As the Cleveland Cavaliers become less watchable by the game, we’d like to offer you some alternative viewing experiences. The Cavs will almost assuredly be picking at the top of the 2019 NBA Draft, and it’ll be important to keep tabs on all of the top prospects this winter. That might be a challenge this year, as the class could have a lot of fluctuation during the season, especially outside of the top five. That can make it difficult to keep track of everyone.
But never fear — we will be here to provide your weekly watch guide to all of the top prospects. Each week, we will break out the best games of the week for NBA Draft interest, including who will be matching up and where to find the week’s top games in college basketball and Europe.
Stanford vs. UNC - 7 p.m., ESPN2
Stanford: Oscar Da Silva; UNC: Coby White, Nassir Little
UNC gets its first major test of the year against Stanford. The Cardinal aren’t very good, but they do have one of college basketball’s best international prospects in Da Silva, who should see matchup time with Nassir Little due to his length and athleticism. This might be a big game for White, as Stanford’s undersized backcourt is going to really struggle with his size. This should be a good matchup to watch for both of them.
Vermont vs. Kansas - 9 p.m. EST, ESPN2
Kansas: Devon Dotson, Quentin Grimes, Udoka Azubuike, David McCormack
This week is usually when most of the power teams take some cupcake games in prep for the major Thanksgiving Tournaments, so most of our schedule is going to be games like this one. Kansas isn’t going to lose to Vermont, but they might get a battle, because the Catamounts are well coached and have guard Stef Smith, who is a great scorer. If you haven’t seen Kansas yet, Grimes and Azubuike are the big names here, and it’s important to catch Grimes here for his decision making and to see how he handles picking through a disciplined defense.
Lietuvos Rytas vs. Unics Kazan — Noon EST, Euroleague TV and various international carriers
Rytas: Deivydas Sirvydis
Sirvydis has burst onto the scene as a potential first-rounder among Draft Twitter, because he’s really impressed in Eurocup for Rytas. A potential productive scoring wing, he could be a wild card option for the lottery if he keeps impressing. In this game, you’ll get to see him against one of Eurocup’s better teams, and as a bonus, Ohio University grads (So, the entire Fear the Sword masthead) will get to feel feelings about watching Maurice N’Dour prosper for Unics. This will be a fun game.
Georgia Tech vs. Tennessee — 9 p.m. EST, ESPN2
Georgia Tech: Mike Devoe; Tennessee: Admiral Schofield, Grant Williams
This will be a fun matchup between underrated prospects. For Georgia Tech, Devoe has looked really good early, and is a sneaky one-and-done candidate as a solid two-way complimentary guard. Tennessee, meanwhile, has two strong unconventional wings - Williams, a bulky, 6’5” playmaking wing, and Schofield, who is built like a refrigerator but has some intriguing ball-handling and defensive ability. All of these guys could end up as first round picks. Tennessee will probably roll, but they’ll be entertaining to watch.
Zenit St. Petersburg vs. Partizan Belgrade - Noon EST, Euroleague TV, various international TV carriers
Partizan: Vanja Marinkovic, Marko Pecarski; Zenit: No draft prospects, but Sergey Karasev and Brandon Jennings
A good international scouting opportunity for Marko Pecarski, an 18-year old potential second round center, and Vanja Marinkovic, a secondary handling wing. You’ll also get to see how far Sergey Karasev has come since his lone season in Cleveland. This game was an absolute barn-burner last time they played. If you can find it on the dark web in the middle of your work day, I highly suggest it.
Michigan vs. Villanova - 6:30 p.m. EST, FS1
Michigan: Jordan Poole, Charles Matthews; Villanova: Eric Paschall, Jahvon Quinerly
It’s not as high profile as the last game these two teams played, but this still is a good chance to see two potential first-rounders in Poole and Paschall. We also get to see a potential scoring contest between Matthews and Phil Booth.
Eastern Michigan vs. Duke - 7 p.m., ACC Network
Duke: R.J. Barrett, Cameron Reddish, Zion Williamson, Tre Jones
It’s a Duke game. Put it in your eyeballs.
Marquette vs. Indiana - 8:30 p.m. EST, FS1
Marquette: Marcus Howard; Indiana: Romeo Langford
One of college basketball’s best shooters against one of this draft class’s best shooting prospects. Langford has shown the ability to score, averaging 15.5 points per game so far this year, but he hasn’t gotten the outside shot clicking yet, and his defense has been disappointing. We will see how he fairs there in trying to contain Howard off the dribble.
Oregon vs. Iowa - 9:15PM ET, ESPN2
Oregon: Bol Bol, Louis King
Your weekly dose of Bol Bol, as the Ducks are at Madison Square Garden against Iowa, a team they will likely beat handily. This will be the first time we see Bol against a real post threat in 6-foot-9, 253-pound power forward Tyler Cook, so that should be interesting.
Texas A&M vs. Gonzaga - 11:30 p.m., ESPN2
Texas A&M: Savion Flagg; Gonzaga: Rui Hachimura, Zach Norvell, Brandon Clarke
Take a nightcap in Spokane, and watch the Bulldogs take on Texas A&M. Gonzaga has three potential draft picks playing in playmaking guard Zach Norvell, Wing Brandon Clarke, and bruising power forward Rui Hachimura, and their offense should be outstanding, even without Killian Tillie. For A&M, Flagg has been very impressive this year, and seems like a potential do-everything wing type that can creep his way into the draft conversation. A strong scoring performance against Clarke would help that.
Indiana vs. Arkansas - 3:30PM ET, ESPN
Indiana: Langford; Arkansas: Daniel Gafford
Interested in seeing how Langford does attacking the rim against NBA rim protection? That’s what we’ll get in this one, as Gafford is a likely lottery-bound defensive prospect. Neither team has much else to offer outside of these two.