Dallas Mavericks: Brian Zoubek

Mavs quick to call undrafted players

June, 25, 2010
Moments after the conclusion of Thursday night's draft, Mavericks owner Mark Cuban was on the phone, personally calling players who had gone undrafted and their agents. The Mavs will sign four to five undrafted players and give them a shot to make the club's Summer League team that will play in Las Vegas from July 9-18.

On the Mavs' radar are several players they brought in for workouts, including Virginia guard Sylven Landesberg, Duke center Brian Zoubek and South Carolina guard Devan Downey.

Could Mavs help Caracter build character?

June, 23, 2010
NBA draft prospect Derrick Caracter should have been born with an 'h' in his last name because he's been quite the character in a long, strange journey to the NBA draft.

Since the eighth grade, UTEP's 6-9, 280-pound power forward started seeing his name in lights and by the time he got to Louisville and coach Rick Pitino, Caracter was blinded by the glare.

"Going into my eighth grade year, they ranked me No. 1 (prospect in the nation)," Caracter told the El Paso Times during the season. "I stayed No. 1 until my junior year. That's when I let everything get into my head. I got cocky; big headed. I didn't work out too good and I got heavy. Even then, though, Lebron James was ranked No. 1 and they had me at No. 5."

Heading into Thursday's NBA draft, Caracter will be lucky if he's any better than No. 50, as in the 50th overall pick. That's where the Dallas Mavericks select barring a move up.

Caracter lasted two miserable seasons at Louisville at which point Pitino kicked him off the team. Pitino, who once compared Caracter to the Round Mound of Rebounds himself -- Charles Barkley -- bid Caracter adieu by calling him a thorn in his side.

So the New Jersey native headed farther west to UTEP. After sitting out a year to satisfy transfer rules, Caracter seems to have delved deep into his character, realizing a lucrative pro career hung in the balance. The junior averaged 14.1 points and 8.1 rebounds in leading the Miners to the regular-season Conference-USA title.

Caracter is remarkably agile and athletic for such a large man. He was a force for UTEP down low, but could also step out and sink a floating jump shot, not unlike the Boston Celtics' 6-9, 289-pound Glen "Big Baby" Davis (although Caracater is a better rebounder). The Mavs passed up on Davis, a second-rounder who is now an integral reserve in Boston, a couple of years ago.

Although the Mavs say they draft the best player and not by need that late in the second round, Caracter would fill a need at power forward behind Dirk Nowitzki and health-risk Eduardo Najera. The Mavs need rebounding help and scoring punch on the low blocks.

San Antonio relished its selection last summer of another low-center-of-gravity load in 6-7, 265-pound center DeJuan Blair. Blair averaged 7.8 points and 6.4 rebounds as a rookie. The Mavs passed on him in the second round, too.

Caracter, seemingly having added a dash of maturity and humility, could be one of the draft's sleepers at No. 50.

Other big men who could be available at No. 50:
Dexter Pittman, Texas
Brian Zoubek, Duke
Luke Harangody, Notre Dame
Jerome Jordan, Tulsa
Hamady N'Diaye, Rutgers
Tiny Gallon, Oklahoma

Final Mavs prospects get workouts today

June, 22, 2010
Six more draft prospects come to the American Airlines Center practice gym for the final workouts before Thursday night's NBA draft. In all, the Dallas Mavericks invited 31 prospects of all heights and positions over six days. Most are projected to be late second-round picks or undrafted.

The Mavs own the 50th pick overall unless they make a play to move up. While a center and an athletic swingman might be of highest priority, Mavs vice president of basketball operations Donnie Nelson said that when picking so late, it becomes all about the player, and not the position.

"At 50, you can't get locked into positions or anything like that," Nelson said. "You've got to take the best available name on the board."

These six just might be there:

Omar Samhan, 6-11, 265, Saint Mary's
Notes: A traditional center with post moves and scoring touch, he averaged 22.5 points, 11.1 rebounds and 2.9 blocks a game as a senior. His goofy, magnetic personality helped him become a national sensation during the NCAA tournament after averaging 30.5 points on 75 percent shooting in the first two rounds to get the Cinderella Gaels into the Sweet 16.

Jerome Randle, 5-10, 160, California
Notes: The point guard averaged 18.6 points and 4.3 assists as a senior. While short in stature, Randle is an excellent jump shooter and was adept at hitting contested jumpers. He drained 40.4 percent of this 3-point attempts and shot 45.7 percent from the floor. He averaged 35.0 minutes a game. Randle is considered a sleeper by some.

Magnum Rolle, 6-10, 200, Louisiana Tech
Notes: He spent two years at LSU, had trouble earning playing time and transferred. As a senior, he averaged 13.9 points and 8.4 rebounds. Mostly a catch-and-finish offensive player who could serve as a rebounder and defender in the NBA as he develops an offensive game.

Brian Zoubek, 7-1, 250, Duke
Notes: Injuries stunted him early in his career and it took until his senior season for him to even be mentioned as a possible draft pick. One of the best offensive rebounds in college basketball last season, most of Zoubek's points came off second chances. He's tough and sturdy and could aid a team in need of board help.

Tommy Mason-Griffin, 5-11, 170, Oklahoma
Notes: There's plenty of curiousity surrounding his decision to leave school after his freshman season. Short and pudgy, he averaged 14.1 points with 5.0 assists, though, Mason-Griffin might be best remembered for his facebook announcement about entering the draft: "it's a official dat i am leavin skool...." He likely won't be drafted.

Andrew Ogilvy, 7-0, 240, Vanderbilt
Notes: The Australian who goes by A.J. (Andrew James) averaged 13.4 points and 6.2 rebounds as a junior. Strangely, his points have decreased from 17.0 as a freshman and his minutes have decreased from 27.6 as a sophomore to 23.2 last year. Scouts wonder if he's rugged enough to play against NBA power forwards and centers.

No. 50 a gamble? Sure, but put chips in

June, 14, 2010
We all know that Manu Ginobili, drafted 57th overall in 1999, is one of the great late second-round selections ever.

They don't happen often. And that's not to say that the Dallas Mavericks, who won't pick until No. 50 in the June 24 NBA draft, can't find the next Manu.

This is a deep draft that will produce recognizable names from the college ranks late in the second round.

"You're going to find some gems in the second round, deep in the second round," NBA director of scouting Ryan Blake said.

Would the Mavs be thrilled if Notre Dame's Luke Harangody fell in their lap? Or UTEP's Derrick Caracter? Other big men that could be left on the board include Duke's Brian Zoubek, Louisville's Samardo Samuels and Clemson's Trevor Booker.

The Mavs begin bringing in draft prospects today, a process that will continue into next week leading into the draft. Workouts will help vice president of basketball operations Donnie Nelson and staff put their board in order.

Two under 6-foot guards who will be in for workouts are California's Jerome Randle and South Carolina's Devan Downey. The Mavs could be looking for another backup point guard if J.J. Barea is used in a trade.

But, what if Kansas' Sherron Collins is available? Or Alabama's Mikhail Torrance or Mississippi's Terrico White?

Will some prospects be gone well before No. 50? Absolutely. Could some fall beyond No. 50. Absolutely.

"This is one of the deepest [drafts] and it's going to be a strange kind of draft because ... it's kind of this is a beauty-in-the-eye-of-the-beholder-cliché daft," Blake said. "Really, that's the way it's going to be."

Who should Mavs draft with No. 50 pick?

June, 10, 2010
A few years ago, I basically begged the Mavs to draft Big Baby with their second-round pick.

They ignored my advice and drafted Nick Fazekas.

Glen Davis is playing a significant role in the Finals. Fazekas, I believe, plays for some team in France.

Moral of the story: When it comes to second-round picks, I won't steer the Mavs wrong.

That's all a big build-up for a pretty blah moment. Can I get a drum roll for my offical recommendation of who the Mavs should select with the 50th overall pick?

Duke center Brian Zoubek!!!

OK, MFFLs might not be real fired up about the Mavs drafting yet another big white stiff. But it's not like superstars slip into the 50s, with Manu Ginobili being a major exception to the rule.

Zoubek might at least be a serviceable backup center right away. He isn't athletic, but he's a good position defender, better rebounder (especially on the offensive end) and solid screen setter.

Consider him a poor man's Erick Dampier, a description that will surely thrill the Dallas fan base.

The Mavs will at least consider Zoubek. He's one of several prospects they plan to bring in for a workout, which is a step further than they got with Big Baby a few years ago.



Dirk Nowitzki
21.7 2.7 0.9 32.9
ReboundsS. Marion 6.5
AssistsM. Ellis 5.7
StealsM. Ellis 1.7
BlocksB. Wright 0.9