NEW YORK (WFAN) — Some of the star players in the NCAA Tournament won’t be in college for long.
On Tuesday, WFAN’s Mike Francesa asked Grant Hill, who knows a thing or two about being a big-name collegian, whether players such as UCLA’s Lonzo Ball and Kentucky’s De’Aaron Fox and Malik Monk can block out the fact that NBA scouts will be watching them closely as they play in the tournament.
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“I think they know that if they win, it only enhances and helps their chances,” said Hill, an analyst for CBS’ and Turner Sports’ March Madness coverage. “These aren’t bubble players. You look at guys like Fox and Monk and Ball — they’re top-five, top-10 potential draft picks.”
Hill said such players also want to leave their mark on the NCAA Tournament.
“I think for these kids, they’ve grown up watching the tournament,” Hill said. “I mean, I had a chance to sit with De’Aaron Fox and Malik Monk and ‘Bam’ (Edrice Adebayo) and the whole Kentucky starting five. And they all talked about watching the Final Four and watching the tournament and their first memories and their best memories and how grateful and honored they are to be in the tournament. So regardless of what happens going forward this summer and next season, I think these guys, they understand that this is special. And as a player, you want to make history. You want to go down as one of the greats.”
Hill will be calling games in the South regional in Memphis, Tennessee, which has the most loaded field of the four: Kentucky vs. UCLA, and North Carolina vs. Butler.
“It almost feels like a Final Four weekend,” Hill said. “You’ve got some programs that have great history and tradition and have won championships. Obviously, Kentucky, UCLA, North Carolina, and then you have Butler, who’s probably the major mid-major that’s out there. Their history as of late — two back-to-back final championship game appearances — and just the sort of continued success that they’ve had with their program, it does; it feels like a Final Four.”
To listen to the interview, click on the audio player above.