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Old 06-27-09, 12:18 PM
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Spurs' first-rate discoveries

Spurs' first-rate discoveries

With three second-round picks, the Spurs grabbed a rebounder whose knees caused him to drop out of the first round, a sharpshooter some think is too small for the NBA and the requisite foreign guy who'll likely remain overseas for a spell.
Still, ESPN.com's Chad Ford gave the Spurs his only A+ for going with Pittsburgh's DeJuan Blair, Miami's Jack McClinton and France's Nando de Colo, calling Blair the steal of the draft. Spurs general manager R.C. Buford agreed: “You don't find a guy like that falling very often.”
Douglas Pils tracks down what others have said about the Spurs' selections, as well as a few notes on each.
DeJuan Blair

Facts: Turned 20 on April 22. ... Grew up 600 yards from the University of Pittsburgh and went to high school one mile from campus.
Noteworthy: The 6-foot-7 power forward was Pittsburgh’s first first-team All-American in 50 years, and the sophomore led the Panthers to their first Elite Eight since 1974. ... According to the Pittsburgh Tribune-Review, he lost 30 pounds while training for the NBA draft. ... He was the ninth power forward drafted.
What they’re saying: “There is not a better place for DeJuan than San Antonio. I’m ecstatic. San Antonio has a great history. They have great veterans to teach him the game. When San Antonio called me, there was shouting in the background because they were so excited to get him.” — Happy Walters, Blair’s agent, to the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette
Jack McClinton

Facts: Already 24, the 6-1 Baltimore native spent a year at Siena before transferring to Miami, where he played three years.
Noteworthy: A two-time All-Atlantic Coast Conference guard, he set the ACC record for 3-point percentage (44.0) and the school mark for 3-pointers (286). ... In five games against No. 1-ranked teams in 2008-09, he averaged 29.8 points, 10 more than his average. ... He’d be the first from Siena to play in the NBA.
What they’re saying: “I like Jack McClinton a lot. McClinton’s a specialist. He’ll be like an Eddie House for you. He doesn’t really put the ball on the floor or attack the basket. He’s a guy that’ll come in and make challenged perimeter shots.” — College basketball analyst Jay Bilas on ACCsports.com

Nando de Colo

Facts: The 6-5 Sainte Catherine, France, native turned 22 on Tuesday. ... Has played past three seasons with Cholet Basket in the French A-League, averaging 14.2 points in 45 games in 2008-09.
Noteworthy: Led Cholet with 24 points while playing with a broken nose in the EuroChallenge Final Four championship game in April. He missed a late 3-pointer that allowed Kansas-ex Keith Langford’s Virtus BolognaFiere to escape with a 77-75 victory. ... Was on French national team for last year’s European Championships, averaging 12.2 points in six games playing with the Spurs’ Tony Parker
What they’re saying: “(He) can shoot threes and can play the pick and roll and one on one. He’s explosive and has good feet quickness. He’s really a good passer so he can score and make the others better. And his first quality is his brain.” — Antoine Rigedeau, former member of the French national team, to NBAdraft.net
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