College Basketball Nation: Lists of Fury

It's the day after the draft. For me, that means sitting at my desk, staring at my computer screen, and wondering if what I saw last night unfold last night is really how things went down. In other words, I'm still processing all this.

You know what else the Draft Day Plus 1 means? Listicles. Lots and lots of listicles.

You know what I always say: If you can't beat them -- if you can't think of a similarly efficient content delivery format that doesn't rely so heavily on lists, basically -- join them. Without further ado, here's one of a few college hoops-inclined looks at last night's action. Next up: The biggest college winners drafted in the second round.

NBA general managers frequently pay homage to the idea of intangibles. They praise players for character, for motor, for having accomplished things during their amateur careers. Then, when the draft clock winds down, those same GMs just as frequently ignore that lip service in favor of drafting the best athlete, or the high-risk, high-reward talent, or the latest 7-foot European sensation.

That's part of the reason why, if you compare the two rounds of last night's NBA draft, you might find just as many -- if not more -- college hoops wins in the second round as the first. There were a lot of awfully successful college hoopsters drafted in the latter round last night. Here's a few of them.

[+] EnlargeKyle Singler
Mark Dolejs/US PresswireKyle Singler was a value pick for the Detroit Pistons in the second round.
1. Kyle Singler, forward, Duke, No. 33: If it wasn't for Nolan Smith being drafted in the first round (Smith went surprisingly early to the Trail Blazers at No. 21), the Duke duo may have tipped the college wins scale fully in the favor of the second round. As it is, Singler stands alone atop this list for his unparalleled college success. Singler was a key contributor in all four of his years at Duke, and in that span the Blue Devils never won fewer than 28 games during his tenure, and they never lost more than seven games in any season. His career record? 125-23. Oh, and there was that 2010 national title, too. Detroit Pistons GM Joe Dumars values character and experience, and he may have been elated that Singler's shooting woes and tweener issues kept him available until the second round.

2. Shelvin Mack, guard, Butler, No. 34: The Washington Wizards drew praise from all corners for their draft selections Thursday night. That praise was cemented when the Wizards landed Mack just one pick after Singler's selection in the second round. Mack's accomplishments in his three years at Butler speak for themselves: An 87-21 record, three straight Horizon League titles, a variety of individual regular season and postseason awards, and, most importantly, a penchant for turning his game on in March. Mack helped engineer two of the most unlikely postseason runs in NCAA tournament history as a sophomore and junior, and with his combination of outside shooting, distribution and lockdown defense, the Bulldogs finished as NCAA runners-up two years in a row.

3. E'Twaun Moore, guard, Purdue, No. 55: The NBA draft coincidence of the night -- assuming the Celtics didn't plan this out -- was seeing Purdue forward JaJuan Johnson and former teammate E'Twaun Moore both land on the same team in Boston. Johnson was selected in the first round, and Moore was taken in the second, but it's not unfair to say Moore might make an easier and more immediate transition to the pros. At the very least, the Celtics know Moore was a quietly effective, consistent collegiate winner. He helped lead Purdue to four straight plus-25-win seasons, became the fourth player in Big Ten history to notch at least 2,000 points, 500 rebounds and 350 assists, and was one of the reasons the Boilermakers were on the precipice of national title runs in 2010 and 2011 before Robbie Hummel's untimely injuries. Moore, Johnson and Hummel led something of a hoops renaissance under Matt Painter at Purdue, and if I'm an NBA GM, that sort of pedigree is worth a pick any day.

4. Jon Leuer, forward, Wisconsin, No. 40: As go Bo Ryan's teams, so go Bo Ryan's players. Or maybe that's the other way around. However you choose to view it, the bottom line is that Wisconsin wins -- incredibly, Ryan has still never finished worse than fourth in the Big Ten -- as consistently as any program in the country. In the past four years, that winning has had much to do with the play of Jon Leuer, who, in typical Wisconsin fashion, morphed from a so-so prospect into one of the most efficient players in college basketball in his final two seasons. Quiet effectiveness in a versatile 7-foot frame? Yes please.

5. Jon Diebler, guard, Ohio State, No. 51: With apologies to Isaiah Thomas, who snuck into the draft with the final pick in the second round last night (and who might have snuck onto this list if we didn't think Washington limped through so much of their 2010-11 season), Diebler gets the nod at the fifth spot here. The Buckeyes guard had the benefit of playing with some very talented players in his days at Ohio State, but it's worth noting that Diebler wasn't always the hypereffective outside shooter we now know. As a freshman, he shot 29 percent from 3. As a sophomore, he had improved that mark to 42 percent. By the time he was a senior, Diebler was the most dangerous perimeter shooter in the country, making 50 percent (!) of his threes and posting -- check out these stats -- an offensive rating of 140.6 (No. 1 in the country), an effective field goal percentage of 70.6 (No. 2 in the country) and a true shooting percentage of 72.3 (No. 1 in the country). Having Evan Turner and Jared Sullinger finding you for open shots in back to back years is a blessing. But it's a blessing Diebler exploited like few other players in the country. There's no reason to expect anything less in the NBA.
It's the day after the draft. For me, that means sitting at my desk, staring at my computer screen, and wondering if what I saw unfold last night is really how things went down. In other words, I'm still processing all this.

You know what else the Draft Day Plus 1 means? Listicles. Lots and lots of listicles.

You know what I always say: If you can't beat them -- if you can't think of a similarly efficient content delivery format that doesn't rely so heavily on lists, basically -- join them. Without further ado, here's one of a few college hoops-inclined looks at last night's action. First up: The five biggest surprises of the 2011 NBA draft.

[+] EnlargeIman Shumpert stock rose after testing well at the draft combine.
Jonathan Daniel/Getty ImagesIman Shumpert stock rose after testing well at the draft combine.
1. Iman Shumpert drafted No. 17 overall by the New York Knicks: It's almost like Isiah Thomas never left the Knicks front office. Thing is? If Zeke did one thing well as a general manager, it was find value in the NBA draft. And the Knicks' recent draft history, even under Thomas's successor Donnie Walsh, isn't totally worthy of ridicule. So maybe the Shumpert pick, which the Knicks made just a few spots removed from the lottery Thursday night, will end up looking like a brilliant one. Maybe. From what we know right now -- and what we know is that Shumpert was a thoroughly mediocre college basketball player who impressed scouts with individual workouts and athletic measurements -- there were plenty of good reasons for New York fans to boo so lustily after their first-round pick.

2. Cory Joseph drafted No. 29 overall by the San Antonio Spurs: Remember when Joseph was merely testing the draft waters? And we all thought there was no way he would possibly stay in the draft? Remember when he did stay in the draft, and we all wondered what in tarnation -- I'm bringing "tarnation" back, y'all -- Joseph was thinking? He might not even be drafted? Why not come back to Texas for a year and make a run again next spring? Why rush this? Apparently, Joseph knew better than we did. Not only was the Longhorns guard drafted, he landed a guaranteed contract with the San Antonio Spurs, who savvily cleared room in their backcourt by trading George Hill to the Pacers for the rights to Kawhi Leonard. If Joseph plays well, he has a chance to be a rotation player on one of the smartest, best-run and most well-coached franchises in professional sports. In other words: jackpot.

3. Jereme Richmond goes undrafted: When Richmond announced his decision to leave Illinois after a so-so freshman season, the explanations made some sense: Richmond wasn't happy at Illinois, he was reportedly struggling to get along with coaches and teammates, his academics were (again, reportedly) a cause for concern, and besides, while he may not have been ready for the NBA just yet, at least he had the sort of first-round talent that didn't make his one-and-done decision look totally foolish.

Alas, for every Cory Joseph there are 10 Jereme Richmonds, players that should have either a) stayed in school or b) been sure that they could handle the rigors of the draft workout process. Richmond did neither, and for his trouble, he was never selected on draft night. Despite the rumors of poor workouts and bad interviews, Richmond didn't lose that first-round talent; it was a surprise to see him go undrafted. Now, Richmond will have to convince an NBA team he's worth bringing in as an undrafted free agent. If the talented but troubled forward needed a wake-up call, well, here it is.

4. Josh Harrellson takes his jorts to the big city: Drafting Shumpert at No. 17 was arguably the second-most surprising move the Knicks made Thursday night. In the second round, looking to draft a proven low-post banger, the Knicks went with ... Kentucky's Josh Harrellson? Hey, Jorts just got drafted! All right, Jorts!

Many believed Harrellson would go undrafted, and the fact that he was even a contender for a late second-round pick is a testament to how much the bulky big man improved during his senior season. A year ago, this would have been unthinkable. Even now, the notion of watching Harrellson don the Knicks' timeless uniforms and take the floor in Madison Square Garden ... well, who saw that one coming?

5. Is Josh Selby the steal of the draft? Maybe I'm the only one who thinks NBA scouts and general managers were too wary of Selby's unproductive freshman season. Maybe I'm the only one who thinks his struggles had just as much to do with ineligibility and nagging injuries and a senior-laden Kansas backcourt as any lack of talent on Selby's part. Maybe I'm the only one who thinks that small sample size doesn't necessarily outweigh the massive talent Selby displayed as a high schooler, when he was arguably the best player in the country.

In other words, maybe I'm the only one that was surprised by just how far Selby fell Thursday night. Once considered a mid-to-late first round pick, Selby dropped all the way to the Grizzlies in the second half of the second round, when he was drafted No. 49 overall. I'm not sure how many minutes Selby is going to be able to carve out in the Grizzlies' backcourt, but he was undeniably the most purely talented player selected anywhere near this late in the proceedings. (Harrellson went four picks ahead of him. Jorts!) Now the athletic guard is all upside and no risk for the Grizzlies, who won't have to guarantee his contract and can give him time to figure out the NBA life as a developing reserve on a playoff contender. Why didn't someone roll these dice 15 picks earlier?

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