D-day for Sessions, Fazekas
June 27, 2007
It’s D-day for Nevada basketball stars Nick Fazekas and Ramon Sessions.
Fazekas and Sessions will learn their individual fates when the yearly NBA Draft takes place tonight in New York.
Neither player will be in the Big Apple, however, for the festivities. Fazekas will be in Arvada, Colo., with family members, and Sessions will be in Atlanta, Ga. with his agent, Chubby Wells.
Where they will go is anybody’s guess, but both seem a lock to be drafted. The NBA Draft consists of just two rounds.
The 6-foot-11 245-pound Fazekas, who left school late in the second semester to train in Carson, Calif., has put on 12 pounds and lost 3 percent body fat and his much stronger physically, according to one of his agents, Chris Emons.
Emons, who also represents former Nevada star Kirk Snyder, knows that his client won’t be a lottery pick. He does believe, however, that Fazekas will go somewhere in the first round, probably in the 20s. All first-round selections receive a three-year guaranteed contract. “The highest he can go is mid-teens,” Emons said in a telephone conversation from his office in Southern California. “Some of the mock drafts are pretty erroneous. The reality is, some teams miss. He worked out for every team from 14 through 30 except for Detroit and Washington.”
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Some scouts have said that Fazekas needs to go to certain teams who play a certain style of play. Emons disagreed.
“I believe that some people have that opinion,” Emons said. “I will also say that several teams, including those that play up and down as fast there is are very interested in Nick.”
Emons said Fazekas’ work in Carson paid big dividends.
“People that have seen him say he moves much more fluid, and he’s able to get up and down the floor,” Emons said. “Nick said this (leaving school) was the best basketball decision he ever made. He had a chef, a nutritionist. He has one chance to get drafted, and he had to make sure to put his best foot forward and give himself the best possible chance.”
Emons said there are concerns about Fazekas’ foot injury which happened against Boise State. Fazekas came back strong and led the Wolf Pack to the school’s fourth straight NCAA appearance.
Fazekas has passed every physical given to him by the NBA, though his agent said the injury still gives him discomfort because of his high arch.
Fazekas might be the best outside shooter in the entire draft. He is one of only six players in the history of college basketball to score more than 2,000 points (2,464), grab 1,000 rebounds (1,254), shoot 50 percent from the floor and 80 percent from the line.
“His skill level and productivity is right behind Kevin Durant,” Emons said. “The NBA, however, has a bias toward athleticism. Nick’s game is his skill.
“There is no question in my mind that he will be a successful player. He’s the best-shooting big man in the draft and he’s the best shooting player in the draft.”
According to reports, Fazekas broke J.J. Redick’s 3-point shooting drill record during a recent workout with the Utah Jazz.
The biggest knock on Fazekas is his overall strength, and will he be able to defend bigger power forwards or centers.
The 6-foot-3 Sessions was told by NBA general managers following the pre-draft camp that he could go anywhere from low first round or second round. That was enough to get Sessions, who averaged 8.8 points, 4.8 assists and 4.2 rebounds per game from his point guard spot, to test the NBA waters.
Sessions hired Wells after hearing what the NBA had to say, making it impossible to come back for his final season as per NCAA rules.
“He really felt like it was time to go,” Wells said. “I told him to do what his heart told him to do.”
Sessions was impressive at the pre-draft camp, turning the ball over once in three games. He followed that up with impressive workouts with Phoenix, Portland, Houston, Miami and Detroit.
“All the feedback we’ve been getting is positive,” Wells said. “There are so many variables involved.
“Most NBA teams have established point guards; all have starters coming back. He wants to get somewhere where he hopefully gets in the regular rotation and plays right away. That’s what we’re looking at.”
Despite predictions of where he’ll go, Wells knows nothing is certain.
“You still have to go through the process,” Wells said. “Some (players) move up and some (players) move down. It’s all about timing. You have to make sure you come out at the right time.”
Sessions’ stock is obviously on the rise since Nevada was eliminated from the NCAA Tournament back in March. Teams are always searching for a true point guard, and Sessions fits that role. He takes pride in making a good pass leading to a dunk or lay-up.
And, there isn’t an NBA team that isn’t looking for that type of player.
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