In SDSU star Nate Wolters and Yankton High grad Colton Iverson, South Dakota had more of a presence in this NBA Draft than any other since 1981. That year SDSU big Steven Lingenfelter and Northern State’s Scott Bosanko were selected.
Pretty rare stuff for the Rushmore State. What did we learn along the way? A few possibilities:
* Wolters (6-5 in shoes) and Iverson (7-foot) stood out at their respective positions in terms of height. They’re also the sons of former players - Iverson’s dad was an NBA draft pick, too, while Wolters’ dad played at the NCAA Division III level. More subjectively, both are regarded as hard workers.
* Neither took the conventional college path to the draft. Wolters had limited Division I offers coming out of high school and went to a mid-major with no pro projections until roughly the middle of his junior season.
Iverson was highly regarded and went to a high-major school (Minnesota) only to sort of stall out in terms of development until transferring to Colorado State for two seasons (one as a redshirt). Still, he wasn’t viewed as consensus draft material until late in his fifth year.
Neither took the Mike Miller path to the league.
* For as much as it’s hard to trust pre-draft intel, both players wound up going to teams that brought them in for private workouts - Wolters with the Bucks and Iverson with the Celtics. So maybe that stuff does have merit.
Anecdotally, both wound up with franchises that are in retooling mode. Maybe that’s coincidence. Or perhaps that’s a sign that they’re viewed as low-risk prospects, guys that won’t present problems and have team-first approaches.
So there’s the secret, I guess. Let’s hope it won’t be another 30 years between such circumstances.
Terry Vandrovec also posts regular updates on his Twitter page.