Tuesday, March 20, 2007

Good while it lasted-McGuire declares for NBA Draft

The end of the reign of Dom on the WAC

McGuire Exploring options:

Fresno State Junior Forward Dominic McGuire has declared for the NBA draft. He is without an agent at this point which allows for him to return if things dont go to his liking.

I will say though to not get your hopes up Bulldog fans because Dom fully intends to be playing in the NBA next season. He has 9 weeks to prepare for the all important Orlando pre-draft camp. He needs to show the ability to hit the midrange shot and finish around the rim more consistently.

He has so many great attributes, even some were held back due to the fact he was forced to play the four for the Bulldogs this season. He has the size at 6'8, the wingspan, quickness, jumping ability, and ballhandling to be an intriguing prospect. He will be a small forward at the NBA level and will give up nothing physically to the competition.

A lot will remain to be seen after the NCAA tourney and in the coming weeks as other college players begin to decide on their basketball futures. At this point McGuire is projected as a late 1st round pick from a few sources.

If he shows well and some other college stars either dont show well or decide to stay in school then look for his stock and status to raise. If more players come out coupled with his inability to show a solid midrange game he may slip into the 2nd round.

If he falls to the second round (I dont see it) then there is a possibility you may see him back in a Bulldog uniform next season. No guaranteed money in the second round would be the driving force in him returning to Fresno State.

What it mean for the Bulldogs:

It becomes a problem without a doubt. Although many realized McGuire would test the waters there was the expectation that he may return. His return for a senior season puts the Bulldogs as a projected 2nd place lock in the WAC and would give them a real opportunity to win the WAC and get an NCAA birth.

McGuire staying would surely have seen him play the three next season and showcase his talents on the wing instead of being forced to play in the post. We saw glimpses of what he could bring to the Bulldogs if they would be able to add a true post player.

The only slight, and I mean slight positive to McGuire leaving woulf be the ability to sign a high school forward with the ability to come in and play 20-25 mintutes per game right away. A player like Edison (Fresno) High star forward Darshawn McClellan. Chances are Cleveland and staff will have a difficult time selling Fresno State to any high school senior including McClellan.

The only selling point the Bulldogs have to an incoming freshman is playing time. They are being negative-recruited without a doubt, the location isnt the greatest, the conference is not well thought of, and there is no real TV deal. Too many strikes against against the FSU program at the present time.

The dream scenario:

The dream scenario involves looking through the eyes of the Fresno State Basketball program which would start with the return of Dominic McGuire. He returns to be the senior leader with point guard Kevin Bell and becomes the WAC player of the year averaging 16 points, 9 rebounds, and 4 assists per game.

The Bulldogs new additions of Rekalin Sims (Kentucky), Bryan Harvey (Louisville), and Kevin Galloway (USC), provide the depth, athleticism, and toughness that the squad needed so badly in 07'. The Bulldogs win the WAC going 8-0 at home and 5-3 on the road. They lose in the final of the WAC tournament and receive a 7 seed into the NCAA tourney.

Now it is obvious that these are very hopeful projections but there is without a doubt a lot of potential on the team as we know it to be for sure. If Cleveland can somehow land one true post player and a high school guard or forward things look even better.

After an NCAA tourney run the Bulldogs get over the hump, McGuire is a lottery pick, and suddenly it is acceptable for a high schooler to sign with the (gasp!) Fresno State Bulldogs. Maybe there is even an opportunity to sign a local high school player which would be huge.

The importance of the 07-08 season:

This is why I see the 07-08 season as the defining year for Coach Steve Cleveland. He had a 5 year plan and wanted to first restore the integrity to a broken program. He needed a quick fix to be competitive early so he went the only way he could which was the transfer route. It allowed him to make the Bulldogs competitive but it takes high school players ultimately to sustain a program.

He has hinged success on the tranfers coming through for him and building a reputation and parlaying that into high school signings. With McGuire leaving Clevelands plans take hit but there is still enough of a nucleus provided 3 more key signing are made to make the run and continue the growth that Cleveland set out for.

Up next:

I will try to look at the returners and the new faces that we know of an what they will need to bring to the table to make up for the lack of McGuire and to put the program in the position it needs to be for the future.

Lets all hope that Cleve, Senque, Heath, and Fred are making some kind of headway out on the recruiting front. These are very critical times and they must come out of this whole process with some key contributors immediately and into the future. (Crosses fingers for a true post presence)


Best of luck to Dominic in his quest to make it to and compete in the NBA. Hope he gets after it in the next two months and shows the scouts an GMs what a true gem he is. He has been a pleasure to watch for this one season and throwing out the longevity factor, he is one of the 5 best players to ever play at Fresno State.

If things arent exactly looking the way that Dom expects them to then he knows the fans and the community of Fresno would love to have him back for what would be a special senior season. He could be part of building something great at this University. Either way, Im glad he chose to spend at least one season here in the No.

Fresno Bee on McGuire
Draft Express on McGuire

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