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.”