Syracuse guard Dion Waiters may have been a reserve, but still has one of highest potentials in NBA Draft. (Photo courtesy of ESPN)
Seven years ago, the Atlanta Hawks selected North Carolina's Marvin Williams second overall in the NBA Draft. Williams may not have started a game in his only season in Chapel Hill, but was clearly one of the most talented prospects available.
Now turn the clock ahead to 2012. Kentucky's Anthony Davis is a surefire No. 1 selection, and guys like Thomas Robinson and Bradley Beal are also can't-miss prospects. Yet rising up the board is a player who, similar to Williams, did his collegiate work off the bench, yet managed to make enough of an impression to both resemble a two-time NBA champion and earn the distinction of being one of the Big East's best players.
Syracuse's Dion Waiters was voted the Big East Sixth Man of the Year last season, and should become Jim Boeheim's third Top 10 draft pick in the last ten years. If Waiters is indeed considered with Cleveland's fourth overall choice as ESPN's Andy Katz reported, the Philadelphian becomes the highest Orange player selected since some guy named Anthony won them a national championship in 2003.
Think about that for a second, my friends. A player who never started a single game, yet is good enough to be taken at the same professional level as the man who was quite possibly one of the greatest Syracuse players in recent memory, and is now adding to his legacy in the NBA.
UConn coach Jim Calhoun said that "no one can take over a game" the way Waiters can. Having seen Syracuse destroy St. John's at Madison Square Garden this past February, I would be hard pressed to disagree with the Hall of Fame head man. College basketball insider Jon Rothstein has compared the guard to Dwyane Wade several times, highlighting that his potential and explosiveness is reminiscent to that of the Miami Heat star.
Regardless of where Waiters ends up, (I have him going seventh to Golden State) the team who drafts him gets a major steal in the 20-year-old, and will notice his impact right away as he sends his future employer onto the fast track to NBA success. For all of Jim Boeheim's success stories in his thirty-six seasons at the helm, this one could be one of the better ones the legend has authored.
The story writes a new chapter for itself tonight.