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Marissa McBride

Can Cunningham Cut it in the NBA? Yes!

  • Posted by: Marissa McBride
  • June 30, 2009, 12:30 PM


Dante Cunningham was a 6'8", 230-pound star forward for Villanova University last season.

Last Thursday night, the Portland Trail Blazers selected him in the second round (33rd overall) of the NBA Draft. The question is: Can he perform in the NBA with the same confidence he played with at Nova?

A lot of people doubt that he can, but not me. I personally believe that Dante has what it takes to be a good player in the NBA. He is a natural leader on the court, has good size, and he's quick enough to play on the perimeter.

It might take a couple of years to adjust to the new rules, settings, and teammates, but I think he has the ability to do it. Trying to prove many wrong by succeeding in the NBA is the motivation he needs.

He can jump high and his surprising quickness will be a key factor. Dante averaged 16.1 points per game in his senior season, though it will be hard to produce the same points with the pros.

The biggest problem, in my opinion, is his rebounding. Getting rebounds is a very important part of playing power forward, and the NBA is chock full of players who get double-digit rebounds everyday. After averaging 7.5 rebounds last season against college competition, he needs to work on that if he wants to be someone who plays in the league, and not someone who rides the bench.

A lot of people are doubting him, but I think he could do great things if he puts his mind to it.

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