June 29, 2013 by Saagar Sarin
Former USC center Dewayne Dedmon was not selected in the 2013 NBA Draft on Thursday.
The result came as little surprise to USC fans. Many remember that Dedmon declared for the draft after a less than stellar season that saw the Trojans go through a bumpy 14-18 campaign, with Dedmon averaging 6.7 points and 7 rebounds per contest. The season ended tumultuously for Dedmon and teammate James Blasczyk, who were both suspended for their alleged part in a fight that took place in Spokane, Washington while the team was on the road playing Washington State. Still, the former transfer out of Lancaster, Calif. felt ready to go pro.
“It’s just my time to chase my dream and go to the NBA,” Dedmon said in a statement shortly after declaring for the draft. “I had a great time at USC and it was a good experience. I had some ups and downs and learned a lot and believe it is best for me to turn professional at this time. I wish USC, Andy Enfield and all my teammates all the best moving forward.”
While Dedmon will play for the Miami Heat in the Orlando Summer League and the Dallas Mavericks in the NBA Summer League in Las Vegas, his fall out of the draft has to serve as a bit of a disappointment for many Trojan faithful, who projected Dedmon to be a high pick upon his arrival at USC.
Former head coach Kevin O’Neill was part of that group, stating in an interview before Dedmon had even played his first college game that “no question he’s a first-round pick, no question.”
It certainly didn’t play out that way, and now Dedmon will have to scrap his way into a non-guaranteed roster spot or play in the NBA Development League this upcoming season.
Dedmon thus far has largely relied on his unreal athleticism. Few seven-footers are as agile and quick as Dedmon, and it should be noted that he only started playing organized basketball at the late age of 18, missing the crucial years of coaching and tough AAU competition that most major prospects had in their more formative basketball years.
Dedmon’s numbers at Antelope Valley Community College and USC were not that great, but at times he showed flashes of brilliance. Trojan fans saw enough of that brilliance to know that Dedmon might have a chance to play in the NBA, but for now, the undrafted rookie has a long road ahead of him.