Tuesday, July 07, 2009
Former Penn basketball standout Ibrahim Jaaber is a two-time Ivy League Player of the Year who has played professionally in Europe since graduating in 2007. The all-time Ivy leader in steals led the Quakers to three straight Ivy League titles and won the Big 5 Player of the Year Award after his senior season.
The following commentary was written by Jaaber for ESPN's TrueHoop on two much-talked about lottery picks from last night's NBA Draft — his former teammate and No. 10 pick, Brandon Jennings, as well as the No. 5 selection Ricky Rubio, whom Jaaber faced on the court last December in Euroleague competition.
I was allowed to get a pretty good look at two premiere players, and potentially top ten NBA draft picks in Brandon Jennings and Ricky Rubio, playing along side Brandon Jennings and against him everyday in the practice setting, and then on one occasion against Ricky Rubio.
Given the caliber of the two players playing the match-up in Barcelona last December between the two quickly turned into a prime-time type of show case. Scouts from all over came to see the game, and they even played the Euroleague game on NBA TV.
In my opinion, within that game, both B.J. and Ricky displayed great talent and potential to be successful.
Because they are both guards, close to the same age, and stage in their development, and in the same draft class, they naturally are compared and put into competition with one another.
As a bystander much of the year in the debate of who's better or who should go earlier in the draft, I couldn't help but consider the possibilities.
First, I think Rubio and Jennings, like I said before, have great potential and talent, and I am sure the scouts would agree.
I think the difficulty in deciding who would be the smartest pick comes out of them being two completely different players. In my opinion, they are apples and oranges.
To read the rest of Ibby Jaaber's Jennings vs. Rubio analysis from ESPN's TrueHoop blog, please click here.