Written by Matt Bertrand

There have been few players generating more buzz around TDR the past few months than Lester Hudson.

lhudson The Draft Review - The Draft Review
I would have to assume that this is due to his fascinating story; as well as the extraordinary numbers that he put up this season, his first playing Division I college basketball. The assuredness of most readers that Hudson will make an outstanding pro kindled my interest. In TDR's April 17th interview with Hudson, he also showed little reservation that he will succeed mightily in the NBA. This lead me to wonder exactly how successful high-scoring, mid-major college guards have been in the NBA historically.

To accomplish this I compiled a list of players who met the following criteria:

• 6’0” to 6’5”
• 22.0 PPG or more in a full season of college ball, preferably their final season
• Attended a mid-major college
• Most other major statistics shared at least some common ground with Hudson’s numbers.

I searched through players drafted since 1980, as well as undrafted players since approximately 1995, and compiled the following list:

Player

Draft
Position
NBA
Games

Player

Draft
Position
NBA
Games
Antonio Daniels

4

793*

Keith Smith

45

42

Quintin Dailey

7

528

Scott Haffner

45

50

Andrew Toney

8

468

Marcus Brown

46

27

Bo Kimble

8

105

Ricky Minard

49

0

Leon Wood

10

278

Von McDade

53

0

Lindsey Hunter

10

896

Luis Flores

55

16

Rodney Stuckey

15

57

Charles Jones

NA

85

Franklin Edwards

17

296

Alvin Young

NA

0

Joe Dumars

18

1018

Ray Minlend

NA

0

Steve Burtt Sr.

30

101

Henry Domercant

NA

0

Jeff Martin

31

143

Mire Chatman

NA

0

Alphonso Ford

32

11

Mike Helms

NA

0

Myron Brown

34

4

Andre Collins

NA

0

Shawn Harvey

34

0

Brion Rush

NA

0

A.J. English

37

151

Stever Burtt Jr.

NA

0

Frankie King

37

13

Gary Neal

NA

0

Steve Rogers

40

0

Kenny Sykes

NA

0

"Flip" Murray

42

332*

Tucker Neale

NA

0

Terrance Bailey

42

0

Kevin Granger

NA

0

Lamont Strothers

43

13

Anquell McCollum

NA

0

Kyle Hill

44

0

Jason Conley+

NA

0

*Still Active, +Finished college career at Missouri

I found the following information from this research significant:

• The list consists of 42 players who bear at least some resemblance to Hudson.
• 2 of these players, Toney & Dumars, made All-Star teams (One Hall-of-Famer in Dumars)
• Players drafted in the top 30 enjoyed solid careers, averaging about 6 years in the NBA.
• Players drafted in the 2nd 30 (essentially 2nd Rounders) averaged about ½ a season in the NBA.
• Only one of the 15 players over the past 10 years or so who share a lot of common ground with Hudson played in the NBA at all.

So what does this all mean? My interpretation is, essentially, that a player with Hudson’s background can succeed in the NBA, but chances are that NBA personnel people will identify the players with this background who have what it takes to stick in the League. If one of these guys doesn’t get taken in the 1st Round, it is probably because he won’t become a legitimate NBA player. Lester is currently projected by TDR as an early 2nd rounder, putting him right on the line of demarcation for successful/unsuccessful mid-major scoring guards.

To further clarify Lester Hudson’s odds for success, I decided to go through the above list and identify the players who most resembled Hudson statistically. These players must meet this criteria:

25+ PPG, 5+ RPG, 3.5+ APG, 2+ SPG, 45% FG, 75% FT, 35% 3PTS

I felt that players who met this statistical threshold should have some of the same traits possessed by Lester Hudson: Scorer, athletic, decent passer, good shot selection, solid FT and deep shooter. Here’s the list of players with A LOT in common with Hudson:

• Joe Dumars
• Terrance Bailey
• Steve Rogers
• Alphonso Ford
• Frankie King
• Marcus Brown
• Kenny Sykes

Basically, Hall of Fame guard Joe Dumars and a bunch of stiffs, as far as their NBA careers were concerned. Unfortunately for Lester, of those 7 players, the one he probably has the most in common with is Steve Rogers. Their numbers were eerily similar, they played against similar competition, and they were even about the same age when they entered the draft. Rogers is listed at 2 inches taller, but Hudson is, as Jay Bilas might say, “long”, which probably allows him to play a bit taller. Other than Dumars, this list reads like a kiss of death for Mr. Hudson.

If Lester Hudson were to be drafted in the early 2nd of the 2008 NBA Draft, history would not be on his side, but it wouldn’t be completely against him either. There have been players with similar measurable attributes to Hudson who have enjoyed long careers in the NBA. The primary predictor of success for players with Hudson’s background appears to be what NBA GMs think of them on draft day. If Hudson were to slip into the top 20 in the Draft, I think that would indicate potential for a very good NBA career. If he goes around where we project him to go, it’d probably hint that the “Flip” Murray career path is Lester’s best-case scenario.

Will Lester Hudson one day stand beside Joe Dumars and Andew Toney as shining examples that high-scoring little guys from little schools can become big-time NBA players? Only time will tell.

View Lester Hudson's TDR scouting report.
TDR Interview: Taking 15 With Lester Hudson

Matt Bertrand can be reached at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

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