It's a little bit surprising that no NBA team deemed Patric Young worth at least a second round draft pick Thursday night. First round was somewhat of a reach although Patric fit the San Antonio Spurs model perfectly, but you can't blame the Spurs for taking Kyle Anderson at #30. For a team that passes the ball like the Spurs, you can't pass up a guy who can play three different positions and is the best passer in the draft. But second round? No Patric? It's hard to imagine that some of these European players are anywhere near NBA ready as Patric, who's got a made for NBA body and plays NBA defense already.
If there is any advantage to going undrafted, however, it is that Patric will have a chance to pick and choose a situation where he might be a very good fit and sign as a free agent. Or, he could choose to go the Udonis Haslem route. When Udonis went undrafted out of Florida, it was largely because he was an undersized (6-7-1/2) power forward with no range on his jumper. UD went to Europe, made himself into a decent jump shooter and then came back to the US where he signed with the Miami Heat where he has played 11 years and earned three NBA championship rings.
While it's disappointing that no NBA team drafted Patric, there is no need to worry. He's got his Florida degree, an exceptional head on his shoulders and the willingness to do what it takes to succeed. He's going to be fine wherever he goes and whatever he does. The guess here is that he will have a decent NBA career when all is said and done.
Florida was sitting at 4-1 following the Arkansas game last season and the defense seemed to be rounding into shape. In those first five games, the Gators allowed only 10 drives of 50 yards or more. In the last seven games, all of them losses, the Gators allowed 25 drives of at least 50 or more yards including six drives of more than 50 yards against Missouri, four each against South Carolina and Florida State. One half of the equation for the Gators to dig their way out of the 4-8 hole of 2013 will be getting defensive stops and getting the other team off the field. The other half of the equation will be moving the chains on offense. Although the Gators won the time of possession battle last year – 33:49 per game to 26:11 – they lost the battle of first downs, 253-226. What that tells us is the offense didn't do its part to help out the defense, which is why the defense broke down so often in those last seven games.
Jarrad Davis came to Florida last season with the kind of attitude you want to see in freshmen. He was the special teams MVP for the Gators and by the end of the year he had moved past a lot of more highly regarded players to play a prominent role on the defense. He got one start against Georgia Southern (seven tackles) and finished with 24 tackles plus one forced fumble. This year, he's going to be starting from day one and will have a chance to be an impact player at linebacker. He's got a real nose for the ball, he's very quick to the hole and he's extremely tough.
NCAA attorney Greg Cutner says so. I'm sure Judge Claudia Wilken was listening. If you thought the NCAA was in bad shape in the Ed O'Bannon trial, then get a whiff of this. Cutner told reporters Thursday outside the courtroom in Oakland, California, "It's a cartel that does good things as opposed to a cartel that does bad things. It's not a classic cartel, as Rubinfeld used the terms, but it's a joint venture in that it creates a new product of amateur sports and all of the things that go with that. It's a partially integrated joint venture, is the right economic way to think about it." The NCAA is trying to argue that it's cartel keeps collegiate sports from becoming an economic free for all where players are sold to the highest bidders. The more I read the NCAA arguments, the more I think a lot of intelligent people who work for that organization were dropped on their heads multiple times when they were babies.
I think the Philadelphia 76ers came up big when they got Joel Embiid with the third pick. They got Nerlens Noel last year and he had to sit all year while recovering from his ACL, so they won't need Embiid to produce immediately. Even if he can't come back from foot surgery this year, the Sixers will be just fine and they will have two extraordinary prospects in the middle ... Orlando got a good defender in Aaron Gordon with the fourth pick and got the point guard it needed with the trade that will bring in Elfrid Payton. Payton played for Billy Donovan at the World 19-and-Under Championships last year in Prague. Billy loved the way he plays defense and passes the ball ... The Bulls made the trade to get Doug McDermott, who could turn into the shooter they need. I still think they need a point guard. I'm not at all sure how good Derrick Rose will be after two ACL surgeries ... Miami made the trade to get Shabazz Napier from Charlotte. That's the guy LeBron James wanted Pat Riley to draft. He's the instant starter. He's better than any point guard on their roster right now ... I thought Patric Young would go to the San Antonio Spurs with the last pick in the first round but when Kyle Anderson slipped so far they really couldn't pass up a guy who can play three positions and passes the ball so well ... Now that Boston has Marcus Smart, figure a trade is imminent that involves Rajon Rondo. Rondo might be the piece of the puzzle that Minnesota can't resist when it decides what it's going to do with Kevin Love. Boston wants Love and Love wants Boston. If Boston will also take Ricky Rubio, who the T-Wolves are not enamored with, that's a trade that could happen ... One of the steals of the draft is Mitch McGary to Oklahoma City. If his back is healed the Thunder get a big guy who can run the floor, rebound and set picks for Russell Westbrook and Kevin Durant. This is a guy who sets picks that are like brick walls ... The worst pick of the first round was Jordan Adams of UCLA to Memphis.
A friend of mine sent me this line. I don't know who to credit it to, but it's pretty darn funny: "After a football game, ambulances carry off the wounded. After a soccer game, every player gets a ribbon and a juice box."
Should Patric Young take a free agent deal with the NBA or should he go the Udonis Haslem route and spend a couple of years in Europe refining his game before coming back to give the NBA a try?
"No Sugar Tonight" was a big hit for the Guess Who in the early 1970s. This is a remake of that classic rock and roll song that featured Burton Cummings on the lead vocals by Widespread Panic out of Athens, Georgia. This is for tdiddy2, who will be catching Widespread Panic at Red Rocks in Colorado today.