Being predicted to be a lottery-pick coming out of Baylor University, Ekpe Udoh will have to prove to scouts—and to doubters—that he can make it in the NBA.
After helping lead the Bears to an Elite Eight matchup with Coach K and the Duke Blue Devils, Baylor coach Scott Drew’s redshirt transfer is graduating and heading to the next level of his career.
For Udoh—and coach Drew for that matter—the NBA Draft day will be a dream come true.
But Udoh will still have a whole lot to prove when he steps onto the NBA hardwood for the first time next season.
And depending on who drafts him, he may get the opportunity very early in the 2010-11 NBA season.
As a junior for the Bears (he had to sit out the 2008-09 season after transferring from Michigan and was taking courses while practicing with the Baylor basketball team that year), Udoh averaged 13.9 points and 9.8 rebounds per game.
He also blocked 3.7 shots per game while dishing out 2.7 assists per game for the Bears in the 2009-10 season.
The Baylor forward’s highest scoring output came in a 19-point blowout victory over the Big 12 rival Texas Longhorns on March 11—pouring in 25 points while pulling down eight rebounds and garnering three assists.
Udoh (6’10” and 240 lbs) is also one of the only players in this top 10 list that will be entering draft day with a college degree, and for that he should absolutely be applauded.
I know that Baylor fans, coaches, and players alike wanted Udoh back for another season on the Bears hardwood—and I would have loved to have seen him return also—but the fact of the matter is the time was right for Udoh to make the jump to the NBA.
He’s more than ready, and as stated earlier—he’ll have his degree from Baylor.
One thing is certain: Udoh will be entering the professional basketball ranks as one of the highest draft picks in the Bears history.
With that comes pressure to not only be selected, but to succeed in the NBA.
I have no doubt that Udoh can and will make it in the NBA.
Now he just has to prove it to everyone else in the world…