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Top Draft prospects make early exit from NCAA Tournament

Well, if you were interested in seeing more Andrew Wiggins and Jabari Parker, you might have to wait until Summer League to do so.  Both Jabari Parker and Andrew Wiggins, the expected 1-2 in the NBA Draft, bowed out of the NCAA Tournament in the first weekend with some very poor performances this weekend. In all likelihood, fans have seen their last of the phenomenal freshmen before they declare for the NBA Draft in June.

Both had solid seasons, but it is also clear they are freshmen and they have a lot of growth to do. Parker looked to be the more complete of the two players and had games where he absolutely took over. Wiggins still looked like a bundle of potential in a raw player. But he went on crazy scoring runs and took over for his team.

The criticism of both after this weekend’s games was that they shrunk from the moment and failed to demand the ball. Of course, they are 18 year olds and freshmen to boot. They can learn how to demand the ball as they gain confidence and a realization that you do not need to be the oldest player to be a leader and dominant player.

It takes time. This weekend’s games are not likely to matter much in the long run — not after the great seasons they turned in the past five months.

It is clear that Wiggins and Parker are the top guys. For a recent five-on-five panel I participated in over at Orlando Magic Stuff, all of us Magic bloggers took one or the other as our top guy (in fact, I was the only one to take Parker).

Not helping matters either is that Magic fan favorite for the WoNK pick, Tyler Ennis, also departed from the NCAA Tournament in the first weekend.

Who is left to watch as the Sweet Sixteen gets set to begin?

Arizona’s Aaron Gordon sounds good, as Scott Fisher describes:

Scott Fisher: Aaron Gordon. I doubt he will be there, but freshman from Arizona could be the perfect glue guy on a championship team. He’s uber-athletic, plays great defense, and seems like he would fit perfectly with the culture Rob Hennigan is trying to build. If he had any remnants of an offensive game, he would likely be a top-five pick, but I believe his struggles on that end are fixable. He will never be a great offensive player, and some have given him the dreaded “tweener” label, but if Gordon is available, he would be a great get for the Magic.

There are a lot of good players left to watch. None of us mentioned UCLA’s Zach LaVine and there was some love for Kentucky center Willie Cauley-Stein.

The big names might be out, but the Magic still have their second first round pick to scout. And, anyways, it is great basketball.

The Draft Lottery is May 20. It cannot seem to get here soon enough so we can all have a clearer picture of things.

Philip Rossman-Reich

About Philip Rossman-Reich

Philip Rossman-Reich is the managing editor for Crossover Chronicles and Orlando Magic Daily. You can follow him on twitter @OMagicDaily

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