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College Basketball Today: Jaedon LeDee Lands On the Prospect Map

January 22, 2024 | By RotoRob | comment on this post
Jaedon LeDee has worked his way into the NBA draft discuss for the San Diego State Aztecs.
There’s still a chance Jaedon LeDee winds up a second round pick in the draft. (AP photo/Isaac Hale)

Finally cleared to play by the NCAA, Kentucky freshman Zvonimir Ivisic had a tremendous debut; Patrick Suemnick scored a career-best 20 points to help lead WVU to a huge upset over Kansas; and Illinois star guard Terrence Shannon Jr. will rejoin the team after a federal judge granted a temporary restraining order.

Aztecs Lose MWC Lead

The San Diego State Aztecs missed a glorious opportunity to build on their conference lead on Saturday when they lost 67-66 to Boise State. The setback dropped the Aztecs to 4-2 in the Mountain West, a conference that’s quickly becoming a bigger force in basketball, thanks to several solid programs including 16th ranked Utah State, New Mexico State, Colorado State and Nevada.

While SD State averages 76 points, it’s only topped 80 points once over its last six games. Part of the problem has been the recent inconsistency from leading scorer/rebounder Jaedon LeDee.

While he again paced the Aztecs on Saturday, he only managed 13 points and eight boards, giving him 15 or fewer points in two of the last three games — an uncharacteristic stretch considering he’s been putting up or at least flirting with 20-10 performances all season (recording seven such games in 18 tries), is the leading scorer in the conference (while putting up some huge shots — see video below), and is in contention for some serious hardware this year.

LeDee’s breakout as a senior has been driven by massively improved shooting and the development of an outside game. The 6’9″ power forward has an NBA-ready body, but he’ll be 25 in July, so is a long shot to be drafted. Still, don’t be shocked to see LeDee at Summer League with a chance to earn himself an NBA contract.

Huskies Hoping for a Repeat

Since bottoming out in 2017-18 (which was also the end of the Kevin Ollie era), the Connecticut Huskies have gotten better each season, rebuilding the program into a national champion in 2023 with a great chance to repeat this year (currently +950 as per odds at FanDuel).

It was a tight one on Saturday as the Huskies eked out a 66-65 win over unranked Villanova, but it was UConn’s seventh straight win, and second since being elevated to No. 1 in the rankings last week.

Senior guard Tristen Newton came up huge on Saturday, scoring 25 points. The Huskies’ co-leader in scoring and leader in rebounds and assists has really picked up his scoring over the last couple of weeks. Newton is playing a lot more in his second season since transferring from East Carolina, and his shooting touch has bounced back after a rough first season with UConn.

The 6’5″ backcourt player won’t be a star in the NBA, but has potential as a combo guard off the bench. There’s a chance Newton goes in the second round of the draft this summer.

EKU Surprising With Early ASUN Lead

After a very underwhelming non-conference performance (4-9), the Eastern Kentucky Colonels have gone undefeated to seize the lead in the ASUN conference, ahead of more renowned programs like Kennesaw State and Lipscomb.

It’s been a decade since Eastern Kentucky last appeared in NCAA tourney, but if the school keeps winning, who knows? Maybe the Colonels can win the conference tourney and punch another ticket for March Madness this year.

What’s really impressive is EKU has been winning despite the fact that leading scorer Isaiah Cozart has struggled recently. He managed just nine points in Saturday’s win and put up just 14 in the game before. Cozart’s rebounding has remained strong as the senior forward’s breakout season has seen him average over a double-double while slightly increasing his assist numbers and putting up an impressive four blocks per game.

The Richmond, Kentucky native transferred from Western Kentucky before last season, and it was a good move for him as he barely played for the Hilltoppers. Cozart is not an NBA draft prospect, but a good finish to his career and a solid showing in the tourney could certainly help him land a pro contract overseas.

RotoRob Tune of the Day

Born Lili-Marlene Premilovich, the singer shortened her moniker to Lene Lovich. In 1980, she released her second album, Flex, and the second single was “Angels.”

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