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Drafting the NCAA Tourney: New Mexico's Darington Hobson

Mar 16, 2010, 12:15 PM EDT

We all love the NCAA tournament, but as NBA fans we watch it with a different eye — who is going to be coming out of this showcase and on to the NBA. This is part of a series looking at future NBA players you should watch this weekend.

Know this — New Mexico is good. You threw them under the bus early on in this tournament (admit it) but they can ball. And their leading scorer, Darington Hobson, has the eye of scouts.

DraftExpress has Hobson as a second rounder and the site’s Assistant Director of Scouting Joe Treutlein likes the kid and said so in comments exclusive to ProBasketballTalk:

“New Mexico’s Darington Hobson, a Juco transfer this season, is one player NBA teams will be taking a good look at, as he’s put up excellent all-around numbers for New Mexico this year, while possessing good size for a 3 and a very versatile skill set. Not the most athletic guy around, he gets by with excellent craftiness, while also having excellent passing and shot creation skills. Likely a second rounder due to his underwhelming athleticism, he could still rise up boards a bit with a strong tournament.”

Crafty small forward… didn’t we see one of those last year in James Harden? And he has worked out about as well as Oklahoma City could have hoped. In fact, ESPN’s talent guru and all around smart guy David Thorpe recently compared Hobson’s passing skills with Harden.

Hobson is not Harden, let’s not overhype a kid (at least until ESPN guys do it on draft night). But this is a guy you have not seen — right, like you watch a lot of Mountain West hoops — who you will see next year. These are the kind of guys you find in the tournament.

Montana may not provide a big test Thursday, but Saturday against Washington or Marquette will show us a lot more.

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