looks from the Wizards. As Duke goes along I'll be watching not only Plumlee but Ryan Kelly as well. Kelly Olynyk – Gonzaga, Center (Jr.) Opponent MPG FGA - FGM FG% 3PT% RPG APG SPG PPG 3/21 - 4:10PM vs. Southern University                 3/23 - TBD vs. Pittsburgh / Whichita St.                                   Olynyk is fresh off capturing a West Coast Conference Championship, WCC Player of the Year honors and is trying to become the first Candian to win the John Wooden Award as the NCAA's Player of the Year after leading  Gonzaga to their first every No.1 ranking in regular season and No.1 seed for NCAA Tournament. Olynyk is a very skilled big man who can score a variety of ways, shows to be great around the basket, has a good shooting touch and is extremely efficient shooting nearly 65% from the field while averaging a shade over 7 rebounds a game to his stat line. Downside is he doesn't seem to be very athletic, plays below the rim, not a big shot blocker and isn't anything to be scared of defensively. Glenn Robinson III – Michigan, Small Forward (Fr.) Opponent MPG FGA - FGM FG% 3PT% RPG APG SPG PPG 3/21 - 7:15PM vs. South Dakota State                 3/23 - TBD vs. VCU / Akron                                   Did I mention I was a Wolverine fan? Honestly I have Robinson III on here because he played a significant role in Michigan's sucess this season and showed off his amazing athletic abilities when given the chance on a team that had at least two other options in front of him in Tim Hardaway Jr., and Trey Burke. I personally think that Robinson III should go back to school for his Sophomore year even though he's improved his stock from late first rounder to mid-first/lottery pick. The comparisons to Iguodala sound good about this point but I'm interested to see how long Michigan can stay in this tournament and if we could see an elite 8 matchup vs. Otto Porter or Shabazz Muhammad. Who says these bracket creators don't know what they are doing?
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