New York Knicks: 2019 NBA Draft targets who stepped up on March 22

Duke RJ Barrett (Photo by Kevin C. Cox/Getty Images)
Duke RJ Barrett (Photo by Kevin C. Cox/Getty Images) /
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Virginia De’Andre Hunter (Photo by Streeter Lecka/Getty Images)
Virginia De’Andre Hunter (Photo by Streeter Lecka/Getty Images) /

4. De’Andre Hunter, Virginia

Stat Line: 9-for-16/2-for-6/3-for-3
Stat Line: 23 points, six rebounds, one assist, two blocks

Virginia was scared off by No. 16 UMBC in the 2018 NCAA Tournament, which shocked the basketball world as something that had never happened. For about 20 minutes against No. 16 Gardner-Webb, a similar case was teased, as the Cavaliers were thrashed by this mid-major shooting the ball.

Eventually, Virginia recovered and settled into an easy win in the second half. Part of this attributes to De’Andre Hunter, who led with 23 points, six rebounds, one assist and two blocks. Ty Jerome had an honorable 13 points and six assists behind him.

Hunter is the 6-foot-8 wing, who’s one of two centerpieces in this offense, with Kyle Guy as the other. This is their best defensive player, however, as someone with length, height and athleticism to handle the wing, making him an appealing player at the next level.

Head coach Tony Bennett will need as much from Hunter possible in his middle-of-the-lineup role for the second round, as Virginia eyes the tournament’s second weekend. They will encounter Oregon next — a team that also slows down the pace.

Hunter makes for an interesting top-eight prospect for the New York Knicks to consider in the draft. If they fall to fourth or fifth, maybe he comes into play as the two-way player they desperately need.