Another NBA Draft Come And Gone Without Marquette

Elsa

It's been two years since a Marquette player was taken in the NBA Draft. How long will Marquette fans have to wait for another celebration in late June?

Things were pretty exciting for a while for Marquette fans when it came to the NBA Draft.  In 2010, Lazar Hayward was taken with the final pick of the first round, and you'd have to say that Wesley Matthews turning into a playoff starter for the Utah Jazz that season after going undrafted had something to do with that.  The next year, Jimmy Butler was also taken with pick #30, landing with the Chicago Bulls, eventually evolving into Tom Thibodeau's starting shooting guard this past season.  In 2012, Jae Crowder was selected four spots into the second round, and Darius Johnson-Odom followed his teammate with the 55th selection.

But that run has since evaporated.  Last year's senior class of Junior Cadougan and Trent Lockett had virtually no chance of getting drafted, and Vander Blue's decision to leave school has been well documented as a massive boo-boo from a "chances of getting drafted" perspective.  The 2014 NBA Draft came and went on Thursday night, and none of Marquette's four seniors even came within any reasonable thought of being drafted.  No one was going to tell you that Jake Thomas or Chris Otule had a chance of getting drafted, and no one almost no one really figured that Jamil Wilson or Davante Gardner were going to hear their name called by Commissioner Adam Silver or Deputy Commissioner Mark Tatum.

So that raises the question: Which Marquette player will be the next one to be selected in the NBA Draft?

In no particular order, other than as they come to mind:

  • Deonte Burton - Well, this seems like the obvious choice.  His unnatural athleticism could provide a strong base to develop next level skills to be able to earn an NBA Draft pick.  Burton will have to show some significant skill advancement before that happens though, particularly when it comes to shooting the ball from distance.  He wasn't called on to do that this year, so maybe he's already got that under wraps.
  • Luke Fischer - As they say, you can't teach height.  If Todd Smith can help Fischer put on the same kind of muscle that he did with Chris Otule, that will help Fischer earn some attention from scouts.  For the time being, Fischer's penciled in as the starter at center from the moment he becomes eligible in mid-December, so if he's got post skills, he's going to get a chance to show them off.
  • Matt Carlino - If Carlino comes in and has the kind of settling impact on Marquette that Trent Lockett did in his graduate transfer season, then Carlino could grab some attention.  He's going to have to show some better shooting than he has in the past and from hearing from BYU fans, he's going to have to show some better decision making, as well.  Carlino showed flashes of being a 20-25 point per game scorer last season, and doing that consistently for Marquette would boost the Golden Eagles' season and Carlino's profile at the same time.
  • Todd Mayo - Ok, look.  If you're an NBA scout, you are deathly afraid of Todd Mayo right now.  He just turned 23 (!) in March, and he's been a constant disciplinary problem for Marquette.  With that said, he flat out dominated late in games multiple times last season.  If he could harness that for a whole season while turning himself into a model citizen, maybe, just maybe, Mayo can play his way into a draft pick.  That age thing is still a red flag, though.
  • Duane Wilson - Let's say the stress fracture doesn't bother him ever again.  Let's say his high school shooting touch translates to college.  Let's say his agility hasn't been robbed from him by injury.  Maybe the redshirt freshman from Whitefish Bay has something cooking.  He's going to have to show he can deal at point guard because there's not a lot of space in the NBA for a 6'2" shooting guard, but right now, sky's the limit

I could explore the high points of Jajuan Johnson, or Gabe Levin, or Sandy Cohen here, but we're running long enough the way it is.  Am I way off on someone?  Am I underselling someone?  Is the next MU draft pick someone who's not even on the roster or recruiting radar right now?  That's what the comments are for!

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