Phoenix Suns: Top prospect from each team in the Sweet 16

PITTSBURGH, PA - MARCH 17: Stanford Robinson
PITTSBURGH, PA - MARCH 17: Stanford Robinson /
1 of 4
BOISE, ID – MARCH 17: Shai Gilgeous-Alexander
BOISE, ID – MARCH 17: Shai Gilgeous-Alexander /

There’s talent that the Phoenix Suns should be evaluating in the NCAA tournament and the Sweet 16 has elite players that should excite the Suns’ scouts.

The NCAA tournament is about half way through and Phoenix Suns‘ general manager Ryan McDonough should start taking a close look at the which player from each Sweet 16 team has the potential to help turn the franchise’s fortunes around. These players have been making an impact all season long and in the tournament as well. The Suns need to determine how these players can help them.

South Bracket

Kansas State

Combo forward Dean Wade has been the driving force behind Kansas State’s season. After two unimpressive seasons, Wade has had a career year.

Per Game Table
2015-16 Kansas State 33 31 26.4 .434 .509 .292 .656 5.1 1.1 0.6 0.5 0.9 2.7 9.9
2016-17 Kansas State 35 35 28.0 .496 .561 .402 .663 4.5 1.8 0.7 0.7 1.0 2.4 9.3
2017-18 Kansas State 32 32 33.6 .550 .588 .440 .742 6.3 2.8 1.5 0.8 1.5 2.0 16.5
Career Kansas State 100 98 29.3 .500 .558 .379 .691 5.3 1.9 1.0 0.7 1.1 2.4 11.8

Provided by CBB at Sports Reference: View Original Table
Generated 3/21/2018.

Sadly he hasn’t played in the NCAA Tournament due to injury, but there’s a strong chance he makes his debut against Kentucky in the Sweet 16. He’s clearly the most intriguing prospect on the roster. His 6-foot-10 frame along with his 3-point shooting percentage makes him an interesting floor spacing option for the Suns. McDonough could take a flier on Wade once he’s done playing college ball as a second round pick or sign him to a two-way contract.


Freshman point guard Shai Gilgeous-Alexander has been on multiple top ten players big boards here at Valley of the Suns. He’s a big point guard with plenty of potential. For this season he’s averaged 14.4 points, 4.1 rebounds, 5.1 assists, 1.7 steals and 0.5 blocks. Gilgous-Alexander stepped up his play during the NCAA Tournament and in two games averaged 23.0 points, 7.0 rebounds, 6.5 assists and 3.5 steals. Depending on where the Suns land in the lottery, along with any trades they may make, Gilgeous could be the answer at point guard that the team needs.


Clayton Custer is the man that is leading the Cinderella charge of Loyola-Chicago into the Sweet 16. After a forgettable season with Iowa State, Custer has had a solid two season run with his current squad as a lethal 3-point shooter. This season he’s averaged 13.3 points, 2.0 rebounds, 4.2 assists, 1.5 steals and 0.1 blocks. Custer has had solid outings in both tournament games and has averaged 12.0 points and 3.5 assists. Custer could be a G-League prospect that the Suns should keep tabs on, though at this point the Sun’s shouldn’t waste any valuable assets to obtain Custer’s services in the future.


Currently has Kendall Stephens as a second round pick. Stephens has had a career year shooting from downtown after leaving Purdue for Nevada. The 6-foot-7 wing is a 3-point specialist and could help add wing depth to the Suns’ rotation. In his senior season, Stephens averaged 13.4 points, 2.1 rebounds, 0.6 assists, 0.5 steals and 0.7 blocks. His scoring has improved in the tournament as well, with 17.5 points average. If drafted by the Suns, he could solidify the back end of the club’s wing rotation.