Used to be that you only had to scout the college ranks to draft wisely. (Used to be you could make money in the stock market, too.) now you're finding rOys in spain and the next t-mac in jucoland. Want to know where your team's looking? everywhere.
Jay Williams Jr. pg dUke Forget the missed free throw against indiana. (the nba has.) he will take-and make-the big shot.
Mike DUnleavy Jr. sF dUke has the skills, but needs the muscle to make bird comparisons realistic.
CUrtis BOrchardt Jr. c stanFOrd seven-foot shotblocker whose rebounding and O need work. marcUs haislip Jr. F
DreW GOOden Jr. PF Kansas his musical ability is like his basketball potential: unlimited and unrefined. Drew Gooden can play the piano by ear, something he picked up as a kid listening to his father, Andrew, stroke the ivories. "since i couldn't read music, i would just listen to a song and play it," says drew, who spent much of his spare time at Kansas in the recording studio. "It's a gift." it's not the only gift he picked up from his dad, a 6'3" guard who played college ball at central Washington and pro hoops in Finland. Dad put the rock in drew's crib when the doctor told him his son would grow to seven feet, then encouraged his son to play a small man's game in a big man's body. Mission accomplished: it's Gooden's ability to play inside and out that puts him in the top five of this draft. As for music? "I'm trying to make basketball happen first," he says. "but i might pull a Shaq." Shoot a bit higher, drew. Ever listen to Shaq Fu-Da
Return? don't think so. -Dan Galvin
YaO Ming C China One more time: You can't teach height.
NikOlOz Tskitishvili c/F
GeOrgia You'd never heard of Pau Gasol, either.
Jiri Welsch pg/sg czech
RepUblic Big (6'6"), tough and loves to run.
Maybyner hilariO pF brazil he was 12 years old and playing in his first-ever organized basketball game. Brazil's maybyner "nene" hilario had a problem. While he was an accomplished soccer player and a competitive swimmer in his hometown of sao carlos, he didn't have the first clue about this curious new sport. "Every time, i fouled," Hilario says through an interpreter. "In five minutes, i fouled out of the game."
Hilario had another issue: nobody would pass him the basketball. His teammates feared their friend wouldn't know whether to kick the ball or deflate it. As recently as one year ago, he was having foul problems. "Maybe i'm too big," he said. Just maybe.
Hilario's nickname,Nene, is Portuguese for "baby," because he is the youngest of three children. ButNene has grown into a pretty imposing 19-year-old: 6'10", 260 pounds, 4% body fat and an almost 7E-foot wingspan. And while he is still learning the game after just two years of professional and international competition, his athleticism has him being compared to a pre-Wendy's drive-thru Shawn Kemp.
CarOn bUtler so. sF
COnnecticUt big-time scorer who plays d, too.
Chris WilcOx so. pF
Talk about upside-went from sixth man to lottery in one season.
DaJUan Wagner Fr. pg/sg memphis simply the most prolific scorer in this year's draft.
Qyntel WOOds sg/sF NOrtheast Mississippi Jc "Next t-mac" talk hype or real? One lottery team will find out. Kei MadisOn sF OkalOOsa- WaltOn cc (Fla.) Scouts questioning work ethic after late-season boot from team.
Lee BensOn PF BrOWn Mackie cc (kan.) scouts say Benson will be drafted in the high 20s, maybe the 30s. Benson wishes the number were lower, but he'll take it. It's better than being no. a-275317, his handle in the Ohio prison system, where benson, 28, spent 8E years for abduction with a firearm and drug trafficking. "I ran with thugs," he says. "I didn't have a straight path."
While in prison, benson, a 6'11" former star at dayton's dunbar high, played pickup games to keep his mind off "days that i feared for my life." A no-layup rule to prevent hard fouls led to his wicked outside game. Brown mackie coach Francis Flax heard about benson and went to prison to meet with him. "I will not make you look bad," Benson said. three weeks after Benson's release in August '01, Flax had a new big man-and Benson a new chance.
Now he doesn't smoke, drink, do drugs or even eat red meat. against Flax's advice, Benson declared for the draft after averaging 34.9 ppg and 13.6 rpg in Salina. Scouts love his quickness and range, but think his fundamentals and low-post moves could use work. "He was bored playing at that level," says grizzlies scout ed manning. "He thinks he needs to be challenged." So far, he has been. During predraft workouts, Amare
Amare StOUdemire PF Cypress Creek (FlA.) At 6'10", 240, the perfect body for a team with a lot of patience. Lenny COOke SG Old Tappan (N.J.) He'd be at St.
DeangelO COllins F IngleWOOd (caliF.) in any draft, the younger the player, the higher the risk.
Then there's deangelo collins.
The 6'10", 220-pound inglewood High star has the body of an NBA power forward and the hands and range to play
the 3. Many scouts project him to go late first round. But Collins is also the owner of something unseen in any former prep-topro prospect: a lengthy rap sheet.
As a Tustin High freshman, he beat up one of his teammates, inflicting permanent head injuries and causing the victim to undergo plastic surgery. Collins pleaded guilty to felony assault, was fined $35,000 and spent six months in juvenile hall. It wasn't his first stint in juvey. at 13, he assaulted a woman with a deadly weapon and served 60 days. Collins eventually wound up at inglewood with coach patrick roy, a man with a rep for straightening out tough kids. Roy admits that collins has occasionally missed class but says he's kept his nose clean. "The best thing that ever happened to deangelo collins was patrick roy," says bob gottlieb, an aaU guru who took collins into his home in '98. "Deangelo is bright, but at that time of his life he had a dark side."
It's a side one team in the first round is hoping never to see.