Tag Archives: Maryland Terrapins

Know Thy Conference: Dez Wells has unfinished business at Maryland

Know Thy Conference is a series of feature stories about Big Ten men’s basketball players based on interviews conducted at the Big Ten Basketball Media Day. The first feature is about Maryland senior guard Dez Wells.

Dez Wells talks to the media at the Big Ten Basketball Media Day.
Dez Wells talks to the media at the Big Ten Basketball Media Day.

Dez Wells was stumped. A reporter at the Big Ten’s Basketball Media Day had just asked him which Big Ten team most recently won a national championship.

Wells restated the reporter’s question, trying to buy himself more time to think.

“Let me think, let me think,” he said quietly before asking rhetorically “Who’s in the Big Ten?” to try figure out which one of the Big Ten’s 14 teams was the correct answer.

“Whew,” Wells said. “It’s been a while.”

Fifteen seconds passed after the reporter asked the question until he bailed Wells out.

“It would be Maryland,” the reporter said.

Wells was in disbelief.

“You’re lying,” he said. The reporter shook his head and said he was telling the truth.

Wells said he didn’t even think about his own team when the question was asked.

“Well hey, I guess we got a step ahead of everybody in that regard,” he said.

In Wells’ defense, Maryland won its lone basketball championship 12 years ago when it was still a member of the ACC. Plus, after transferring from Xavier in 2012, the 6-foot-5 guard is playing in his third conference of his career.

But Wells, wearing a “B1G” pin on the lapel of his maroon suit, has bought in to his new conference. And the Big Ten has bought into Dez Wells, with the conference’s media recognizing him as a preseason Third Team All-Big Ten selection.

The senior is one of Maryland’s few known commodities as the Terrapins enter their first season in the Big Ten after an offseason in which six players transferred.

Wells considered leaving too, but after flirting with the possibility of declaring for the NBA Draft, he decided to return to College Park, Md. for his senior campaign.

He has unfinished business as a Terrapin.

“I just want to play on another really great team in college before I leave,” he said. “It’s not too bad getting your degree, either.”

Wells didn’t specify which “really great” team he was alluding to but it doesn’t take any stretch of the imagination to assume he was referencing his freshman season, when he was known by his full name—Dezmine—and when the Xavier Musketeers went 23-13, finished third in the Atlantic 10 and advanced to the Sweet 16.

However, Wells’ time as a Musketeer was short-lived after Xavier University expelled him following allegations of a sexual assault in the summer after his freshman year. An Ohio grand jury threw out the criminal charges and asked the university to revisit the situation.

Xavier refused to budge and Wells transferred to Maryland, where he subsequently won an appeal that allowed him to play the following season instead of sitting out for a year as most transfer players are required to do.

Individually, Wells thrived since the day he arrived on Maryland’s campus, earning a spot in the starting lineup and leading the Terrapins in scoring the past two seasons.

Maryland has won 42 games since Wells’ late arrival in the summer of 2012. The victories include three court stormings—which he called the best part of his college career—a pair of wins against No. 2 Duke and an appearance in the NIT Semifinals, but the Terrapins are still searching for an elusive NCAA Tournament bid.

Maryland hasn’t appeared in the NCAA Tournament since 2010 and the Terrapins haven’t won a tournament game since 2004.

Wells is one of just two players on Maryland’s roster with experience playing in the NCAA Tournament. The other, senior forward and Michigan transfer Evan Smotrycz, will miss four to six weeks with a fractured foot, meaning the spotlight will shine even more heavily on Wells.

He knows what it takes to return to the Big Dance.

“Every night everybody has to do their job and every day in practice everybody has to come prepared to get better and prepared to go to war,” he said. “Those would be the biggest changes that I think would boost us to the NCAA Tournament this year.”

Maryland Coach Mark Turgeon will lean heavily on Wells, who led the team with 14.9 points per game last season and used a team-high 25 percent of the Terrapins’ possessions when he was on the floor.

Despite the challenges that come with significant roster turnover, joining a new conference and losing a likely starter in Smotrycz, Wells isn’t backing down from the challenge.

“As a player and the player I want to be, you invite that pressure,” he said, adding that he’s at peace on the court when he feels pressure during games. “When the time comes, you’re not just putting pressure on yourself, you’re ready for that pressure because the pressure inside you is so much bigger than the pressure around you.”

If the pressure ever becomes too much for Wells, he’ll be able to fall back on his teammates.

“Our team chemistry is going to be a lot better this year,” he said, allowing the media to read between the lines that some of the players who transferred may have been responsible for some of Maryland’s problems last season. “I think our team chemistry is the biggest thing, defending as a team and making sure that everybody does their job each and every play, holding guys accountable. So if anything’s going to be different, I would say it’s going to be with the players, not with the coaches.”

Wells is making it his personal mission to lead the Terrapins back to the promised land of the NCAA Tournament so that they can compete for a national championship and attempt to end the Big Ten’s national title drought.

“I’ve made it my business to make sure that before me or any other seniors leave,” he said, “that we play on a really, really good team at Maryland.”

The first college basketball stock report of 2013

Conference play is officially underway in most conferences, which means that it’s time to evaluate whether it’s time to buy, sell or hold stock in some of the country’s top college basketball teams.

BUY

Butler

Brad Stevens has the Butler Bulldogs looking up as they head into A-10 play. (Image courtesy of http://bleacherreport.com/articles/1446736-butlers-brad-stevens-the-most-job-secure-coach-in-college-basketball)
Brad Stevens has the Butler Bulldogs looking up as they head into A-10 play. (Image courtesy of http://bleacherreport.com/articles/1446736-butlers-brad-stevens-the-most-job-secure-coach-in-college-basketball)

The Bulldogs’ two losses came in the team’s first five games and since their loss to Illinois, who is currently ranked eleventh, Brad Stevens’ squad has rattled off nine straight victories, including a win over No. 1 Indiana. Butler is playing their trademark tough defense and the Bulldogs have wins over Marquette, North Carolina and Northwestern in addition to knocking off the Hoosiers. Butler is the favorite to win the A-10 and its stock can continue to rise with a good conference record.

VCU

The Rams suffered three early losses to Wichita State, who is likely the second best team in the Missouri Valley, Duke and Missouri. However, VCU rebounded and is 12-3 with favorable chances to win a wide open Atlantic 10.

Minnesota

The Golden Gophers started the season unranked but have won their way to the ninth spot in the rankings. Their lone loss was to Duke, which is certainly nothing to be ashamed of considering the Blue Devils’ success this season. Minnesota is on a nine game win streak and has won six consecutive games by double digits, with the latest being a 76-63 home win against No. 18 Michigan State.

Kansas State

In Bruce Weber’s first year as head coach of the Wildcats, Kansas State is off to an impressive 12-2 record. K-State lost to Michigan and Gonzaga early in the season but have put those behind them with wins over Florida and Oklahoma State. The Wildcats will be in the mix of teams competing for second place in the Big 12 behind Kansas.

Kentucky

UK was way overrated at No. 3 in the preseason but the Wildcats have had time to work out some of their kinks in their non-conference schedule. Ryan Harrow gives them a good option at point guard that they were missing early in the season. They lost to Duke and Louisville, two of the top four teams in the country, and Notre Dame in their first true road test. Many of the growing pains are out of the way and a top three finish in the SEC isn’t out of the question as the will compete with Florida and Missouri for the conference title.

SELL

Ohio State

Brandon Paul and the Fighting Illini handled their business against Ohio State and make basketball fans wonder how good the Buckeyes really are. (Image courtesy of http://www.toledoblade.com/Ohio-State/2013/01/05/No-11-Illinois-rebounds-with-home-win-over-No-8-Buckeyes-74-55.html)
Brandon Paul and the Fighting Illini handled their business against Ohio State and make basketball fans wonder how good the Buckeyes really are. (Image courtesy of http://www.toledoblade.com/Ohio-State/2013/01/05/No-11-Illinois-rebounds-with-home-win-over-No-8-Buckeyes-74-55.html)

The Buckeyes have faced three ranked teams-Duke, Kansas and Illinois-and lost all three games. With six ranked teams in the Big Ten, the Buckeyes will have to win big games, especially on the road, and they haven’t proven that they’re up to the challenge just yet.

Pittsburgh

The Panthers cracked the AP Top 25 with an appearance at No. 24 but it will be short-lived after losing to Cincinnati and Rutgers in their first two Big East games, which makes then tied for last place in the conference. Pittsburgh had two freshmen in the starting lineup, which could make for a slow start to conference play.

Cincinnati

Mick Cronin’s Bearcats reached as high as eighth in the rankings but Cincinnati lost to New Mexico and St. John’s in the team’s last three games. UC has a challenging next matchup when it hosts No. 21 Notre Dame on Monday.

Wisconsin

The Badgers entered the season in the AP Top 25 but fell quickly out of the polls after losses to Florida, Creighton, Virginia and Marquette. Wisconsin plays Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, Michigan State, Minnesota and Ohio State in consecutive games in January, which bodes for a difficult month and a bad start to Big Ten play.

HOLD

Duke

The Blue Devils have passed every test that has been thrown at them this season but they can only move down in the rankings from the No. 1 spot. Duke will be expected to win the ACC but North Carolina State, North Carolina or Maryland all have the talent to upset the Blue Devils in conference play.

Arizona

Sean Miller’s Wildcats are the best team out West but San Diego State, Colorado and Utah’s close losses have shown that Arizona is vulnerable and it could suffer its first loss to a PAC-12 opponent this month.

Illinois

The Fighting Illini are a very difficult team to examine. They won by double digits against Butler and on the road against Gonzaga. Then Illinois lost to Missouri and Purdue in a three-game stretch, followed by a dominating win over Ohio State. Illinois is certainly a force to be reckoned with in the Big Ten but their up and down play gives the impression that they will have their share of impressive wins and tough losses this season.

Oklahoma State

The Cowboys blew out North Carolina State early in the season but have lost consecutive games to No. 10 Gonzaga and No. 25 Kansas State, which means that Oklahoma State still has room for improvement in the remainder of the season.

Michigan

The country’s No. 2 team is off to a 15-0 start but it is only a matter of time until the Wolverines lose their first game. The Big Ten schedule for every team is a mine field–one bad step or slip up and Michigan can receive the first blemish on its 2012-13 campaign. However, the Wolverines are one of the best teams in the country and will give Indiana a run for its money to win the Big Ten.

Stay tuned for the next edition of Sports.Eat.Sleep.Repeat.!

Is this year’s Kentucky team the worst in the Calipari era?

For the first time in the John Calipari era at Kentucky, the Wildcats have fallen out of the rankings. UK’s plummet from the AP Top 25 and USA Today Coaches Poll comes after consecutive losses for only the second time during Calipari’s tenure in Lexington.

The Wildcats have had a tumultuous start to the season and this year’s team has more losses than last year’s national championship squad. They squeaked by Maryland in their season opener 72-69. Kentucky was not so lucky in its second game of the season when the Wildcats lost to Duke, who is now ranked second in the country. Calipari & Co. then strung together three wins against Lafayette, Morehead State, and LIU Brooklyn. UK was not supposed to beat Notre Dame even though the Fighting Irish were unranked. It was the first true road test for a young team. Notre Dame was 46-0 at home in November with Mike Brey as the team’s head coach. There was a “black out” at Purcell Pavilion at the Joyce Center. Notre Dame’s football team had just completed a 12-0 season and secured a spot in the BCS National Championship. Manti Te’o and the rest of the football team lined the court to cheer on their fellow Notre Dame athletes. While the Wildcats only lost by 14 points, they were down by as many as twenty halfway through the second half. UK then had a quick turnaround to play Baylor, who made it to the Elite Eight last season. Pierre Jackson’s 17 points, 7 rebounds, 5 assists, and 4 steals lead the Bears to a 64-55 win–Kentucky’s first home loss since John Calipari took over in 2009.

Notre Dame knocks off #8 Kentucky, who made the greatest fall out of the rankings in the history of college basketball. Courtesy of http://www.indystar.com/viewart/20121129/SPORTS/121129040/Notre-Dame-beats-eighth-ranked-Kentucky-64-50.
Notre Dame knocks off #8 Kentucky, who made the greatest fall out of the rankings in the history of college basketball. Courtesy of http://www.indystar.com/viewart/20121129/SPORTS/121129040/Notre-Dame-beats-eighth-ranked-Kentucky-64-50.

Kentucky’s 2012 recruiting class was once again one of the best in the country. They brought in four of the top players on the Rivals 150 Prospect Ranking. The individual talent is clearly present on the Wildcats roster. Archie Goodwin: 16.6 ppg, 5.3 rpg, 4.5 apg. Alex Poythress: 15.5 ppg, 6.6 rpg. Nerlens Noel: 11.6 ppg, 9.0 rpg. Willie Cauley-Stein: 8.0 ppg, 5.3 rpg. However, the team lacks leadership and experience. UK has eight players in its rotation, four of whom are freshmen and two are transfers in their first season at Kentucky. Kyle Wiltjer is the team’s only returning player with any significant number of minutes as a Wildcat and he was the seventh man on last year’s national championship team.

In the past, John Calipari has had more players with experience at Kentucky. Last year’s team had sophomores in Doron Lamb and Terrence Jones, as well as senior Darius Miller, all of whom played at least 25 minutes per game.

The Kentucky Wildcats are not short on talent–they have four players who are projected to be drafted in the 2013 NBA Draft, including three top ten picks. However, UK has not developed the team chemistry necessary to be a ranked team at this point in the season. Of course, eight games into the season is way too early to sell on Kentucky. There is no doubt that their young players will greatly improve by next spring when the truly important games are played. Although, all things considered, the 2012-13 Wildcats do not appear to have the ceiling of the past three John Calipari teams, who have gone to the Elite Eight, Final Four, and won the National Championship, respectively.

The Second Edition of American Student Radio’s “Sportsmanlike Conduct”

In November, I assisted with the second production of American Student Radio show “Sportsmanlike Conduct” with hosts Brian Walsh and John Steele, as well as Indiana Daily Student men’s basketball columnist Mike Norman. We discussed the NCAA rulings on UCLA freshman Shabazz Muhammad and Indiana University freshmen Peter Jurkin and Hanner Mosquera-Perea, the Los Angeles Lakers firing Mike Brown, and a variety of other sports topics.

Unproven Xavier Beats Butler for Its Second Win of the Season

The Xavier Musketeers had an abundance of questions being asked about them entering the season and they were all appropriate. Three starters, point guard Tu Holloway, forward Andre Walker, and center Kenny Frease, graduated after last season. Mark Lyons was unwilling to command the leadership role that Xavier Coach Chris Mack envisioned him to play in as a senior and transferred to the University of Arizona to join the No. 12 Wildcats. Dez Wells was expelled from Xavier University after a sexual assault charge was brought against him, which was later dropped. Wells transferred and is playing for Maryland.

2011-12 Xavier Musketeers
Xavier Musketeers 2012-13 Individual Statistics

Who did the Muskies have left on the 2012-13 roster? The leading scorer from last year is senior forward Travis Taylor, who averaged 4.5 points and 3.7 rebounds last season. In total, XU has 16.1 points per game from last year’s squad returning this season. A number of players are going to have to step up on a Musketeers team that is filled with freshmen, walk-ons, and players who have seen limited playing time in the past at Xavier.

Two games is a limited sample size but in that time span, the Xavier players have answered their call to action.

In the season opener against Fairleigh Dickinson, the Musketeers started the season with a 117-75 victory. Tu Holloway’s replacement, sophomore point guard Dee Davis, recorded a double-double with 22 points on 8-11 shooting (5-7 from behind the arc) and 15 assists. Six other Xavier players scored in double digits. Taylor scored twenty points, grabbed twelve rebounds, and dished out three assists. Senior shooting guard Brad Redford lit it up from behind the three-point line by hitting six of seven and finishing with nineteen points. XU shot over 70% from the field and connected on 62% of the three-point shots.

Dee Davis has big shoes to fill by replacing Tu Holloway. Courtesy of http://www.purdueexponent.org/sports/mens/basketball/collection_eb4a2b0e-1e08-11e1-a0c5-0019bb30f31a.html.

Xavier’s second game of the season was part of ESPN’s 2012 Tip-Off Marathon. The Muskies were matched up against the one of additions to the Atlantic 10, Brad Stevens’ Butler Bulldogs. XU showed that it could play up-tempo in the season opener and slowed the game down against Butler.

The Bulldogs have been known in recent years to win by playing tough defense and limiting their opponents to fewer than sixty points per game. When Butler made it to the 2010 NCAA National Championship, the team held their opponents to 59, 52, 59, 56, 50, and 61 points in the Bulldogs’ six games. In 2011, it was much of the same. They allowed an average of 61.3 points per game in their second consecutive appearance in the title game.

On Tuesday, Xavier beat Butler at their own game. The Musketeers gave up very few open shots or good looks. XU limited Butler to 36% shooting and 22% from behind the arc. Their defense harassed Butler for forty minutes. They rotated well on screens, rotated well, played good help-side defense, and switched effectively on pick and rolls. Senior forward Jeff Robinson led all scorers with seventeen points and he also collected eight rebounds. Freshman point guard Semaj Christon missed Xavier’s first game of the season because he elbowed walk-0n Tim Whelan, which knocked out two of Whelan’s teeth and caused Christon’s elbow to get infected. In his first game, Christon had a team-high eight assists. Travis Taylor recorded 15 points and 9 rebounds. Xavier’s largest lead was twenty-one and their transition offense ate up the Bulldogs’ defense.

It is very early in the season but XU is already exceeding expectations. They have shown they can score in triple-digits. They have shown that they can play shutdown defense. Now the Musketeers need to string together wins and prove themselves against respected opponents if they want to make the NCAA Tournament.

2007 NBA Draft Report Card

As much as it is to give draft grades the night of or the morning after, it is completely conjecture and virtually meaningless. The grader knows how players performed in college or overseas as well as how NBA teams fared in the previous season but it is unrealistic to predict how young players adjust to the new lifestyle in the NBA, whether it’s the hefty contracts, new friends, instant fame, new teammates, or a new coaching style. It is only fair to let some time pass for the players to pan out with their new teams. Five years seems like a good amount of time to make NBA Draft grades and this will hopefully be the first of many retrospective draft grades.

In 2007, it was Greg Oden who went number one overall and ended up only playing eighty-eight games in his NBA career. Kevin Durant was by far the best player taken in ’07 and Marc Gasol was the sleeper of the draft. 2007 may have been the year of the bust-there are only a few All-Star caliber players and an excess of draft picks who only lasted a few years in the NBA, if they even made it past the summer leagues.

Atlanta Hawks- B- –With two of the top eleven picks, Atlanta was in arguably the best position of any team in the league to improve its roster through the draft. Horford started seventy-seven games as a rookie and has averaged nearly fifteen points and ten rebounds per game since then. With the exception of the 2011-2012 season, in which he was limited to only eleven games due to an injury, he played an average of nearly seventy-seven regular season games per season. Horford has been a consistent role player who nearly puts up a double-double on a nightly basis. He panned out to be in the top three of the players classified as “forward/center” from the ’07 draft along with Florida teammate Joakim Noah and Marc Gasol. Acie Law IV on the other hand was a complete bust. Law only played two seasons for Atlanta, in which he averaged 4.2 and 2.9 ppg. He never played more than 56 games in a season and had career averages of 4.2 ppg, 1.2 rpg, and 1.6 apg. Law only scored twenty points or more once in his career, bounced around five different teams, and last played in the NBA in the 2010-2011 season for the Golden State Warriors.

  • Al Horford-3rd-F/C-Florida
  • Acie Law IV-11th (from Indiana Pacers)-G-Texas A&M

Boston Celtics- C- –Given that the Celtics’ two picks (one via a trade with Seattle) were both in the second round, Boston’s draft cannot be judged too harshly. They selected an average bench player in Glen Davis and Pruitt was only in the NBA for two seasons and averaged only two points per game in sixty-two games in that stretch. He played roughly seven minutes per game, which meant that he was on the court during garbage time. While Glen “Big Baby” Davis is the epitome of success in the NBA, he has managed to stay in the league and remain relatively productive. Davis lasted four seasons in Boston and was a member of their NBA Title-winning team in the 07′-08′ season. He has proven to be a 10 ppg and 5 rpg role player over the past two seasons but exceeded those marks with his 19 ppg and 9 rpg in last year’s NBA Playoffs.

  • Gabe Pruitt-32nd-G-Southern California
  • Glen Davis-35th (from Seattle Supersonics via trade)-F-Louisiana State

Brooklyn Nets (then the New Jersey Nets)- D –The Nets’ only draft pick in 2007, Sean Williams, turned out to be a bust. While he is still in the NBA, his number of games played has gone down each season from seventy-three his rookie year to eleven in 2011-2012. Williams was a member of the Nets for three seasons and scored his career high of 22 points in a game while in New Jersey. He was on the Boston Celtics’ roster for last year’s playoffs but played only six minutes in two games. His career averages are 4.2 points per game and 3.4 rebounds per game.

  • Sean Williams-17th-F/C-Boston College
Charlotte Bobcats- B- –Dudley is currently a starter for the Phoenix Suns and averages nine points and four rebounds per game. Davidson never made it beyond the NBA summer leagues.
  • Jared Dudley-22nd (form Toronto Raptors)-F-Boston College
  • Jermareo Davidson-36th (from Minnesota Timberwolves to Golden State Warriors to Charlotte Bobcats via trade)-F-Alabama

Chicago Bulls- A- –Given that two of Chicago’s three draft picks in ’07 were in the final twelve picks, their draft grade should only seriously consider the Bulls’ first pick at ninth overall. It is safe to say that without Joakim Noah’s presence on the Bulls, Chicago would not be one of the NBA’s top teams. He has grown into a forward/center who can average ten points and boards per game and do a little bit of everything. His passion and enthusiasm for the game certainly provide a spark for Chicago. The other center that the Bulls drafted in 2007, Aaron Gray, has not been nearly as productive as Noah in the NBA but he earned the starting position in the Toronto Raptors roster forty times last season. He played a very minor role for Chicago in his two full seasons as a Bull and averages four points and rebounds per game. Curry only played in one NBA game in his career and not only was it not for the Chicago Bulls but he did not accumulate any stats. He played preseason games for Chicago in the 2007-2008 season and one for the Brooklyn Nets last season.

  • Joakim Noah-9th (from New York Knicks)-F/C-Florida
  • Aaron Gray-49th (from Golden State Warriors)-C-Pittsburgh
  • JamesOn Curry-51st (from Denver Nuggets)-G-Oklahoma State

Cleveland Cavaliers- N/A –No draft picks

Dallas Mavericks- F –Even though Reyshawn Terry helped the North Carolina Tar Heels win the national title in 2005, he didn’t accomplish nearly as much at the next level. He played in the summer league after being drafted in 2007 but never made Dallas’ team and was playing in Europe by 2008. Similarly to Terry, Seibutis played on the Mavericks’ summer league team but was out of the NBA by 2008.

  • Reyshawn Terry-44th (from Orlando Magic via trade)-North Carolina
  • Renalidas Seibutis-50th (from Miami Heat)-G-Lithuania

Denver Nuggets- N/A –No draft picks

Detroit Pistons- A- –Detroit made the most of its two first round picks in 2007. With the exception of Sammy Mejia, who was waived from the NBA Development League by October 2007, Detroit’s picks turned out to be solid role players and starters in the NBA. Rodney Stuckey is still on the Pistons and averages fifteen points per game, four assists per game, and three rebounds per game while starting for Detroit. Arron Afflalo played only two seasons as a Piston but developed into a solid guard in Denver. In the past two seasons as a Nugget, Afflalo has averaged 14 ppg, 3 rpg, and 2 apt.

  • Rodney Stuckey-15th (from Orlando Magic)-G-Eastern Washington
  • Arron Afflalo-27th-G-UCLA
  • Sammy Mejia-57th-G-DePaul
Golden State Warriors- B –Wright currently plays for Dallas and averages six points and three rebounds per game. Belinelli is a member of the New Orleans Hornets and scores twelve points per game along with three rebounds per game. Lasme was only in the NBA for two seasons and averaged five points per game.
  • Brandan Wright-8th (from Charlotte Bobcats via trade)-F-North Carolina
  • Marco Belinelli-18th-G-Italy
  • Stephane Lasme-46th (from New Jersey Nets)-F-Massachusetts

Houston Rockets- B+ –Houston’s first two picks in the 2007 draft are now productive bench players in the NBA. Brooks played four seasons in Houston and at his peak in the ’09-’10 season he started all eighty-two regular season games, averaging 19.6 points per game and 5.3 assists per game. During the NBA lockout, Brooks went to China to guarantee that he could play last season. At his best, Carl Landry averaged eighteen points per game and seven rebounds per game for the Sacramento Kings. Landry has settled into his role as a 12 ppg and 5 rpg player. Newley played in the Rockets’ summer league and then went to Europe to work on his game, never actually making it to the NBA.

  • Aaron Brooks-26th-G-Oregon
  • Carl Landry-31st (from Memphis Grizzlies to Seattle Supersonics to Houston Rockets via trade)-F-Purdue
  • Brad Newley-54th (from Cleveland Cavaliers)-G-Australia

Indiana Pacers- F –The Pacers did not have any draft picks in ’07 but did trade for Stanko Barac, who never left Europe for the NBA.

  • Stanko Barac-39th (from Sacramento Kings to Miami Heat to Indiana Pacers via trade)-C-Bosnia

Los Angeles Clippers- C+ –Al Thornton played three seasons as a Clipper and averaged seventeen points per game and five rebounds per game in his second year in the league. He is now with the Golden State Warriors and has cooled off to average 12 ppg and 4 rpg over his career. Jordan has bounced around the NBA and in Europe but has only played in summer league and preseason games in the NBA.

  • Al Thornton-14th-F-Florida State
  • Jared Jordan-45th-G-Marist

Los Angeles Lakers- C –Crittenton played only one season with the Lakers and last played in the NBA in the 2010-2011 season. He averaged five points per game and two rebounds per game in his 113 games in the league. Yue only played one season in the NBA but did win a ring with the Lakers. He only played ten games for Los Angeles and scored only six points in that span. NBA teams always take a risk when taking international players but Marc Gasol may have been the steal of the draft as the 48th selection. He has spent his entire career with the Memphis Grizzlies, averaging 15 ppg, 7 rpg, and 3 apg, and he was named a Western Conference All-Star in 2012.

  • Javaris Crittenton-19th-G-Georgia Tech
  • Sun Yue-40th (from Charlotte Bobcats)-G-China
  • Marc Gasol-48th-C-Spain

Memphis Grizzlies- A –Conley averages twelve points and five assist per game in the NBA and is still the starting point guard for Memphis.

  • Mike Conley, Jr.-4th-G-Ohio State

Miami Heat- C- –The Heat had two draft picks in 2007 but traded both of their selections and acquired Daequan Cook out of Ohio State. He spent three seasons in Miami, averaging roughly seven points per game and two rebounds per game. Cook was on the 2012 Western Conference Champions, the Oklahoma City Thunder, and appeared in sixteen playoff games for OKC.

  • Daequan Cook-21st (from Denver Nuggets to Phildelphia 76’ers to Miami Heat via trade)-G-Ohio State

Milwaukee Bucks- C+ –The Bucks took a leap of faith with the sixth overall pick by taking Yi Jianlian from China. In his rookie and only season in Milwaukee, he averaged 9 ppg and 5 rpg. He is currently a member of the Dallas Mavericks and his minutes per game have decreased to only seven-a major drop from the 32 per game that he was playing as a member of the New Jersey Nets. Ramon Sessions played two seasons in Milwaukee and now plays for the L.A. Lakers as an upgrade from Derek Fisher. His career averages are 11 ppg, 5 apg, and 3 rpg.

  • Yi Jianlian-6th-F-China
  • Ramon Sessions-56th (from Houston Rockets)-G-Nevada

Minnesota Timberwolves- C- –Minnesota drafted a pair of Florida forwards in the 2007 NBA Draft. Brewer spent his first four seasons in Minnesota before going to play in Dallas, then Denver. He has averaged 9 ppg, 3 rpg, and 2 apg in the NBA. Chris Richard was a Timberwolve for two years before playing his final season in the NBA in 2009 as a Chicago Bull. He played in seventy games in his career, averaging two points and three rebounds per game.

  • Corey Brewer-7th-F-Florida
  • Chris Richard-41st (from Philadelphia 76’ers)-F-Florida

New Orleans Hornets- D –Julian Wright played for three seasons as a Hornet and one for the Toronto Raptors. He averaged four points and two rebounds per game and last played in the NBA during the ’10-’11 season. Haluska has only played in NBA preseason games for the Hornets and the Dallas Mavericks.

  • Julian Wright-13th-F-Kansas
  • Adam Haluska-43rd-G-Iowa

New York Knicks- C- –Chandler was a Knick for four seasons and now plays for the Denver Nuggets. His career averages are fourteen points, five rebounds, and two assists per game. Nichols bounced around a handful of teams in the NBA and played very limited minutes for the Chicago Bulls and New York Knicks.

  • Wilson Chandler-23rd (from Chicago Bulls)-F-DePaul
  • Demetris Nichols-53rd (from Chicago Bulls to Portland Trailblazers to New York Knicks via trade)-F-Syracuse

Oklahoma City Thunder (then the Seattle Supersonics)- A+ –Durant was far and away the best player in the 2007 NBA Draft. He won his third straight scoring title in the ’11-’12 season and lead the Thunder to the NBA Finals last year. He is a three-time All-Star, three-time NBA First Team member, and was the NBA Rookie of the Year in 2008. As if getting KD wasn’t enough, Seattle also drafted Jeff Green, who averaged 14 ppg and 6 rpg. He last played in the NBA in the ’10-’11 season for the Boston Celtics.

  • Kevin Durant-2nd-F-Texas
  • Jeff Green-5th (from Boston Celtics via trade)-F-Georgetown

Orlando Magic- F –Rakovic played in the NBA summer league but never made it to the NBA.

  • Milovan Rakovic-60th (from Dallas Mavericks via trade)-F-Serbia

Philadelphia 76’ers- B –Young has spent his entire career as a 76’er. He averages 13 ppg and 5 rpg and is a frequent starter for Philadelphia. Jason Smith played two seasons in Philly before going to New Orleans, where he started 29 times in the ’11-’12 season and he averaged nine points and five rebounds per game. Byars’ first regular season in the NBA was last year for the San Antonio Spurs. Hill played summer league games for the 76’ers but never made it in the NBA.

  • Thaddeus Young-12th-F-Georgia Tech
  • Jason Smith-20th (from Miami Heat via trade)-F/C-Colorado State
  • Derrick Byars-42nd (from Indiana Pacers to Portland Trail Blazers to Philadelphia 76’ers via trade)-G/F-Vanderbilt
  • Herbert Hill-55th (from Utah Jazz via trade)-F/C Providence

Phoenix Suns- D –Tucker was only in the NBA for three seasons and averaged only four points per game. He last played in the 2009-2010 season for Phoenix. Strawberry only played one season in the NBA, in which he averaged two points per game.

  • Alando Tucker-29th-F-Wisconsin
  • D.J. Strawberry-59th-G-Maryland

Portland Trail Blazers- C- –Greg Oden had just finished a fantastic freshman season at Ohio State and was the number one selection in the 2007 NBA Draft. However, injuries prevented him from having the NBA career that seemed so promising. In his two seasons in Portland, he averaged thirteen points and nine rebounds. Rudy Fernandez played three seasons as a Trail Blazer before becoming a member of the Denver Nuggets. Over the course of his career, he has averaged nine points, two rebounds, and two assists per game. Petteri Koponen never played in the NBA. Josh McRoberts is still in the NBA with the L.A. Lakers and has averaged five points and four boards per game. Lastly, Taurean Green only played seventeen games in the NBA, averaging two points per game.

  • Greg Oden-1st-C-Ohio State
  • Rudy Fernandez-24th (from Cleveland Cavaliers to Phoenix Suns to Portland Trail Blazers via trade)-G-Spain
  • Petteri Koponen-30th (from Dallas Mavericks to Philadelphia 76’ers to Portland Trail Blazers via trade)-G-Finland
  • Josh McRoberts-37th-F-Duke
  • Taurean Green-52nd (from Toronto Raptors)-G-Florida

Sacramento Kings- B- –Hawes played for Sacramento for three seasons and is now a member of the 76’ers. He has averaged nine points and six rebounds during his career.

  • Spencer Hawes-10th-C-Washington

San Antonio Spurs- C –Splitter has played the past two seasons in the NBA for the Spurs. He averages seven points and four rebounds per game. Williams was out of the NBA by 2009.

  • Tiago Splitter-28th-F-Brazil
  • Marcus Williams–33rd (from Milwaukee Bucks)-F-Arizona

Toronto Raptors- F –The Raptors did not have any draft picks in ’07 but acquired the rights to Printezis, who never played in the NBA.

  • Giorgos Printezis-58th (from San Antonio Spurs via trade)-F-Greece

Utah Jazz- D –Almond briefly appeared for the Jazz but spent most of his time in the NBA in the D-Leauge. Fesenko played 135 games in the NBA, averaging two points and two rebounds per game.

  • Morris Almond-25th-G-Rice
  • Kyrylo Fesenko-38th (from New York Knicks to Philadelphia 76’ers to Utah Jazz via trade)-C-Ukraine

Washington Wizards- B- –Young has spent most of his time in the NBA with the Wizards and has averaged 12 points per game in the league. Domonic McGuire plays for the Golden State Warriors after three seasons in Washington. He averages three points and four rebounds per game.

  • Nick Young-16th-G/F-USC
  • Domonic McGuire-47th-F-Fresno State