garret-siler The Draft Review - The Draft Review
Big Man, Garret Siler
For the second year in a row scouts' eyes will be on the Augusta State men’s basketball program. Head Coach Dip Metress and his staff have done a tremendous job of not only recruiting talent, but managing it, and one has to wonder how long it will be before Metress and company will be coming to a Division I program near you. The school had its inaugural appearance in the Division II championship game last year while star player Tyrekus Bowman garnered attention with his athleticism.

This coming season Augusta State has one of professional basketball’s dying breed in its arsenal. Garret Siler, a true center, is the 6-foot-11, 305 pound big man who has only played organized basketball for 5 years and, until now, has went mostly unnoticed as he quietly builds his game. But now the secret is out.

In the age of the Euro dollar effecting NBA teams' ability to attract foreign players as in the past, it may be time for the league to start looking into America’s background. Players like Siler may be the more logical choice if you’re going to take a chance on a second round pick.

Siler grew up in a family where music and academics were stressed. In his first three years of high school he attended Davidson Fine Arts, a prestigious charter school in Augusta, Georgia where Siler was accepted after auditioning. The 6-11 vocalist also played the piano, but when his weight began to catch up to his height his family convinced him to to take up basketball to stay in shape.

Siler transferred to Richmond Academy for his senior year, but unlike the tales you

dipmetress75 The Draft Review - The Draft Review
Coach Darren "Dip" Metress
hear of inexperienced players who pick up the basketball and dominate, Siler’s development was slow and anything but smooth. The big man averaged just over 2 points and less than five minutes per game while clocking more time on the bench due to his inexperience. But despite Siler's lack of exposure and rawness in organized basketball his size was too compelling to keep coaches away. Dip Metress took a chance on the 6-11 project (whose weight was then 358 pounds) and quickly red-shirted Siler so he could focus on improved conditioning and weight loss. The time was spent wisely as Siler's 60+ pound weight loss allowed for better mobility in running the court.

Fast forward three years later to the 2007-08 season when Siler, along with former teammate Tyrekus Bowman, took the team to the Division II national championship game where they battled against Winona State. It was during this game that anyone with clear vision could see how far Siler had come as he went head to head against John Smith, Winona's star 6-8 center and Division II Player of the Year. Siler dominated the paint and disrupted Smith’s inside game, forcing the him to shoot from the perimeter. Although Augusta State was defeated, Garret Siler served notice that he is a bonafide pro prospect.

While it's premature to proclaim Siler a legitimate pick for the 2009 NBA draft, it’s not too early to peg him as a prospect whose future is in his hands. I saw Siler play on multiple occasions last year and there is a lot for him to work on. He must continue to get quicker and play with more of a mean streak. Siler, in my estimation, is already a better prospect and has more potential than Chris Daniels, who was a senior eligible prospect for the 2008 NBA draft out of Texas A&M-Corpus Christi and was able to parlay an average year into a spot at the Portsmouth Invitational Tournament primarily because of his size.

NBA teams are alerted to Siler's presence and others should keep an eye on him as well. He's a work in progress but his best days of basketball still appear to be ahead of him.

View Garret Siler's TDR draft profile.

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