Kentucky basketball fan’s take: 10 reasons DeAndre Liggins made the right choice

The NBA draft was held on June 23rd. Many Kentucky fans were surprised to hear when DeAndre Liggins was chosen 53rd overall by the Orlando Magic. He made the right choice…even if there is a lockout.

"I'm a defender"

The Wildcat fans loved Liggins. His improvement on the court was a big reason that they made it to the Final Four. Liggins takes pride in defense and works hard at it.

"I'm a defender," he said at a Final Four interview session with reporters. "I'm one of the best defenders in the nation."

Source: Kentucky.com

That did not go unnoticed by NBA scouts. How can they not take notice of a tall, defensive minded player who will do whatever it takes to grab loose balls? Plenty of guys can shoot but defenders like Liggins aren't easy to find. His size (over 6'6") will enable him to match up with any of the top shooters in the league.

To start out, Liggins will likely come off the bench to play defense when needed. He will come in to lock his man down. Every team needs a player like that. Liggins is also a good rebounder and passer. If he can finish around the rim in the NBA, he could even be a decent scorer.

10 reasons why Liggins made the right choice

  1. The lockout (if there is one) won't cause the season to be canceled.
  2. NBA teams value defense. The Magic will run Liggins out there to stay in front of the number one scoring option on the opposing team for 10 or 15 minutes a night.
  3. He was drafted 53rd this year. Next year he would have been drafted in the same range.
  4. Liggins can improve a ton but the draft will be especially deep next season.
  5. He was not going to be able to improve his standing as the NCAA's top defensive player.
  6. Liggins won't play professional basketball forever. Every year he doesn't play is a year of lost income.
  7. He was going to see decreased playing time playing for a loaded 2011-12 Wildcat squad.
  8. He has to provide for a baby now.
  9. This is the beginning of a career that will resemble Keith Bogans'(notes) career. Guys like Liggins are a key component for teams to get deep into the playoffs.
  10. Playing in the NBA is the ultimate goal for Liggins.

Having grown up in Kentucky, I am a lifelong Kentucky Wildcat fan. You can follow me on Twitter here. Still want more? Go to my blog.

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Updated Friday, Jun 24, 2011