Hield now projected as a top five pick

Although his senior season didn’t end the way he had planned, Oklahoma senior guard Chavanno “Buddy” Hield’s play throughout the National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA) Men’s basketball Tournament, which was highlighted by a 37-point eruption against No. 1 seed Oregon in the Elite Eight, appeared to capture the attention of National Basketball Association (NBA) scouts, writers and analysts.

The 6-foot-4 wingman is now considered a top five pick in the upcoming NBA Draft. According to ESPN analyst Chad Ford’s mock draft, better known as the ‘Big Board’, the sharp shooting guard is set to be selected with one of the first five picks in the first round of the draft on June 23; a long way from his second round projection last season.

“After Hield lit up Oregon for 37 points in the Elite Eight, the question became, ‘Is Buddy a top-five pick?’ Some went further to ask about the top three,” Ford wrote. “For the most part, he had a scintillating tournament, but his poor performance against Villanova in the Final Four brought some reality back into the equation. He’s an outstanding shooter, but he isn’t Stephen Curry. That said, with the Celtics, Timberwolves, Pelicans and Kings all looking for shooting, he’s looking more and more like a lock to go in the number four to number seven range.”

Hield, a two-time Big 12 Player of the Year, averaged 25 points per game as a senior and led the Oklahoma Sooners to their first Final Four appearance since 2002.