San Diego State point guard Xavier Thames was selected 59th overall in the second round of Thursday night’s 2o14 NBA Draft by the Toronto Raptors, signifying yet another retro-miss by Ken Bone and the Washington State Cougar’s (mostly) former coaching staff.
Maybe it’s not very healthy to look back, but the fact that Thames was drafted just brings us back to what could’ve been during a time in which the Cougs were a player or two away from being competitive, and it could’ve been great.
Truth be told, Thames alone wouldn’t have changed the Cougs’ fortunes enough to put them back into the NCAA tournament or anything. But remember Thames stepped onto the scene at Wazzu with Reggie Moore and my goodness the thought of the two of them together (had everything gone as planned) is just mind-blowing for fans to consider.
Had Thames redshirted instead of leaving earlier in his college career due to a different vision than his head coach… well, the idea of a kid that brought everything Thames brought to the court leading a Cougar squad that absolutely needed a point guard these past two years is just painful.
But it was not to be and everything has played itself out. All we can do is congratulate Xavier for his hard work paying off and landing himself a spot in the NBA. Glad he’s in a place that he could be part of a roster that both can use him and yet he can be part of a Playoff contending team all at the same time. We’ll keep tabs.
Once a Coug…
*Side note: SDSU is becoming a pretty big-time impact school when it comes to sending guys to the NBA. Despite hating the Spurs, Kawhi Leonard is my second-favorite player in the NBA (behind Klay Thompson of course). Now Xavier will give me another team in Toronto to keep my eyes on.
Update: Thames was traded to the Brooklyn Nets last evening. He could be a terrific addition to the Brooklyn roster, likely playing behind Deron Williams. The Nets will appreciate the youth, hustle, and athleticism that Thames brings with his game, this could be an ideal fit for Xavier.