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March 20, 1:00 PM ET
Chat with Chad Ford

Chad Ford
  (12:59 PM)

Aloha everyoneWelcome to the chat. March Madness, my favorite time of the year, starts on Thursday. I've just put out four blog post on EVERY draft prospect playing in the tournament. Just finished filling out my bracket. We'll do NBA draft and the tournament all hour. Let's roll ...

Lee D (LA)

Chad, UCLA is sunk now that Jordan Adams is out. He is one of these guys who just knows how to play. How do NBA scouts project him at the next level/

Chad Ford
  (1:01 PM)

Don't like that first round match-up for them against Minnesota. Losing Adams hurts. He's such a gifted scorer. As far as what do NBA people think? Let's start with Bill Walton "Jordan Adams doesn't have those bulging veins that we've been accustomed to." LOL. He doesn't have a NBA body nor is he a great athlete, but he's such a dangerous scorer, it might not matter. A potential first round pick in 2014

Mike (SF)

Wow... RMU over Kentucky. Does this force some of the Kentucky guys to stay another year? They didn't get to have a post season run to boost their draft stock.

Chad Ford
  (1:05 PM)

Here's the dilemma. EVERYONE knows that Willie Cauley-Stein, Alex Poythress and Archie Goodwin aren't ready for the NBA. Scouts, John Calipari and even the kids themselves. They should go back to school. The problem is two fold. One, this is a weak draft and all three are likely first rounders anyway. Two, with such a gifted incoming recruiting class coming in, there's a chance that Poythress and Goodwin especially might have to come off the bench next year. That alone won't hurt their draft stock (remember Dion Waiters was a Top 5 pick and he didn't start a game for Syracuse) but if they don't show real improvement, they could fall off the map. Not sure what they'll end up doing. Not totally sure that Calipari even wants them back. Usually players take the money and run ... but not sure that will be the case this year.

Grant (Dallas)

Biggest concern scouts have for Wolters at next level? What's his ceiling?

Chad Ford
  (1:09 PM)

Can he defend anyone at the next level? Basically every issue scouts had with Jimmer Fredette ...

zach (detroit)

Oladipo sounds like a perfect fit for the pistons? Do you agree or is there a better fit?

Chad Ford
  (1:10 PM)

They'd probably go Otto Porter ahead of him. Ben McLemore too .. After that yeah, he's a great fit .

dan (chapel hill)

Thoughts on Reggie Bullock as an ideal 3 and D guy in the NBA? Could be perfect role player fit on a contender at end of first round?

Chad Ford
  (1:11 PM)

Great size. Can really shoot it. Not an alpha dog unfortunately or he'd be much higher on draft boards. If he has a big tournament, I'd guess he cracks the first round.

Rob (Montana)

Is there any chance Will Cherry can make it in the NBA?

Chad Ford
  (1:12 PM)

Yes. Lock down defender. Great athlete. If he makes a run in the tournament he's got a chance. First up is Syracuse. If I'm Michael Carter-Williams, I'm shaking in my high tops a bit. He's struggled against physical, athletic defenders. Could be a breakout moment for Cherry.

Jake (Salt Lake)

What are the chances Burke is actually available to the Jazz at 14, as your mock draft predicts? Seems like his stock is a little higher.

Chad Ford
  (1:14 PM)

He's higher on our Big Board than 14, but the draft itself is also about fit. Not a ton of teams in that range are looking for point guards. So ... I'm saying there's a chance.

Marcus (Detroit)

If Adrian Payne plays well and the Spartans make noise during the tourney is he NBA bound?

Chad Ford
  (1:14 PM)

That's what I hear. Very skilled. Good size. Just been inconsistent in his career. A big tournament for him could propel him into the first round.

Brad (Boulder, CO)

Hi Chad, any chance either of the Colorado Buffaloes players - Andre Roberson or Spencer Dinwiddie - declare for the draft? Thanks!

Chad Ford
  (1:16 PM)

Roberson has the best shot at getting drafted. Stat heads love him. He's further ahead as a rebounder and defender than he is as an offsensive player. He's a potential late first to second round pick. Dinwiddie and Josh Smith could both be first rounders in 2014.

Sean (Texas)

Will Jahii Carson stay or go

Chad Ford
  (1:17 PM)

Probably needs to return. Scouts very intrigued, but his lack of size creates a lot of question marks.

Mark (Kansas)

last minute julius randle prediction?

Chad Ford
  (1:19 PM)

Kentucky! LOL. He just announced he's going to UK. An amazing recruiting class just got better. This complicates things for Poythress especially.

Otto Porter (Georgetown)

Is there any reason for me to stay another year?? With everyone else returning my Hoyas could win a National Championship next year.

Chad Ford
  (1:22 PM)

An education is always a great reason to return ... especially from a school like Georgetown (full disclosure, my alma mater). But from a draft standpoint? He's ready to go. Likely Top 5 pick in this draft. The most complete player in the country in my opinion.

Brandon (Winston Salem, NC)

ChadWhat are your thoughts on Shane Larkin? What are scouts saying about him?

Chad Ford
  (1:26 PM)

Love him. Great screen-and-roll guard. Shoots the ball well. Very good balance between scoring and getting his teammates involved. He was a few inches taller he'd be a lottery pick this year. I think he goes back to Miami and is a lock mid first rounder next year. However, if he has a huge March, he could propel himself to that spot this year.

Matt (DC)

Prospect in this tournament with the most to gain/lose? I go McAdoo personally, but would like your thoughts.

Chad Ford
  (1:27 PM)

McAdoo is an interesting one. He's been playing better lately. If UNC goes on a deep run and he leads them, he probably ends up back in the lottery. Don't think he'll end up back in the Top 5 like he started the season, but yes, he's got a lot at stake.

Hazeltine (Vegas)

What about calling Anthony Bennett a shorter, thicker version of Kevin Durant? He's got all of the same scoring tools, minus Durant's length.

Chad Ford
  (1:30 PM)

I can see some of that. He's significantly shorter (though he is very long). That means he can't get his shot off against anyone the way Durant can. Obviously he's got 40 pounds on Durant and has the potential to be a stronger low post player. But you're right that he's a true inside/outside player who can score from anywhere on the floor. I love him. My only concern with him is his work ethic. I've heard he can struggle in that area and it's clear he could be better conditioned that he is. Durant is remarkable in part because he's such a hard worker. That really sets them apart.

Janet (LA)

Thoughts on Allen Crabbe? Should he enter the draft this year?

Chad Ford
  (1:31 PM)

Probably. He has some buzz. A great tournament (and Cal got a sweet home game against UNLV in the opening round) would really push him into a lock for the first round.

Sam ((Alabama))

Do you think Florida can get hot, like they were earlier in the season, and make a run at the national championship?

Chad Ford
  (1:32 PM)

I have them in the Final Four. They played in a very weak conference which concerns me. But they are a very complete team with size and strong guard play.

Brandon (Cleveland)

Do you think LaQ Ross has a chance to turn into a 1st round pick in next years draft? He has been playing well lately and has a sweet stroke from deep!

Chad Ford
  (1:33 PM)

I actually think he's the best pro prospect for Ohio State. Not ready yet, but with another year, yes, he could be a first rounder.

Matt (DC)

Does Alex Len have anything to gain by coming back to Maryland next year? Would love to see it, but I think iut's 60/40 he goes.

Chad Ford
  (1:35 PM)

Hear he's likely to leave. He can't control the touches he gets at Maryland. Too many coaches don't know how to coach big men. I think he'll take his chances in the NBA and grab that Top 10 paycheck.

Cody (Wilmington)

If Kentavious Caldwell-Pope decides to return for his Junior season, could he propel himself into a top 15 pick in 2014?

Chad Ford
  (1:35 PM)

Yes. And could be a first round pick this year if he decides to declare.

Eric (Chicago)

Zeke Marshall out of Akron have any chance of getting drafted? Could see him developing into a Tyson Chandler type big

Chad Ford
  (1:36 PM)

For sure. Has a very good shot at the first round. Could help himself with a strong first round against VCU.

MCW (Syracuse)

Yo Chaddy, I've been rolling this year getting third in the country for assists per game and barely missing the top five for steals per game. People have been criticizing me though for my poor performance at some games, then praising me in other games. What should I do in the tourney to stay consistent and improve my draft stock dawg?

Chad Ford
  (1:37 PM)

For point guard, the magic elixer is just this: win. Lead Syracuse to the Final Four or a NCAA title and everything will take care of itself.

Tom (Dayton)

Chad, settle something for me. (water) Gun to your head, is Aaron Craft on an NBA roster next season? Thanks

Chad Ford
  (1:37 PM)

Probably. Lots of scouts love him as a tough defender coming off the bench.

Matt (DC)

You consider Mark Turgeon unable to coach big men? The guy had Deandre Jordan at A&M also.

Chad Ford
  (1:40 PM)

You just made my point for me. DeAndre Jordan slipped from a pre-season Top 5 pick to the second round after he averaged 8 ppg & 6 rpg as a freshman. Turgeon didn't get him involved and scouts were scared away. He's now the starting center of a team with a decent shot of going to the NBA Finals.

scott (chicago)

If Andrew Wiggins ends up at Kentucky, do you invision them losing any games next year?

Chad Ford
  (1:42 PM)

If they land Wiggins, they'll have the greatest collection of college talent every assembled in the history of the game. Undefeated wouldn't be out of the question ... especially if they have guys like Poythress & Goodwin coming off the bench.

Dave (Chicago)

Any hope for Brandon Paul to get drafted in the first round? Seems as if his draft stock has been constantly changing

Chad Ford
  (1:43 PM)

Consistently trending downward since Maui. Not sure a huge tournament will change things for him because the knock has always been inconsistency.

B Mand (Sarasota, FL)

Name a likely top 10 pick who has the highest bust potential?

Chad Ford
  (1:45 PM)

Cody Zeller. He'll either be a unique player in the league and be great, or he'll struggle to find a fit and be out of the league in a few years. I just don't see a lot of in between.

Jason (Richmond)

Chad, Who if any of your current likely lottery picks could you see returning to school (if any)?

Chad Ford
  (1:48 PM)

Marcus Smart is not a lock to declare for the draft I'm told. Ditto for Otto Porter and Cody Zeller. Gary Harris is leaning toward returning to Michigan State for his sophomore year. The Kentucky kids (Cauley-Stein, Poythress, Goodwin) could all return.

Chad (Tampa)

Is Marcus Smart good enough to lead OK State past Louisville?

Chad Ford
  (1:49 PM)

Yes. Sleeper team for me. When shots are falling, they are a very, very tough team. Key will be which LeBryan Nash shows up.

Mike (IL)

How much does a player having a lot of heart and a high motor help his draft stock? I'm thinking someone like Noah who was extremely raw coming into the NBA, not to mention a goofball, but had those characteristics? Do teams look for that?

Chad Ford
  (1:50 PM)

It's huge, especially when it's combined with athletic ability. Work ethic and the ability to play hard is a big, big deal in the NBA. It's why guys like Nerlens Noel & Marcus Smart

Ryan (Houston)

Is it wrong for me, as a Baylor fan, to hope that Isaiah Austin declares? He's been so frustrating lately and it just seems like he's checked out. What are you hearing about his intentions?

Chad Ford
  (1:52 PM)

Wants to be a one-and-done player, but he could have a Quincy Miller type fall when he gets into the draft. Scouts disappointed in his season and question where he plays at the pro level given his poor body.

Ty (Portland)

What made you pick Florida over Kansas in the Final Four?

Chad Ford
  (1:53 PM)

Everyone knows I'm a huge Kansas fanatic. I just don't love the team they have this year. Very inconsistent guard play, McLemore is great, but he doesn't always take over games. Defensively they are great, but I worry about them getting picked apart by great guard play.

Deric (Chicago)

You post your NCAA picks? Also, graduating law school in a few weeks. Any advice for me?

Chad Ford
  (1:56 PM)

Final Four: Louisville, Gonzaga, Florida, Indiana. Have Indiana vs. Louisville in the Final Game. Indiana defeating Louisville for the championship.

eric (sf)

From an NBA talent just how good is kentucky's incoming class?

Chad Ford
  (1:59 PM)

Was just thinking about this. It's possible (if all of the freshman besides Noel return) that UK could have seven first rounders in 2014. Eight if Wiggins joins the team. That's just crazy. And ... I think five or even six of them could be lottery picks.

Chad Ford
  (2:00 PM)

Gotta run everyone ... we'll do this again next week. Enjoy March Madness!