NBA Draft 2011: Derrick Williams and the Best West Coast Prospects
With the 2011 NBA draft only a week away, I thought it would be interesting to look at all of the talented West Coast prospects in this year’s draft.
Most of the players in the slideshow played at schools on the West Coast, while a few grew up there. On any note, here are the 10 best West Coast prospects in the draft this year.
10. Greg Smith: Fresno State Bulldogs
Greg Smith played two years for the Fresno State Bulldogs, averaging 11 points and shooting over 50 percent from the field.
In addition, Smith was named to the All-WAC Second Team last season.
People shouldn’t expect to hear Smith’s name called until late in the second round.
Photo courtesy of: uspresswire.com
9. Nikola Vucevic: USC
Nikola Vucevic led the USC Trojans in scoring and rebounding last season.
With his college experience and tremendous size (7’0’’ 260 pounds), Vucevic could develop into a nice NBA player.
8. DeAndre Liggins: University of Kentucky
The Henderson, Nevada native spent three seasons at the University of Kentucky.
DeAndre Liggins was often lost in the shuffle, with all the fanfare surrounding coach John Calipari and his one-and-done phenoms.
However, Liggins was named to the SEC All-Defensive Team last season, averaging eight points, four rebounds and two assists.
7. Isaiah Thomas: University of Washington
The Washington native led the Pac-10 Conference in assists and ranked third in scoring.
Isaiah Thomas and the Washington Huskies nearly knocked off the North Carolina Tar Heels in the second round of last March’s tournament, behind Thomas’ 12 points and eight assists.
6. Tyler Honeycutt: UCLA
The former UCLA Bruin and Sylmar native was named to the All Pac-10 First Team as a sophomore last season.
Tyler Honeycutt is being projected as a late first-round/early second-round draft pick.
5. Jordan Hamilton: University of Texas
Jordan Hamilton, a native of Compton, was named to the All-Big 12 First Team last season.
Hamilton is being projected as a middle first-round draft pick.
4. Klay Thompson: Washington State
Klay Thompson led the Pac-10 Conference in scoring last season and ranked 10th in the conference in three-point percentage.
With his steady shooting stroke, Thompson has the potential to have an immediate impact at the next level.
3. Kawhi Leonard: San Diego State
Kawhi Leonard led the San Diego State Aztecs in scoring and rebounding last season, as the school made a surprising run to the Sweet Sixteen.
Leonard is comparable to the Portland Trail Blazers’ Gerald Wallace, in the sense that both players are very well rounded, as opposed to being dominant in one or two areas.
2. Jimmer Fredette: Brigham Young University
Jimmer Fredette, the reigning National Player of the Year, averaged a nation-best 28 points a game last season playing for Brigham Young University.
While Fredette won’t have the same impact in the NBA as he did in college, he will likely be able to provide a team with a steady scoring hand off the bench.
Fredette will be very comparable to Kyle Korver and J.J. Redick.
1. Derrick Williams: University of Arizona
Derrick Williams is being projected by many as the second overall pick in next week’s draft.
Williams took home Pac-10 Player of the Year honors last season with the Arizona Wildcats.
Williams emerged as one of the best players in last March’s tournament, averaging 22 points and leading the Wildcats to the Elite Eight.