Jalen Rose has been down this road before. His recent comments about Duke University players sparked a media frenzy, so you would think Rose would back off slamming Duke for a little while.
Well, Rose was at again recently when he suggested that the Cavaliers should take Arizona’s Derrick Williams with the No. 1 overall pick in the 2011 NBA draft over Duke’s Kyrie Irving, who most basketball experts say is the best player in the draft.
“I’d take him with the No. 1 pick,” Rose said of Williams. “Look at the NCAA Tournament. He jumped off the television. He’s a 6-10 player that can play the 3 and 4, shoot the three, jump off one foot, two feet, and if I’m the Cavs I’m trying to get two for a dollar in the top four.”
Rose continued, “I take [Williams] No. 1 and then I take [Brandon] Knight fourth, from Kentucky, so now I get a point guard that’s dynamic.”
Rose says if you’re going to take a point guard with the No. 1 overall selection he better be a great athlete, someone who is off-the-charts in terms of speed and power.
“Look at where the game is going,” Rose said. “You got Derrick Rose, you got Russell Westbrook, you got Deron Williams. These guys are tremendous athletes.
“Not that Kyrie Irving is not gonna be a good player, I think he is. But he’s not a fantastic athlete.”
Rose’s point is that Irving is not going to be catching lobs and throwing it down over 7-footers at the rim. Irving has all the ingredients to be a solid point guard in the NBA, but Rose doesn’t consider him an “explosive” player, someone who can take over a game and dominate with his athleticism.
Rose may be on to something here because, even though Irving only played one year (half a season really) at Duke, he still fits the mold of a Duke point guard.
“Let’s talk about the point guards from Duke: we’ve had Williams Avery, Bobby Hurley, Jay Williams, Chris Duhon. That’s what [Irving] has to fight.”
Rose added, “Just like a quarterback in college that comes from a certain system who has to who that he can make it in the NBA, Duke point guards have to prove the same thing. It’s not a diss, it’s a fact.”
In Rose’s defense, coming out of high school, Irving and Knight were neck-and-neck in terms of ranking, and some even had Knight ahead of Irving. So, why all of a sudden did Irving jump to the head of the class when Knight played just as well in his one season at Kentucky?
Rose makes a valid point, and the Cavs should seriously think about taking Williams at No. 1 and hope that Knight will be there at No. 1.