The top six players off the Kentucky Wildcats National Championship winning team will be among those taken in the 2012 NBA Draft. That includes the sharpshooting Doron Lamb. While he won’t hear his name called early in the lottery like former teammates Anthony Davis or Michael Kidd-Gilchrist, or even in the mid-first round like Terrence Jones or Marquis Teague; Lamb is confident he can be a solid contributor at the next level.
“We just had a lot of talent on our team my last year in college,” Lamb stated at the NBA Draft Combine. “We had a great team and can’t everybody get the same recognition as everybody else.” That was certainly the Case for Lamb. Despite finishing second on UK in scoring, Lamb was often overshadowed by Davis, MKG, Jones, and Teague.
Lamb’s biggest contribution to helping UK cut down the nets was his outside shooting. He connected on 46.6% of his triple tries this past season. So, is Lamb one of best shooters in this draft class loaded with talented two guards? “I think so,” he bluntly stated. “I’m a great shooter. I make shots so I think so.”
As he transitions to getting ready for the next level, Lamb is trying to prove that he can impact a game with more than his smooth jumper and long range ability. “I think I’m more than just a shooter. I can play the one and two. I can guard the one and two, and make plays for my teammates.”
Due to a lack of depth this past season, Lamb was the primary back-up point guard to freshman Marquis Teague. The Queens native spent about six minutes a game running the show for John Calipari but only averaged 1.5 assists per outing and was clearly more comfortable and affective playing off the ball.
Still, Lamb believes that brief experience will benefit him as he embarks on his professional career. “Coach Cal got my point guard skills ready for the NBA. I got much stronger, my mentality changed. My strengths changed and helped me get better.”
One of the teams Lamb met with before speaking to the media at the NBA Draft Combine was the Chicago Bulls who could be targeting a combo guard with their 29th overall pick, especially somebody capable of running the point with Derrick Rose’s health situation uncertain.
“Looking for a back-up one, a shooter,” Lamb said of how he would be an asset on the Bulls roster. “Somebody that can come in and play right away, come off screens like Rip Hamilton. I thought it was a great fit for me. I had a great meeting with them.”
Another possible landing spot would be with the Minnesota Timberwolves who own the 18th pick and sorely need a shooting guard (though that’s probably too high for him to be taken off the board.) Lamb gushed about the possibility of playing alongside a true playmaking point guard like Rucky Rubio. “He’s a great player. I know he got hurt but when he comes back, he’s going to make a big impact on his team. Getting players involved so it’d be a great challenge for me to play with him.”
Chicago and Minnesota are part of a long list of teams that Lamb has either met with or worked out for which also includes Memphis, Boston, Atlanta, Cleveland, Dallas, Denver, and Philadelphia. All of those franchises own picks in the mid-late first round.
Lamb figures to be taken closer to the late-20’s and possibly even slip into the early second round. For the time being, that isn’t something he is focusing on. “I’m not worrying about any of that right. I’m just paying attention to my workouts. Whatever happens on June 28th, happens.”
Here is a video interview with Lamb from the NBA Draft Combine.
David Kay is a senior feature NBA Draft, NBA, and college basketball writer for the Sports Bank. He also heads up the NBA and college basketball material at Walter Football.com and is a former contributor at The Washington Times Communities. David has appeared on numerous national radio programs spanning from Cleveland to New Orleans to Honolulu. He also had the most accurate 2011 NBA Mock Draft on the web.
You can follow him on Twitter at DavidKay_TSB.Follow paulmbanks