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It's Saturday here at the HQ so besides recapping the Raptors' Friday night match-up, it also means an edition of "Saturday Scouting," where Ray Bala and I highlight some NCAA players and teams to keep an eye on...
Colorado St @. Boise St - 8 PM EST
There is a possibility that Toronto will go without a selection in this year's NBA Draft but a name that you should keep in the back of your mind is Colorado St's Colton Iverson.
You may or may not remember this but a couple of years back, Iverson (no relation to Allen) was once a part of what was going to be a very, very good Minnesota team for Tubby Smith. But then stuff happened and after charges were brought on one player, ahem Trevor Mbakwe, there was a mass exodus.
Iverson was among them.
He transferred to Colorado St where he is now a senior and manning the pivot for the Rams full time. He's averaging a very respectable 14 ppg, 9.9 rpg and 1.4 spg in just under 30 minutes per and at 6'10", 260 lbs. he could be a steal as a free agent pick.
He's not going to wow you with his shot blocking skills because he doesn't really block shots. Nor will he amaze you with his freakish athleticism. He's a big body that knows how to use it to stay in front of other big bodies and can grab glass while also providing solid D.
To be perfectly honest, he is a guy that could very well be another Aaron Gray with a little more pep in his step but is that a bad thing? Assuming that the Raptors can find pieces to fit this new Rudy Gay/DeMar DeRozan combo, a faster, less laterally challenged version of Gray is probably what the team needs more than a dominant big man.
Iverson will not be the sleeper pick that blossoms into an all star, at least not from what I think, but he is a serviceable big body that fills a need and could be a great role guy that plays solid to spell Amir Johnson or Jonas Valanciunas for about 10 minutes. And he should be cheap.
Like I said, Iverson will not be a star since those guys usually end up in the first round but he could be a useful piece to lock up for a rebuilding stage (again) that could work well with Rudy and DeMar and the other young running and jumping guys.
Besides the profiles Ray put together above, there are a myriad of other interesting prospects in action this weekend as we close in on the NCAA Tourney. Here are a few matches I'll be keeping an eye on:
Miami @ Duke - 6 PM EST: No surprise as a Duke fan I'll be dialed into this one but more than that, I'm extremely curious to see how these clubs fare in the re-match. Miami still looks like a top 3 club to me while Duke sans-Ryan Kelly reminds me of the JJ Redick & Shelden Williams team that got upset by VCU. Unless both Curry and Plumlee are going, the team just doesn't score enough points.
Oklahoma State @ Texas - 4 PM EST: This one pits two teams that are on opposite sides of the NCAA tourney bubble as of now with Oklahoma State ranked number 15, and the Longhorns only .500 in league play. However this one should still be a dynamite showcase of two of college's top point guards; Marcus Smart for OK St, a potential top five pick in the upcoming draft, and Canadian Myck Kabongo, who's been tearing it up since his return from suspension.
Arizona @ UCLA - 9 PM EST: I have no idea what to make of the Pac-12 this season as at one point, both Arizona and UCLA looked to be the top two teams. Instead it's Oregon that has the division lead with both of these clubs knocking on the door so for top conference positioning, this is a must-win for both clubs.