Dallas Mavericks 2017 NCAA Tournament Watch: Miles Bridges
The NCAA Tournament is upon us and it is time to scout some draft prospects. In particular, we will be taking a look at Michigan State small forward Miles Bridges.
Standing at 6 feet and 7 inches, Miles Bridges goes toe-toe with any small forward in the Big Ten, and in the NCAA.
The Michigan State Spartan currently sits at the 11th spot in Sports Illustrated’s NBA Mock Draft 2.0. But, there is so much potential in this young man that he could see his draft stock rapidly go up after the madness is said and done.
Bridges participated in both the McDonalds’ All-American Game and the Jordan Brand Classic Game during his senior in high school. It might seem like a trivial fact, but this one only one year ago. The freshman decided to go to Michigan State over Indiana and Kentucky and has not let the Spartans’ fans down. Coming out of Flint, Michigan, the 5-star recruit has proven in less than a complete season that he deserves all the looks from the NBA that he can get.
In just his first (and only) year of college basketball, Miles Bridges has made a huge impact on the Big Ten basketball scene. On the season, Bridges averaged 16.7 points per game (team-high), 8.3 rebounds per game (team-high), 1.6 blocks per game (team-high), and shot 38.8% from the 3-point range.
Along with leading his team in points, rebounds, and blocks, Miles Bridges also produced in almost every facet of the game. Bridges finished third in assists per game. He came in second in steals per game behind Cassius Winston. And, his 3-pt percentage put him in the top-3 on the Spartans final stat-line.
Also, Bridges was a workhorse for Tom Izzo. Throughout the season, Miles averaged 8.6 more minutes than the second minutes-leader on the team. That might not seem like much, but, in a 40-minute college basketball game, that is 21.5% more playing time than anyone else on the team.
One Last Bridges to Cross
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As Miles Bridges heads into the homestretch of his short-lived collegiate career, the only thing on his mind is a national championship. Before putting all of his focus on the NBA Draft, Bridges will try to lead his 9th ranked Spartans through the Midwest region and into the Final Four.
However, Bridges road to glory has quite a few bumps in it. To start off the tournament the Spartans will go up against an 8th-seeded Miami (FL) team. If they are able to pull off the upset there, they will then face the #1-seed Kansas Jayhawks, given Kansas handles their business against either N.C. Central or UC Davis. Even if the Spartans then pull off an even larger upset, the remainder of the road to the Final Four could include teams such as #5 Iowa State, #4 Purdue, #6 Creighton, #3 Oregon, #7 Michigan, and #2 Louisville.
Next: Dallas Mavericks Tourney Watch: Jonathan Isaac
Miles Bridges has a tough road to the Final Four, but an almost guaranteed lottery spot. If Bridges is able to step up and give the Spartans a solid run, he may be able to see his draft stock rise. But, no matter where he lands, any NBA team would love to draft a player that has the offensive and defensive production possessed by Bridges.