3 players Knicks fans should watch in the NCAA Tournament

The New York Knicks have a mid-first-round pick this year and fans should keep a close eye on these three players in the NCAA Tournament.

Duke v NC State
Duke v NC State / Greg Fiume/GettyImages
3 of 3

1. Jared McCain, G, Duke

Duke University guard Jared McCain will likely be a one-and-done prospect, similar to many Blue Devils players before him. McCain has excelled as a freshman, averaging 13.4 points, 4.9 rebounds, 1.8 assists, and 1.1 steals per game with .456/.399./.868 shooting splits.

An efficient three-point marksman with extended range, McCain can get his shot off in various ways – catch-and-shoot, off the dribble, or on the move. He moves well without the ball and possesses the balance and quick release to spot up as soon as he gets the ball.

Moreover, once defenses have to commit to slowing down his jump shot, he has the ball-handling skills and soft touch around the rim necessary to attack closeouts. At 6-foot-3, 197 pounds, McCain has the blend of size and strength needed to be an NBA combo guard.

The Knicks could benefit from adding a score-first guard who can come in and be the backup to All-Star point guard Jalen Brunson or play alongside him. Their offensive rating drops from 118.6 with Brunson this season to 109.4 in the five games he's missed in 2023-24, showcasing their need for a secondary playmaker like McCain, who is also a lights-out shooter.

Jonathan Wasserman of Bleacher Report compared McCain to former Knicks guard Immanuel Quickley in his most recent 2024 NBA mock draft, which only adds to the intrigue.