Draft Notes: Pac-10 Again?
One of the most notable things about the 2008 NBA Draft was that the first round was dominated by Pac-10 players, with 5 of the first 11 picks, and 7 first-rounders overall, coming from the conference:
- 3. O.J. Mayo, USC
4. Russell Westbrook, UCLA
5. Kevin Love, UCLA
10. Brook Lopez, Stanford
11. Jerryd Bayless, Arizona
15. Robin Lopez, Stanford
21. Ryan Anderson, Cal
What I find somewhat amazing as I read early thoughts on the 2009 NBA Draft from Chad Ford and Draft Express and NBADraft.net is that it looks like we may have another Pac-10-heavy Draft night in '09.
As of today, 6 of the top 18 on the Draft Express draft board are from the Pac-10:
- 3. Demar DeRozan, USC
5. James Harden, Arizona State
6. Jrue Holiday, UCLA
13. Chase Budinger, Arizona
15. Darren Collison, UCLA
18. Jordan Hill, Arizona
The Pac-10 once again looks to be the place to be to catch the top pro prospects in NCAA hoops.
GUNNIN' FOR THAT #1 SPOT
Speaking of Draft stuff, we saw the movie Gunnin' For That #1 Spot, directed by Beastie Boy Adam Yauch (aka MCA), recently and enjoyed it.
As most of you probably know, the documentary profiled eight top prospects - Michael Beasley, Kevin Love, Donte Greene, Brandon Jennings, Tyreke Evans, Jerryd Bayless, Kyle Singler, Lance Stephenson - who played in Elite 24 Hoops Classic at Rucker Park in New York in 2007.
More than anything, the movie is just enjoyable, and it is so b/c one gets the clear sense that Yauch is a true fan of the game. He gets it - he understands how to shoot the game, he gets the rhythm of the game, the soundtrack is just right, and the film has a distinctive, colorful visual style which fits.
I don't really have too many specific observations or things that struck me beyond when there was a clip of Kevin Love hitting a game-winner at the buzzer in high school. The fans rushed the court and mobbed him, and I just found it odd to see Kevin's dad, Stan, down on the floor jumping up and down and mobbing Kevin amongst all the high-school kids. Couldn't find the clip on YouTube, unf., but it was just odd.
One last thing which is again tangentially related to Draft stuff. There have been several features recently on ex-Pacer Jonathan Bender, and the tremendous work he is doing in helping to rebuild New Orleans (Pacers.com story, ESPN.com story).
Let's note a few things:
- Bender came to the NBA straight of high school.
- He retired from the NBA at age 25 because of injury.
Doesn't Bender seem like the type of guy that people who think that players skipping college is the end of the universe were worried about? And doesn't he seem to be doing OK? More OK than lots of guys who play four years of college, in fact?
End the ridiculous sham of the one-year college requirement. Get the age limit back to 18 where it belongs.