How Harrison Ingram Could Become a First-Round NBA Draft Pick in the NCAA Tournament

The former Stanford transfer is having a good first season at North Carolina and could hear his name called during the 2024 NBA Draft.

Mar 2, 2024; Chapel Hill, North Carolina, USA; North Carolina Tar Heels forward Harrison Ingram (55)
Mar 2, 2024; Chapel Hill, North Carolina, USA; North Carolina Tar Heels forward Harrison Ingram (55) / Scott Kinser-USA TODAY Sports

The 2024 NBA Draft is still months away, but that isn’t stopping NBA teams from doing their due diligence and research on the incoming draft class.

The top of this year’s draft class is loaded with international prospects, who are playing in their respective leagues overseas. Meanwhile, there are a whole host of college prospects who will try to improve their draft stock in conference tournaments and the NCAA tournament.

University of North Carolina forward Harrison Ingram is one of those prospects who will try to improve his stock with a strong performance in next week’s ACC tournament. The Tar Heels are one of the favorites to win the ACC tournament (+190 on FanDuel Sportsbook) and will need Armando Bacot, RJ Davis, and Ingram to play well to capture the automatic bid.

In Jonathan Wasserman’s latest NBA mock draft, Ingram was selected with the 38th overall pick by the Memphis Grizzlies. Wasserman compares the former Stanford transfer’s skills to Nuggets forward Zeke Nnaji, who was drafted in the first round of the 2020 NBA Draft.

Here’s what else Wasserman had to say about Ingram’s game:

"With 22 points on 8-of-14 against North Carolina State, Harrison Ingram added another strong showing to his improved resume. At 39.5 percent from three, he can now be used in a variety of ways with his spot-up shooting, strength around the basket and pick-and-roll ball-handling that we saw more of at Stanford. There should be numerous teams in the second round who'll look at Ingram's range, passing and defensive tools and picture a connector/role player."

The 6-foot-7 forward is struggling from beyond the arc, shooting a putrid 17.3 percent on his last 23 three-point attempts. However, Ingram can score in transition and crash the glass, making him an intriguing prospect who could make an impact as a rookie.

Ingram’s best game this season came against Duke on Feb. 3, where he scored 21 points on 8 of 12 shooting from the field and 5 of 9 from three-point range. The 6-foot-7 forward grabbed 13 rebounds and recorded four steals.

The junior forward showcased his defensive prowess in playing the passing lanes and can knock down the mid-range jumper along with shots from beyond the arc. 

Therefore, if Ingram can snap out of this mini shooting funk while showing that will and motor to crash the glass, he could find his way into the late first round. The ACC tourney is the perfect opportunity for Ingram to improve his draft stock, as the Tar Heels will get tested and likely have to face at least two of the best four teams in the semifinal and championship rounds.

With the NBA becoming more spaced out and positionless, a player of Ingram’s skill set can benefit from a strong showing this month.

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Odds refresh periodically and are subject to change