Ranking the NBA Prospects in the Duke-Houston Sweet 16 Matchup

As Duke and Houston prepare for their Sweet 16 matchup, keep an eye out for these NBA-bound prospects.
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Duke is about to take on the Houston Cougars in the Sweet 16 round of the NCAA Tournament. As the Blue Devils try to continue their run toward the Final Four, they will have to find ways to put up enough points against one of the best defenses in the country.

As one would expect in a game involving two of the best teams in the country, there are plenty of NBA-worthy prospects on both teams. Here are the three to keep an eye on.

3. Jamal Shead

The 6'1 point guard is the engine that makes the Houston Cougars offense run. Shead makes up for his lack of size and elite athletic tools with his toughness and physicality. As a four-year college player, Shead doesn't have the high upside as some of his draft class brethren, but he has the ability to come in and contribute to an NBA team immediately.

Shead is a traditional pass-first point guard. This could be seen both as an advantage and a disadvantage. He lacks the shooting and scoring punch needed in a modern NBA point guard as he is currently shooting 30.9% from three and 41.1% from the field. But he is a very good pick-and-roll operator who can set up his teammates. He is averaging 6.4 assists per game versus only 2.1 turnovers.

His calling card, however, is his intense, hard-nosed defense. He is very strong for his size as he likes to get into opposing offensive players and bother their dribble and shot. He is the primary point-of-attack defender for the stingy Houston defense, spearheading the pick-and-roll defense and leading his team on that end. He is very adept at forcing turnovers as he averages a whopping 2.2 steals per game.

Shead is currently projected as a second-rounder but an impressive two-way performance against Duke could potentially cause his draft stock to skyrocket.