June 24th, 2011
2011 NBA Draft Has Catholic Representation
Picks 24, 25 and 30 belong to Catholic school players
After being shut out during the first 23 picks of Thursday's NBA Draft, the Catholic school contingent went on a hot streak toward the end of the first round, as players from Catholic basketball teams were selected during the 24th, 25th and 30th pick.
Boston College's Reggie Jackson was the first of those to be chosen. He was taken 24th overall by the Oklahoma City Thunder. He was quickly followed by Providence College's MarShon Brooks (25th; drafted by the Boston Celtics and traded to New Jersey Nets) and Marquette University's Jimmy Bulter (30th; Chicago Bulls).
Jackson, an AP All-America Honorable Mention and All-ACC First Team selection as a junior at Boston College, averaged 18.2 points, 4.5 assists, 4.3 rebounds and 1.1 steals in 34 games for the Eagles during the 2010-11 season. Jackson did not miss a game (99 games played) during his three-year career at BC.
Jackson led the Eagles in scoring, assists and steals while ranking fourth in rebounding during his junior season. The 6-3 guard ranked among the ACC leaders in seven statistical categories (scoring, assists, free-throw percentage, field-goal percentage, 3-point field-goal percentage, 3-point field-goals made and minutes played per game) during his final season at Boston College.
“We are excited to add Reggie to our organization,” said Thunder Executive Vice President and General Manager Sam Presti. “He adds length and athleticism to our team and he will provide depth to our roster.”
The Colorado product was selected as the Gatorade Player of the Year and Denver Post 5A Player of the Year as a senior at Palmer High School. As a senior there, Jackson averaged 29.6 points, 7.9 rebounds and 7.0 assists per game while leading Palmer to a 24-3 record.
Providence standout Brooks, who was picked by the Celtics before being dealt to the Nets, fulfills two immediate needs on the wing for New Jersey: athleticism and scoring. The incumbent starter at shooting guard, Anthony Morrow, is a deadeye marksman (.447 career 3P%) who plays hard, but lacks explosiveness.
Improving as a scorer each season at Providence, Brooks upped his average more than 10 points in his final season, dropping 24.6 points on the heads of Big East defenses renowned for restricting scoring totals. And he remained efficient (.483 FG%) despite often facing multiple defenders.
“At Providence, I had to do a lot of scoring for our team,” Brooks said, via conference call. “When I got the ball, everybody knew where I was going, because, in a way, I had to. I was one of the only scorers that was relevant at the time, because I had such a young team. All these numbers I was putting up was with two or three people on me. I feel like if I could just play, and (with) Deron Williams, the best point guard in the league, if I can get some open shots, I’ll adapt very well.”
The Nets are hoping he also does on defense, where he wields the athleticism and instincts – averaging 1.5 blocks and 1.2 steals last year – to irritate opposing teams if he commits himself. Coach Avery Johnson is a big proponent of defensive effort, and he’ll be looking for Brooks and fellow rookie Jordan Williams (No. 36 overall; sixth in the 2nd Round) to provide exactly that.
Marquette's Butler became the 54th player in his school's history to be selected in the National Basketball Association (NBA) Draft when he was picked by the Bulls
"It's an incredible feeling," Butler said. "I was speechless and couldn't say anything. I had to just walk outside and try to compose myself. I thought the Bulls were one of the top teams interested, but you never know. I couldn't be happier and look forward to heading up there this weekend."
A three-year letterwinner at Marquette, Butler averaged 12.0 points, 5.5 rebounds, 1.7 assists and 1.1 steals per game in 106 appearances. He shot 50.8 percent from the field, 38.3 percent from behind the 3-point line and 77.3 percent from the charity stripe. A two-time All-BIG EAST Honorable Mention selection, Butler is one of just 19 players in school history to collect 1,000 career points (1,277) and 500 rebounds (579).
"I am really happy for him," Marquette head coach Buzz Williams said. "It's an unbelievable story when you think about his path to Marquette and all that he has been able to accomplish, some of which is just now coming to fruition. Jimmy's evolution as a player is a credit to who he is as a person. His versatility is so valuable that it got to a point where we couldn't take him off the floor as a senior."