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Fear the Sword 2019 NBA Draft Watch Guide: 12/3-12/10: The SEC Showcase Week

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The first full week of December features a marquee game for every first-round prospect in the SEC, headlined by top-10 pick Keldon Johnson.

Monmouth v Kentucky Photo by Andy Lyons/Getty Images

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. This week, that means you’re going to be watching a lot of SEC basketball.

Tuesday

Indiana vs. Penn State - 7:00PM ET, Big Ten Network

Indiana: Romeo Langford; Penn State: Josh Reaves

The instructions here are simple - watch to see if Langford, one of the best scoring wing prospects this year, can beat Josh Reaves, maybe the best point of attack defender in college basketball. This is as good a matchup as we’re going to see in the Big Ten this year on an individual level.

Georgia State vs. Alabama - 8:00PM ET, SEC Network

Georgia State: D’Marcus Simonds; Alabama: Herb Jones, Donta Hall

Alabama is apparently inviting every midmajor draft prospect in for a showcase. After handing Ja Morant and Murray State a loss last Monday, the Tide and their defense-first prospects will invite athletic slasher D’Marcus Simonds and the Panthers to town. Simonds is a probably second round pick with upside.

Wofford vs. Kansas - 8:00PM ET, ESPN+

Wofford: Fletcher Magee; Kansas: Devon Dotson, Quentin Grimes, Udoka Azubuike

The Fletcher Magee hype train makes another pit stop against a high-profile draft prospect. Quentin Grimes hasn’t looked very good at defending off the ball this year, and now he has to chase college basketball’s best off-movement shooter around. This is DANGER for Kansas.

Florida vs. West Virginia - 9:00PM ET, ESPN

Florida: Jalen Hudson, Andrew Nembhard; West Virginia: Sagaba Konate

Konate has battled injuries and hasn’t had the same defensive impact that he had last year, but he’s still a very good prospect as a rim protecting center. Florida, meanwhile, relies on the leadership of Hudson, and with Nembhard, who is averaging 6.6 assists per game creating for Hudson, the Gators will be throwing a very good offense at Konate and the press. This is a good stress game for Konate’s defensive impact.

Wednesday

Limoges CSP vs. Arka Gdynia - 2:30PM ET, Various International Carriers

Limoges: Sekou Doumbouya

Barring some extreme shenanigans, this will be Limoges’ last Eurocup game, and our last chance to see Doumbouya against that level of competition.

Hartford vs. Duke - 7:00PM ET, ESPN2

Duke: Zion Williamson, R.J. Barrett, Cameron Reddish, Tre Jones, Jack White

It’s a Duke game. Watch it.

Washington vs. Gonzaga - 11:00PM ET, ESPN2

Washington: Matisse Thybulle; Gonzaga: Rui Hachimura, Brandon Clarke, Zach Norvell

Thybulle will get plenty of matchups against Clarke, who has looked like Gonzaga’s best player for most of the season. This will be a good test of Thybulle’s defensive capabilities, as he’s looked pretty strong so far this year.

Thursday

Maryland vs. Purdue - 7:00PM ET, Big Ten Network

Maryland: Jalen Smith; Purdue: Carsen Edwards

A good matchup between probable second round picks. Edwards can score; Smith can defend the rim. We will see who is better in that battle (probably Edwards).

Friday

TCU vs. USC - 9:30PM ET, Fox Sports One

TCU: Desmond Bane; USC: Nikola Rackocevic, Kevin Porter

A good test for Porter, as Bane is a skilled defensive prospect that can really cut off Porter’s driving lanes. Success here would further the notion that Porter is a top-10 level prospect.

Nevada vs. Arizona State - 11:59PM ET, ESPN2

Nevada: Caleb Martin, Cody Martin; Arizona State: Luguentz Dort

The Martin twins look just as good as they did last year, and Caleb is a potential first-round pick. They’ll have to stop Luguentz Dort, a Canadian who has come from nowhere to raze the Sun Devils’ schedule thus far and launch himself into the first round conversation.

Saturday

Kentucky vs. Seton Hall - 12:00PM ET, FOX

Kentucky: Keldon Johnson, P.J. Washington, E.J. Montgomery; Seton Hall: Myles Powell

If you’ve been following this draft guide strictly, the last time you watched the Wildcats was probably seeing them get thrown in a trash can by Duke at the Champions Classic. Well, that’s been their only loss, and Keldon Johnson, who should be on the Cavs’ draft radar as a potential failsafe pick, has been improving seemingly every game. This should be a good game to catch him, as well as Seton Hall guard Myles Powell, who is an undersized two-guard averaging 24.1 points per game this year.

Xavier vs. Cincinnati - 2:00PM ET, ESPN2

Cincinnati: Jarron Cumberland

This isn’t a draft watch game, it’s just always one of the most fun rivalry games of the year. It’s appointment viewing even if there’s no Trevon Blueitt or Jacob Evans this year.

Western Kentucky vs. Arkansas - 3:30PM ET, SEC Network

Western Kentucky: Charles Bassey, Jared Savage; Arkansas: Daniel Gafford

A must-watch game between two first-round prospects at the center position. Both Bassey and Gafford have had their struggles this season, but Gafford is likely the best defensive player in the draft class, and Bassey has shown flashes of being dominant on that end as well. This is probably the single best challenge Bassey will get this year, so this is an important game to watch.

Yale vs. Duke: 5:30PM ET, ESPN

Duke: Zion Williamson, R.J. Barrett, Cameron Reddish, Tre Jones, Jack White

Duke vs. the nerds. Watch it.

Ole Miss vs. Illinois State - 8:00PM ET, ESPN+

Ole Miss: Terrence Davis; Illinois State: Milik Yarbrough

Want to watch two probable second-round picks square off against each other? The 6-9 Davis and the 6-7 Yarbrough are two of the more athletic wings in the class.

Sunday

Tennessee vs. Gonzaga - 3:00PM ET, ESPN

Tennessee: Grant Williams, Admiral Schofield; Gonzaga: Rui Hachimura, Brandon Clarke, Zach Norvell

This is the game of the week. Gonzaga and Tennessee have both been playing the usurper this year, looking like national title contenders despite not being blue-bloods. This game will feature four likely first round picks, led by Williams, who is one of the class’s most skilled wing prospects, and Hachimura, who has taken over the mainstream draft discussion with his offensive versatility. Even though none of these players is likely to be a top-10 pick in the Cavs’ range, this is going to be an absolute banger of a game.

Purdue vs. Texas - 6:00PM ET, ESPN2

Purdue: Carsen Edwards; Texas: Kerwin Roach, Jaxson Hayes

Same as the Maryland/Purdue game, but instead of Smith, it’s a game against another second-round scoring guard. Roach has been great this year, and will give Edwards a good challenge on both ends.