Where Does the Ohio State Buckeyes’ David Lighty fit in the NBA Draft?

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David Lighty played more games than anyone else in an Ohio State basketball uniform. He played with a National Player of the Year, was on two teams that went into the NCAA tournament as the number one overall seed, and played in a National Championship.

But is Lighty ready for the NBA?

The OSU 5th year senior scored 12.1 points per game while averaging 4 rebounds and 3.3 assists in 2010/2011. But Lighty’s real contributions don’t appear in the stat line. An outstanding defender, Lighty provided a spark to the Buckeyes in every game. He pumped momentum into the team when they needed it, and slowed them down in tough situations when the team, on the young side, needed to calm down. His leadership played a huge role in OSU’s run to the number one overall seed.

For Lighty, one of the most positive factors is his improvement as a player. He jumped from three points per game his freshman season to nine per game in his sophomore year, and again jumped to 12 per game two years later. Always a standout defender, Lighty took the time to develop the potent offensive skills he possesses. In fact, Lighty could have been scoring between 15 and 20 a game, but his maturity allowed him to defer to other players for the sake of the team.

But what does this all mean? Can Lighty make it? Well, according to him, he doesn’t have a choice.

“I talked to Greg [Oden], I talked to Mike [Conley] last week, Daequan [Cook] last week,” Lighty said. “I’m the last one standing from the Thad 5, everyone else is in the NBA, so I need to make it.”

Current Sports Bank mock drafts project Lighty as the 50th overall pick to Philadelphia. Though he is probably not a wise first round pick, mid-second round is a perfect spot for Lighty. He’s a no risk pick. His leadership skills, intense work ethic, and defensive ability make him a positive player for whatever team picks him up. And with a few years to develop, Lighty could provide around 10 to 12 points per game. With a solid upside, expect to see Lighty join his buddies from the Thad 5 next season in the NBA.

-Jamie Arkin

 

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