Thursday, June 24, 2010
Baylor's Udoh goes to Warriors at No. 6
By Jeff Caplan
DALLAS -- What a journey for Ekpe Udoh. From being lightly recruited to going to Michigan to transferring to Baylor and leading the Bears to the Elite Eight. His shot-blocking is fantastic, he's improved greatly offensively and throughout the year his draft stock kept rising.
Thought be a late lottery pick until really a day ago, Udoh was selected at No. 6 by the Golden State Warriors, becoming Baylor's highest-drafted player in school history. Udoh is the first Baylor player taken in the NBA draft since the Los Angeles Clippers selected Brian Skinner with the 22nd overall pick of the first round in 1998.
The Big 12's single-season blocks leader will join Stephen Curry and Monta Ellis on an interesting Warriors team that's been stung by injuries and the quirkiness of Don Nelson.
Udoh said he plans to come in and get to work.
"Just coming in, doing what I love, playing defense and blocking shots and bring energy to the game," Udoh said.
The 2010 Big 12 Newcomer of the Year and second-team All-Big 12 selection averaged 13.9 points, 9.8 rebounds, 3.7 blocks and 2.7 assists in 36 games.
"Words cannot describe how excited we are for Ekpe to be the highest NBA draft pick in Baylor history," Baylor coach Scott Drew said. "He has been an exemplary representative for Baylor and the Warriors are lucky to have him on their team. We wish him the best of luck and look forward to watching him live his dream for many years to come."
Nicknamed "The Nightmare," (Udoh's middle name is Friday and he wore No. 13) his 3.69 blocks-per-game average ranks first all-time on Baylor's career list and second on the single-season chart. The Edmond, Okla., native posted a team-best 16 double-doubles, while establishing career-best single-game and season-season marks in points, rebounding, assists and blocked shots. His 351 rebounds rank fourth on Baylor’s single-season rebounding list.