Future BayHawks Watch: 2009 D-League Draft Preview Edition

Thursday, November 5, 2009

In less than seven hours, the Erie BayHawks will be on the clock with their first selection in the 2009 NBA Development League Draft. Erie has the second overall selection; Albuquerque will choose first. The pool of players is 200 deep featuring a mixture of players from big-time college programs, small schools, and, for the first time, a player straight out of high school.

As the BayHawks look to add to their initial training camp roster in tonight's draft, I scanned the potential list of draftees and made my wish list for the BayHawks' 2009 draft. If they're able to select several of these prospects, it should be a fun and successful year for the BayHawks and their fans.

My Top-15 Wish List (in alphabetical order)

  1. Shagari Alleyne, C, 7'3", 270 lbs, Kentucky
    Erie fans will remember Alleyne, the tallest player in this year's draft, for the performances he put on in two McDonald's Classic appearances (2001, 2003). While his college career did not turn out as planned at Kentucky, there is no doubt that his size is appealing to Coach Treloar in a league where the big men are few and far between.

  2. Antonio Anderson, G/F, 6'6", 215 lbs, Memphis
    As the 2009 Conference USA Player of the Year, Anderson would likely challenge Jackie Manuel for the role of defensive stopper. It also doesn't hurt that he comes from a winning tradition at Memphis, having won a whopping 137 games in four years with the Tigers.

  3. Rashad Anderson, G/F, 6'5", 225 lbs, Connecticut
    Speaking of winning traditions, it doesn't get much better in basketball than UConn, where Anderson won an NCAA championship as a sophomore. Impressively, he was the third-leading scorer on that team behind only NBA lottery picks Ben Gordon and Emeka Okafor. That team also included Charlie Villanueva, Josh Boone, Marcus Williams, Hilton Armstrong, and Denham Brown, so there's no doubt that Anderson can hang with elite company.

  4. Russell Carter, SG, 6'4", 200 lbs, Notre Dame
    College teammate of another potential Bayhawk, Rob Kurz, Carter led the Fighting Irish in scoring his senior season back in 2006-07 and was named 1st-Team All-Big East. Carter also had a brief stint in the D-League with Tulsa in 2007-08.

  5. JamesOn Curry, SG, 6'3", 195 lbs, Oklahoma St.
    Anyone who has a capital O in the middle of their first name is worth a look in my book. But beyond the spelling anomaly, Curry is a proven D-League commodity, averaging 20.2 points per game in 2007-08 and leading the Iowa Energy to a Central Division title last year.

  6. Jeral Davis, C, 7'1", 225 lbs, Talladega College
    Did I mention that D-League coaches like size? Davis is one of only six 7-footers listed among the pool of 200 available players, which makes him a hotter commodity than most. I can neither confirm nor deny that I chose to highlight him over the others because he went to the school of Ricky Bobby. A closer look at Davis' resume shows that he did not play basketball in high school and attended five colleges/junior colleges from 2004-2008, making it difficult to evaluate his game. He's a bit of a raw prospect, most noted for his shot-blocking ability. However, he is a native of nearby Toledo, Ohio, so it could make since for the BayHawks to choose him and give him an opportunity, especially if he's around later in the draft.

  7. Sundiata Gaines, PG, 6'1", 195 lbs, Georgia
    Gaines was a gamer for the Bulldogs, most notably leading them to an improbable NCAA tournament berth in 2008. Georgia was a sub-.500 team and an afterthought heading into the SEC Tournament. But after rattling off four wins in four days, including three in the space of 30 hours due to complications caused by a tornado, they earned a spot in the Big Dance. As a senior, Gaines led that team in scoring, rebounds, assists, and steals.

  8. Reece Gaines, G/F, 6'5", 210 lbs, Louisville
    The former Louisville Cardinal standout played in 71 NBA games with three teams from 2003-2006. Last season he played for Angelico Biella in Italy, averaging just over 10 points a game in 39 contests.

  9. Mike Gansey, SG, 6'4", 190 lbs, West Virginia
    This listing comes with an asterisk as Gansey was the BayHawks' first pick in the 2008 D-League Expansion Draft before he bolted to play overseas. The former Mountaineer can flat out shoot, though, and would be a welcome addition to the BayHawks if he was willing to make amends for last year's decision to test the foreign waters over that of Lake Erie.

  10. Paul Harris, SF, 6'6", 225 lbs, Syracuse
    Even though my allegiance is to the Big Ten (Go Blue!), there's a definite pattern of Big East players developing on this list. After three years at Syracuse, Harris put his name in the NBA Draft and went undrafted. At 6'6", Harris needs to continue to develop his overall offensive game, especially from the perimeter to make it at the next level. Thus, an extended stint with the BayHawks may be just what the doctor ordered for Harris, a player with a great deal of potential that simply needs time to develop his game.

  11. J.C. Mathis, PF, 6'8", 225 lbs, Michigan
    The former Michigan Wolverine played 46 games in the D-League in 2006-07 with Sioux Falls, though he saw just 13.7 minutes per game. He's another big, strong frontcourt presence that the BayHawks are looking for to fill the void left by the overseas departure of Erik Daniels.

  12. Jason Richards, PG, 6'2", 195 lbs, Davidson
    When people see Davidson, they immediately think of Stephen Curry. But the difference between the 2007-08 Davidson team that went to the Elite Eight and the 2008-09 team that went to the NIT was Jason Richards, the point guard who led the nation in assists his senior season and helped set up so many scoring opportunities for Curry. There are questions about his quickness and defense, but he's one of the best pure point guards available in the draft and the type of player that anyone would love to play with.

  13. Mustafa Shakur, G, 6'3", 190 lbs, Arizona
    A native of Pennsylvania, Shakur played three years at Arizona, starting at point guard in all but four games for the Wildcats. Shakur has spent the past two seasons overseas. If he returns to his roots in PA, he'd bring some explosiveness and athleticism into the BayHawks' backcourt that is without last year's standout Maureece Rice.

  14. Deron Washington, SF, 6'7", 215 lbs, Virginia Tech
    Whether it's this hurdling layup over Greg Paulus or this dunk over Danny Green (now with the BayHawks' NBA affiliate in Cleveland), Washington was one of the best finishers at the rim during his four years at Virginia Tech. The athletic wingman saw time with the Pistons this preseason and impressed some people in the organization before being waived in October. He's one to watch as a call-up candidate for an NBA team this season.

  15. Latavious Williams, SF, 6'8", 195 lbs, Christian Life Academy
    In an under-reported development, Williams is the first player entering the D-League Draft straight out of high school. After originally committing to play at Memphis, Williams opted instead for the D-League. His age restricts him from playing for an NBA team at any point this season, but he would certainly be an intriguing prospect for the BayHawks—or any team for that matter—to develop, knowing that he's ineligible for a call-up and going to be there for the long haul this season.


Post a Comment

About this blog/blogger

Blog Talk BayHawk is an unofficial Erie BayHawks blog covering the NBA D-League. It features opinions and information about the NBADL and the Erie BayHawks. Blog Talk BayHawk is written from a basketball fan’s perspective to fill In the gaps left by professional journalists’ coverage of BayHawks basketball and the Erie professional basketball scene.

Matt Hubert is a 25-year-old writer and basketball fanatic born and raised in Erie, Pa. He graduated from Mercyhurst College in 2007 with a bachelor's degree in English and a dual concentration in writing and creative writing. Matt's not wavering from his stance as a lifelong Los Angeles Lakers fan, but he will cover the BayHawks' NBA affiliates in Cleveland and Toronto when it makes sense to do so throughout the year.

Twitter Updates

    follow me on Twitter


    A Proud Erie Blogger