April 26, 2013; Los Angeles, CA, USA; Los Angeles Lakers center Dwight Howard (12), small forward Metta World Peace (15), center Robert Sacre (50), small forward Earl Clark (6), point guard Steve Nash (10) and point guard Steve Blake (5) watch game action from the bench against the San Antonio Spurs during the second half in game three of the first round of the 2013 NBA playoffs at Staples Center. Mandatory Credit: Gary A. Vasquez-USA TODAY Sports

WCC Players in the NBA, 1st Edition


As college basketball fans, it is easy to forget that the players have an entirely different career following their collegiate one. Although college basketball is extremely competitive, the NBA is on a completely different level talent wise. Those who possess the ability and mentality that goes with being a professional basketball player are rewarded with an NBA contract. Currently, there are 6 players that hail from the WCC that play in “the league.” Here is the first installment of “WCC Players in the NBA.” Enjoy.

Jimmer Fredette 

NBA Team: Sacramento Kings

WCC School: BYU

I know, I know. Jimmer never played in the WCC. However, if the WCC can put Fredette in their commercials, than that means that I can include him in my NBA article. Fredette has had a rough time in the NBA so far, struggling to get consistent playing time. He currently is behind Kings points guardsTyreke Evans, Isaiah Thomas, Toney Douglas, and Aaron Brooks in minutes per game, and has failed to turn his success in college into NBA success. 

Jimmer was an iconic figure at BYU who scored with relative ease his entire senior season. As a senior, Jimmer averaged 28.9 points per game, and was unanimously named the national player of the year.

However, it hasn’t been as easy in Sacremento, where Jimmer has averaged only 7.2 points per game in this season. Despite the overall struggles that Fredette has endured in his professional career, he has still showed his ability to shoot at a high percentage from behind the arc. In the 2012-2013 season, Fredette averaged .417 from behind the arc.

Robert Sacre

NBA Team: Los Angeles Lakersb

WCC School: Gonzaga

Although he turned into somewhat of an internet phenomenon for his energetic celebrations on the LA Lakers bench, Sacre had a successful first year in the league, considering the expectations he had. But back to the bench celebrations, which are so good that CollegeHumor.com made a video about them. It’s quite humorous.

Here’s the Link to it: http://www.collegehumor.com/embed/6862590/robert-sacre-lakers-bench-hype-man

All joking aside, Sacre has made some significant strides in the NBA since being picked last in the 2012 NBA draft. He is well-liked among his teammates, which should come to no surprise to anyone who watched him play at Gonzaga. He is known around the league for being a great team player that brings a great deal of energy off the bench. He is averaging 1.3 points and 1.1 rebounds per game, and has been teetering back and forth between the D-League and the NBA.

Patty Mills

NBA Team: San Antonio Spurs

WCC School: Saint Mary’s 

With four years of NBA experience under his belt, Patty Mills has found his role in the league, and is showing no plans of discontinuing it. Mills is a role-player on the San Antonio Spurs, who are currently participating in the NBA playoffs. Mills averages 11.3 minutes, 5.1 points, and 1.1 assists per game in a reserve role with the Spurs.

Steve Nash

NBA Team: Los Angeles Lakers

WCC School: Santa Clara

He may be old, but Nash can still ball out. The 39 year old point guard has just played his 16th season in the NBA, and is just adding to his already hall of fame caliber resume.

The Lakers traded for Nash prior to this season, but his addition did not quite work out the way they hoped. Nash fought injuries in basically the entire season, and the Lakers were an early exit in the ongoing NBA playoffs. Nash averaged 12.7 points and 6.7 assist per game for the Lake Show this season. Those are certainly not bad figures, but they are lesser than the statistics that he has produced in years past.

Ronny Turiaf 

NBA Team: Los Angeles Clippers

WCC School: Gonzaga

The former Gonzaga big man has hopped around the league, but his hustle and commitment to crashing the glass has kept him in the league. Turiaf, who has played the Lakers, Warriors, Knicks, Wizards, and the Heat, is currently playing on the Clippers for his seventh season in the NBA.

The former WCC player of the year is now averaging 1.9 points and 2.3 rebounds per game off the bench for Clippers, who are still in the NBA playoffs and in contention for an NBA championship.

Austin Daye

NBA Team: Memphis Grizzlies

WCC School: Gonzaga

After 3 seasons withit the Detro Pistons, Daye was shipped to Memphis in the Rudy Gay trade that transpired before the trade deadline this season. Although his playing time has decreased a little bit, he joined a team with a winning culture, which was not very evident in Detroit.

The lanky, rangy Power Forward is averaging 4.0 points and 1.9 rebounds for the Grizzlies in the latter half of this season. Memphis is currently up three games to two on the Los Angeles Clippers in the first round of the NBA Playoffs.

——————————————————————————————————————————————————————

Notice Something? Five out of six players mentioned in this article were a part of teams in the NBA playoffs.

Coincidence?

No. Ok well, maybe. Nevertheless, it’s impressive.

 

Tags: Basketball Brigham Young Cougars BYU Cougars Featured Gonzaga Bulldogs Popular Saint Mary's Gaels Santa Clara Broncos WCC