Gonzaga's success over the past decade or so has been something that analysts have marveled at. While many non-BCS programs have stepped into the spotlight only to disappear just as fast, the Zags have displayed true staying power. From that success, Gonzaga is beginning to recruit and produce more players with professional possibilities. Currently, there are three Zags in the NBA: Ronny Turiaf (Miami), Jeremy Pargo (Memphis), and Austin Daye (Detroit). As Gonzaga continues to recruit and pursue players at a national and international level, it is going to become more and more important that the staff displays an ability to groom talent that can play at the next level.
Regardless of how you feel about Gonzaga's current professional players, it is never a bad thing to be able to point to a guy playing on TNT or ESPN and say "He went to Gonzaga". Tonight, Gonzaga has the chance to add another player to their NBA stock in Robert Sacre.
Rob has done a tremendous job since his graduation of traveling to various workouts to put in as much face time with NBA teams as he possibly can. In fact, his efforts have been noticed by a number of outlets that think he is a possible second round selection. As I thought about it today, there are a couple of big factors that could play into Rob's favor tonight. Whereas we saw guys like Micah Downs and Jeremy Pargo slide out of the second round, Rob is going to get a boost just because he is a seven-footer with some offensive ability and athleticism. Seven-footers late in the second round of a draft can be a GMs best friend. Secondly, and perhaps more importantly is that the sex appeal of drafting international players that are left overseas for a few years has rapidly diminished. Whereas a few years ago it seemed like every pick in the second round was some guy from Serbia, Spain, or Russia, tonight you should hear more familiar names as the draft wears on.
I heard a great line earlier this week that went something like: "Mock drafts are pointless because you can't expect rational behavior out of those making the selections". It is extremely tough to nail down who the 6th pick of the draft will be much less the 55th pick but we are all rooting for Rob and hope to hear his name called!
Feel free to share any thoughts, links, etc that you can find about Rob's draft prospects and comment here as the draft wears on.