Wednesday, June 28, 2006

Home Sweet Home, Lakers Pick Farmar

By Bruin Basketball Report

UCLA's Jordan Farmar was taken with the 26th overall pick in the first-round by the Los Angeles Lakers.

The former local standout from Taft High School was the Bruins' second-leading scorer (13.5) and led the Pac-10 in assists (5.1) last season.

He helped the Bruins reach the Final Four last season for the first time since 1995, and was named to the NCAA Oakland Regional and Pac-10 Tournament teams. In addition, Farmar was selected to the NCAA Final Four All-Tournament team.

"I'm very excited for Jordan's future in the NBA and the fact that's he's able to stay in Los Angeles and play for the Lakers," said Bruin head coach Ben Howland. "He's an outstanding point guard, who No. 1 is a winner.

Farmar helped improve his draft stock when he became the only projected first-round pick to participate in the NBA Pre-Draft camp in Orlando.

The Bruin point-guard surprised many scouts by recording the highest step vertical jump at 42" and bench-pressing 180 pounds eleven times at the NBA Pre-Draft camp.

"He's a very, very intelligent player who also has great athleticism and skill level. Howland said. The fact that he's only 19 (turns 20 on Nov. 30) and still developing physically - his best years in basketball are ahead of him and he's already had an outstanding career.

The Lakers (45-37) finished third place in the Pacific Division last season. They were eliminated by the Phoenix Suns in the first round of the playoffs after taking a 3-1 lead in the series.

The team rotated Smush Parker and Sasha Vujacic at point guard last season, but the duo struggled with inconsistent play, especially during the playoffs.

"We didn't think Jordan Farmar was going to be available at this point in the draft." said Lakers GM Mitch Kupchak. "We've watched him play at UCLA and know his coach and their system, he will help us at some point."

It's uncertain how much Farmar will contribute to the team next season considering Lakers' head coach Phil Jackson has a reputation of not playing rookies.

Yet, considering the Lakers' struggles last season, Farmar may have the opportunity to make an impact right away.

Farmar becomes the first Bruin selected in the first-round of the NBA draft since 2000 when Jerome Moiso was selected eleventh overall by the Boston Celtics. Baron Davis was selected third overall in the first-round in 1999 by the Charlotte Hornets.



At Jun 28, 2006, 8:51:00 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

That is great! Congratulations to Jordan! I bet he is so happy to be with the Lakers and home. This is great news. Good for the Lakers, too.

At Jun 28, 2006, 9:02:00 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Just Awesome! Welcome Home Jordan, you never left! I have a reason to go to Staples now!

At Jun 28, 2006, 9:13:00 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Actually, Moiso was taken in the first round in 2000.

At Jun 28, 2006, 9:23:00 PM, Blogger BBR said...

Thanks for the correction. It has been noted in the article.



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