Monday, 06 August 2018 16:38 Written by Chris Noonan
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2023 OBWL Draft Review


2023 OBWL Rookie Draft:  A mixed bag of potential ranging from stars to busts.


The 2023 OBWL Rookie Draft is in the books. What many had dubbed a "mediocre" draft class, it lived up to the majority of expectations. The Top Five was set in stone, if their order was not, leaving the rest of the field a mishmash of potentials, hopefuls, and likely a few busts. But, such is any draft in the OBWL.

The Top Five

1. Daniel West, Small Forward (South Carolina) - drafted by the Chicago Blaze

If West didn't go first, there is something wrong in Chicago. The 19 year old declared for the draft after only one year in college, but the kid can shoot. West could arguably start for the Blaze, but GM Greg Abcarian has about $40 million in budget space available, so the rookie may not get the game time he would have on some other teams.

2. Gregory Santiago, Power Forward (Oklahoma State) - drafted by the Sacramento Snipers

Chris Noonan brought a horseshoe with him when the Snipers hired him; this is the second year in a row the team has moved up in the draft, last year they took Lynwood Emmert at #1, the 2022 Rookie of the Year. This year the selected Greg Santiago, and it's not very difficult to believe he as well will be the top rookie. Santiago is probably the best draftee right now, and given the Snipers lineup (and budget) is an immediate upgrade for the team. The 2022 All-American can play both directions, and is a threat in the paint both on offense and defense.

3. Luis Engram, Small Forward (Colorado) - drafted by the New Jersey Enforcers

The first of three 1st round picks for the Enforcers, Engram is the only 17 year old the board, and without bothering to do any research, the youngest Top-3 pick in league history. While good on attack as well as on defense, he's lacking in endurance when compared to... Well, adults. That being said, Engram is going to be in the OBWL for 2 decades. If the Enforcers keep him, and develop him (and get him into cardio right away), he'll be a mainstay in the league.

4. Joseph Hales, Power Forward (North Carolina State) - drafted by the Seattle SeaDogs

Hales is what some would call a "utility" player. He does a little bit of everything, doesn't excel at any one thing, but doesn't fumble any one thing either; the definition of a 6th man. Which is where the SeaDogs will most likely use him. The 19 year old has similar endurance issues that Engram has, but coming off the bench that small blemish is mitigated.

5. Yevgeny Ilgauskas, Shooting Guard (Villanova) - drafted by the Portland Lumberjacks

The exact opposite of Engram and Hales when it comes to stamina, Yevgeny Never-Pronounced-Correctly has the makings of a great guard, but he's not there quite yet. He's a stereotype SG in all respects: he can shoot, he can steal, he can block outside shots, and he will never see a rebound in his entire career. The long-term project of the Top-Five, Portland would be better served with Ilga-something spending a season or two in the DL before coming to the big league.

Highest Climber

9. Norbert Cottingham, Point Guard (Washington) - drafted by the Ft. Worth Dragoons

In a draft short on point guards.... not good points guard, not promising point guards, but just point guards in general... Cottingham was the first to be drafted with the number 9 pick. Cottingham was ranked #66 on the Draft Board. Arguably, Cottingham was ranked "won't be drafted." And let's not pull punches here: in his only season in college, he averaged 4 points and 1 assist per game. With 25 minutes per game. This is an official top-10 pick in the OBWL. I hope Cottingham appreciates the first round rookie salary, it's probably the most he'll make in his career.

Lowest Faller

35. Henry Warnock, Power Forward (Notre Dame) - drafted by the Ft. Worth Dragoons

The most humorous circumstance in the draft: the #35 pick is a better player than the #9 pick, both chosen by the Dragoons. That being said, Warnock was drafted where he should have been. A power forward should not be weaker, and have less endurance, than a 17 year old. And yet this guy was ranked #14. The league scout had him going #46 in the mock draft, I would have accepted that as well.

The Lowest of All

49. Armand McKamey, Power Forward (George Washington) - Drafted by the Denver Demons

McKamey was ranked way down at #243, but good enough for Denver. The way I see, it McKamey's job description will be "stand in the post and draw fouls." He needs to actually work on sinking those fouls, however, he's only 66% in his college career from the line. An enterprising coach could use him for spot minutes when an opponent is in foul trouble to try to foul him out, but that is a very specialized role, and McKamey will only see 3 or 4 minutes a game for his career.... if that.


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