Adam Zagoria covers basketball at all levels. He is the author of two books and an award-winning journalist whose articles have appeared in ESPN The Magazine, SLAM, Sheridan Hoops, Sports Illustrated, Basketball Times and in newspapers nationwide.
Boeheim: Porter Jr. Should Be No. 1 Pick in NBA Draft, Is Best Small Forward in Big East History
NEW YORK — Jim Boeheim isn’t an NBA GM, but if he was he knows who he would pick in the upcoming draft.
Georgetown’s Otto Porter Jr.
“If I’m picking, I pick him first in the draft,” Boeheim told a small group of reporters in the hallway at Madison Square Garden “I don’t even look at anybody else. I pick him first in the draft. I think he’s the best. I think he’ll be a great pro.”
Boeheim made the comments after the Syracuse defense held Porter Jr., the Big East Player of the Year, to 12 points on 4-of-13 shooting as the No. 5 Orange upset No. 1 Georgetown, 58-55 in OT, in the Big East Tournament semifinals.
Porter entered averaging 16.4 points, 7.4 rebounds and 2.7 assists, but did not have a big game in the last meeting between the teams in the Big East.
DraftExpress.com currently has Porter Jr. at No. 8 in its Mock Draft, with Nerlens Noel, Ben McLemore and Shabazz Muhammad 1-2-3.
Boeheim also said that he thought Porter was the best small forward in the history of the Big East.
“I don’t see a weakness in his game from a perimeter point of view of a guy that I’ve seen in this league over the years,” Boeheim said on the podium.
“There’s been so many great players, but centers, power forwards, point guards, two guards, but I don’t think I’ve seen a better small forward in this league. He’s just a complete player.
“If we were still in this league, I’d be saying that to get him out. But we’re not.”
Asked to elaborate on whether Porter Jr. ranks ahead of Carmelo Anthony, who led Syracuse to the 2003 NCAA championship, Boeheim said, “Yeah, I think so. Carmelo played three and four and he was the best scorer. I’m talking about a guys that’s really a multi-purpsoe guy, the best all-around, not necessarily the best player.
“That would be hard to get by Carmelo and Derrick Coleman and Chris Mullin and then the centers, Patrick [Ewing] and those guys,
“Just an all-around guy the guy does everything. I mean, really, the guy does everything.”
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Adam Zagoria is a New York Times contributor and Basketball Insider who covers basketball at all levels. He is the author of two books and is an award-winning journalist and filmmaker whose articles have appeared in ESPN The Magazine, SLAM, Sheridan Hoops, Sports Illustrated, Basketball Times and in newspapers nationwide. He also won an Emmy award for his work on the SNY mini-documentary on Syracuse guard Tyus Battle.
A veteran Ultimate Frisbee player, he has competed in numerous National and World Championships and, perhaps more importantly, his teams won the Westchester Summer League (WSL) championships in 2011 and 2013.
He lives in Manhattan with his wife and children.