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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1. Kyle Filipowski

As it has been for the past two years, all eyes will be on Kyle Filipowski when Duke goes up against Houston in the Sweet 16.

The 20-year-old big man wasn't really needed as the Blue Devils easily took care of business in the first two rounds. But, he will need to show why he has been projected to be a lottery pick against the elite Cougars' defense.

When Filipowski is at his best, he is an all-around offensive hub. He can post up, score, pass, or put the ball on the floor. He has a deep portfolio of scoring tricks and is a threat from anywhere on the court. He has the potential to be an offensive engine in the NBA for a long time.

His defense has been the bigger question mark. He doesn't necessarily stand out as an elite physical or athletic force as he lacks the lateral quickness to stay in front of quick perimeter players. But, he is still averaging 1.6 blocks and 1.2 steals per game, showcasing his instincts as a help defender. He can get physically overwhelmed inside the paint at times but he has shown significant improvement during his Duke tenure to feel optimistic about him getting stronger.

How well Filipowski will be able to guard the pick-and-roll and stay in front of smaller players will determine his level of success at the next level. It will also decide whether he is going to be a long-term power forward or center in the NBA. Regardless, he certainly has the all-around skill set to be worthy of a lottery pick in this relatively weak draft class.

Duke is currently +4.5 underdogs against the Houston Cougars. You can head over to FanDuel Sportsbook and get in on the action using this exclusive Old North Banter link.

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