Saturday, June 27, 2009

Mid-Majors Matter Too!!!

Be sure to check in here at PHSports and the Twitter site (Tweet Tweet) for plenty of post-NBA draft analysis.

If you're looking for retrospect on some BUSTS (and booms) of the past 10 NBA draft, check out my latest offering...until this.

Now for a little love-fest, VCU, CAA, & mid-major style...

Eric Maynor didn't have to play in a power conference to get drafted -- in the first round at that. He didn't need face time on the tube. It just proves that if you have talent, the NBA will find you, Gary Parrish says.
If you want to play for a national title, go to North Carolina.
That's a good way to get a championship.

If you want to play on national television, go to Kentucky.

That's a good way to get on TV.

But what Thursday night's NBA Draft proved -- once again -- is that the best and quickest way to David Stern's league isn't necessarily through the best and biggest conferences. Oh sure, that's one of the recruiting pitches BCS-affiliated coaches use, and I'd probably use it too if I were them. But whether it was Stephen Curry (from the Southern Conference) or Eric Maynor (from the Colonial) or some dude from another country few of us have ever seen, the reminder from Madison Square Garden was that the NBA will find you if you can play, and it doesn't really matter where you play.

It's not all a love fest though, although you have to wonder if the grade is more about the selection than the player.

Fortunately, Utah doesn’t seem shy about their positive reaction towards their selection at #20.

Although this is somewhat humorous...

During the interview, Maynor passed along a "hello" to coach Jerry Sloan from his father, George, a former East Carolina player who was cut in training camp by the Chicago Bulls -- when they were coached by Sloan. Sloan didn't make the connection until the younger Maynor told him.
"Let's not talk about that," Sloan chuckled during the news conference. "I guess I cut his dad when I was coaching in Chicago."

A 6-foot-3, 164 pound pure point guard, Maynor played all four years of college ball. ESPN's Jay Bilas says Maynor is "a true point guard … has a great feel for the game. Superior change of pace and change of direction, a great leader, runs the pick and roll to perfection. Very old-school." Credit:

ESPN's expert Chad Ford says, "I thought they might go with Sam Young here, but I have to admit that I love this pick for the Jazz. They needed a backup for Deron Williams, and Maynor is perfect for Utah as one of the most NBA-ready players in the draft. He has a high basketball IQ and great leadership qualities. The Jazz fill a need and get a guy that I think is the most underrated player in the draft."

Don't worry Pay, GMU gets some pub in this article...
Just consider the scouting report on the Jazz's newest draft pick from George Mason coach Jim Larranaga, who had a spot in the NCAA Tournament swiped by Maynor in the last two minutes of the 2007 CAA Championship Game.

"A player like Eric has the ability at both ends of the floor to do things that I don't think a lot of players even think about," Larranaga said. "When I talk about Eric, I often say he's like a magician ... and he made us disappear."

Well said. Well said.

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