Former Michigan State wing Branden Dawson had an up and down career in East Lansing. Mostly up; certainly positive for the most past, but it was a mixed bag no doubt. The inconsistencies of his playing career match his NBA Draft grade/prospectus: results may vary.
However, he does resemble a solid second round pick.
MSU has produced quite a few second rounders in recent years; but they’re not truly “2nd round State” as the condescending nickname suggests. That’s a bit of a misnomer; as we’ve chronicled here. Dawson will land there, but an overwhelming majority of the Tom Izzo era NBA Draft picks have been first rounders, not second.
Jay Bilas did a media conference call today, and I asked him all about Dawson. Here’s the transcript of the conversation. Courtesy of ESPN Media Zone.
Q. What are your thoughts on Branden Dawson (Michigan State)? Michigan State has produced a lot of guys that have gone to the second round lately, and that’s where I see him. Where do you think he might end up on draft night?
BILAS: I think Branden’s a second-round player. He’s an extraordinary athlete and big-time rebounder. He’s undersized, and he doesn’t shoot the ball, and that’s a little bit of a concern. But he can defend.
I believe he’s hard-nosed. He does have some issues and questions about how long he sustained high-level effort, because when he puts high level effort out there, he’s a beast. I happen to really like him. I’ve got him in the 40s, late 40s, I think, if I remember right. But he’s a middle second round player for me.
But I’m a big fan of his and always have been. But skill level, his ability to put the ball on the floor and operate as a guard and to defend as a guard for long stretches, you know, those is reasonable questions. But he can play in the NBA, and I think he will play in the NBA.
Here’s where we have Branden Dawson projected in our latest NBA mock draft.
34. L.A. Lakers-Branden Dawson, SF, Michigan State, 6-7, Sr.
Branden Dawson was a solid all-around role player during his four years at East Lansing.
Go here for more on the L.A. Lakers mock draft/NBA Draft preview
Paul M. Banks owns, operates and writes The Sports Bank.net, which is partnered with Fox Sports Digital. Banks, a former writer for the Washington Times, currently contributes to the Chicago Tribune RedEye edition. He also appears regularly on numerous sports talk radio stations all across the country.Follow paulmbanks