The Erie BayHawks enter their third training camp with a new coach in Jay Larranaga, who approached the 2010 D-League Draft with three main objectives:
1. Get bigs.
2. Get guards who can shoot and exude toughness
3. Get guys who aren’t coming straight out of college.
After Monday’s draft, Larranaga feels as if he accomplished those goals in the eight-round draft. That remains to be seen, but for now, let’s take a look at who he picked.
1. Ivan Johnson (6-8, 230, PF, Ca. St.-San Bernadino). He played 45 games in the D-League and averaged 13.9 points and 6.7 rebounds in 2007-08. Big guy. Inside presence, but while playing overseas in Korea this past season, he got kicked out of a pro league for swearing and delivering an obscene gesture to a referee. Now apparently it was the final game of a championship series his team lost, but you can look at this two ways. One, that’s poor sportsmanship, but two, his team was in the championship series and I’m sure he had something to do with that, too. What Erie is getting is a guy who at age 26 is likely making his last push to get in the NBA. So he should be driven.
2. Kyle Spain (6-5, 220, G, San Diego State). Read up on this guy. He was selected to play for the Washington Wizards for their 2010 NBA Summer League squad, but I didn’t see he had played for them. You never know about these web sites, but www.bulletsforever.com said this about Spain.
Spain is a very strong guard, but he lacks the athleticism that NBA GM’s like to see in a wing player.
Now what has to be considered in this is if Spain’s game wasn’t flawed, he’d probably be in the NBA. However, he shot 39 percent from 3-point range as a senior at San Diego State in 2008-09 along with averaging 14.1 points. So he’s a solid player and at 6-5, could be a match-up problem.
3. Tasheed Carr (6-4, 210, G, St. Joseph’s). Played at Iowa State before going to St. Joe’s. We’re talking about a 6-4 point guard who is explosive, but shot better from 3-point range (40.8 percent) than overall (39.1 percent). So I wonder if he got to the rim enough or if he’s not a good shooter. Played overseas in China and Israel last season. What Carr, 24, seems to be is a leader and that goes a long way in playing the position he does.
4. Derek Raivio (6-3, 177, G, Gonzaga). ‘what you got to understand about playing overseas is the guys aren’t going to put up huge numbers. So when you see Raivio, 24, averaging just 2.6 assists as a point guard, it sticks out, but he was in Germany playing in one of the high-level leagues over there, so you got to take that to account. The thing here is Erie is already bringing in Cedric Jackson and Maureece Rice, two guys who starred in Erie at the PG position in its first two seasons in the D-League, respectively, and Carr. So where does Raivio fit in?
5. David Gomez (6-7, 240, F, Tulane). You got a wide body here and that’s always a good thing in the D-League. Guys that can take up space in the paint are invaluable, until they have to come out on the perimeter and guard an athletic 4. Gomez, 24, has a chance to make the team because of his size.
6. Jared Carter, 24, (7-1, 270, C, Kentucky). When he was at Kentucky, the Wildcats listed the guy at 7-2. This is a very interesting selection. You can’t teach height and Carter, 24, has a lot of that, but for someone that size to play so little at a program like Kentucky makes you wonder was it him or the coaching there? Hmmmm.
7. Dawan Robinson, 28, (6-3, 195, G, Rhode Island). When talking with Larranaga after the draft, I asked him if had played against any of these guys drafted. An 11-year veteran of playing overseas, he laughed and said no, but said he and Robinson were playing overseas at the same time. Now with Robinson, he’s 28 years old so the odds are high of him making it to the NBA, but he’s a veteran. He’s a guy that may just in fact make the team based on that alone, but that may not be enough. Robinson played three preseason games for the Los Angeles Clippers in 2006-07 so he’s been in an NBA uniform before.
8. Jimmy Conyers (6-5, 220, G/F Akron). The irony of Conyers, 24, is he played behind Nate Linhart, who the BayHawks have invited to their training camp after having a successful open tryout in Cleveland last month. So Conyers will have someone in camp he’s familiar with. Guy has talent so we’ll see how it goes with him in camp.