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Indiana Pacers 2010 NBA Draft Class

Lance Stephenson: Shooting Guard, University of Cincinnati

Already a New York City legend by the time he was a teenager, Stephenson set the all-time high school scoring mark while at Lincoln High School.  He was the New York State Mr. Basketball his senior year and was named to the prestigious McDonald’s All-American team.

His play on the court led to massive fame at a very early age, and Stephenson, dubbed “Born Ready” by Rucker Park patrons, had some off-court issues that prevented many of the nation’s top university’s from recruiting him.  He ended up at Cincinnati, where he was a model citizen and productive player.  Stephenson earned Big East Freshman of the Year honors after averaging 12.3 points and 5.4 rebounds in his only season at Cincy.  Despite possessing requisite size (6’5″, 210lbs) and first-round skills, Stephenson fell to the Pacers at the 10th pick in the second round (40th overall) because of questions about his athleticism and character.

Magnum Rolle: Power Forward, Louisiana Tech University

Rolle is an athletic, six-foot-ten power forward out of Louisiana Tech.  He grew up in the Bahamas, and didn’t take up basketball until the age of 15.  Rolle originally attended LSU, and was a backup forward on the team that played in the 2006 NCAA Final Four at the RCA Dome, but transferred after his sophomore season.

After sitting out the 2007-08 season, he started for the the Bulldogs and averaged 12.2 points, 7.2 rebounds, and 1.7 blocks on his way to being named WAC Newcomer of the Year and All-WAC first team defense.  He improved his totals to 13.9 points, 8.4 rebounds, and 2.1 blocks in his senior year, and was named to the Lefty Driesell All-American defensive team.  The Oklahoma City Thunder drafted Rolle with the 51st pick, but traded him to the Pacers in exchange for the 57th pick (Ryan Reid, Florida State) and cash considerations on draft night.

Magnum Rolle working out prior to the 2010 NBA Draft

 

Scouts Take (NBADraft.net)

Strengths: An extremely mobile big man with terrific agility…Has good size and a very long wingspan, which allows him to make energy plays on both ends of the floor…Moves well without the ball…He has soft hands, and is terrific catching the ball on the move and in traffic…Gets off the ground well and needs very little time to gather and explode … Finishes strong in drive and dish situations…Touch around the basket is extremely soft…Mid-range jumper is smooth and has become a nice little weapon…Defensively he is a shot blocking presence, using his length and timing to block and alter many shot attempts

Weaknesses: Not a physical player…Lacks the strength and mass to battle inside…Gets thrown around and has a hard time fighting for position on both ends…Not a go-to scoring threat in the post…Has struggled with inconsistent play…Prone to careless mistakes…At 25-years old, Rolle is an older player so his upside isn’t that of other prospects

My Take: Rolle is highly athletic, and could carve out a niche as an energy player of the bench in the NBA.  Despite being 25, he is still relatively new to the game of basketball, so it’s reasonable to think there’s still some upside to his development.  As currently constructed, it will be hard for Rolle to break camp with the Pacers, and he’ll probably spend the season working on his game in Fort Wayne, Indiana playing for the Fort Wayne Mad Ants of the NBA D-League.

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