Duke guard Jared McCain helping his draft stock in NCAA Tournament

Thanks to monster performances to open the NCAA Tournament, Duke's Jared McCain is helping his NBA draft stock soar.

NCAA Men's Basketball Tournament - Second Round - James Madison v Duke
NCAA Men's Basketball Tournament - Second Round - James Madison v Duke / Sarah Stier/GettyImages

March Madness is always guaranteed to bring us breakout stars. This year, one of the players making a name for himself nationally is Duke freshman guard Jared McCain who is helping his draft stock soar by showing the he's one of the best shooters in the NCAA.

In round one vs. Vermont, McCain put up 15 points to tie Mark Mitchell for the team lead in scoring. That night, he was only 4-9 from the floor and 2-6 from 3-point range as the Vermont defense made it tough for the Blue Devils to get their high-octane offense going.

However, it was Sunday's scorching second-round performance that still has people talking. As part of his 30-point night, he was 8-11 from 3-point range to help set a Duke Freshman record for an NCAA Tournament game.

As a result, McCain is already seeing his draft stock improve. In fact, if he could come close to replicating that performance against Houston in the Sweet 16, he would be the star of the tournament. That will only help to raise his NBA Draft stock.

Houston's defense is rugged, though. That's especially true at the guard position where Jamal Shead and LJ Cryer lead a ferocious backcourt defensive attack.

For instance, just consider what the Cougars did to Texas A&M's star guard Wade Taylor IV in round two. Though Taylor did score 21 points in his team's overtime loss on Sunday night, he was just 5-26 shooting overall and 3-13 from 3-point range.

However, Taylor is more of a slasher than McCain, who got most of his first weekend 3-pointers on catch-and-shoot opportunities rather than by creating shots off the dribble. If John Scheyer and Co. can scheme ways to get McCain open spot-up looks, he could be able to shoot the Blue Devils into the Elite Eight.

As for his NBA stock, there are some things that McCain can't control. His size is going to be held against him and force some to question whether or not he can play defense at the next level.

However, his 3-point shooting is going to make him highly coveted. That's a skill that trumps almost all else in the NBA.

Most mock drafts have McCain slotted into the back of the first round right now. In fact, NBADraft.net has him going No. 26 overall to the Oklahoma City Thunder.

However, the way McCain is playing in the NCAA Tournament is sure to open eyes and that could result in a climb up draft boards this spring. No player in March has done more to improve his status as an NBA Draft prospect and what's more, given the quality of opponents he could face for the rest of the tournament, McCain could wind up making himself some serious money if he stays as hot as he's been.