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NBA Draft Profile:
Dejuan Blair, Pittsburgh

Posted on 16. Mar, 2009 by Nolan in Draft, Player Profiles

After two years anchoring Pitt’s interior defense this second generation mound round of rebound has gone from a Big East prospect to one of the nation’s elite. The Zoo is going to miss having a player that gobbled up every missed shot on both ends of the floor. Blair checks in at 6’ 7” which is why many doubt his ability to be effective at the next level. Having said that Dejuan has a 7’3” wingspan and a low center of gravity that makes him tough to fight with for position and impossible to move once he gets it. Aside from the aggressive body language and brawn on the court, Blair has the brains to match showing that he plays well without the ball and is known as one of the best screen setters in the country. Like many who have flashed the same type of skill set Blair’s biggest challenge moving on will be to shed the “tweener” label and establish himself as a true 4 or a true 5. To do this he will have to change his game and learn to excel in different ways than those which had made him successful in college.

On the offensive side of the ball, Blair brings a physical toughness and that mix it up attitude every game. He will leave Pittsburgh as the best offensive rebounder to ever don their uniform after averaging 5.6 over his sophomore campaign. Blair didn’t just score on putbacks as his field goal percentage of 59% suggest. He had a plethory of back to the basket scores as well. To be successful on the next level,Blair will need to establish a face up game because his size won’t give him the ability to put defenders on his back the way he has on the collegiate level. He might need to shed some weight in order to successfully implement that to his arsenal. Blair’s got some work to do, but he’s more than willing to go to work. He might take time to develope, but could end up being a key contributor down the line.

Defensively is another area where Blair needs to focus his attention. His rebounding skills won’t carry him as far, as it’s unlikely Blair will be able to hide in the paint. There are too many bigs in the NBA that are able to take a player away from the basket. A change in physic might also help him in this regard. Dejuan still needs to learn how to play when he’s in foul trouble. Blair showed the tendency to sit back and lose his aggressive nature as he picked up fouls. Some of the positive aspects of Blair’s game should help him make a small contribution immediately. Blair can dominate the defensive boards and was considered the best offensive rebounder in the country this season. Any talent evaluator will drool looking at some of his tape of how he establishes position undeneath. If Dejuan is put in the right system with the proper tutelage and motivation, Blair can blossom into a defensive force.

Will be selected: Pick # 17-25
NBA Comparison- Danny Fortson

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