Opinions vary on Foster's NBA readiness

Friday, June 13, 2008 at 12:39am
Shan Foster is working out in hopes of improving his draft stock. File

In this season of national campaigning, Shan Foster is doing his best to sell himself to the masses.

The former Vanderbilt basketball star has toured the country in recent weeks, putting his skills on display in hopes of improving his stock for the June 26 NBA Draft.

Opinions on whether or not Foster is accomplishing his goal are as divided as a red-state, blue-state issue.

One truth remains about the 6-foot-6 swingman: He can shoot the basketball. Firing away from the perimeter for four years at Vanderbilt, he left this spring as the school’s all-time leading scorer and 2008 Southeastern Conference Player of the Year.

Will Foster be drafted this month based purely on his shooting ability? Perhaps not.

NBADraft.net does not currently project Foster to be selected in the two-round draft. DraftExpress.com predicts he will be picked No. 44 overall in the second round by the Utah Jazz.

NBA.com writer Rob Reheuser filed this less-than-glowing report on Foster after a recent game for professional hopefuls at the annual NBA Pre-Draft Camp in Orlando, Fla.:

“He failed to register an assist, only grabbed one rebound and didn’t get to the free throw line. The lack of versatility in his game means if his shot is not falling, which it hasn’t at a high clip this week, he’s a pretty limited player. In fairness to Foster, he shot a blistering 47 percent from three-point range this season. But the holes in his game are pretty glaring.”

Foster is trying to prove otherwise as he participates in workouts for various NBA teams. Recent stops have included Denver, Charlotte and New Orleans.

In a workout for the Nuggets, Foster found himself playing alongside standout guards Lester Hudson of UT-Martin and Robert Vaden of UAB.

In Charlotte, Foster worked out with Gonzaga guard Jeremy Pargo.

The New Orleans Hornets apparently liked what they saw from Foster, who grew up in nearby Kenner, La. The Hornets have the 27th pick in the draft and need help at shooting guard, Foster’s projected NBA position.

“He can flat-out shoot it, and he moves extremely well without the ball,” New Orleans coach Byron Scott told the New Orleans Times-Picayune. “He has a very high, good IQ on the basketball court, knows how to play. He was pretty good all the way around, but when we went three-on-three, he was even better. So that was very exciting just to see this kid come out and play.

“When you get MVP or Player of the Year in the SEC, that says a lot, as well. It holds a lot because you know he’s probably basketball-ready, especially for the NBA.”

During the 2007-08 season, Foster averaged 20.3 points and shot 46.3 percent from 3-point range. He departed as one of only 22 SEC players to score 2,000 career points.

”The thing with Shan that is so impressive is that he has had an outstanding career at Vanderbilt,” Hornets General Manager Jeff Bower said. “He has great combination of experience, size and scoring ability, and those are all big assets for him.”

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By: OneTimer on 12/31/69 at 7:00

I love Shan. One of the best ever in black and gold. But I don't think he is going to make it in the NBA. If Frejie couldn't . . .

By: courier37027 on 12/31/69 at 7:00

OneTimer, I agree. Vanderbilt develops players in the same style as Duke University: solid college program players who cannot adjust or do not have NBA style talent. Langhi, Frejie, others Commodores fit into this mold. Hope you can prove us wrong S. Foster. Good luck.

By: TITAN1 on 12/31/69 at 7:00

Shane was very good at Vandy and I'm a big Vandy fan, but I don't think he plays physical enough for the NBA, but I hope I'm wrong.

By: vandyhunter88 on 12/31/69 at 7:00

Matt Freije didn't make it in the NBA for a variety of reasons, one being he was only a so-so shooter from the outside and not a good rebounder. Foster on the other hand, can definitely make it in the NBA if he just doesn't lose his shot from outside range. The fact that his shot is hard to block, he does get off the ground well, has long arms, and his range is from legit NBA distance, he can definitely find himself on a roster as a role shooter. You don't have to be that physical nor a great passer to have a spot in the NBA is you do one thing great. Brent Barry, Kyle Korver, Craig Hodges, Matt Carroll and a number of other guys are or have been in the league for years due to their ability to shoot from the outside at a high percentage. There's a place for Foster in the NBA.