Familiar Intrigue

With three 2nd round picks all within nine slots of each other, the chance that Joe goes with a couple foreigners we don’t know really anything about is, what, 50%? 75? 90? Personally, it would be a little anti-climatic if that is Joe’s desired route, but then again, stashing foreign talent overseas for a few years is not all that bad of an idea. But it sure the hell makes it more interesting when your team selects players you’ve seen and heard about for a few years.

Of course, Joe did select three college players from last year’s draft, so my worrisome thinking could be all for nothing.

A few players I would like to see be selected by Detroit in the 2nd round:


Lester Hudson (Tennessee-Martin)

Lester has quite a few drawbacks. He’s 24 years old now, will be 25 by the time season starts. Lester didn’t graduate from junior high or high school.  And he also didn’t graduate from junior college. He’s a 6’2 score first guard with questionable ball handling skills. Turnover prone.  Volume shooter.

Positives: He graduated from Tennessee-Martin. Has a great body, phenomenal length (6’9 span) for his size and is a big time jumper. A creative scorer, very good in the mid-range area—displayed his talents well against some of the best teams Tennessee-Martin faced the past two seasons: 35 points versus Memphis in 07, 36 versus Vanderbilt in 07, 27 versus Mississippi State in 07, 33versus Auburn in 09. He’s a solid rebounder (7.9/gm in 08/09) and racked up tons of steals as well. A capable three point shooter, shot around 36% in two seasons at UT Martin.

I’ve only seen him play once, maybe twice. College basketball aficionado Kyle Whelliston, of The Mid-Majority blog, is a unrepentant admirer of Lester. Kyle’s seen Lester play in person a few times and says he’s the real deal. I feel Kyle Whelliston is often the real deal, so a portion of my Lester Hudson man crush is credited to Kyle. I’d be conning you too if I didn’t mention that my prior adventures of attending a small Mid-Majority type school (Oakland-Summit League) also factored somewhat into this selection. What can I say, I have a soft place in my heart for talented small time college hoopsters. Lester’s supposed to go anywhere from late 1st round to late 2nd round, though as of late I’m only seeing him selected at the latter.

An interesting bit that I found on collegehoopsnet’s overview of Hudson,

Consensus: No doubt some team will take a chance on his natural scoring instincts and impressive physicality, hoping he develops ala Rodney Stuckey. “

Josh Heytvelt (Gonzaga)

I love this guy’s attitude, mean streak, and elegant shooting touch from deep. He really came on this last season and proved to be dependable and mature, averaging 14.9 ppg in only 29 minutes a game. I liken him to a slightly less intelligent but more athletic Brad Miller. He’ll be 23 in a few days, so that’s a small detractor, but that age worry seems so arbitrary in most cases. Injury and drug problems have plagued him over the years, though I have a feeling he’s matured and can stay healthy. I’ll admit that the overall body of work for Josh isn’t even in the same ballpark as a lot of other 2ndround fringe guys, however, in terms of potential, he has more upside than a lot of other prospects. If you watched Gonzaga play at all this past season, hopefully you understand where my ‘potential’ argument comes from.

Maybe I should supress my Mehmet Okur like aspirations for Heytvelt.  But I can’t resist.

Jeff Adrien (UConn)

Whereas the potential meter for Heytvelt is high, it’s surely not quite on the same playing field as Adrien’s. But I like Adrien because of the gradual improvement he made at UConn and his ability to rebound at a consistently high level. While being just 6’7, he blocked shots and rebounded to the tune of 1.2 and 9.8 during his senior campaign. I especially took notice of him when he began to consistently knock down jump shots. Overall, I just think he has a nice NBA skill set, and if he was 6’9, 6’10, he’d be a top 15 pick easily. My guess would be he goes undrafted, so a training camp invite would probably be the course of action instead.


Other players I’ve watched that have passed my EYE test:

Jerel McNeal (Marquette) I watched Marquette a lot this past season and I like the three headed monster of James, McNeal,and Matthews. McNeal showed the most NBA potential in my eyes. He possesses a very nice three point shot, a great point guard body (6’3 and muscular), and the savvy of a veteran.

Greivis Vasquez (Maryland) He’s likely to return to school, but said he’ll make a decision probably close to the June 15th deadline. However if he does decide to enter, I could see him slipping to the 2nd round, so he might be there at #36. His wiry 6’5 frame is intriguing, especially since he’s a point guard… a very unorthodox yet crafty point guard, mind you.

Ben Woodside (North Dakota State) 5’11 guard from the Summit League will not likely be on many team’s draft boards, but he needs to be. Probably just another overlooked mid-major baller. Though, heck, the Summit League’s got some credibility—in the 08 draft IUPUI’s George Hill was drafted in the first round by the Spurs. Granted George is 6’3ish, but the Summit League ain’t that dopey (and remember Rawle Marshall from Oakland, had a cup of coffee with Dallas and Indy). Best comparison I can come up with for Ben is Will Bynum. Both have good handles and the ability to change speeds quickly. Ben can stroke the three a million times better but probably doesn’t possess the defensive toughness/quickness of Will Bynum.

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Tags: 09 NBA Draft Ben Woodside Brad Miller Draft Greivis Vasquez Jeff Adrien Josh Heytvelt Lester Hudson NBA Draft

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