Men's Basketball

NBA Predraft Camp Wraps Up With Lasme & Freeman Impressing

Rashaun Freeman had 16 points in his final game in Orlando.

Rashaun Freeman had 16 points in his final game in Orlando.

June 4, 2007

ORLANDO, Fla. - The NBA Predraft Camp in Orlando is finished and UMass seniors Stephane Lasme and Rashaun Freeman made their marks in the event which could set them to be selected in the NBA Draft in June 28 at Madison Square Garden. Lasme garnered much attention after he posted 13 blocked shots in three games. While Freeman had a game-best 16 points in his final game.

Sports Illustrated's Chris Ekstrand wrote about Lasme as one of 10 players who enjoyed excellent performances at the just-concluded predraft camp and have put themselves in position to be drafted:

Any time someone breaks a shot-blocking record set by Marcus Camby, the NBA's reigning Defensive Player of the Year, attention must be paid. Lasme broke Camby's single-season and career shot-blocking records at Massachusetts, and he didn't slow down at the predraft camp.

Lasme blocked 13 shots in three games, a 4.33 average, approaching his season average of 5.1 blocks per game despite averaging only 20 minutes at the camp. Lasme was an equal opportunity rejection machine, blocking shots in man-to-man situations, as well as when playing help defense. Nate Thurmond once told me the shot-blockers he respected most did both. Big Nate got to the Hall of Fame for his defense, so that's good enough for me.

Lasme is not very tall, and he's a raw offensive player. But he is a great athlete, and with his jumping ability, could be developed into an adequate offensive player. He could sneak into the first round, but is more likely an early second round choice.

From's Rob Reheuser:

A player who gave teams much to think about this week was Stephane Lasme of UMass. Lasme blocked another five shots Friday, giving him 13 in three games. Though it's hard to label him in terms of position, Lasme has certain athletic gifts that could easily translate at the NBA level, with shotblocking the obvious strength.

According to ESPN's Chad Ford:

A number of other players shored up their claim to the second round. Syracuse's Demetris Nichols, Nevada's Ramon Sessions, Florida's Chris Richard, Marist's Jared Jordan, UMass's Stephane Lasme, Maryland's D.J. Strawberry, Lithuania's Renaldas Seibutis, Jackson State's Trey Johnson, North Carolina's Reyshawn Terry, Providence's Herbert Hill, and Virginia Tech's Zabian Dowdell played well enough to hear their names called on draft night.

Jeff Goodman from rated Lasme as his No. 15 power forward entering the draft:

15) Stephane Lasme, 6-7, 215, Sr., UMass: He's a terrific athlete who runs the floor and blocks shots, but the issue here is his height.




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