Going into this season, Arizona State senior Carrick Felix was not really looked at as an NBA prospect.
Coming off a season in which he averaged 10.5 points and 4 rebounds per game while shooting .421 from the field, the 6-foot-6 swingman was a solid college player but nothing more.
All that's changed.
Felix is averaging 15.1 points and 8.2 rebounds per game, while shooting .535 from the floor and blocking at least one bush league UCLA layup attempt for the surprising Sun Devils, and after winning his third Pac-12 Player of the Week Award, seems like he might have the NBA in his future.
Arizona State Athletic Director Steve Patterson, who used to be a general manager in the NBA, thinks Felix will get a shot.
"The great thing about Carrick is he's got his head screwed on, he works hard every day, he works hard every play, day in and day out in practice," he told Arizona Sports 620's Doug and Wolf. "He never takes a play off in a game, plays good defense and has shown the capacity for his game to grow considerably."
Patterson said if Felix can stay on his current trajectory there will be a place for him in the NBA, and it's tough to argue. While Felix may not be a first-round selection, players with his size, athletic ability and motor tend to get a look.
Of course, teams never would have been able to see that had Felix not stayed for his senior year.
"I think, unfortunately, everybody focuses on the LeBron Jameses or the Kobe Bryants that are spectacular players that probably don't need four years in college," Patterson said. "But every year, when I was a general manager, you'd sit there and you'd look at the list, and there'd be 200 names on it of guys that are coming out of college.
"Maybe two or three are really ready to go in the pros, and the rest of those guys have given up their college education, given up their chance to grow as players and really eventually put themselves in a position where they could have a career in the NBA, or if not have a far better career outside of basketball doing something else."
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