A 2010 NBA mock draft has Lazar Hayward, the senior Marquette forward, picked late in the first round.
I’m a big Lazar fan but I’m equally surprised to see him getting so much respect. The guy’s got the physical tools — he was a 4-star recruit coming out of high school. But his tremendous heart, rebounding savvy and sweet stroke during the last three years was overshadowed by the spectacular play of the Three Amigos (Jerel McNeal, Dominic James and Wesley Matthews).
Those players have now graduated and are fighting for spots on various NBA teams. And now Lazar is pulling a Macaulay Culkin. He’s alone and coming into his own, making USA Basketball’s World University Games team. His challenge next season will be maintaining highly-productive numbers with a very inexperienced Marquette squad.
If Jerel McNeal, universally-lauded for his collegiate play, couldn’t get a team to bite on a no-strings-attached 2nd round draft pick, I highly doubt Lazar can get himself selected in the first round.
The names and orders on NBA mock drafts are completely different before and after the NCAA basketball season. At least a dozen college ballers you’ve never heard of will play their way onto that list, meaning that some of those names will drop off.
For example: before UNC’s Ed Davis physically dominated in the paint during the Final Four, do you think he was a consensus top 5 pick?
All that to say, I think it’ll be tough for Lazar to keep his footing. I’ll be rooting for him though.