Mountaineer coach Bob Huggins believes that both Devin Ebanks and Da’Sean Butler can go in the first round of the NBA draft Thursday.
"I think (Devin) has a terrific chance of going in the 20’s," Huggins told MetroNews on the day before the draft. "But when you talk about going in the 20’s it depends on who else falls. Sometimes some guys fall that people didn’t think would be available to them.
"Devin brings things that other people don’t bring," Huggins continued. "He is a 6-9 guy that can guard one, two or three. He can pass the ball, he can handle the ball and he doesn’t need the ball to score.
"Teams already have their go-to guys, so you have to learn to play off them. I think that is Devin’s strength . Devin plays great without the ball. We didn’t run things for him. We didn’t need to. He got (his offense) out of the context of the game.
"He rebounds the ball very well and he is as versatile of a defender as there is in the draft."
Huggins says Butler is well on his way to getting his injured knee back to full strength . Huggins believes Butler will be an extremely valuable pro.
"Da’Sean is very resilient ," Huggins said. "We talked after the injury and again after surgery and I told him just to go do the things he’s been doing his whole life.
"He didn’t get recruited heavily out of high school. He came here and everybody knows now they made a terrible mistake.
"He just continued to grow and mature and work and get better and better as a player. He is going to do the same thing as a pro. I’ve told guys in the NBA, don’t be one of those guys who passes on him and then lives to regret it.
"I think there are (teams) that would love to take Da’Sean at the end of the first round," Huggins said. "I don’t think there is any way he falls past the first few picks of the second round. Everybody is so afraid that they are going to miss. If you look at his body of work, his ability to make big shots and come through in the clutch, his ability to play multiple positions and the fact that he is going to be the best ambassador for their franchise–that is a lot to pass up.
"He is going to play in the league 10-12 years," Huggins added. "I don’t think there is any doubt about it."
For more with Huggins on Ebanks, Butler and the draft, tune into MetroNews Statewide sportsline Thursday.