1. Jordan Hawkins, Connecticut Huskies
Hawkins’ dead-eye shooting ability had him in the conversation to be a lottery pick before the tournament began. That conversation is now heating up.
In the Sweet 16 and Elite Eight, Hawkins scored 44 total points and shot 47 percent from deep. He’s averaging 17 points through the tournament’s first four games and is hitting a ridiculous 51.6 percent of his nearly eight threes a game.
That shooting isn’t a fluke, either. Hawkins connected on 38 percent of his 7.7 threes per game this season as a sophomore.
Whether it’s running off screens, off dribble handoffs, on spot-up threes or off the dribble, the 6-5 guard is a pure shooter. That’s a translatable skill that will get Hawkins minutes as soon as he reaches the NBA.
He’s not a one-trick pony, either. There have been times during the tournament when he’s recognized teams closing out too hard on him and made them pay by pump faking and attacking those closeouts.
He’s versatile in that respect, as well; he’s gotten to the rim, pulled up from mid-range, or gotten to the free-throw line off those drives.
Maybe Hawkins isn’t the most ideal fit in Portland’s backcourt, but when he’s this much more talented than any other player in the Final Four, talent should win out.