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July 02, 1997 - Image 19

Resource type:
Michigan Daily Summer Weekly, 1997-07-02

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Wednesday, July 2, 1997 - The Michigan Daily - 19

Saint-Jean shows
Blue what it missed

By Chris Farah
t"aily Sports Editor
CHARLOTTE, N.C. - One decision
was all it took for Olivier Saint-Jean's
basketball career -and life - to be
' t changed forever.
. _ Last Wednesday, Saint-Jean was
selected I1th in the NBA draft by the
Sacramento Kings. But the situation
could have been drastically different,
were it not for a choice Saint-Jean made
2 1/2 years ago.
Four games into Michigan's 1994-95
basketball season, the sophomore decid-
ed to hang up his sneakers as a Wolverine
and continue his collegiate basketball
career at San Jose State.
During his freshman year at Michigan,
Saint-Jean averaged only 3.6 points per
game. He did play in each of Michigan's
32 games that season, but only played an
average of 13 minutes per game.
Lack of playing time, combined with
the coming of the highly-touted second
Fab Five and a mid-season ankle injury,
were all probable factors that led to his
Saint-Jean said transferring was
instrumental in showing him what it
would take to be successful in the NBA.
4. "I became aware that I had to work and
I became aware that I had to learn how to
- get a work ethic and how to be a good
k ..individual, how to try to improve on my
basketball skills," Saint-Jean said. "My
transfer to San Jose State made me aware
of that, as I vas just not going forvard at
.Indeed, from the moment he arrived at
San Jose State, Saint-Jean was the star.
JOE WESTRATE Daily His impressive statistics as a Spartan,
ivier Saint-Jean may have wondered why he went to Michigan in the first place. along with a strong showning at the NBA
Transferring to San Jose State probably helped him earn the 11th spot in the draft. pre-draft camp, undoubtedly helped pro-

pel Saint-Jean to lottery status - three
positions ahead of former Michigan
teammate Maurice Taylor. Taylor
received more playing time than Saint-
Jean during their short time together dur-
ing the 1994-95 season.
Last year, Saint-Jean led the Western
Athletic Conference in scoring while
ranking seventh in the nation with 23.9
points per game.
This impressive figure earned him
the second-most points in a single sea-
son in San Jose State history, with 619
points - runner up to the late Ricky
Berry. Berry was the last Spartan to be
drafted in the NBA, fittingly also cho-
sen by Sacramento, with the 14th pick
in 1989.
Saint-Jean said he plans to make his
own mark in Sacramento, although he
wasn't certain exactly how much of an
immediate impact he would have.
"I know I'm going to work hard,"
Saint-Jean said. "I know I'm going to lis-
ten and I hope the opportunity will be
given to me"
A candidate for the positions of shoot-
ing guard or small forward with a 6-foot-
6, 223-pound frame, Saint-Jean will like-
ly have to battle small forward Corliss
Williamson and guard/forward Kevin
Gamble for playing time.
Saint-Jean's success will not reflect
solely on himself, however. As the first
French citizen to make the NBA, the
native of Maisons Alfort, France, will
also represent his country in league play.
Saint-Jean said he looks forward to the
added responsibility.
"I take complete pride," Saint-Jean
said. "It's a dream come true, but not only
for me. It's a dream come true for all the
kids that I left back in Paris"

1997 NBA Draft
Lottery selections*
1. Tim Duncan
San Antonio (Wake Forest)
2. Keith Van Horn**
Philadelphia (Utah)
3. Chauncey Billups
Boston (Colorado)
4. Antonio Daniels
Vancouver (Bowling Green)
5. Tony Battle
Denver (Texas Tech)
6. Ron Mercer
Boston (Kentucky)
7. Tim Thomas
New Jersey (Villanova)
8. Adonal Foyle
Golden State (Colgate)
9. Tracy McGrady
Toronto (Mt. Zion Christian
Academy, NC.)
10. Danny Fortson***
Milwaukee (Cincinnati)
11. Olivier Saint-Jean
Sacramento (San Jose State)
12. Austin Croshere
Indiana (Providence)
13. Derek Anderson
Cleveland (Kentucky)
14. Maurice Taylor
L4A. Clippers (Michigan)
* Former school or team in parentheses
** Traded toNew Jersey after draft
*** Traded to Denver during draft

Seniors dominate draft's firs

By Sharat Raju
Daily Sports Editor
Wntonio Spurs took the full five minutes
allotted before announcing the first pick
in the NBA Draft.
It didn't matter. Everyone in
Charlotte Coliseum and in the country
knew what the outcome would be. Tim
Duncan - the Wake Forest All-
American -- was the first player chosen
in the draft.
"It feels good to be picked first,'
Duncan said. "I'm real excited. It's been
a long time coming and I'm happy to be
*ere and have it done with."
Duncan was one of 19 seniors chosen
in the first round and the first senior
taken with the top pick since Larry
Johnson was selected by the Charlotte
Hornets in 1991. With all the under-
classmen who declared for the draft -
a record 49 - teams opted for seniors.
After Michigan junior Maurice Taylor
was selected 14th, every remaining
selection in the first round was a senior.
* Keith Van Horn of Utah was selected.
second by the Philadelphia 76ers, but had
his rights traded days after the draft to the
New Jersey Nets in an eight-player deal.

Colorado junior Chauncey Billups "It's not like
was picked third and Ron Mercer was have a new
taken sixth by the Boston Celtics. again."
Mercer was reunited with his former Of the 10
coach Rick Piitino and former teammate the first rou
Antoine Walker from Kentucky. including hi
"For the most part I was hoping that I McGrady o
would end up with coach Piitino because Durham, N.
I'm familiar with him," Mercer said. Toronto Rap

'M' in the NBA
t round Gary Grant Miami
Juwan Howard Washington
Jimmy King Denver
I have to go into a system, Terry Mills Detroit
coach and learn all over Glen Rice Charlotte
Rumeal Robinson Portland
underclassmen drafted in Jalen Rose Indiana
id, seven were lottery picks, Loy Vaught L.A. Clippers
gh school graduate Tracy Chris Webber Washington
f Mt. Zion Academy in
C., who went ninth to the

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