College, NBA Draft / Jun 26, 2009 / 2:11 pm

Still waiting by the phone…

Tyrese Rice (Boston College)

Tyrese Rice (Boston College)

Every year, in every draft, there’s a player or two or four who falls farther than expected. Whether it’s a projected Top-5 pick who sticks around until the double-digits, a Green Room guy who stays in the arena longer than everyone else, or a first-round talent who drops to the second, it’s an annual tradition.

Then there are those guys who wait by the phone all night and never hear their name. This year’s most notable snubs…

A.J. Abrams, PG/SG, Texas — Classic ‘tweener; two-guard’s game with point guard’s size. His best bet was that somebody would take a chance on him being another Eddie House, but even those chances were very slim. In the tradition of Hollis Price and Drew Nicholas, he’ll make a nice living overseas if he wants to.

Jeff Adrien, PF, UConn — The heart of soul of UConn’s Final Four squad is undersized for an NBA power forward and his game isn’t very polished even though he’s a four-year player.

Alade Aminu, PF, Georgia Tech — No worries: His little brother Al-Farouq (Wake Forest) will be a Lottery pick whenever he decides to go pro, then Alade can do the live-in manager thing.

Dionte Christmas, SG, Temple — “Tough” is a given for any guy that goes to Temple, but Dionte can actually get buckets, too. He’s a streaky shooter, though, and doesn’t blow you away with his athleticism. One of those dime-a-dozen shooting guards.

Eric Devendorf, PG, Syracuse — The parallels to Gerry McNamara’s career continue, including not getting drafted.

Micah Downs, SF, Gonzaga — You could make an argument that Austin Daye wasn’t even the best small forward on his team. Downs can play, but may have been hurt by his reputation for being a spoiled brat with a meddlesome stage dad.

Daniel Hackett, PG, USC — Should have gone back to school, but USC is about as appealing as a Serbian prison for players right now.

Paul Harris, SG/SF, Syracuse — Strong as a forward and plays like a forward, only he’s 6-4 and should be a guard.

Josh Heytvelt, PF, Gonzaga — Probably the only prospect who had to answer questions about mushrooms in his pre-draft interviews.

Joe Ingles, SG, Australia — At one point, the 6-8 shooter was considered a first-round prospect. He gave Team USA buckets for a minute last summer, then fell out of the spotlight.

Dominic James, PG, Marquette
Wesley Matthews, SG, Marquette
Jerel McNeal, SG, Marquette
Of the Marquette trio, McNeal probably has the best shot of landing on an NBA roster in the near future. He’s an elite defender who developed into a solid scorer within the last year.

Curtis Jerrells, PG, Baylor — Multi-talented strong athlete pulled off the rare college triple-double (17 pts, 11 rebs, 10 asts vs. Hartford) this season. Could be a star overseas.

Nate Miles, SG, Southern Idaho — The guy at the center of UConn’s recent recruiting controversy.

Luke Nevill, C, Utah — The worst-case scenario Tyler Hansbrough had nightmares about. Nevill was honorable mention All-American as a senior, Mountain West Conference Player of the Year and MWC Defensive P.O.Y. Not to mention he’s 7-foot-2. He got kind of dominated by Jordan Hill in the NCAA Tournament, though.

Jeremy Pargo, PG, Gonzaga — Jannero’s little brother is an explosive athlete with Chicago playground roots.

Tyrese Rice, PG, Boston College — He’ll always have the night where he gave North Carolina 46 points in his junior year.

Josh Shipp, SG, UCLA — The poor man’s Rick Fox, in game and appearance.

Ronald Steele, PG, Alabama — A couple years ago, Steele was a projected Lottery pick. Then knee injuries got in the way, and he never really recovered.

Dar Tucker, SG, DePaul — Left after his sophomore year, bouncing too early on a promising college career.

Ben Woodside, PG, North Dakota State — The Rudy Ruettiger of the draft could use a Charles S. Dutton pep talk right about now.

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  • Imperial-Mel

    Damn this list is pretty extensive, Shipp, Heytvelt, the Marquetters, Devendorf, and especially A.J Abrams. Hopefully a few of these players get picked up along the way

  • TJ 2

    i thought damion james went back to school?

  • Joe

    No mention of Levance Fields?

  • http://dimemag.com Austin Burton

    You’re right, TJ. It’s been fixed.

  • Dennis Castro

    I think it’s good that Christmas didn’t get drafted. It’s already been reported that the Sixers are interested to signing him to their summer team. He can start now and already be an upgrade over Fast Willie.

  • Celts Fan

    Damn. Celts need to get in touch with Dionte now. Give Adrien or Heytvelt a call too if they’re gonna let Baby walk

  • Jayo

    Somebody wanna tell me what the hell Steve Kerr was thinking in drafting Taylor Griffin over anybody on this list!?

  • http://www.WeAllScheme.com Jeff

    add UMass Tony Gaffney to your list. He played well in a lot of his workouts and will end up on a summer league roster.

  • Imperial-Mel

    plus i overlooked Pargo…he’s solid!

  • Dennis Castro

    Jayo, he’s hoping to recruit Blake after Blake becomes a free agent once his rookie contract is up. Cause you know that as soon as Blake’s contract is up, he’s getting the hell outta there.

  • Kobeef


    Understament of the draft:
    “(Micah) Downs can play, but may have been hurt by his reputation for being a spoiled brat”

    Am I just an asshole or are others kind of happy to see Eric Devendorf (and GMac for that matter) finally get the slap in the face they’ve needed for about 10 years?

  • Octopus Jonny

    The Bucks need to get Jerel McNeal on the phone with the quickness and ship out Charlie Bell and the robot attached to his knee. Sorry Charlie, you just don’t have the quickness to go with the defensive instincts anymore.

  • Amos Leak


  • doc

    They all can still get money if they want.Trust me!

  • BiG ShoT BoB

    The ones from this list I think should have gone if there was room are everyone from Gonzaga and Jeff Adrien. Everyone else should have waited and stayed in school or are right where they should be.

  • http://uoregon.edu sans

    Can’t believe Ingles didn’t get picked. Danny Ferry should get on that phone quick.

  • AZ

    jeffery jordan?

  • AR

    Not much similarity between Gerry and Devendorf. Gerry was beloved at Syracuse while Devendorf was an asshole from day one. I was there for one year; people really don’t like him there. The biggest problem with Devendorf is that he acts like he’s the shit but doesn’t have the game to back that up.

  • QQ

    Damn, Eric Devendorf. I used to read all about him when he was in Oak Hill, the hype on this kid was crazy. I was thinking someday, he’ll be the first PG drafted if he declares.

    Now, he didn’t even get drafted.

  • Pedro

    Daniel Hackett, PG, USC will be in the Knicks summer league roster.

  • Ethan

    Would have thought Leo Lyons would have been noted, especially with the Tiger’s run in the Big 12 tourney and the NCAA’s

  • LDS

    RE: Micah Downs
    Yeh, it’s pretty dang sad when a kid gets the brunt end of things a parent does and his parents blame everyone else for Micah not making the draft. Micah is a very talented ball player and he will go forward and play professional basketball.