Insider Only NBA Draft Watch: Blair in mid-late first round discussion

Pitt Panthers power forward DeJuan Blair is currently the hottest player in college basketball and recent performances like a 23-point, 22-rebound game against Notre Dame last week and a career high 32-point, 14 rebound game against Depaul yesterday has propelled Blair as a potential first round pick according to many NBA Draft Experts.
An Inside Look at Blairs draft stock and has Sam Young fallen out of the 1st round discussion?

Dejuan Blair| Power Forward | 6-7, 250 | Age: 19
Pittsburgh (Sophomore)
Hometown: Pittsburgh, PA
Projection: Mid – Late First Round
Blair overcomes his lack of size for an ideal NBA power forward with a huge wingspan (7-foot-3). Blair is a tenacious rebounder and has great touch around the rim which NBA scouts love. The negative for Blair coming into the season was his size has raised question marks about playing the power forward position in the NBA. The way he has dominated games this season and his ability to control the boards has quieted some of that talk. Blair is one of those players that you win championships with. Scouts love his leadership qualities and his development this season has made him a lock to be a first round pick if he declares.
Reasons to go
Blair’s draft stock may never be higher than it is right now and by being a mid-late first round pick, he could join a competitive team and contribute off the bench. He wouldn’t be put in the position that players like Kevin Love, Joe Alexander are in who were drafted in the top 10 and asked to contribute right off the bat when they clearly were not ready.
Reasons to Stay
Pitt will be a national title contender next season as a strong freshman class is on their way. Blair could still improve some areas of his game offensively and could improve his conditioning before bolting for the NBA
Sam Young | Small Forward | 6-6, 215 | Age: 23
Pittsburgh (Senior)
Hometown: Clinton, MD
Projection: Late First round – Early Second Round
NBA teams love athletic small forwards who can run the floor and Sam Young is clearly one. Young has the size and toughness to be a productive small forward in the NBA. He has a very good mid-range shot and his three point shot has improved every year since he has enrolled at Pitt. Most importantly Young can score driving to the basket. In the right situation he could have a long productive NBA career. Young has a great ability to run the floor and would be a great fit in Knicks head coach Mike D’Antoni’s uptempo system
The biggest knock on Young’s draft stock is his age. NBA teams are about drafting young players based on potential. Being 24 when the NBA season starts in November of 2009 will hurt his chances of being a early first round pick but He will be an intriguing prospect in the late first round because he has ability to come in and contribute right off the bat.

About The Author

William DePaoli

TIOPS Insider

William DePaoli is the President/Founder of Inside Pittsburgh Sports LLC and can be reached at wdepaoli@insidepittsburghsports.com

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