Over the course of the next month until the NBA Draft on June 24, RTC will be rolling out comprehensive profiles of the 30-35 collegians we feel have the best chance to hear their names called by David Stern in the first round that night. There won’t be any particular order to the list, but you can scroll back through all the finished profiles by clicking here.
Player Name: Hassan Whiteside
NBA Position: Center
Projected Draft Range: Mid First Round
Overview: Hassan Whiteside surprised a lot of people when he spurned several SEC schools to play his college basketball at Marshall University, but his attendance at a comparatively small school didn’t mean the NBA scouts wouldn’t find him. They didn’t need to search very hard. Whiteside’s impact on the Conference USA landscape was immediate, posting a 14 point/17 rebound/9 block performance against eventual NCAA second-rounders Ohio University early in the season. He’d end up with three triple-doubles on the year — the first three ever for Marshall — all with blocks as the third statistic. His 12 other double-doubles helped propel the Thundering Herd to an overall 24-10 record and 11-5 in a very competitive CUSA. His 182 blocked shots was tops in the nation, averaging out to an amazing 5.4 BPG. And even though he was only there for the one year, he ended up as the all-time leader in blocked shots at Marshall. Mind you, we don’t mean for a freshman — that’s for a career.
Will Translate to the NBA: Obviously his shot-swatting prowess is his biggest asset, and will be the primary reason for any early minutes he gets in the league, but he’s no single-note player. He’s not just a tall, thin, awkward shot-blocking specialist. He’s good at using his size to get in position for grabbing boards, and shows a knack for peeling off more than his share of offensive rebounds. He has better hops than most players his size, and he gets off the floor quickly. Hassan is one of those players who, when you see him play, you can tell how much fun he’s having and that will endear him to teammates and fans. And he knows what it takes to be a professional athlete; his father played five seasons of professional football in the NFL and CFL.