Shan Foster has heard it all before.
As a basketball player, his rap sheet reads that he’s a great shooter but is limited in finding other ways to score and isn’t a polished ball-handler. It’s a label that was placed on him as a star at Vanderbilt and still dogs him as he prepares for tonight’s NBA Draft.
Nearly every pre-draft analysis of the 6-foot-6 swingman offers the same theme.
“Foster is a lights-out shooter, but the rest of his game is a little one-dimensional,” wrote ESPN.com’s Chad Ford.
Asked Wednesday if those assessments are fair, Foster chuckled.
“Playing in the SEC against some great caliber of players, as well as some great coaches, I think it would have been extra hard for me to be able to accomplish the things I’ve accomplished by not being able to handle the ball at all,” he told The City Paper from New York City.
Foster capped a decorated Vanderbilt career in 2008 by departing as the school’s all-time leading scorer. He also was named SEC Player of the Year as a senior. He’s one of only 22 players in SEC history to score 2,000 career points.
And yet, some questions linger.
NBADraft.net predicts Foster won’t be selected at all tonight. Ford tabs him to be picked by the Houston Rockets at No. 54 overall in the second round. DraftExpress.com says Foster will be drafted No. 49 overall in the second round by the Golden State Warriors.
A scout for an NBA Eastern Conference team told The City Paper this week that Foster is likely to be selected in the late first round or early second round.
Foster, who worked out for 13 NBA teams this spring, expects the same.
“That’s what we’re going to go with for right now and see how things go,” he said. “I don’t have any regrets at all. I feel like I’ve played hard and shown I can play at this level. I think I’ve shown these scouts, GMs and everybody who I am. I feel like I’ve put myself in a good situation.”
The two-round NBA Draft begins tonight at 6:30 and will be televised by ESPN.
Foster admits his game has some holes that need to be plugged. At Vanderbilt, he fired away in the team’s perimeter-oriented offensive attack and became one of the nation’s most feared 3-point shooters.
He made nine consecutive treys in the 2007-08 regular-season finale against Mississippi State while scoring a career-high 42 points in his final game at Memorial Gym.
Foster notes he was never asked to be a point guard.
“There’s always work to be done and things to improve,” he said. “I’ve never made the case that I’m the best ball-handling guard in this draft by any means. By the same token, I think I’ve shown that I’ve spent a lot of time working on it.”
Will it be enough for Foster’s NBA dreams to be fulfilled tonight?
“I’ll just to continue to stay positive and keep doing the things that got me here,” he said. “I’ll put the rest in God’s hands. You can only do so much yourself.”