10 NBA Draft prospects on breakout watch in 2024 March Madness

The NCAA Tournament bracket is officially set. Here are the NBA Draft prospects on breakout watch.

Elliot Cadeau, North Carolina Tar Heels
Elliot Cadeau, North Carolina Tar Heels / Scott Kinser-USA TODAY Sports
1 of 10

The bees are buzzin', the sun is shinin', and the brackets are fillin' up. It's March, folks!

This is the most exciting time of year for basketball fans and NBA scouts alike. Professional scouting departments will flood arenas all across the country to watch first-hand as prospects test their mettle in basketball's most cutthroat environment. It's kill or be killed in March, and we are bound to see several aspiring NBA players change their fortunes in the weeks to come.

Provided the uninspiring nature of the 2024 draft class, we should expect unusually drastic stock fluctuations in the NCAA Tournament. NBA front offices will be desperate to unearth star power where it may not exist. That means upside, even in the most crude, unreliable, and inexperienced package, can land a prospect a prominent position on draft boards.

Teams are going to reach, and teams are going to invest in late-season flourishes. The draft board is wide open, top to bottom. A well-timed tear can really change the NBA Draft landscape. Here are the prospects who most deserve your attention as potential breakout candidates.

The goal here is to highlight prospects with significant riser potential. Kentucky's Rob Dillingham and Reed Sheppard are already floating around the top five on mock drafts, for example. Tennessee's Dalton Knecht has been a one-man wrecking crew all season. Similar prospects will not be listed. If you've already broken out, well, you've already broken out.

10. Drake's Tucker DeVries is the NBA's next mid-major darling

Drake, a No. 10 seed, will face No. 7 Washington State in the first round. Not only does that smell like a potential upset, but it serves as a proving ground for Bulldogs junior Tucker DeVries. Having earned All-MVC honors in each of his three seasons at Drake, DeVries is one of the most accomplished players in the tournament. But, he is simply not a household name. That could change in a few days.

There are always one or two mid-major breakouts in the NCAA Tournament. DeVries has a ton of projectable NBA traits. He possesses excellent positional size on the wing at 6-foot-7, combined with shot-making juice to rival any player in college basketball. NBA teams will bank on DeVries' shooting versatility. He can hit threes on the move, create out of isolations, and bury jumpers under duress. He's shooting 36.4 percent on 7.2 attempts from 3-point range, but that's only scratching the surface of DeVries' appeal.

He has elevated his playmaking profile as a junior (3.6 assists to 2.5 turnovers) while consistently ratcheting up the scoring volume. He is Drake's go-to scorer, often tasked with generating opportunities from scratch when the offense stalls. If the Bulldogs are going to play spoiler for Wazzu — or for more teams beyond that — we should keep our eyes firmly planted on DeVries.