Big Lead Sports Bar



Tonight's a big night for the Pitt Panthers basketball program, which hopes to have two players drafted in the first round of the NBA draft for the first time since 1988. That's when the 76ers took Charles Smith third overall (and immediately sent him to the Clippers), and the Nuggets took Jerome Lane with the 22nd pick.

Smith played nine years in the league, averaging 14.4 points and 5.8 rebounds per game, and came within a game of winning a ring with the 1993-94 New York Knicks, who lost in a Game Seven to Hakeem and the Houston Rockets.

Lane's pro career never quite reached the same heights. In parts of five seasons, he started just 79 games, with 71 of those coming between 1989-90 and '90-91. His career averages were 5.3 points and 5.8 rebounds, and not once did he ever send it in quite like he did at Pitt.

Sorry. I had to.

This year, the Panthers have another high-end pair of prospects in Sam Young and Dejuan Blair, who are both projected as first-rounders. Blair's been mentioned as high as 10th, although Draft Express actually has Young at 18 to Minnesota and Blair going 21 to the Hornets, a pick behind Tyler Hansbrough. has Blair to Chicago at 16 and Young to Sacramento at 31. Then again, once had Chris Taft in a mock draft as the #2 overall pick. So take that for whatever you think it's worth.

Blair has lost 30 pounds while training at the IMG Academy, trying to boost a profile that's taken a bit of a hit because of dual ACL tears during his high school career. Young has worked out for Minnesota, Golden State, Indiana, Detroit, Chicago, New Orleans, Charlotte, Utah and Sacramento, and has had, by all accounts, a solid performance on the workout circuit. Tyrell Biggs is also available as a potential dark-horse pick later in the draft, but that remains a long shot, despite his strong workouts.

Pitt's only had two players drafted in the first round since 1989: Eric Mobley in 1994 and Vonteego Cummings in 1999. So this is a big night for the program and for the young men whose lives will change forever. Coverage starts at 7 PM on the WWL, so be prepared for a 24-hour window of learning about who Ricky Rubio is and why Blake Griffin was the subject of an open letter from Bill Simmons detailing the excruciating history of his new team.

Pitt could have two first-rounders in NBA draft [PG]

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Real McCoy said...

Link to Jerome Lane dunk with Bill Rafferty's call and commentary.

Who fed that assist?

Looks like the new coach at Arizona.

NickDawg said...


the nigerian nightmare said...


johnny said...

Memphis and San Antonio got two great players tonight. Best of luck to both of them, and I believe that Coach Popovich will get the best out of the Big Fella.

apostles03 said...

Apparently DeJuan had something to prove in college after all...mainly that his knees were not made of balsawood and twine.

San Antonio must be chortling with joy.

Unknown said...

Although he won't be making that million dollars, San Antonio should be a great situation for Dejuan. I still don't know why some teams gamble on international players that are projects at best. Sam and Dejuan are NBA-ready now. The Spurs and Griz could two steals...

asherman30 said...

sam young will have a better career than blair because it simply will be longer. I believe that Blairs cockiness will lead to his downfall because now that he is pulling in the money, his work ethic will drop and he will put the weight back on. There is obviously something that NBA scouts/Gm's/coaches saw that scared them away from him. I mean since when is Rodrigue Beaubois better than Blair.