The St. Louis metro area will be well represented in the NCAA Men's Tournament, which begins on Tuesday with the First Four in Dayton, OH. Here is a look at the St. Louis area players who are on teams that are participating in the Big Dance.
Courtney Ramey (Arizona): The former Webster Groves star hit the game winning 3-pointer in the Wildcats victory over UCLA in the Pac-12 championship game last Saturday night. The 6'4" senior guard is averaging 10.6 points, 3.8 rebounds and 3.6 assists while shooting 41 percent from 3-point range.
Phillip Russell (SEMO): The former Vashon High standout was selected to the All-Ohio Valley Conference First Team. He is averaging 18 points and five assists a game. He scored 21 points in the Redhawks victory over Tennessee Tech in the championship game of the OVC Tournament.
Ryan Kalkbrenner (Creighton): The 7'1" former Trinity Catholic standout was selected as the Big East Conference Defensive Player of the Year for the second consecutive year. He is averaging 15.5 points, 6.1 rebounds and 2.2 blocks while shooting 71 percent from the field.
Nicholas Kern (VCU): The former Vashon High standout is a starter and key defensive player for the Rams, who won both the Atlantic 10 regular season and tournament titles. He is averaging 5.3 points and 2.7 rebounds while shooting 61 percent from the field.
Malachi Smith (Gonzaga): The former Belleville West standout averaged 21 minutes a game for the Zags, who won the WCC championship. He is averaging 8.7 points and 3.6 rebounds while shooting 53 percent from the field and 49 percent from 3-point range.
Dylan Branson (SEMO): The former Mehlville High standout is the glue-guy for the Redhawks OVC championship team. He is averaging 6.8 points, 4.5 rebounds and two assists a game.
Kale Catchings (Duke): The former CBC/Wentzville Liberty High standout is a grad transfer for the Blue Devils after playing at Harvard in the Ivy League. He appeared in nine games for the Blue Devils.
Kobe Clark (SEMO): A former standout player at Vashon, Clark played in 19 games for the Redhawks before suffering a season-ending knee injury. He was averaging 6.6 points and a team-high 8.8 rebounds at the time of his injury.
Tevin Gowins (SEMO): The former Hazelwood Central standout is a walk-on freshman guard for the Redhawks. He appeared in 17 games thi season for the OVC champions.
Dajuan Harris (Kansas): Harris was a former standout at Columbia Rock Bridge High who grew up in the Meachem Park area in Kirkwood before moving to Mid Missouri. The 6'2" point guard is the linchpin of the Jayhawks attack as he averages 8.2 points, 2.4 rebounds, 6.2 assists and 2.1 steals for the defending national champions.
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