By Chris Williams, CycloneFanatic.com Publisher
Marquis Gilstrap’s name isn’t popping up on mock draft boards across the country. Sure, it has surfaced on a few but Gilstrap is hardly a marquee name heading into tomorrow night’s event.
But still, Gilstrap, who averaged 14.9 points per game and 9.3 rebounds per game during his lone season as a Cyclone, remains confident. In fact, he’s so confident that when I asked him if he had a backup plan should he not be selected by an NBA franchise, Gilstrap said, “I haven’t even thought about that. I am just hoping for the best.”
The truth is that Gilstrap has no idea what is going to go down tomorrow night. Most people don’t. Remember that the dozens of mock drafts that you read on the Internet are exactly that. Mock drafts.
Gilstrap’s stock has gone up in recent weeks. Remember that before coming to Iowa State, Gilstrap had only played JUCO ball. He’s what scouts call “raw talent” and some feel that he’s well worth the small amount of risk taken with a second-round pick.
“They use the words ‘huge upside’ a lot,” Gilstrap said referring to NBA scouts. “They like the way I rebound. They like that I can play multiple positions.”
“Marquis is so young in the development of his game,” said Iowa State associate head coach T.J. Otzelberger. “The ingredients that will allow him to be an NBA player are that he has legitimate size for his position at the three-spot. He can catch and shoot. Physically, he has the body and athleticism that allow him to rebound from that position. He has been very intriguing here. He’s a talent for a lot of people to be looked at. I think that more than likely, Marquis will get drafted.”
In a Tuesday phone conversation, Gilstrap didn’t seem to be bothered at all by what is certainly a high-pressure situation. Gilstrap is doing the only thing that he actually has control of. He’s playing well in his workouts. The rest will take care of itself. In fact, as of yesterday, Gilstrap claimed that he has yet to ask his agent where/when he could be selected on Thursday night.
“I will probably ask him about it the closer we get to the draft. I just need to do what I can control,” Gilstrap said. “It has been a lot of fun. I’ve gotten to see a lot of things that I never thought I’d see. It’s just a blessing to be going through what I am going through.”
Gilstrap plans on watching the draft with his family in Georgia on Thursday night. Stay tuned for more draft coverage here at CycloneFanatic.com