NBA Draft entry & anecdotal underachiever analysis

Last week we had a fantastic entry and poll that you may not have seen projecting the impact of early entrants in the NBA draft on the ACC Basketball landscape that can be seen by clicking here.

Tonight we thought we would open an entry for the NBA Draft which can be followed at the NBA Draft Website.

We’re not huge NBA followers here, but a draft in any sport is interesting and exciting. Additionally, Wolfpackers can’t totally ignore the league after Josh Powell just won a ring; Vinny Del Negro and Nate McMillan coaching the two youngest up-and-coming teams in the league; and Shaquille O’Neal just getting traded to play with JJ Hickson in Cleveland

Not to mention, maybe we can all FINALLY go a day without the Charlotte Observer running an article chronicling that Tyler Hansbrough is excited about getting drafted and can’t wait to prove his critics wrong. Maybe just ONE friggin day? (For fun, you should check some of our Tyler Hansbrough tags)

A few quick observations:

  • Stephon Curry ends up in Golden State.  Damn, that is a long way from the New York Knicks as all of the local media had been salivating.
  • Gerald Henderson ends up in Charlotte.  Despite being one of the most incompetent franchises in professional sports, the Bobcats have quickly transformed themselves into a playoff contender behind Larry Brown’s leadership in the organization.  Henderson’s physical toughness and well rounded game will add another piece to Charlotte’s push to make their first playoff appearance in the summer of 2010.
  • Wake Forest’s James Johnson will head to Chicago to play for our own Vinny Del Negro’s Baby Bulls.

Here is an interesting exercise in which I want you to engage.

First, take a look at the Top 15 picks as listed below and can you tell me what round of the NCAA Tournament that each of the picks was eliminated?

2009 NBA Draft Top 15 picks

Next, do the same exercise for the limited number of schools that had more than one player drafted in the Top 35 selections. I count the following schools to achieve that distinction:

UConn – 4 wins; Final Four exit
Arizona State – 1 win; second round exit
Louisville – 3 wins; Elite Eight loss
North Carolina – 6 wins; National Champion
Wake Forest – 0 wins; first round collapse
UCLA – 1 win; second round exit
USC -1 win; second round exit

Only four schools placed a draft pick in the top 15 and multiple picks in the top 35. Those schools were: Louisville, Arizona State, USC, and North Carolina.

Particularly interesting is the statistic that only two schools placed a draft pick in the top 10 and multiple picks in the top 35. Both of those schools were from the Pac-10 – USC and Arizona State – and both schools lost in the second round of the NCAA Tournament. You may recall that USC defeated Arizona State for the Pac-10 Championship as the Sun Devils blew a 15 point halftime lead while managing to score only 4 points in the last 7:37 of the game and only 63 points for the entire game. Despite all of this pro talent?

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16 Responses to NBA Draft entry & anecdotal underachiever analysis

  1. choppack1 06/25/2009 at 10:30 PM #

    Minnesota drafts 2 PGs 5th and 6th…Good grief.

    Jordan Hill to the Knicks…I tell you – the NBA baffles the mind.

    Arizona State has the 3rd and 32nd player drafted – and didn’t make it past the round of 32.

    SFN: You are stealing my thunder as I sit here and add to this entry!

  2. packalum44 06/26/2009 at 12:08 AM #

    So the Clippers trade Brand only to draft a rookie version of him.

    “Sun Devils blew a 15 point halftime lead while managing to score only 4 points in the last 7:37 of the game and only 63 points for the entire game. Despite all of this pro talent?”

    Ding ding ding…..That’s why we hated him. Underachieved. Losers mentality. It is VASTLY more important to have a good coach than good talent. Why? Because you’ll CONSISTENTLY underachieve! Expectations will vary according to the talent level. Whether its good enough to make a Final Four or just get you in the dance, a bad coach will fall short.

  3. TomCat 06/26/2009 at 7:54 AM #

    Between Herb and Lowe. One could be up by 15 points with 8 mins. remaining… and go scoreless for the remainder of the game. The other guy…. would be down… by 15 with 8 minutes remaining…. and lose by 25. From frustrating to futile. ’09-’10 should be a hoot.

  4. burnbarn 06/26/2009 at 8:32 AM #

    It will be interesting to see how ASU fares next season. Herb had some talent on that squad.

  5. ryebread 06/26/2009 at 8:33 AM #

    Interesting draft. I figured Harden was a top 3 pick from watching him the last two years. That kid was a special, special talent — way better than Hodge. HWSNBN just had the best player he’s ever coached paired with another draft pick in the same year and couldn’t even get to the Sweet 16 with them — in what was considered a down year in the Pac 10. Regardless of how we’ve done with SL, I’m so glad he’s gone and we’re not stuck in limbo with him.

    UNC had 3 first rounders and 4 draft picks overall. To borrow the phrase, “they were who we thought they were.” I’ve said for some time that UNC and UCONN had the most talent last year and it showed in last night’s draft.

    I can’t believe that Pittsburgh’s Blair dropped so far. I understand he was a beast in college due to his physique and will be playing against men in the pros, but I still think he’s a solid NBA starter that fell into the second round. This was a steal of a pick.

    For the second year in a row, the PAC 10 had a massive number of drafted players. Their coaches seriously underachieved collectively. USC, AZ and ASU had multiple kids drafted and collectively did nothing with them. As a league, the PAC 10 outside of UCLA should be really, really bad this season. If they were down last year…….

    That switches the discussion to the ACC. The numbers look good at first (8 drafted in the first 64 and 6 in the first 32), but then you realize that 1/2 of those players were from UNC and a quarter from WF. Duke and Miami were the only other teams to have players drafted. I thought during the season that the league had one good team (UNC) and a bunch of Sweet 16 quality teams (Duke, WF, Clemson, FSU) and it looked that way on draft night.

    I’m shocked that Douglas from FSU didn’t get picked. I’d have gone with him over about 1/2 of those selected in the second round. He looked more NBA ready than Green or McClinton did to me.

    Chicago got a nice one in James Johnson. I see him having a Rodney Rogers type of NBA career.

    Lawson went before Teague (albeit just barely). A lot of posters on here said Teague was going first. It will be interesting to chart their careers.

    Speaking of Teague and Lawson, WF had two first rounders and collapsed down the stretch. Subtract that supreme talent and you see why I think they finish the bottom 3 in the conference. For all the flaming of SL that goes on here, his key players last year weren’t even close to the same level of talent.

    This leaves my last parting thought with our beloved Wolfpack. I was really pulling for the guys last night and hoped that Fells might slide in as a late draft pick. I didn’t expect it to happen, but I still checked for it.

    We really need a talent infusion of NBA caliber players because outside of Hickson, we’ve not had one in SL’s first three seasons (though I would argue that both Grant and Fells could have been). When I see programs like Xavier, UAB and TAMU with drafted talent, it’s a reality check of both how far we’ve fallen and how a good recruiter/coach can bring in impact players at even less than desirable locations. Those were Miller, Anderson and Gillespie’s players accordingly.

    Imagining Anderson at NC State makes me salivate. Stupid Lee. The search should have been Few, Montgomery, Barnes and Anderson in that order. We didn’t even talk to two of them.

  6. VaWolf82 06/26/2009 at 8:34 AM #

    From yahoo sports

    LOSER: Indiana Pacers

    Only time will tell on every pick, but as hard a worker and as good a guy and as big a winner and so on and so forth that Tyler Hansbrough is, how he winds up the 13th pick of the draft is a mystery.

    The Pacers have put a premium on character, but Hansbrough is a classic tweener. At 6-8 he isn’t big enough to guard power forwards and isn’t quick enough to guard small forwards. He scored a million points in college but also benefitted from getting nearly every call (which will end on Day 1 in the NBA) and hitting strange-trajectory shots (that will be swatted on Day 1 in the NBA).

    They probably could’ve gotten him later in the first round. Of course, college broadcaster Dick Vitale said Hansbrough would average 14 points a game. Fourteen? Do D-League stats count?

  7. choppack1 06/26/2009 at 8:45 AM #

    I think Douglas was drafted in one of the last picks of the first round.

    Yep, Herb is looking at Dino, like Lee has looked at GaTech’s AD – “Thank God for you!”

    I mean, let’s face Dino had 2 players go in the first round and a kid who will probably be a first rounder next year – and didn’t make it past the 1st round.

  8. Thinkpack17 06/26/2009 at 9:38 AM #

    “Dick Vitale said Hansbrough would average 14 points a game. Fourteen? Do D-League stats count?”

    That’s the same thing I thought. He MAY average 8 for his first few years…so he is going to have a few 20 point seasons to pull that average up? Not bloody likely.

    I hate the league saving money by drafting overseas players and leaving them over there. True it still leaves room on rosters for the undrafted kids but I’m sure they dreamed of getting THEIR names called.

    Dey took errr JOBS!!!

  9. CaptainCraptacular 06/26/2009 at 9:40 AM #

    Packalum the clippers didnt trade Brand. As a free agent, after hinting that he would re-sign with them he turned around and signed with Philly instead.

  10. ryebread 06/26/2009 at 9:55 AM #

    choppack1: Thanks for the call out — I missed Douglas in the list.

  11. Wulfpack 06/26/2009 at 10:33 AM #

    I may be in the minority here but Hansbrough will have a fine NBA career. Not going to be an all-star, but he’ll be a serviceable big man. He’ll collect a bunch of rebounds and score from the free-throw line. He has also developed a mid-range jumper which should come in handy. Again, I’m not saying he’s the next HOFer, just a good solid big man that does his thing night in and night out, helping a struggling team. And he will bring it, every night, which is not something that routinely happens in the NBA.

    The ACC is in trouble next year. The way I see it we aren’t even going to be the 4th best conference as a whole, meaning a max of five teams go dancing. UNC is the frontrunner. I’m starting to drink the GT kool aid a whole lot more, don’t know why really. Wake will be fine. Ish Smith is due for a big year, and Aminu is an absolute stud. Duke and Maryland should be decent, but I’m really starting to think the wheels are falling off both of those programs. We will be able to contend in this down ACC, but again, 9-7/8-8 will NOT get it done this year in this league. It’s down, and down in a big way.

  12. zahadum 06/26/2009 at 10:59 AM #

    I’m one of those who thinks that Hansbrough can have a pretty good career, but I think in order for his career to last more than a few years he’ll have to make a major change to his style. Namely, he’s going to have to learn how to ramp it down while still being productive.

    I’m reminded of a story Magic Johnson tells about his first regular season game in the NBA. He was all over the floor the second half, diving for loose balls, etc. and the Lakers won on a buzzer beater. He runs into the locker room all pumped up and excited only to have Abdul-Jabbar say to him: Earvin, you do know we’ve got at least another 81 games this season?

    And here’s a wild card prediction. I think that if he doesn’t go to Europe and if he gets picked up by the right team Ben McCauley can have a respectable NBA career. I could see him becoming sort of a Kurt Rambis type, but with more offense.

  13. ChemE79a 06/26/2009 at 12:20 PM #

    The big question with Hansbrough’s NBA potential involves the refs. I have assumed that going into the league as less than a superstar prospect he would get nothing like the number of calls that went his way in college. We all know how much of his offensive game involves getting to the foul line, so I have assumed that he could never get to the line enough to build his rep so he could get the calls to get to the line enough … You can see that circle goes nowhere.

    The other day I was reading an article that quoted Paul Silas (who I respect tremendously as a player and some what as a coach) and he said he thought getting the calls was a skill that would transfer from college to the pros. If he is right, the H could have a very solid pro career. So now I don’t know. If he can get the calls he will be a good pick, if not, then the Yahoo article above is right.

  14. MrWolf 06/26/2009 at 2:38 PM #

    I think some people are confusing the contributions a player like Hansbrough will make to a team with the stats he will put in the box score. Coaches will tell you all the time that great numbers players do not always get minutes because they miss assignments, don’t understand the offense, set screens/picks at the wrong time/place, etc. Having a guy like Hansbrough may not be sexy but in the end you gotta have a few guys willing to sacrifice their bodies and shots to make others better. The kid has won at every level. I remember watching him dominate Greg Oden in High School and everyone swore Oden would be the next Shaq.

    Here is the quote by former Wash. Wiz coach: “We’re looking for spots,” Tapscott said. “Again, he’s working hard but the game is more than running and dunking. The game is being able to set screens, defend the rim, execute the offense. There are a lot of different subtleties and intangibles to being an effective player…”

    As for the link about Az State losing early, I sure wish our team could have lost in the second round of the tournament.

  15. Mike 06/26/2009 at 3:24 PM #

    Shock of shockers – Costner did not get drafted. I had read where Fells was actually very impressive in camps and was going to be a sleeper.

    The draft traditionally has been about potential, not results. We see these guys get drafted that no one has ever heard of, and it is because a scout sees some potential in them. I guess this just proves how little talent we had, as these guys do not even qualify in the potential department.

  16. 61Packer 06/26/2009 at 10:03 PM #

    NCSU is not as poorly talented as I keep reading on here. We had 2 players (Costner and Fells) who without doubt have NBA talent but had absolutely no development in the past 3 seasons, thus they’re off for Europe in all probability. ASU had 2 players (James Hardin and Jeff Pendergraph) who to me had no more ability two seasons ago than Costner and Fells, maybe less, but Hardin went 3rd and Pendergraph went 31st. No way is Hardin the 3rd best player in this draft, but credit Sendek.

    The ASU players were drafted because they improved a great deal in the past two seasons under Sendek. The ASU team, which I believe had less talent than the Wolfpack this past season, actually overachieved despite blowing a big lead against USC in the Pac 10 tourney finals. USC had better talent but decidedly better floor coaching in critical stretches, which has been Sendek’s downfall all his career. Sendek had the player on the floor in those final minutes who could’ve won it, Pendergraph, but the 6-10 all-conference senior center had only a couple of touches during that stretch. It was pathetically just like old times.

    I’m not wanting Sendek back, but in the area of player and team development, we are far worse off now. Our players still don’t seem to know how to play defense, particulary team defense. We never seem to press or look for an up-tempo or transition game despite the coach saying that it’s what he wants to do. Our players are obviously not getting better and they seem to get worse as time goes on. Our talented players never seem to make the players around them better. Attitudes have not gotten better but rather worse. I never saw any signs of an attitude problem or a lack of hustle among the Sun Devil players, even when they lost a lot of critical games down the stretch.

    And now, the man in the red blazer has taken to the airwaves, over 2 months before football season begins, telling us how much better we’ll be next year.

    How much more of this will we have to take?

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