James Harden and Jordan Hill Sign

Arizona’s Jordan Hill and Arizona State’s James Harden have inked contracts for their respected NBA teams. Hnba_logo_2_z-thumbill was the 8th overall pick in the 2009 NBA draft for the New York Knicks while James Harden was the 3rd overall pick for the Oklahoma City Thunder. Details of Harden’s contract were not released yet however it is rumored that Hill’s contract looks something like 4.3 million over the next 2 years. Personally I’m still waiting to hear news about Chase Budinger, another former ex-zona player and Jeff Teague, my underdog pick to turn up huge in the league.

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Arizona sets a record with 31 draft picks since 1989

When Chase Budinger and Jordan Hill were called into the NBA this year they made the 30th and 31st players from Arizona to be drafted into the league since 1989. You see in 1989 the NBA draft was shortened into 2 rounds and since then only a few elite programs can say they have had over 20 of their players selected in the NBA draft. Those programs would be: Duke with 29, UCLA with 28, North Carolina with 25, Connecticut with 23, ancatsd Kansas with 22.

Arizona also has the longest current consecutive streak with an invitation to the NCAA tournament with 25. North Carolina holds the record with 27 straight appearances which began in 1975 and ended in 2001. Only 3 more years to go for the Cats which should be easier now considering Arizona’s new coach, Sean Miller, did a remarkable job recruiting this offseason and has the program commanding the 12th best recruiting class of 2009.

While we are on the subject of records and or awards, Playboy came out with their 2008- 2009 College Party School of the year award where Arizona ranked 5th. No wonder Sean Miller had such an easy time signing recruits, it’s a fun place to go to school.

Jordan Hill gets off the ground fast but is down to earth

When Jordan Hill showed up at the University of Arizona as a freshman, he was just tall. After 3 years in Tucson playing under 3 different coaches he is now tall and NBA caliber talented. As you may know,  Hill was drafted 8th overall in this recent 2009 NBA draft by the New York Knicks for his ability to be a beast on the court. This past season at Arizona he averaged exactly 18.3 points a game and 11 rebounds every contest even with his consistent foul trouble. What you may not know about him is that he is actually a gentle giant off the court. He is basically Sanka from Cool Runnings mon. Hill looks Jamican, acts Jamican, and may be Jamican? No but Hill is the first NBA player to join our Facebook page which is awesome. He is such a relaxed person that it is rumored that he would roll into McCale center at Arizona blasting Bob Marley from his ride as his choice of pre-game pump up music. You New York fans out there, how do you boo a player that jams to Marley? Anyways here is a great interview with th 6’10” power forward just days before he was drafted.

Better yet, which college team lost the most in the 2009 NBA draft?

It’s fun to discuss the NBA draft in terms of which NBA team will benefit the most from their picks as well as which players were drafted too soon or too late. However it is rare that a rookie comes into the league and dominates right away. They may snatch a starting position and put up impressive numbers in their first year, but they almost never make a huge impact right away. They have to develop first. That is why after the NBA draft it is more fun to discuss the NCAA. Imagine losing an NBA quality player at the college level? Now that makes an impact on your team. So instead of further dissecting where the draft picks are headed, were taking you back to where these players came from to see which programs have gaping holes to fill next season. The rules of this evaluation are simple: Two NBA players that leave the NCAA affect the college they attended more than if just one player left. So below are all the colleges that lost 2 or more players this year to the 2009 NBA draft.Louisville Media Day Basketball

  • Arizona – Jordan Hill (8) and Chase Budinger (44)
  • Arizona State- James Harden (3) and Jeff Pendergraph (31)
  • Uconn- Hasheem Thabeet (2) and A.J. Price (52)
  • Louisville- Terrance Williams (11) and Earl Clark (14)
  • Memphis- Tyreke Evans (4) and Robert Dozier (60)
  • North Carolina- Tyler Hansbrough (13)/ Ty Lawson (18)/ Wayne Ellington (28)/ Danny Green (46)
  • Oklahoma- Blake Griffin (1) and Taylor Griffin (48)
  • Pittsburgh- Sam Young (36) and Dejuan Blair (37)
  • UCLA- Jrue Holiday (17) and Darren Collison (21)
  • USC- DeMar DeRozan (9) and Taj Gibson (26)
  • Wake Forest– James Johnson (16) and Jeff Teague (19)
  1. North Carolina wins or technically loses this contest. Four players from their team left the Baby Blue behind. They have by far the most work to do if they are to match the caliber of their championship team this past year.
  2. Louisville loses the second most.  Terrance Willams and Earl Clark closed business deals for them on the court and losing them hurts.
  3. Arizona State and Wake Forest tie for third. ASU will have a tough time in the Pac-10 without Harden’s scoring and Pendergraph rebounding and blocking shots. Wake Forest finished poorly this last season but will be hard to recognize without James Johnson and Jeff Teague.

2009 NBA draft Summary

Blake Griffin was drafted one and Hasheem Thabeet second as predicted, but James Harden was drafted third which was a slight surprise. As soon as his first name rang into the microphone from the voice of David Stern, Harden bumped his chest. He’s off to Oklahoma City to play for one of the worst  franchises so he knows he will get playing time and as a direct result a larger contract. Here are some other notes from the first round:2009draftheader

  • Stephen Curry was the best pick in the draft besides Ricky Rubio and James Harden ( not including the consensus first overall pick Blake Griffin). Curry played on a mediocre Davidson team and put up huge numbers. It seems people forget how tough it is to play with terrible teammates. They rarely create easy opportunities for you and if you pass them the ball they rarely hook you up with an assist because they don’t finish.
  • Jordan Hill was booed when his name was called to become a New York Knick? How do you boo Hill who is the first player in the last 30 years from Arizona to average a double double?
  • Terance Williams– One of the most under-rated players in this draft, will kill it in the NBA. Williams has an amazing handle, a step back jumper, and an arsenal of moves in the lane that make him impossible to guard. Watch for him to dominate in New Jersey.
  • Jrue Holiday– Biggest gamble in the draft, picked at 17. Holiday only average 8.5 points a game and 3.5 rebounds as a freshman this past season at UCLA. Now he is young and could have potential but that is exactly why he is a gamble. His numbers don’t suggest he is currently a star so it seems Philly is chancing that he will become one?
  • Minnesota Timberwolves– draft 3 guards with three first round picks, two of which are six foot? They better have a trade lined up.
  • Jeff Teague– will be like a Michael Redd in the league, under the radar but extremely good. Teague is a thug and can score at will. He didn’t get any media the second half of this past season since Wake Forest dropped a series of games in a short period of time; which is why he is an amazing choice for the Atlanta Hawks as the 19th overall pick. He averaged 18 points a game this past season as a soph0more!
  • Eric Maynor– made a name for himself with impressive  play this year in the NCAA tourney. Set a school record for assists. Has a ton of upside and should have been drafted before Ty Lawson.