George, Alston Named in ESPN's Top 10 MW Pros
June 10, 2013
Path to the Draft: Top 10 from Mountain West schools (ESPN.com)
By Stephen Trembley
FRESNO, Calif. --- Former Fresno State star basketball players Paul George and Rafer Alston are among the Top 10 players in the National Basketball Association that competed for a school that has been member of Mountain West, according to ESPN's Jason King.
George was ranked fifth and Alston was tabbed seventh in the list of ten professionals that also included UNLV's Larry Johnson, Shawn Marion, J.R. Rider, Stacey Augmon and Greg Anthony, New Mexico's Danny Granger and Kenny Thomas, and Utah's Andrew Bogut.
George played at Fresno State from 2008-10 and Alston was part of the Bulldogs' 1997-98 squad that advanced to the NIT Semifinals in New York City's Madison Square Garden.
Here is King's take on both George and Altson, as well as their impact on the NBA:
5. Paul George, Fresno State -- The 6-foot-8 small forward just completed his breakout season, averaging 17.4 points and 7.6 rebounds for the Indiana Pacers in his third year as a pro. Even more impressive is that George averaged 19 points in the playoffs to lead his team within one game of the NBA Finals. No one will be surprised if the third-team All-NBA selection is an All-Star for years to come.
7. Rafer Alston, Fresno State -- A second-round draft pick in 1999, Alston struggled in his first four NBA seasons before finding his groove with the Miami Heat in 2003-04. He averaged 10.2 points and 4.5 assists that season and would average 30-plus minutes a game for the next five years. His best season came in 2003-04, when he averaged 14.2 points and 6.4 assists for Toronto. Alston played his final NBA game in 2010.
There was one other Fresno State connection that was mentioned by King in the article. Former Bulldog Greg Smith, who played for Fresno State from 2009-11 and helped the Houston Rockets make the playoffs this season, was listed in King's "Too Soon to Tell" section as someone that hasn't "been in the league long enough to make the top 10, but might get there soon enough."
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