Here’s my story from TNT …
Here’s Bill Simmons’ draft diary which always entertaining.
The general sentiment around the NBA is that the Raptors reached/settled for Terrence Ross at No. 8
Here’s the story from the Toronto Sun about the Raptors drafting Terrence Ross with the eighth pick of the first round. Columnist Steve Simmons writes that coin toss kept the Raptors from getting the player they really wanted – Harrison Barnes.
From his column …
Far be it from me to be the one defending the Grizzlies on draft night. I’m usually at the head of the mob. But I actually like the pick. Let’s take a look at those criticisms again.
He can’t shoot.
You know who else couldn’t shoot coming into the NBA draft? Rajon Rondo. You know who else? Ricky Rubio. You know who else? Russell Westbrook. You know who else? Mike Conley. No, Wroten will never be the “shooter” the Grizzlies have lacked for so long, but shooting (unlike, say, rebounding) is a skill that can be improved. In the meantime, the Grizzlies acquired a big, strong, explosive guy who can defend, get to the rim and see the court. Chris Wallace called him the second-best passer in the draft, behind North Carolina’s Kendall Marshall. That’s good stuff, right there.
Hollins won’t play him.
You can’t let a coach dictate a draft. Do that, and you end up taking a guy like Troy Bell. We know how that worked out. Besides, Hollins may have to play a young point guard this year. That’s all the Grizzlies have right now. And is it really fair to rip Hollins because he felt uncomfortable playing a kid who wasn’t even drafted (Pargo) and a second-round rookie who has never been considered a true point guard (Selby)? Yes,
Hollins is hard on point guards, but he brought Conley along just fine. Isn’t it possible that Hollins is exactly the sort of tough-love coach Wroten needs?
Here’s the transcript from the conference call with Lorenzo Romar last night …
What was your reaction to your guys getting picked in first round? Does it have an impact on recruiting?
“With Terrence sitting there at table with him, we were just looking, hoping some guards were taken. We thought he was going to go to Milwaukie at 14, but with Deon Waiters went earlier – we thought he was going to go to the Raptors, that opened up an earlier position for Terrence. Right before David Stern went up, his agent said, ‘Terrence, they are about to call you.’ You could just see he was really excited, and I got excited for him. It was great.
“With Tony, we knew that Memphis liked him and there was a strong, strong possibility they would take him at 25, and they did. So it was a great night. In terms of recruiting, kids nowadays want to play in NBA. That’s what they want to do, and it’s pretty consistent that guys have a chance to make it with our program.”
What was it like being in the Green Room?
“It was one of the more special times I’ve had at as a coach at the University of Washington. The whole setup is something you watch every year. To be there – you know how excited they are. To go through the whole thing with him was something that was really, really special.”
Had you ever been to the draft?
“This was my first time. I had a chance to before with Brandon Roy, but I was coaching a USA Basketball Team, so I was unable to go.”
What does this night mean for UW?
“It’s a lot of fun. It’s great. But I’d rather focus on those guys. For those guys it means a lot. Terrence Ross just went 8th pick as a sophomore. He make a decision to go out and have his dream fulfilled and it is. I think it was outstanding that he was a lottery pick. Tony Wroten took a lot of criticism this year for coming out, but he’s a first round draft choice. For those two individuals, I think it’s very significant, and I’m very happy for those two.”
How does he feel about a history making night for the program?
“Again, I think it’s good. The last eight years I think we’ve had 11 players that have played in NBA when Terrence and Tony suit up. With that being said, I can’t help but be happy for those guys. Every young man that comes into our program – and I would imagine every program in America has a goal for them to go to the NBA – and those guys got their name called in the first round. So that’s again…I have to keep going back and thinking about how happy I am for them.”
How did the team not make the NCAA tourney with two first-round picks?
“I think we should have made it to the NCAA Tournament. The criteria suggested we shouldn’t based on the numbers. But I think we’re better than a lot of teams in that tournament. We won the Pac-12, we won 24 games…so when we say how did we not make the Tournament? To me, maybe the question should be, ‘How did you not win more games?’ maybe. I don’t know. We won 24 games. We were young, we started out slowly, we didn’t play as well in our non-conference, but we did play better in-conference to the point where we were 14-4. I thought we did a lot of things good last year, but we were just a young, inconsistent team. And in other years, there have been young, inconsistent teams that have been able to slip into the tournament and make it, but it wasn’t the case for us this year.
What type of impact will Quincy Pondexter can have on Tony’s development?
“Quincy left here as a captain and a mentor to some guys. I know – I just know – that he is going to take Tony under his wing. I think he’s going to help him along the way quite a bit. I think Quincy is someone that is a hard worker and has a great work ethic, and I think Tony will be able to learn from Quincy. It’ll be great. I think they’ll have pride in that they were Huskies and that they are teammates. They weren’t able to play together as Huskies, but now they’ll be able to play together in Memphis.”
Will having two first-round picks be a changing moment for the program?
“Possibly. It definitely says that my assistants and our staff has been able to go out and identify talent that maybe to the world may not be as good as some other higher-ranked guys. I think my assistants have done a good job of spotting that. I think, because of the way we play, guys have been able to develop and improve. As a result of all that, it’s happened. And I think people will take notice of it.”
How is the new Twitter account?
“I’ve been joking about it. I’ve been a late bloomer in everything I’ve done. I was late with texting, I was late with email, and this is the next thing. It’s so widespread with recruiting – just about all the recruits are on there. I don’t interact with them on there, but they follow you and it’s a way for them to get to know you from a distance. I still don’t think I’m going to be tweeting if I put jelly or butter on my toast, stuff like that. I just look at it as a little bit of an avenue to let people learn a little bit more about us.”
Did the NCAA changes with social networking and if that caused him to enter the world of Twitter?
“No. In evaluating our whole program, how can we gain an edge in some areas? We don’t have national championship banners, so where can we get better in some areas? We felt like this was one of the areas – the whole social media thing was something that was going to pass us by. We don’t want to just catch up, but we want to have an edge with it.”
What are your former players saying about the Twitter account?
“They tease me, tell me I can’t believe I’m doing it. That’s alright. I can take it. I can handle it.”