Mississippi State hasn’t had a first round draftee in the National Basketball Association Draft in 16 years when Erick Dampier and Dontae Jones were both selected in the 1996 draft capping an NCAA Final Four trip for the Bulldogs.
Tonight, Arnett Moultrie expects to break the MSU first-round drought and perhaps land the highest selection since Bailey Howell landed the 2nd pick in the 1959 NBA Draft.
“I'm a top-10 talent, for sure, (probably) anywhere from six to 10,” Moultrie told the Detroit media.
The Southeastern Conference’s leading rebounder (10.5) is projected to be a mid-round selection with the Houston Rockets, Boston Celtics, or Denver Nuggets as potential landing spots. However, David Mayo of MLive.com feels the Detroit Pistons are a likely suitor with the No. 9 pick.
“Detroit is a perfect fit,” Moultrie told Mayo. “I know that they need a big. They're looking for an athletic big to play above the rim, to play alongside Greg Monroe. He's more of a skilled four and I bring my energy when I'm on the floor, blocking shots and rebounding the basketball.
“I'd fit in really well, just come in as a role player because (Monroe) has already established himself with that team. They have a lot of good guards that can score the ball, so I wouldn't come in and worry about scoring. I'd come in as a role player and do all the dirty work.”
In his lone year with State, Moultrie averaged 16.4 points and developed his outside shooting (44.4 percent).
Dee Bost and Renardo Sidney also hope to hear their name called during the ‘ events as well. Bost is considered a top 100 NBA prospect and could be selected late in the second round.
The troubled Sidney, who is reportedly out of shape, isn’t projected to be on anyone’s draft board.
As for Moultrie, he’s comfortable flying under the radar.
“I'm definitely the sleeper of the draft,” Moultrie said. “But that's fine, they can sleep on me. I've been a sleeper all my life.”