By: Pardeep Toor
With the emergence of Courtney Lee, Rodney Stuckey and George Hill over the past two years, teams have found NBA-ready talent at non-powerhouse schools. This year's candidate: Eric Maynor -- the skinny senior from VCU who ousted Duke from the NCAA tournament in 2007.
Forgive me for straying away from traditional basketball wisdom (or my lack thereof), but there are some players that I just enjoy watching for unexplainable reasons. I gravitate towards Stephen Jackson and Zach Randolph -- I don't know why. They are more characters than real-life basketball players to me. Maynor has that same attraction. Against UCLA, in the first round of the tournament this year, I was expecting him to come through, texting "Maynor Time" about 13 times in the span of a minute.
Perhaps that confidence is ill-informed and not statistically based but Maynor is quick, can create his own shot, finishes around the rim and had impressive assist totals for a low profile program. Dude can ball and is damn fun to watch.
He is skinny for a 22 year old coming out of college but there are very few point guards in the league who have the ability to take advantage of smaller, weaker point guards -- Baron Davis, Deron Williams and Chauncey Billups being the only ones coming to mind.
Senior Season: 22.4 points, 6.2 assists, 3.6 rebounds, 1.7 steals, 46.3 FG%, 36.1 3pt%, 81.5 FT%, 3.0 TO
Can't complain about the points and assists even in a smaller conference.
Best Case: Monta Ellis - already a better distributor than Ellis, wait and see if ability to get to the rim and score and explosiveness translates in the pros.
Worst Case: Steve Blake - doesn't excite me in any way.
Fit With The Pistons: With Joe Dumars' admission last month that Rodney Stuckey is more combo guard than point guard, drafting a true(er) point guard in Eric Maynor would not be awful. Maynor is not big enough to play the two and Stuckey is not yet a good enough shooter to produce from the two-spot which creates all sorts of roster complications. With little scoring potential outside of Rip Hamilton, Maynor could create for others but rookie point guards rarely have an immediate impact early in the season. Maynor definitely has that positive attitude, outlook and desire to succeed and there's an aura of ease and swagger about him, evidenced by creating and wearing his own championship belt, that has sorely been lacking on the roster for the last few years. If nothing else, I would love to watch him play night in and night out.
Do you like the chances of the Pistons bringing back the championship belts to Detroit with E-Mayn? Let's hear it in the comments.