Wednesday, June 29, 2005

The Draft

The NBA draft was held last night, with the usual mixture of feel-good, feel-bad stories. On the feel-good side, Luther Head has to top the list. Taken by the Houston Rockets with the 24th pick in the first, Luther truly made good. Four years after entering U of I as a raw, athletic talent he exits with guaranteed NBA money. Think Calvin Brock is gonna pay close attention to Bruce Weber's coaching the next four years?

Deron Williams is, of course, another feel good. Three years after coming to U of I as the least-known member of his recruiting class -- and mostly known as Bracey Wright's high school teammate -- he leaves as the #3 pick in the draft, the highest in Illini history. The Utah Jazz have big plans for Deron, and if his comments over the past few weeks are to be believed, he has big plans for them as well.

On the feel bad side, Chuck Hayes went undrafted (although this was no surprise). The upside is that if there ever was a player who will work his ass off to get a spot on a roster, it's Chuck. If there's any justice in the world, Chuck will play in the league someday.

On the head-shaking "what was he thinking?" side sit Kelenna Azubuike and (especially) Randolph Morris. Kelenna probably felt he had little choice, given his father's voluminous legal and financial problems. Randolph, on the other hand, will have to eventually wonder about the "might have beens." Just one season of playing to his potential would have made him a solid lottery pick next year. Now he'll bounce around the world in search of an opportunity that would have been handed to him in a year. Unfortunate that neither was picked, but no more of a surprise than Chuck. Too bad.


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