The last time the University of Wisconsin basketball team had two players taken in the first round of the NBA draft was, well, never.
That string comes to an end June 25 when both Frank Kaminsky and Sam Dekker are all but certain to go in the first round of this year's draft.
Everybody from Sports Illustrated and ESPN to Billy Goldman who works out of his parents' basement when he isn’t in class with his sixth grade friends has conducted a mock draft.
And it’s funny, or perhaps not so funny, how often all these mock drafts agree on both Kaminsky and Dekker.
Boiling down a huge bucket of words and analysis, it seems like Kaminsky will go a few picks before Dekker. Kaminsky, a senior, was the NCAA Player of the Year and Dekker is coming off his junior year.
Kaminsky is projected to go in the middle of the draft and most experts have him headed to the Utah Jazz. Dekker is predicted to go a few picks after Kaminsky and a lot of drafts have him going to the Atlanta Hawks.
Here’s a summary of the scouting reports on the two players.
Kaminsky is an intriguing prospect primarily because of his skills at the offensive end. He has excellent size for a power forward at 7-0 and he has room to put on some muscle. He’s very fluid and very coordinated for a guy his size. He can run the floor and handle the ball, shoot, drive to the basket and pass like no other big man in the draft. He can also play with his back to the basket. He will create matchup problems for whoever he plays against.
The bigger question marks on Kaminsky come on the defensive end of the floor. He was exclusively a center in college but will play power forward in the pros, and will be forced to guard smaller and quicker players than he did in college. He will have to learn how to step outside the center and guard players on the perimeter.
Perhaps the biggest plus for him is his determined work ethic. Scouts expect him to work hard to upgrade the areas he needs to work on.
Dekker may well turn out to be a better pro than Kaminski.
At 6-9 he can do it all, handle the ball, slash to the basket, hit a jump shot and crash the boards for rebounds. He’s got a great body for a basketball player and he’s quick enough to take his man off the dribble. The only question about him is whether he can consistently hit the 15-foot jumper.
On the defensive end Dekker is also a very versatile player. He can guard bigger players because of his size and strength and can guard smaller players because he has a very quick and smooth lateral move. He doesn’t back down on defense and takes charges and is an aggressive rebounder and very competitive.
Who knows if these mock drafts have a clue about what’s going to happen to these two? But having two players go in the first round is a big deal for any Wisconsin sports fan.
With a history in Milwaukee stretching back decades, Dave tries to bring a unique perspective to his writing, whether it's sports, politics, theater or any other issue.
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