From the Fan Shots, via RU's own IcemanCometh -- Scott
Highly touted point guard prospect Ricky Rubio made a name for himself with American fans in his stint with the Spanish National team at the 2008 Summer Olympics. In his game against the United States, Rubio did everything he could to win the game: shooting, penetrating, and dishing to his teammates with a veteran flair. With each no-look pass and one handed alley-oop, Ricky won America's (and lottery teams' fans) hearts and minds (and checkbooks inevitably).
I would like to make the case that Ricky Rubio wasn't the only outstanding point guard prospect playing in the Olympics, but that a little known 6 foot wonder from down under was also making a splash with the Boomers.
Patty Mills: He's like Chris Paul, but he likes vegemite sandwiches
He's a fast point guard who blew by, yes, blew by the likes of Chris Paul and Jason Kidd! Okay, I know what you're saying, getting by Kidd isn't that I hard. In fact I could pretty much get to the cup hopping on one leg against Kidd right now. And I'm drunk! But I digress, Patrick Mills did everything he could to win his game against the USA in the Olympics this summer and now he's not getting nearly the love Rubio is heading into the NBA Draft. I have a couple thoughts why...
Hit the jump to find out what I'm thinking...
Before the jump I described my thoughts on Patrick (Patty) Mills, but let me explain a little further. During the 2008 Olympics with the Australian National team, the Boomers, Mills averaged 14.2 points, 2.2 rebounds, 2 assists, and nearly 2 steals a game. During his most memorable performance, against the Olympic Champion USA squad, Mills logged 20 points, 2 assists and 3 steals.
A lot of times during an NBA Draft you wonder how a player will stack up against NBA level competition. In the case of Rubio and Mills you know these kids can compete not just with NBA guys, but with All-NBA-Nuclear-Powered-All-Stars. During the Olympics, both Patty and Ricky (also the name of a early-60's beach band) reached down into their cajones and played like men against veteran NBA players on an international TV broadcast. Some announcers make a big deal about some College kids getting nervous about being on TV during some regular season game in November that no one cares about, but try playing the world's best veteran pros in front of everyone in the world.....ever. I mean for godsake, even remote African jungle villages were watching USA basketball last summer.
Patty doin' what he do:
Mills played his last two college basketball seasons at St. Marys in the WCC, which has enjoyed somewhat of a renaissance during his tenure, including a top 25 ranking for several weeks this season. Over two seasons he has averaged 18.4 points, 4 assists, and 2 steals per game for the Charging Nuns (I know, I know, they are really called the Gaels, whatever the hell that is). But there are some reasons why Mills may not be getting the love he deserves.
1. He got injured during the college season - When teams are playing during the bulk of their NCAA schedules before February and March, fans, GMs, and scouts follow certain players and guys' stocks typically pick up momentum until the fervor peaks during the tourney. If a guy falls off before then due to injury, or lack of solid play, then that guy becomes a case of out of sight, out of mind. And that's essentially what happen to Patty this year. He was averaging nearly 19 points, 3.9 assists and 2.4 steals a game, and had led St. Mary's to a nearly undefeated record and top 25 ranking. Then against Gonzaga he injured his wrist and was generally forgotten as the rest of college b-ball passed him by.
2. Draft Express is a bunch of Haters. Hi Hater. To truncate DX's results... He's short. He doesn't weight a lot. He's and inefficient scorer in certain areas. He has marginal point guard skills. WTF Draft Express? Have you not been paying attention...this dude is quick and awesome! Whoa, wait watch this:
At any rate, I happen to think that Mills can find a place in the NBA. He's only 20 years old and clearly has the speed to excel in the NBA. Here's hoping that he a gets a little more love from the scouts and analysist heading into the Draft. He's at least got to be better than Luke Schenscher.
Just for reference: LUKE SCHENSCHER (aka Irish/Australian Jesus):