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Know the Prospect: Curtis Sumpter

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Stop Mike Lupica and I have agreed to split up the guys the Knicks have been working out and show you as much as we can find about them. SML kicked things off with a breakdown of Vandy's Derrick Byars, and now I bring you Villanova's Curtis Sumpter, who the Knicks worked out yesterday.

  • Let's start with the basics. Sumpter is a 6'7'', 225 lb. senior forward from Villanova. He turned 23 in January and is a hometown kid, hailing from Brooklyn. (SML, I'm surprised you didn't take this one!)
  • According to his Wildcats profile, Sumpter suffered an ACL injury that required surgery and forced him to redshirt the 2005-2006 season (which accounts for his age). Looking at his player card, the surgery doesn't seem to have taken anything away from Sumpter's game.  He had his best season in 06-07, averaging 17.4 points and 7.2 rebounds per game. Sumpter can also hit the three-pointer, as he shot at a 36.6% clip from downtown this season. Mind you, Curtis kinda took over the reins this year. His teammates Allan Ray and Randy Foye peaced out to the NBA and left Sumpter to lead a comparitively less successful Villanova squad in 06-07.
  • Sumpter has been participating in the Pre-Draft Camp in Orlando, and Draft Express has been far from impressed:
    "Possibly the biggest disappointment at the entire camp so far, there is no other way to describe Curtis Sumpter's performance here as anything but an complete disaster. Sumpter has looked out of place and out of sorts in almost everything he's done, forcing the issue badly with his penetrations and being stone-walled by the defenders and referees every time he`s tried to do something positive to help his team out. The transition to the small forward position looks very far for this 6-7 fifth year senior right now..."
    DE mentions something very important. Sumpter played mainly at the power forward in college but, given his size, he'd almost certainly be slotted as a 3 on an NBA roster. It doesn't sound as if such a transition is a promising possibility, but the Pre-Draft Camp is not always the bottom line on talent. Sumpter's rebounding skills and ability to hit the three might be good building blocks for a solid NBA small forward.
  • Grainy video of Sumpter stuffing the shit out of a Georgetown player who may or may not be Jeff Green:
My take: Sumpter seems like he has the kind of talent and character to make it in this league, but 23 is too early. If the Knicks had a second round pick, he'd be worth considering, but the knee problem, dismal performance in Orlando, and "tweener" status make him a no-go in the first round. I can't even find a mock draft that predicts Sumpter getting drafted at all. And above all that, there's one huge reason Curtis Sumpter ain't the right guy for New York. From an ESPN chat:
Jiggie: Knick or Nets? How about when the Nets get to Bkyln, any desire to get drafted by them?

Curtis Sumpter: Nets.

Case closed. Oh, and, New Jersey? Take him. He's all yours.

That concludes our first Know the Prospect. Let us know your thoughts on Sumpter in the comments, and make sure to keep checking SML for more analysis.

UPDATE: An article making the case for Sumpter, as well as informing that Sumpter's godfather was a victim in the 9/11 attacks. Worth a read.