Jalen Suggs, Evan Mobley and 8 NBA prospects to watch in the Elite Eight

Plenty of high-level NBA prospects are still playing after the Sweet Sixteen.

Gonzaga has two of the eight top NBA prospects still playing in the NCAA tournament.
Gonzaga has two of the eight top NBA prospects still playing in the NCAA tournament. –Photo by Sarah Stier/Getty Images

The Elite Eight teams are set to tip off on Monday, and while Cade Cunningham bowed out in the second round, plenty of NBA prospects across the draft-board spectrum are still in the running.

Here are eight of the best prospects still participating in March Madness.

Jalen Suggs, Gonzaga

Position: All-around point guard

Projected draft position: Top 3

Scouting report: Suggs was a projected mid-first-round pick entering the season, but he shot up draft boards early as he demonstrated an impressive all-around game. No broadcast is complete without mentioning Suggs’ past as a high-school quarterback, but his vision is worth noting, and he has great NBA athleticism already. Suggs can score from all three levels — he attacks the rim through contact aggressively, and his shot is compact and repeatable with deep 3-point range. Defensively, his athleticism and competitiveness hold up well against opposing guards.

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Suggs excelled on a team with plenty of professional prospects. His 3-point numbers dipped a bit throughout the year and his 75-percent free throw shooting is solid but not great. Still, expect him to be one of the first three names called in the NBA draft.

Evan Mobley, USC

Position: Versatile big

Projected draft position: Top 3

Scouting report: Entering college, some evaluators had concerns about Mobley’s thin frame and lackluster performance during his senior high-school season.

Mobley quickly put those concerns away and looked every bit deserving of the No. 1 prospect status he was awarded last season in high school. A hyper-versatile 7-foot defender with long arms, Mobley can move quickly laterally and explode to block shots. Offensively, he can do a little bit of everything — shoot, pass, post up, score with touch and even handle in transition. Some nitpickers might point to his lackluster free-throw percentage (68.7 percent) and 3-point percentage (30.8 percent), but he has impressed plenty of doubters this season and projects to be an extremely useful NBA player.

Corey Kispert, Gonzaga

Position: Floor-spacing guard/wing

Projected draft position: Mid-late lottery

Scouting report: Kispert’s NBA skill is pretty obvious: He’s an otherworldly 3-point shooter — perhaps the best shooter in college basketball this season. He can score in a variety of ways, and his gravity opens up the game for his teammates. Kispert can circle off screens and shoot both with and without the ball, and his size — 6-foot-7 — allows him to get his shot off comfortably when given small amounts of space. Kispert is a solid passer and a passable defender, so while his star potential might be limited, he projects to be a high-level role player with some intriguing upside.

Franz Wagner, Michigan

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Position: Versatile point-forward

Projected draft position: Mid-late lottery

Scouting report: Franz Wagner is the younger brother of new Celtics big man Moe Wagner. At 6-foot-9, he was one of the better defenders in the Big Ten and was a candidate for the conference’s defensive player of the year. He can defend several positions comfortably.

Wagner plays like a guard, which is one of the most intriguing aspects of his size. His excellent passing instincts and vision are amplified by how easily he can see over the defense, and he has shown promise as a shooter as well — Wagner averaged 83 percent from the free-throw line this season and his 3-point percentage ballooned to 37 percent.

Moses Moody, Arkansas

Position: 3-and-D guard/wing

Projected draft position: Late lottery

Scouting report: Moody projects to be a rock-solid role player at the next level. A sweet-shooting wing with good athleticism, he can score in a variety of ways but his best offense is as a floor-spacer. Moody is also one of the younger players in the draft, so while some scouts have questioned his handle and his star upside, there’s plenty of reason for optimism.

Davion Mitchell, Baylor

Position: Guard

Projected draft position: Mid-late first round

Scouting report: Mitchell has the feel of a player Danny Ainge would love if he hadn’t just drafted Payton Pritchard. A heady point guard, Mitchell is very quick off the bounce, and he hit 45 percent of his triples this season on nearly five attempts per game. This is the highest percentage (by far) Mitchell has shot in his career, and he’s a poor free throw shooter, which is slightly concerning.

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Most important to Mitchell’s game, however: He’s an intense competitor and an elite on-ball defender who harasses opponents into mistakes and turnovers. He’s an older prospect, so teams in the late first round might see him as a plug-and-play option.

Jared Butler, Baylor

Position: Guard

Projected draft position: Late first-early second round

Scouting report: Like Mitchell, Butler projects to be a plug-and-play guard option for a team late in the first round. He can score off the bounce and off the catch, and he has an NBA body. Butler is a junior, so his upside may be slightly limited as well, but he’s a nice option for an NBA team angling for a solid back-up guard.

Quentin Grimes, Houston

Position: Forward

Projected draft position: Second round

Scouting report: Grimes is an interesting player, and he has been one of the best players in the tournament. Previously a 5-star prospect coming out of high school, he struggled in his first year at Kansas and transferred to Houston, where he seems to have found a home. At 6-foot-5, he has great size for his position as a combo guard. Offensively, he can create separation and has a bag of scoring tricks. Grimes’ defense and playmaking need some work, but he’s Houston’s leading scorer by a comfortable margin averaging 18 points and six rebounds.

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