ON DEVIN EBANKS
From Mike Trudell, Basket Blog: With the 43rd pick in the 2010 NBA Draft, the Lakers selected Devin Ebanks, a 6-9, 215-pound sophomore out of West Virgina. “I’m so happy right now, you don’t understand,” said Ebanks to L.A. media members over the phone. “The world champions … I get to play with the best player in the world, Kobe Bryant … I don’t really have too many words to say, I’m just happy.” Ebanks was named to the All-Big East Third Team as a sophomore after making the Big East All-Rookie and All-Tournament teams as a freshman.
From Brian Kamenetzky, Land O’ Lakers: It took three hours or so to get there, but when the Lakers finally had an opportunity to participate in the 2010 NBA Draft, they managed to snag a reasonably interesting prospect. With the 43rd pick, they selected 6’9″ forward Devin Ebanks, who played two seasons at West Virginia. He’s not a polished offensive player, but Ebanks is considered a very effective perimeter defender and averaged over eight rebounds a game as a sophomore with the Mountaineers. Rebounding is considered one of the better-translating skills from the college level to the pros, so his numbers are a positive sign. He’s very raw offensively and can’t shoot- Ebanks hit only eight of the 70 three-pointers launched in his collegiate career- and is also a skinny fella, making the comparisons to Trevor Ariza pretty natural.
From Dave McMenamin, ESPN Los Angleles: Ever since Oklahoma City was eliminated from the first round of the playoffs by Los Angeles’ Pau Gasol on a last-second Game 6 putback, it’s been hard for Kevin Durant to watch anything basketball-related. Why? Because he would inevitably hear something about those Lakers. “It was tough,” Durant said Thursday at the Theater at Madison Square Garden, where the 2009-10 scoring champ was on hand as a special NBA draft correspondent for NBA TV. “I would go places, and I had to watch it because that was the only thing on TV. It was tough to watch it. I was very upset; it fueled me to keep working.”
From Jainis Carr, Orange County Register: Devin Ebanks wasn’t expecting much from the NBA draft. He simply wanted to be picked — first round, second round — it didn’t matter. So the West Virginia forward was ecstatic when the Lakers made him the 43rd pick overall Thursday. “I just wanted to be picked,” Ebanks said on a conference call. “But I’m really happy. I don’t have too many words (to describe this).” Ebanks is a versatile forward and solid defender, but he also can be an effective shooter from mid-range. He averaged 12.0 points last season and led the Mountaineers in rebounding with an average of 8.1 a game. He helped West Virginia to its first Final Four appearance since 1951 and the most victories in school history (31).
From Jains Carr, Orange County Register (with video): Imagine the dunk contests the Lakers could stage if Shannon Brown and newly drafted Devin Ebanks if both are around Staples Center next season. Brown, who could opt out, has established himself as the team’s premiere dunker with his high-flying act. Ebanks, if he makes the team, could challenge him for supremacy.
From Mark Medina, Los Angeles Times: The Lakers selected West Virginia sophomore forward Devin Ebanks in the second round of the NBA draft with the 43rd pick overall, adding a frontcourt player who prides himself on rebounding and locking down opponents’ top scorers. He helped the Mountaineers to their first Final Four since 1951 and the most wins in school history as he led the team in rebounding at 8.1 a game.
From Adam Ganales, NBA Draft: Long and lean small forward possessing a ‘smooth’ game … His wingspan is incredible and he seemingly gets his paws on every ball … Prolific rebounder (8.5 RPG). Particularly innate offensive rebounder (3 per game) … Grabs boards outside of his area. Quick off his feet and anticipates caroms extremely well. Breaks for the ball before anyone else on the court … High percentage shooter, rarely takes a bad shot (47%) … Very soft touch around the basket. Crafty with a variety of release points … Knows how to get shots off in the paint …
ON DERRICK CARACTER
From Mike Trudell, Basket Blog: After selecting forward Devin Ebanks with the 43rd pick of the second round, the Lakers picked UTEP big man Derrick Caracter at No. 58. Caracter was named to the All-Conference USA Second Team after averaging 14 points and eight rebounds as a junior, and ranked 16th in the country in field goal percentage (56.7 percent). Lakers General Manager Mitch Kupchak said that the team wasn’t expecting Caracter to be available as late as No. 58.
From Mark Medina, Los Angeles Times: The Lakers selected Texas El Paso junior forward Derrick Caracter with their second selection in the second round, the 58th pick overarll, despite General Manager Mitch Kupchak’s earlier contention that the team’s backcourt served as the team’s biggest need. Caracter, who spent his first two seasons at Louisville, averaged 14.1 points and 8.1 rebounds as he earned second-team All-Conference USA honors and shot a second-best 56.7% from the field during league play. He’s known to have good footwork, post moves and agility.
From Aran Smith, NBA Draft: NBA body and strength, very skilled for his size, has a nice game facing the basket with range to the college 3-point line, good rebounder in and out of area … Shows soft hands and can make catches in traffic … Has good athleticism for a man his size and will surprise you with his bounce … Can establish great position down low do to his brute strength and shows a mean streak at times and scores at will when motivated … Skill level and feel for the game are actually at a high level. A solid passer and understands how to use pump fakes and his strength to score on longer opponents …