Interestingly, the top collegian in the NBA Draft in terms of Dave Berri’s “win score” slipped all the way into the second round where the San Antonio Spurs picked Pittsburgh’s DeJuan Blair. I’m not going to say this guy’ll turn out better than Blake Griffin, but it looks to me like a real steal for San Antonio with the 37th overall pick in what was generally regarded as a weak draft. Last season the kid put up 15.7 points and 12.3 (!) rebounds on .593 FG% in 27.3 minutes per game.
I assume he went so low because at 6’7″ he’s too short to be an NBA power forward. But here’s the thing. College stats don’t project all that well into the NBA except for rebounding which is clearly the aspect of the game at which Blair excels. If you look at a high-scoring collegian, you do need to ask yourself “will this really work in the NBA?” and start worrying about the guy’s physical attributes and so forth. But it’s almost always the case that someone who’s able to grab a lot of rebounds in college can also grab a lot of rebounds in the pros even if he doesn’t look like the kind of guy who could pull it off. We’ve already seen a bunch of this kind of guy—Paul Millsap, Carl Landry, etc.—fly under the radar into the NBA and it looks to me like Blair could do it too.