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Remembering Mel Turpin

Last night’s news of Mel Turpin’s suicide coincided with Lebron’s one-hour special, but word of Turpin’s demise was much more profound. I thought someone made a terrible joke on Twitter and it saddened me to confirm this terrible news. He was killed from what appeared to be a self inflicted gunshot wound.

Turpin dunking

Turpin was a 1984 first round draft pick, but didn’t care too much for the game as a kid. Despite his 6-foot-5 stature while still in grade school, he was mechanical with poor coordination, yet even after reaching high school he remained unmotivated.

Bobby Barlow was the head coach at Bryan Station High School. He cut Turpin in his sophomore year citing lack of passion to improve. To make matters worse Turpin wasn’t a model student. It was a challenge for his mother, Louise, to get him to attend school on a regular basis, but things changed after he was discovered by Melvin Cunningham, a local advisor who worked with the raw youngster daily while providing positive reinforcement.

Turpin was still raw in his junior year, but greatly improved. Once again, he went out for the Bryan Station team and earn a spot. As a senior Turpin received a scholarship offer from Kentucky, but old academic habits detoured him to prep powerhouse Fork Union Military Academy. While Turpin improved his stock, Kentucky gained a commitment from Sam Bowie, one of the nation’s most sought after prospects. Turpin did well at Fork Union, averaging 25 points, 15 rebounds, and 8 blocks per game, but he was unsure if he should re-open his recruitment. The thought of sharing the floor with another center was unheard of at the time, yet his desire to play for his dream school was strong enough to wipe away any doubts.

As back-up to Bowie, Turpin’s first year proved solid, but opportunities were limited as Bowie dominated. Unfortunately, Bowie suffered leg injuries that sidelined him for 2 years. It was during this time that Turpin’s power game down low proved fruitful for Kentucky. He earned All-SEC nominations and started to get serious All-American considerations. Turpin had a great deal to offer with his 15-foot jumper and strong finishing skills in the post.

Off the court, warning signs that would plague him in the pros began to surface. People close to the situation say that in today’s world, Turpin would have been diagnosed with an eating disorder. In 1984 a prognosis related to overeating was virtually unheard of.

White Man's Burden

In a sport dominated by African Americans (82% during the 2008-2009 NBA season), white ball players are dealt an unfair hand each time an analyst limits them in comparison to a historical white player.

Comparing white to white only is a flawed method of evaluation.

Mathematically speaking, white players should find themselves compared more often to African American ballers. Old habits are hard to kill, but for the sake of basketball’s evolution this must change.

For example, take a white player like Gordon Hayward and you get the same old boring cookie cutter analysis: “Average athlete, great feel for the game, blah, blah, blah”. Race is the elephant in the room that many claim does not exist, but when I caught up on some 2010 draft info, I discovered the race card continues to be an ugly factor.

From Left to Right: Hayward, Aldrich and Babbitt

Getting back to Hayward, I’ve seen ridiculous comparisons like Luke Jackson, Michael Dunleavy Jr., Troy Murphy and Pat Garrity. The general rule seems to be this: find any white perimeter player and assign the comparison to Hayward. This is a glaring example of how draft history can go beyond lines of nostalgia or entertainment and be utilized in a more purposeful manner - to identify historical players (regardless of race) that best suit the current player rather than drawing straws for players of the same race.

1981-1988 3rd-4th Round Rundown

The 3rd and 4th rounds are finally complete! I thank you for your patience as this information unfolded, and offer my thanks to everyone who provided their assistance during the research process. Now it’s to take the next step with this vast amount of information: to place each profile in its proper place. I will dedicate the next few months to upgrading the NBA teams, State, Country, College, Last Name, Position and by Pick draft pages. Your loyalty to the site and zest for draft history has reinvigorated me in this long and sometimes tiring process.

1981-1988 Main Highlights:

Drazen Petrovic– By the time Petrovic entered the NBA at the young age of 25 he was already an established European legend, adored by his country of Croatia. Petrovic entered the NBA three years after the Portland Trailblazers drafted him in the third round of the 1986 NBA draft.
Petrovic doing what he did best Scoring!
He proved fruitful in his rookie year as a competent back-up for Hall of Famer Clyde Drexler when the Trailblazers reached the 1990 NBA finals before losing to the Detroit Pistons. During mid-season of his second year, Petrovic was traded to the New Jersey Nets but received ample playing time to finally show his skills. The results where electric as Petrovic took a young, inexperienced New Jersey team to the play-offs after a five year drought reaching the postseason. The following year proved to be Petrovic’s greatest season in the NBA when his numbers were the best and respect of his ability were seen with his All-NBA 3rd Team selection. Unfortunately that season was his last as a Petrovic was killed in a car accident while in Germany. In 2002 he was enshrined into the Basketball Hall of Fame.

Mark Eaton - Despite his height, Eaton never took to basketball in his youth. Instead, the 6-11 senior loved playing trumpet and water polo. Much of this lack of interest had to do with his limited success due to poor strength and coordination. After sitting the bench in high school Eaton enrolled in automotive school to become a mechanic. But his chance meeting with an assistant coach at Cypress Community College proved fruitful. After dedicating himself to getting in shape and improving his skills, UCLA became intrigued with Eaton’s 7-foot-2 frame and offered him a scholarship. UCLA head coach Larry Brown inherited the philosophy of taking chances on center projects from his mentor and former coach, North Carolina’s Dean Smith. But Larry Brown left the program after Eaton’s junior season, moving on to coach the New Jersey Nets. Brown’s replacement, Larry Farmer, did not agree with the vision for Eaton. His minutes per game were literally cut in half (8.1 MPG to 4.1 MPG), which clearly affected his confidence. Coach Farmer didn’t even take Eaton with the team for UCLA’s last road trip, choosing freshmen instead. But fate again would shape Eaton’s future as Utah Jazz’s head coach Frank Layden drafted him in the fourth round amongst many stares by NBA observers. Faith in the now 7-foot-4, 300-pound center would prove genius as Eaton became a one time all-star and two time NBA defensive player of the year. Eaton remains the NBA’s number five leader in career block shots.

1976 - 1980 3rd-4th Round Rundown

TDR keeps it rolling with another 5-year release of 3rd & 4th round draft profiles: 1976-1980

1976-1980 Main Highlights:

Bill Laimbeer – You may currently know him now as the fun-loving, former head coach of the WNBL’s Detroit Shock, but Laimbeer was also a feared enforcer on the Detroit Piston championship teams of 1989 and 1990.
Bill Laimbeer Boxing Out!
The four time all star was a huge steal in the third round and a key member of the Piston's “Bad Boys” along with teammates Mark Aguirre, Rick Mahorn and Dennis Rodman. His physical play often made him a target of opposing fans and players, but Laimbeer also brought a great deal of rebounding, perimeter shooting and toughness. Perhaps what made him hard to reconize was that Notre Dame had a philosophy about spreading the minutes and playing a half court offense. Digger Phelps was the head coach at time. He is often cited by Laimbeer himself as someone “he didn’t see eye to eye with”. You have to wonder if the Laimbeer-Phelps rocky relationship created inconsistency in Laimbeer’s playing time.

Michael Cooper - Cooper never made an all star team, but he left a tremendous legacy in the NBA. Only a handful of defensive players have been more feared. His wiry 6-foot-5 frame made him capable of guarding three different positions (PG, SG and SF). As a key member on five championship Lakers teams’, Cooper’s contributions on the defensive side were widely recognized by the league as witnessed by his five, first team all-defense selections. In his pre-NBA days Cooper was not known for defense, but rather his athletic finishing ability and scoring prowess. It was unbeknownst to the Lakers at the time, but this 60th pick in the third round became one of the best perimeter defenders of all time.

Eddie Johnson - Fast Eddie, as he was called, was a lighting quick guard capable of slashing into traffic with ease. While at Auburn, Johnson’s erratic play and poor attitude often led to inconsistent performances. This definitely affected his draft stock and caused him to drop down to the 49th pick in the third round. As a two time all-star in his first five years in the NBA, Johnson’s career appeared to be on its way up. But Johnson was not only fast on the court. A cocaine addiction was quick to rob him of his mental faculties and talent. By the time he was out of the league he moved up to selling and smoking crack, as well as burglary, battery, robbery and various drug charges. Fast Eddie was just recently sentenced to life in jail for raping an 8-year old girl. His misdeeds appear to be self inflicted. All background checks point to a hard working family and, if his brother, former 10 year pro Frank Johnson, is any indication, it doesn’t lack class or pride. Fast Eddie still has another rape case pending at this time involving a 25 year old woman.

Nick Galis - But who is Nick Galis? If you're about to access your mental library in attempt to recall his the NBA career, I'll spare you the reference check. Galis didn’t play a minute in the league, but he is counted among the notables due to his legendary play in Greece. Galis is to Greece what Sabonis is to Lithuania and what Jordan is to America - the best player ever. He was born in New Jersey to Greek parents, but he was not an overnight prodigy. Galis developed through countless hours of practice. As a senior at Seton Hall he finished third in scoring in the nation, and is considered one of the school's best players. Yet despite his talent, Galis signed with an inexperienced agent who didn’t even have the player workout for any NBA teams. Given the opportunity for workouts, he more than likely would have seen late-first to mid-second round. After being selected by the Celtics, Galis was injured in training camp and limited him for two weeks. Celtics' GM Red Auerbach decided to cut Galis which opened up the opportunity for him to play overseas. The next 14 seasons were spent carving out a tremendous career highlighted by 5 Greek MVP awards, 8 Greek League Championships and 2 medals as a member of the Greek National team. Lastly, one has to take the word of the late Red Auerbach, one the best ever evaluators of talent in the business of basketball. He mentioned cutting Galis as one of his biggest mistakes.

James Donaldson - At the time, Donaldson looked like nothing more than your average big man. Like all NBA teams, the Seattle Supersonics looked long and hard for quality centers. Donaldson was still raw, so the team told the unpolished specimen to go overseas for a year and develop. Donaldson secured a spot on the team one year later, and over the next few years became a dependable rebounder and athletic force around the basket. His rise was culminated in 1988 when he was named to his first and only NBA ALL-star team. Donaldson's career started to slow down due after debilitating injuries forced him out of the league at the age of 37. After basketball, Donaldson became an owner and director of the Donaldson Clinic, which specializes in fitness and physical therapy. Just recently Donaldson ran for Mayor in the city of Seattle, but came in fourth on a non-partisan ticket.

Pat Cummings - Noted for his great shooting touch, Cummings had a very productive pro career - 12 seasons in the NBA before retiring in 1991. Cummings was drafted in 1978 by the Milwaukee Bucks as a junior eligible draftee (this was due to the fact that the talented power forward broke his leg in his junior season and had to sit out a year), but Cummings immediately returned to college for his final season. As a pro, nagging leg injuries quickly reduced Cummings effectiveness on the court, but for a span of five years he was one of the league’s most dependable starters.

1976-1980 Research Problems:

Jim Cooper - I didn’t find Cooper until the ninth hour. He is listed wrong on every draft list currently available on the internet. Whomever first copied the list for internet availability copied it wrong, and through further copying by other draft sites, that error became fact. Until now. Yet even the University of Alabama media guide claims Cooper as a draftee of their school! Needless to say, Cooper is a product of Alabama State who, like everyone other school, had no idea who he was. His freshman year and senior year numbers have yet to be uncovered. Thankfully, Cooper’s due at his school can now be recognized.

Ricardo Brown - He was a mystery man until I was able to track down his sophomore year at Yavapai Junior college. Before that, Brown started his career at Centenary where he played his freshman year with first round draftee Robert Parish. Unfortunately, Centenary has no reference to Brown playing, as he isn’t even listed as a letterman in the school’s media guide.

Larry Rogers - He was drafted out of the U.S. Army, but the NBA erroneously listed him at SE Missouri State. Rogers did spend his freshman year at the school, but his academics soon forced him out. Rogers spent the next three years in the Army, but it is unknown if he played the AAU team his first two years. It is fact, however, that he played AAU for the Army during what would be the 1978-79 season. Needless to say, his stats are extremely limited.

Richie Allen - Allen moved around more than a “Hip-Hop ABS” workout. Four years at four different schools made him incredibly hard to track down. His stats during his two seasons at junior colleges Santa Barbara and Ambassador have yet to be found. His senior year season at Dominguez Hills are scattered and limited.

Roy Smith - Smith started his career at the HCBU, Lincoln University of Missouri, but it appears that some time in his freshman year he transferred to Kentucky State. I have yet to uncover the information listing his Lincoln stats, but every indication that I have received from former players is that Smith played 8-10 games at the school. Unfortunately, what he averaged has yet to be found.

There is more great stuff coming out of my historical vault. Dig into this latest release as I move on to make ready the 3rd and 4th round draft picks, 1976 through 1980.

Matthew Maurer
Ivan Renko Awards

...but who the hell is Ivan Renko?

Once upon a time back in 1993, a 6-foot-8, 230 pound power forward from Yugoslavia (Serbia) entered the recruiting world off the lips of Indiana’s head coach Bobby Knight. Knight brought media attention to the player claiming that he committed to play for Indiana.

Knight's story was that while attending a coach's clinic in Europe, he was made aware of the player. His account of Renko's living conditions in the war torn country created a high buzz. But what happened next is one of the greatest April Fools jokes of in all of sports. Various experts responded by ranking Renko and publishing scouting reports. One even proclaimed him to be a white Larry Johnson, which today is like saying he's the next Kevin Durant. Another expert claimed to spot the strapping power forward on Indiana’s campus. But how could this be when Knight made the whole thing up?

Renko is imaginary. He never existed. Knight concocted him to expose the so-called recruiting experts he doubted were providing real scouting information.

This is the backdrop to the Ivan Renko Awards. It's given to the players who seemingly appeared out of nowhere with tremendous hype and acclaim through various media outlets. But like every award, there are stipulations.
  • Player must be drafted or declared for the draft.
  • Player must have some pre-draft hype or be a huge surprise pick.
  • Player must be a lemon in Renko fashion.
The draft nerd (that's me) lists the following Renko Awards from 2000 onward, with 2010 to be determined:

2000: Schea Cotton – Introduced to the world as a 10th grader through a full feature in Sports Illustrated. This would-be LeBron James of the 90’s found himself in decline when his manly physique and skills began to peak, as his peers caught up. Cotton was once projected as a potential NBA all-star, but never made it to the league.

2001: Kedrick Brown – Brown is the highest a juco player has gone and may be the reason along with Alek Radojevic why no other Juco players have been taken as high.

2002: Peter Fehse – The Seattle Supersonics admitted they didn’t even scout him. One would think an NBA draftee would have a productive career overseas, but Fehse has been anything but a star on any level, except the third division Germany league he was drafted from.

2003: Maciej Lampe – He was part of the international craze that saw 20 players drafted from international leagues. Lampe is a great player overseas, but lacks athleticism and all around skills. He is smart and fundamentally sound player for an overseas career player, but what NBA team drafted him for that?

2004: Ivan Chiriaev – Anytime a Canadian high school player heads for the pros, a scout's eyes will be watching. This relocated Russian bombed in the Canada all-star game and made no friends with his infamous interview line while announcing his candidacy for the NBA draft., “The NBA wants and needs Ivan Chiriaev.” He has yet to play in the NBA and his overseas career is extremely suspect.

2005: Orien Greene - What do you do when you're not getting playing time for a great team in a tough conference? You apparently transfer to a lower division and create a niche for yourself. At 6-4, Greene’s specialty was his self-proclaimed point guard status. With the love of a few media outlets, the Boston Celtics bit. But it turns out they ordered up the wrong meal. A greasy hamburger of a player can't be transformed into a juicy steak.

2006: Ejike Ugboaja "Who in the world!" basically sums up my thoughts on draft night. I obtained his profile stats through some detective work. He has yet to play in the NBA and I doubt he ever will.

2007: Milovan Rakovic – I had the opportunity to see this guy play several times, and each time I came away with the thought that Rakovic is a career overseas player who will play in a decent league, but not with a premier overseas team. Who is his genius agent? He's definitely earned more than his standard commission. Give that man double.

2008: John Riek – While not an unknown on the prep level nationally, few had heard of him. First, everyone thought he was just a sophomore. Second, he only played a handful of games after spending his initial time in the Sudan. Then suddenly, a few (suspect) legal documents surfaced to claim Riek was a post graduate 19-year old. The more answers that were given, the more questions arose; from his real age to how good of a player can he really be.

2009: Taylor Griffin – No offense, but no one on draft night (except maybe his brother, Blake, and their parents) felt that both brothers would be drafted. It smells like an Agent favor, but thanks to his brother, Taylor had one of the best sports agencies backing him up.

Congratulations to the Ivan Renko clones. So who's next? As if there won't be one for 2010? Someone is going to take a dud for no good reason. TDR will be here with draft day giggles to hand out the Award.
Small School Love For the 2010 NBA Draft

If there is anything that stands out this year in college basketball, it's the small school players who will have an impact on the 2010 NBA draft. Overall, this year's draft class does not appear to be that deep or that talented, and judging from the mocks draft around web, including NBAdraft.net and yours truly here at TDR, it seems this year's class has at least five to ten players projected who wouldn't see the light of day in a normal, stronger year.

Or is this year's small school class exceptional? Afterall, we're not just talking about one standout, like a Lester Hudson, but at least five thus far who have been visited by NBA scouts.

Top Small School Prospects

  1. Keith Benson - Oakland - C
  2. Charles Garcia - Seattle -SF/PF
  3. Artsiom Parakhouski - Radford - C
  4. Edwin Ubiles - Siena - SG
  5. Kevin Palmer - Texas A&M Corpus Christi - SG

Parahouski (left) & Benson (right) NBA prospects look bright.
There's no doubt this surge in small school prospects has much to do with the fact that two of the five happen to fill one of the hardest spots in the league, the Center position. Benson and Parakhouski both have their share of fans among scouts. In particular, Benson clearly has a nice upside and a still developing frame with a good grasp on fundamentals. On the other hand, Parakhouski is a virtual opposite with his big frame and less fluidity than Benson, the much more finished product.

Gauging these players from a historical draft perspective, Benson has the potential to go as high as another small school product, Jeff Foster, who was drafted 21st overall out of Southwest Texas State (now known as Texas State) in the 1999 NBA draft. As for Parakhouski, I feel Dan McClintock, drafted 53rd overall out of Northern Iowa in the 2000 NBA draft, is a good representation. In the case of Parakhouski I wouldn't be shocked if he goes in the early part of the draft.

Rounding out the remaining Top 5 are perimeter players, with the exception of Charles Garcia who is at the college level a combo forward. To put it mildly Garcia is enjoying the newly reintroduced Division I program. University of Seattle has a very rich basketball history and is no stranger to the NBA draft, boasting six former players drafted in the first and second rounds. Yet the hype on Garcia has been tremendous and, in my opinion, bit too exuberant.

It's not to say this hype is faithless. There is definitely some girth to the press Garcia has received, but a top twenty draft pick? I don't know about that. From a historical perspective Garcia reminds me of Jerome Beasley, who was drafted 33rd overall out of North Dakota in the 2003 NBA draft.

Rounding out the bottom are Edwin Ubiles of Siena and Kevin Palmer of Texas A&M Corpus Christi. Both players must continue to build on their senior seasons and have a good showing at the Portsmouth Invitational tournament, but this is not a knock on either player. More than ever, draft night of 2010 will be greatly impacted by what goes on at the pre-draft camps.

1971 - 1975 3rd-4th Round Rundown

TDR keeps it rolling with another 5-year release of 3rd & 4th round draft profiles: 1971-1975

1971-1975 Main Highlights:

George Gervin - This future hall of famer was an afterthought coming out of Eastern Michigan, but it wasn’t because of his talent. When Gervin was selected by the Phoenix Suns he had already been playing two years for the NBA’s rival, the ABA. At the time early entry was new and much different than today. It was labeled “going hardship”, and the player was required to prove the existence of financial distress beyond their control
George "Iceman" Gervin
which forced them to become professional. Depending on the situation the NCAA would give their blessing or deny the player.

Gervin dropped out of college and was drafted by the rouge ABA. This organization broke barriers. The ABA drafted players out of high school (Moses Malone), played banned NBA players (Connie Hawkins) and drafted underclassmen out of college, regardless if they declared or not.

Gervin spent four years in the ABA and earned three all star appearances. He demonstrated amazing showmanship that endeared him to many fans. Even though the NBA drafted him two years after he left college for the ABA, the Phoenix Suns never had a chance to sign Gervin. The San Antonio Spurs entered the NBA through the merger with the Iceman on their roster. Gervin went on to enjoy a Hall of Fame career and become one of the game’s greatest scorers, earning nine NBA all-star appearances.

Clifford Ray - His name may escape the lips of so-called NBA historians, but just ask anyone who played during his time. Clifford Ray is one of the best interior defenders to play the game. He was a fiercely tough competitor whom teammates and coaches loved. Ray is one of those players whose ability was hard to measure. His former Chicago Bulls team traded him to Golden State for Nate Thurmond and some cash. Many observers of the 1975 Golden State team will agree that, despite superstar players Rick Barry and Jamaal Wilkes, the Championship would not have been secure without Clifford Ray. He was a rebounder and intimidator who would block shots, dive on the floor, and do whatever it took to walk away with the win. Ray never made an all-star team, but was an excellent player and an absolute steal in the third round. He can now be found on the sidelines for the Boston Celtics where he is an assistant coach.

Don Buse - Buse is a widely respected player armed with great fundamentals and is one of purest jump shooters of the early 1970’s, yet defense is where he made his claim as a four-time NBA defensive first teamer. Although Buse made only one all-star game, much of this had to do with his unflashy style of play and “team first attitude”. He was never a big scorer, often allowing his teammates to shine despite his prowess as a perimeter shooter. After a solid 13-year playing career Buse took some time as an assistant coach with the Sacramento Kings before a drug problem with cocaine forced him out. Buse enjoys an avid hobby as a horse owner and has been seen at several events.

Kevin Porter - He is arguably the best player ever at 39th pick overall, rivaled only by Al Attles. Porter was a tremendous passer with solid defensive skills, but is “me first” attitude stifled his talent. He is known as a selfish assist man, forcing passes, and a gambler on defense, which often put him at odds with coaches. Yet he is one of the quickest guards to ever play the game and was an extremely productive player as he led the NBA in assists on four different occasions. An ACL injury in Porter's fourth season caused him long term problems throughout his career. Before the advancement of ACL surgeries, this type of injury would spell the end of an athlete. Luckily, Porter was able to maintain a career, but most often with problems due to fluid buildup and swelling. Some claim he wasn’t as quick as he was before the injury. Following his retirement from the NBA Porter went on to coach at Jensen Academy, an elementary school in Chicago.

Larry Kenon - Special K, as he was known, was just as his name implied - Special. Kenon was one of the first big, small forwards capable of dominating with his rebounding and athleticism. Bob McAdoo and Kenon changed in some ways the mindset of college basketball. As junior college players they made immediate impacts to their respected college teams. Most junior college players where looked at negatively by colleges, but that is not to say colleges weren’t recruiting JUCO players. Schools like San Francisco and Kentucky had a few good complementary players with junior college ties to their programs.

McAdoo and Kenon were centerpieces on their respected teams. Kenon only played one season at Memphis, but took the team to the 1973 NCAA championship game where they lost to UCLA, who had Bill Walton and a host of other future pros. Kenon left school early and joined the upstart ABA basketball league where he was a three time all-star. After the ABA merger with the NBA the all-star appearances didn’t stop as Kenon saw two more berths on two NBA all-star teams in the late 1970's with the San Antonio Spurs. Larry converted to the Muslim faith after his playing career was over and now goes by the name Muhsin Kenon. He considered by this historian to be the greatest ever at 50th pick overall in the NBA draft and one of the NBA’s most underrated players.

Mickey Johnson - Coming out of tiny Aurora College, Johnson was a 12-year pro and starter for at least half of those years. As 56th pick overall, Johnson was not only an obvious steal, but clearly the best ever at that draft spot. His closest challenger is Chris Carr, the 6 year role player that played admirably in the NBA, yet is still far from the level of Johnson.

Johnson’s all-around skills made him a versatile player. Despite his height at 6-9, he primarily played the small forward position at a time when it was a rarity. This often frustrated coaches, who considered Johnson soft and unable to play consistent. In turn, Johnson dealt his coaches a smug attitude as he often played out of position at the power forward spot. Regardless of this, Johnson was a tremendous player who managed to outlast 12 of 18 first round draft picks from the 1974 NBA draft.

1971-1975 Research Problems:

Gerald Lockett - Lockett’s freshman year is a mystery. It is undetermined whether he attended Arkansas Pine Bluff in his first year, or a Junior College. But what may be worse is the fact that Pine Bluff had no clue that Lockett even played for them in his remaining years. Thankfully, his numbers were mostly salvaged due to a private collector.

George Adams - Few stats, if any, during Gardner Webb’s early years as a Division One college are available or able to be found. Adams attended the school when it was a Junior College and stayed with the program during its progression. All stats released on his profile have been pieced together with odds and ends through various sources. Field goal percentage and free throw percentage are almost non-existent.

Joe Reaves - He had one of the most difficult stats to obtain during my 3rd and 4th round research. The school was able to supply Reaves’ career numbers, but for the most part could not provide much else. Thus, Reaves’ stats have a good deal of holes in multiple areas.

Lerman Battle - Battle’s school (Fairmont State) also struggled to provide me with anything but his career numbers. Like most on this list his overall numbers aren’t as spotty as Reaves’, but still missing a good bit of data. Again, most of the information was pieced together from various sources.

There is more great stuff coming out of my historical vault. Dig into this latest release as I move on to make ready the 3rd and 4th round draft picks, 1976 through 1980.

Matthew Maurer
When Common Sense Fails: Jay Bilas

Our good 'ole buddy Jay Bilas recently did an interview on azcentral.com. It's a pretty decent barring the absurdities that spewed from Bilas in one section of the interview:

azcentral.com: "Given his past, was hiring Calipari a risk?"

Jay Bilas: "Well, I don't really look at it that way. John Calipari never had an NCAA issue. People say, 'Well, he's had two banners vacated.' Over what? UMass had the 1996 Final Four banner vacated over a kid taking a kid money from an agent. How's a coach going to stop that? He can't control that, and it's ludicrous for people to suggest that he can. The other thing, with Derrick Rose, Rose was considered ineligible, and Memphis is supposed to catch that when the clearinghouse and the testing authority didn't raise an issue until the weekend of the Final Four? What are they going to do? I don't know of any school, anywhere, that would've held a player out with that kind of flimsy evidence."

John Calipari

To say that Calipari never had an NCAA issue or didn't know what was going on in his program is like saying Microsoft didn't know about the dreaded Xbox 360 Ring of Death, but the real kicker is Bilas more or less claiming that Kentucky has nothing to worry about. This is the same Kentucky program that has been at the center of NCAA sanctions no less than five times in its rich history. Don't worry about that?

Calipari is the only man ever to roam the earth that had two Final Four banners confiscated. He even beat out the Godfather of NCAA scrutiny, Jerry Tarkanian.

But don't worry. Calipari's relationship with the highly influential street agent World Wide Wes isn't a problem. They only trades cooking recipes, not recruits. Surely the NCAA won't look at that. Memphis lost 38 victories, a runner-up trophy, their Final Four appearance, banners, and a few million dollars, but don't you sweat it, Kentucky. You, too, can have a vacated Final Four just like Memphis and UMass.

The sweetest thing about Coach Calipari is when the heat is on he possesses an awesome willingness to fully cooperate with the NCAA, because he knows nothing, did nothing wrong, and will leave for another job that pays more.

In 1996 Calipari left UMass for the New Jersey Nets to the tune of 16 Million, and now after the Memphis bomb it's on to Kentucky for 34 million. It's the most wonderful state of ignorance by a person that I have seen since former Enron official Ken Lay defrauded millions.

And I get it, Kentucky fans. No one can technically say Calipari did wrong, but it's real shady in here. As the old saying goes, "Where there's smoke, there's fire". Calipari didn't start the fire, but he smells like smoke and it's enough to make anyone with casual intelligence cough up a lung from the fumes.

Bilas is used to this game, so I really shouldn't be shocked by his remarks. His Duke alma mater was able to keep Corey Maggette around. Maggette got his cash through an AAU coach while still in high school; the funds filtered down from agent donations. His amateur status was deleted, hence, he should not have been able to play for Duke's 1999 Final Four team. Bilas doesn't see the dirt in that either.

With Calipari at Kentucky's helm the school will look like ringers, but the worries won't happen immediately. It should be a fun ride for Kentucky until Calipari jumps ship (and he will according to his history). That's when the skeletons in his closet could choke out the potential accomplishments in Kentucky's future grasp.

The microscope is on now more than ever. For almost the first time in his life, Calipari will be going into the home of recruits also visited by Roy Williams and Mike Krzyzewski. It's a different ball game for Calipari and he won't be able to use the same old bag of tricks. Yes, Jay, Kentucky needs to worry.

1966 - 1970 3rd-4th Round Rundown

TDR keeps it rolling with another 5-year release of 3rd & 4th round draft profiles: 1966-1970

1966-1970 Research Problems:

Ken Wilburn: Like many HBCU picks, Central State didn’t really have any leads or positions to point me regarding Wilburn's career stats. I was glad to recover bit and pieces, but his information is far from complete.

Sam Singleton: Thanks to some digging, I retrieved Singleton's first two years at the University of Omaha (now Nebraska at Omaha), but his final playing season requires additional research to fill in the few gaps that remain. Singleton did not play his final season at Omaha as he was academically ineligible.

Richie Moore: Moore transferred to Hiram Scott after questioning his role with Villanova, but this turned out to be a bad move. His new, liberal college stood only six years before going bankrupt. The shaky beginning and abrupt end to his college career leaves his statistics fragmented, but I was able to obtain the numbers for scoring and games played. Much of the remaining data is missing.

Darryl Jones: I acquired a good portion of Jones' stats with the exception of some holes in his junior numbers.

Rob St. Pierre: To put it mildly, St. Pierre's numbers were about as easy to find as a needle in a hack stack. Hanover College could only provide career numbers. Everything else I have made available came through good old fashion research through various sources.

Billy Jones: Jones is another one of those players whose school just recently found his career numbers, thanks in large part to their new Sports Information Director. Perhaps his remaining numbers can be located, but it may be unlikely. I was able to retrieve his first two years, while his remaining years came through a multitude of sources.

Jimmy Wilson: While a good portion of Cheney's stats were not too challenging to obtain, his first two years at the HCBU are behind a dark veil. It's unconfirmed where he actually spent his first year, but I was able to verify that his sophomore year was indeed spent at Cheney.

Donald Dee: Dee is one of the most unique and uplifting stories in the draft. He was a tremendous player on the fast track to stardom at St. Louis before suffering a devastating knee injury that almost drove him away from the game. Dee later moved away and married his college sweetheart while working full time, but two years later (at the urging of a co-worker) he decided to give basketball one more chance. Dee was far removed from the big roots of St. Louis, so he spent a year at St. Mary of the Plains in Dodge City, Kansas to obtain eligibility and continue knee rehab. Two years later he went on to become an NAIA all-American while earning a spot on the gold winning 1968 Olympic team. Unfortunately, his school closed their doors in 1992. This left much of the his records lost or inaccessible. Dee’s stats are missing data in key spots. Only games played and points per game have been uncovered thus far.


Louie Dampier: Dampier spent nine All-star years in the ABA before ending his career after 3 seasons with the NBA. He makes this list based on being (arguably) the first small guard to utilize the three point shot to become an offensive force. Dampier was a specialist of the highest order in the fashion of Steve Kerr, yet slightly better at passing and ball handing. His shooting was prolific, as evidenced by 199 successful three point shots during the 1968-69 ABA season. This achievement stood unmatched in pro basketball until it was broken 26 years later by John Starks, who hit 217 three-pointers in the 1994-95 NBA season.

John Block: This one time all-star was a solid bench player with great rebounding and defensive abilities. Block was unfortunately dealt the same hand as the talented and constantly moving Jimmy Jackson of the 1990’s. He was often used as trade bait to sweeten deals between NBA teams.

Archie Clark: Clark was discovered by an assistant coach at the University of Minnesota, but was older than most rookies due to his time in the Army. His scoring ability made him a hot commodity in the newly forming ABA with several contract offers for his services. Clark went on to become a two time all-star and, unlike many African American players just a decade ago that were just happy to play in the NBA, this generation helped usher in a new bargaining position financially.

Norm Van Lier: Van Lier was a three-time NBA all-star known for his dominant perimeter defense. The original "Stormin Norman" teamed up with future Hall of Fame coach Jerry Sloan to form one of the NBA's best defensive backcourts of the mid 60’s through the mid 70’s. Sadly, this tough-nosed defensive point guard recently died in February 2009 at the age of 61 from an apparent heart attack.

Bobby Dandridge: Dandridge was a mere side note on draft night, but went on to be regarded as one of the finest forwards of the 1970’s. This four time NBA all-star won two NBA championship titles with the 1971 Milwaukee Bucks and 1978 Washington Bullets. Dandridge’s defensive ability and fundamentally sound game made him a versatile threat capable of a multitude of functions on the court. He is clearly one of the biggest steals in NBA draft history.

Greg Smith: Smith was a starter on the 1971 Milwaukee Bucks championship team and spent the majority of his career as a contributor off the bench, but he faced quite a bit of adversity before making the NBA. After Smith's junior year his brother, Dwight Smith, was drafted by the NBA. Western Kentucky University held a banquet to honor both brothers’ on-court accomplishments, but the evening ended in tragedy. On the car ride home, Greg hit a large pool of water on the road and began to hydroplane. The car flipped into a deep ditch filled with several feet of water. His brother and sister also occupied the the car, but did not survive. This left Greg with despair and guilt.

There is more great stuff out my historical vault. Dig into this latest release as I move on to make ready the 3rd and 4th round draft picks from 1971 through 1975.

Enjoy! Matthew Maurer

Honorable Draftee: The Case for Ed Warner

The Case for Ed Warner

He became one of the most prestigious collegiate players of the early 1950s, yet Ed Warner not only tarnished his legacy, but also destroyed his chance at a professional career in the same manner as his friend and fellow honorable draftee, Sherman White. Warner played a huge part in leading CCNY to both the NIT and NCAA championships in 1950. To date it is the only school to accomplish this feat and will probably remain so unless the current scheduling and popularity of the NIT changes.

Despite his 6-3 stature and lack of explosive leaping ability, he was blessed with a quick step, body control, and toughness that few could match. Warner was also the blueprint for hundreds of young African American ball players on the east coast who sought to pattern their game after him. As a sophomore in 1950 he earned the (formerly) prestigious MVP award in the NIT. Warner was on track as a first round draft pick with most NBA teams rumored to be eyeing his talents, including the Celtics.

The Problem

From the minute Warner entered college scene there were questions surrounding his transcripts. Despite graduating 827th out of 927 students at DeWitt Clinton High School in the Bronx, he gained admission into CCNY despite their high academic standards. Warner's admission raised a few eyebrows, but no one publicly challenged the legitimacy of CCNY’s respected head coach Nate Holman’s program.

1961 - 1965 3rd-4th Rounds Rundown

1961-1965 Problems:

Waite Bellamy: I was able to research several stats for his college career, but Bellamy's overall numbers remain spotty, especially his sophomore season. Bellamy was another small school HBCU pick that made Marty Blake famous. Bellamy never made the NBA, but many believe it had nothing to do with talent and everything to do with the silent and unwritten quota of how many African Americans were able to be on an NBA team at one time.

Connie McGuire: While I was able to obtain his first three seasons at Oklahoma (where he played sparingly), McGuire's transfer to Southeastern Oklahoma left the trail extremely cold. After much digging I was happy to recover his stats in games played and total points for the season.

Charles Hardnett: It was difficult, but I acquired Hadnett's complete stats for his last two years at Grambling. Through additional research I obtained rebounds, points, and games played for his Freshman and Sophomore seasons. Marty Blake is also responsible for this HBCU pick. Blake was still years ahead of many NBA general managers, with the exception of Red Auerbach of the Boston Celtics. Auerbach played chess in the draft while everyone else played checkers.

Porter Meriwether & George Finley: Statistics for these Tennessee State teammates were extremely hard to come by, but this is also quite normal considering most HBCU's and major colleges of this time. Meriwether's career points were easier to obtain than points by year and games played, but his career is mostly bare except for his junior year where I found complete information. Finley is somewhat of a mystery man. I found very little on him and it's a mystery as to why he isn't listed on the roster for his first two years. I gained his senior season totals, but anything prior remains to be uncovered.

Reggie Harding: Not many young NBA fans know of Reggie Harding, but he (not Moses Malone) was the first modern player to enter the league out of high school. Despite his youth, the Pistons decided to put this raw player in the Midwest Professional Basketball league. He played one season for two different teams, but with limited time due to attitude problems with coaches. Unfortunately, the numbers from that league are spotty at best. The NBA may be grateful for the low level news reporting of the 1960's. In today's time, Harding would be a public relations nightmare. Everything about Harding was shady. His friends were drug dealers, gamblers and hustlers. He was a heroin & cocaine addict with periods of bizarre behavior, and he often disappeared hours at a time before showing up late for games with a glazed look. Harding was later murdered in Detroit. It is suspected that he owed money to drug dealers.


Bill Bridges: Despite his 6-foot-6 frame, Bridges was a dominant rebounder and defender during his thirteen years in the NBA. He was a three time all-star with a career average of a double-double in points and rebounds, but his physical style of play often led to a great deal of fouls. Bridges ended his career with a championship in his final season with the 1975 Golden State Warriors.

Jon McGlocklin: McGlocklin became the first player, along with teammate Flynn Robinson, to represent the Bucks in the NBA all-star game, but the team remained a below average until Kareem Abdul-Jabbar arrived. Abdul-Jabbar's superstar presence drew double teams consistently, which helped to augment McGlocklin's standout shooting ability. In 1971 McGlocklin was a starter for the Bucks one and only championship team.

Bob Love: Love is one of the NBA's smoothest performers, but is often forgotten in Chicago Bulls' history because of the player who followed. The Jordan era may leave Love's name off the tongue of casual fans, but to hardcore fans he remains one of the 1970's most fluid ballplayers. The three time all-star was a mere after thought when the Cincinnati Royals selected him in the 4th round of the 1965 NBA Draft. After bouncing around to NBA teams Cincinnati and Milwaukee, Love was traded to Chicago for a fresh start on a team with a new coach, Dick Motta. Throughout Motta's coaching career he ran his teams with a forward-oriented offensive philosophy, meaning forwards are to get the ball first on offense. This gave Love plenty of opportunities to impress with his silky shooting. After his playing days were over he conquered a long time problem with severe stuttering and can now be seen at numerous speaking venues.

High Tier Role Players: Third and Fourth Round role players selected during this period were spectacular. Don Nelson, Keith Erickson, Barry Clemens, Bob Weiss, Tony Kimball, Jim Davis, Happy Hairston, McCoy McLemore, Wali Jones and Chico Vaughn all played an average of 670 career games in the NBA. The ABA protesters may argue that Vaughn should be left off the list because he played a few seasons with the ABA's Pittsburgh Pipers, but those purists must not forget that Vaughn's 327 NBA career games included him averaging a little over 20 minutes per game. He's definitely a role player, and he may have stayed in the league had the ABA never surfaced.

This is more great stuff out my historical vault. Enjoy these newest profiles and watch for the next release of 3rd and 4th round draft picks (1966-1970).

Enjoy! Matthew Maurer

Site Update: Early Entry
The Early Entry lists from 2005-2009 have been updated with profiles of undrafted players filled with favorites such as D'Mond Grismore, Caner Oner, Ronald Ogoke to name few.
1956-1960 3rd-4th Rounds Rundown

1956-1960 Problems:

Jim Spivey: Jim Spivey is no relation to former Kentucky great Bill Spivey, but he was a tremendous player for Southeastern Oklahoma. That college name may ring a bell thanks to alumnus and rebound king, Dennis Rodman. The school only has record of Spivey's total career points. There is no breakdown, but I was still able gather his scoring and games played through additional research. Yet to be obtained are his remaining college statistics.

Small School Gems: To some degree, Raeford Wells, Ed Kazakavich, Ken Remley, Charles Sharp, and Dan Swartz have various holes in their college stats. If you feel there are any errors in the numbers, please contact me, stating the correction and your source of reference. Unfortunately the stats were built from the ground up and had no singular source, but are a collection of various sources.


Wayne Embry: Hall of Famer Wayne Embry (as a contributor, not a player) was a five time All-Star. As an African American he had several great ccomplishments: Embry was one of the first in all of professional sports to hold a front office position, the very first to be named NBA General Manager, and in 1994, he became the NBA's first black team president (as part of the Cleveland Cavaliers).

Quality Role Players: Role players during this time period were not tremendous as a whole, yet greatly improved over previous years with key players like Dave Piontek, Bucky Bockhorn, and Paul Neumann. This can be attributed to the death of the NIBL (National Industrial Basketball League) and ABL (American Basketball League). Both leagues were unable to compete financially as the NBA rose to prominence and became more attractive to players who might otherwise have gone elsewhere just five years prior.

I'm glad to bring this latest source of draft history out of my vault. Up next will be the release of 3rd and 4th round picks from 1961-1965.

Enjoy! Matthew Maurer

1950-1955 3rd-4th Rounds Rundown

This week begins the roll out of 3rd and 4th round profiles starting with players from the 1950-1955 drafts. At this time access is available from the draft board only.

Because of the large amount of new profiles in the database and the amount of input work involved, it will take more time for the latest profiles to be accessible from "By State", "By College", "By Last Name", "By Position" and "By NBA Teams". My goal is to have that available by winter.

During this time I will spotlight key players and speak a little about the research that still has a few holes in it. Maybe the great basketball minds that come to the site will be gracious enough to fill in those blanks.

The later draft rounds can be accessed from the top of each draft board as highlighted below.


1950-1955 Problems:

Stan Christie: I am certain my information is correct, but I need some clarification as to whether he was in the Armed Forces. Because of the fact that he was eligible for the draft despite his junior class status, it leads me to believe he spent time elsewhere (after high school) before attending Southern California.

Charles Marazovich & Paul Hicks: Both are Eastern Kentucky alumni and their first two years of stats have been very hard to find. I was extremely lucky to have the 1949 and 1950 scorebooks, but do not possess the 1947 or 1948 season stats.

1952 & 1953 NBA Draft Order: During this time the NBA was at war with the NIBL (National Industrial Basketball League) and concerned about showing their draft order for fear that the NIBL would have a window into what players they valued and desired. The only team that consistently recorded their order during this time period were the Boston Celtics, which probably had much to do with the Godfather of basketball statistics, Bill Mokray, who was in their employ. Mokray was a great mind with a desire to organize and record anything that had to do with basketball, which was uncommon in those days.


Bud Grant: The pro football Hall of Famer was actually a solid basketball player who spent two seasons playing for his local pro team, the Minneapolis Lakers. Grant left after his second season to pursue a professional football career where he became an excellent Head football coach for the Minnesota Vikings, leading the team to one NFL Championship and four Super Bowl Appearances.

NIBL: The National Industrial Basketball League proved the NBA was justified in their practice of hiding draft orders in 1952 and 1953. Notable players like Howie Williams, Ron Bontemps, Burdette Haldorson, B.H. Born, Dick Boushka, Walt Walowac passed on the NBA for the financial security of various Industrial Clubs. This was a dangerous time for the NBA due to the college basketball scandal that made the talent level scarce and robbed the sport of Sherman White, Jim Spivey and Gene Melchiorre. The NIBL remained a thorn in the NBA’s side for a few more years until they slowly gained financial strength and overtook the NIBL in acquiring superstar talent.

It's Coming Soon! 3rd and 4th Round Draft Picks
By Matthew Maurer

It's been a long road more than two years in the making, but the wait is almost over. It's time to get excited about draft history all over again!

In just a few short weeks you will have access to an additional 1,100 player profiles that can only be found on The Draft Review as I present each and every 3rd and 4th round draft selection dating back to 1950. This comes complete with photos, vitals, and game statistics, plus feature stories on select players that you won't hear about anywhere else.

But the work doesn't stop there. I'm moving on to the 5th and 6th rounds and will continue my work until all players in each of the 21 rounds is made available to you. Much like the work involved with rounds three and four, my ongoing efforts to expand historical references beyond what others have made available takes time, money, diligence, and a ton of coffee!

I'm dedicated to producing the most exhaustive NBA draft history resource that cannot be matched and also look forward to sharing players' personal stories - the tragic, the heartwarming, and the celebratory.

Thanks for being a fan of The Draft Review. Stick around for the ride because there's more to come!


Republish Seven Deadly Sins of the NBA Draft - Sin #7

Sin #7: Politics and Pedigree

Like most things in life the NBA draft does not come without politics, which can sometimes be the driving force behind draft selections that don't add up. And when it comes to a player's pedigree, politics almost always seems to be in the mix. Pedigree is generally defined as "a known line of descent". In the basketball world pedigree can translate into the college a player attended, his past accomplishments in high school, or who his parents are. Unfortunately, pedigree appears to boost certain players on draft night and contributes to quality players being selected lower on the board or left totally undrafted.


Republish: Seven Deadly Sins of the NBA Draft - Sin #6

Sin #6: USA vs. The World
Every draft usually has a solid core group of international players that are legit NBA prospects, but far too many times rationale gets thrown out the window, imprudence arises, and good U.S. prospects are overlooked in the name of foreign fanaticism. I'm not putting all foreign prospects into one basket to imply that they don't measure up, but it seems as if the common theory at some point in the draft is to sacrifice an American for an international player who is tall with moderate fundamentals.

Take into account Peter Fehse, who the Seattle Supersonics virtually took sight unseen in the 2002 NBA draft. Sure, the youngster has above average ball handling and shooting ability, but Dirk Nowitzki he’s not. Fehse played in Germany's third division, which is terrible.

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