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Second Rounders to Watch

Last week Alex profiled some of the higher-profile prospects plying their trade in the NCAA tournament, but let's not forget about the guys being projected for the second round. The Bucks have a slew of former second round picks on the roster, most notably Michael Redd and Mo Williams (selected by Utah), but their recent history has been notably poor. Polish sensation Szymon Szewczyk, selected in 2003 as effectively the first second rounder of the Larry Harris era, played in a couple summer leagues for the Bucks but will never be an NBA player. Ersan Ilyasova left to play for Barcelona last summer, though he's still only 20 and the Bucks maintain his early Bird rights should he return to the NBA. Still, Ilyasova has mostly been a role player in Spain and has yet to show he's ready to be more than an end-of-the-bench type in the NBA.

It gets even worse from there, beginning with the man known as the Damir Markota Experience. After the Bucks traded what turned out to be a high 2007 second rounder to get Markota's rights from the Spurs on draft night 2006, they signed the purported friend of Bogut's to a three year deal. Markota lasted all of one season on the bench before his propensity to sweat vodka during practice earned him a buyout and a ticket back to Europe. Then earlier this month, David Noel, the Bucks' other 2006 second rounder, was waived without appearing in an NBA game this season. While 2007 second rounder Ramon Sessions appears to have more promise than his predecessors, we don't really know since he's gotten so little playing time. Still, the Bucks under Larry Harris struggled mightily to find value in the second round, often passing on American players for Europeans who never panned out.

Obviously the "best player available" is always the one to take in the second round, but with so many players out there we'll highlight the guys who might also help fill some of the Bucks needs at small forward and the backup big man spots. Also linked are each player's current mock draft ranking from ESPN's Chad Ford, DraftExpress and NBADraft.net; only players ranked in the second round by at least one of those three sites were "eligible" for the list. It might be wishful thinking for these guys to all be available when the Bucks pick (probably in the 36-38 range), but after last night's loss it's probably constructive to think less about the present Bucks and more about the possible future Bucks.

Joey Dorsey

  • 6'9", 260 lbs, PF, Senior, Memphis
  • Ranks: 72 ESPN, 40 DX, 39 NBADraft.net
  • VIDEO
  • If you saw the Memphis-Mississippi State game on Sunday, Dorsey was easy to pick out--he was the guy flying out of nowhere to block anything the Bulldogs brought into the lane. While Dorsey's lack of offensive skill has him projected as a second rounder at best (40 DX/72 ESPN/39 NBADraft.net), he brings the sort of rebounding and defensive intensity that few collegiate players can match, swatting shots with both hands and using his hulking frame to body opposing big men. Dorsey will turn 25 during his rookie season, so don't think he's going to add much more to his game, but if you were picking a collegian most likely to be the next Ben Wallace (as in, the Ben Wallace of old, not the currently old Ben Wallace), it's Dorsey hands down. He might only turn out to be Michael Ruffin, but it seems inevitable that someone will roll the dice on him in the second round.

D.J. White

  • 6'8", 240 lbs, PF, Senior, Indiana
  • 44 ESPN, 35 DX, 22 NBADraft.net
  • VIDEO
  • OK, so White's Indiana team is already out of the tournament, but if you had to pick the next Carl Landry-style sleeper it might be him. Like Landry, White has a history of knee problems and has developed into an ultra-productive Big Ten PF as a senior (17 ppg/10 rpg/1.6 bpg and .605/.689 shooting). However, White might be closer to 6'7" than his listed 6'9"--the opposite of Landry, who measured 6'9" in the predraft camp rather than his listed 6'7" in college.

Chris Douglas-Roberts

  • 6'7", 200 lbs, SG/SF, Junior, Memphis
  • 43 ESPN, 19 DX, 38 NBADraft.net
  • VIDEO
  • Alex mentioned CDR in his tourney preview last week, but curiously he's listed as a second rounder by two of the three major NBA draft sites; my guess is he moves up considerably from his current rankings, but for now we'll act like the Bucks have a shot at him in the early second round. CDR doesn't always stand out playing on a talented Memphis team, but he's steadily improved each year, shooting over 50% from the field each year while developing into a good college three point shooter (.427). Like seemingly everyone on Memphis, he has a good defensive rep and, oh yeah, he's their leading scorer too (17.3 ppg in 28 mpg). While he's great in the open court, he's also become a creative scorer in the halfcourt.

Brandon Rush

  • 6'7", 210 lbs, SG/SF, Junior, Kansas
  • 26 ESPN, 22 DX, 34 NBADraft.net
  • VIDEO
  • Like Douglas-Roberts, Rush could end up going as high as the mid-first round, but there are still plenty of questions about his health and lack of improvement in college. Rush came back for his junior year after tearing his ACL before the draft last year, and he's only more recently been playing at closer to 100%. His numbers have been roughly the same in each of his three seasons, scoring right around 13-14 ppg and grabbing 5-6 rpg, but he's a good shooter and athletic defender who can play both the 2 and 3.