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NBA Draft: Houston Rockets Select Oregon’s Dillon Brooks in Second Round

Pac-12 Player of the Year selected with 45th overall pick

Arizona State v Oregon Photo by Ethan Miller/Getty Images

Oregon’s Dillon Brooks was selected by the Houston Rockets in the second round of the 2017 NBA Draft. He was the 45th overall pick from the Barclays Center in Brooklyn on Thursday evening.

Joseph Young was the last Oregon basketball player to be drafted in 2015. He was selected by the Indiana Pacers in the second round with the 43rd overall pick.

The Pac-12 Player of the Year will be a welcomed addition to the Rockets. They currently have one of the best in the league in James Harden, but not much competition. A lot could change before the start of next season, but Brooks would be a lethal combo with a perennial MVP candidate.

Most NBA evaluators place a great deal of value on upside. The younger, the better is the motto. However, Brooks has defied the odds at every turn of his life. Why would this journey be any different for him? He has always risen above his critics.

There is not enough emphasis placed on winning in college basketball from NBA circles. It is nice when the player is from a powerhouse, but most GM’s don’t care if they made the tournament or won nine games like the No. 1 pick Markelle Fultz from Washington.

The Mississauga product is poised to make an impact at the next level.

Statistically, Brooks averaged 16.1 PPG, 3.2 RPG, 2.7 APG and 1.1 SPG over the 2016-17 regular season at Oregon. He shot 40 percent from 3-point territory, alongside a healthy 53 percent from the field. Not to mention, Brooks was a 79 percent free throw shooter during his 3-year college career.

Brooks leaves the program having scored 1,612 career points for the Ducks. He led his No. 1 seed Duck team to an Elite Eight appearance in 2015-16. He followed that with Oregon’s first Final Four appearance in 77 years in 2016-17. The Ducks achieved (33-6) their greatest basketball season in program history.

NCAA Basketball: NCAA Tournament-Midwest Regional-Kansas vs Oregon
Kansas freshman phenom Josh Jackson may get all the headlines, but Dillon Brooks will gladly accept the hardware from winning their Elite Eight contest. The Pac-12 Player of the Year helped guide Oregon past the No. 1 Jayhawks, 74-60. The Ducks advanced to their first Final Four in 77 years.
Jay Biggerstaff-USA TODAY Sports

If he were to focus his attention on total points, he may have led the nation in scoring. However, winning was more important to him. Some NBA teams value that more, especially those that want to win.

“It’s been a grind, but it’s what I learned at Oregon,” said Brooks in reference to his 14 NBA workouts. “Trying to find ways to separate ourselves from the others. They want what you’re good at. It only takes one team to love you.”

Brooks’ flexibility and versatility may be one of his best traits. Deciphering between the two would only hurt him. Oregon actually plays a slower defensive game and more uptempo offensive scheme. He can play in any system.

“I’m the most versatile player in the draft,” said Brooks during pre-draft workouts.

Prior to the draft, the Canadian worked out for 14 teams, including the Indiana Pacers, Toronto Raptors, Utah Jazz, Phoenix Suns, Portland Trail Blazers and Philadelphia 76ers to name a few.

Dillon Brooks exits school as my personal favorite Duck basketball player in my lifetime. I have never enjoyed watching a collegiate player more than Brooks. His drive, motivation and work ethic set him apart from an elite talent pool.

All the best to him! We wish the former Duck nothing but the best. Thank you, Dillon.

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