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Gonzaga Basketball

Daye selection draws criticism

Tue., June 30, 2009, midnight

Former Zag says he’ll get stronger with Pistons

AUBURN HILLS, Mich. — The reviews are in, and many of them aren’t very kind.

Yes, plenty of criticism – from fans and pundits alike – has been directed toward the Pistons because they selected Gonzaga sophomore Austin Daye with the 15th pick in last week’s draft.

The criticism focuses on the lack of bulk on Daye’s 6-foot-11, 192-pound frame, a so-so sophomore season at Gonzaga and supposedly uninspiring predraft workouts as proof that the forward was a reach.

Joe Dumars, as the team’s president of basketball operations, is used to the heat and typically just shrugs off criticism.

For a 20-year-old, it all could be a little upsetting.

But Daye has a father who played in the NBA and who is pretty hard on him.

“I think he’s picked my game enough so I’m kind of used to it and I know there are high expectations,” Daye said during a Monday news conference to introduce the Pistons’ draft picks. “But if I work hard maybe I can exceed those and maybe go a little bit beyond.

“Right now, I’m just happy to be a part of this organization.”

As Daye was making his remarks at a podium flanked by Dumars and draftees DaJuan Summers and Jonas Jerebko, Daye’s father, Darren, was seated in the front row.

Darren, 48, spent five seasons in the NBA in the 1980s. He believes the criticism will motivate his son.

“He’s a competitor,” Darren said. “He’s a guy that likes to win and he likes to play. There’s always are going to be people out there that say you’re not good enough or you’re not this and you’re not that.

“I know he’s going to do his best to dispel any bad thoughts about his game.”

As for his weight, Daye said he expected to be in the 210 range by next season. Strength and conditioning coach Arnie Kander has indicated that putting weight on Daye shouldn’t be a problem.

“I know that if I’m going to play in the NBA, I’m going to have to get stronger,” Daye said.

“I’ve been in the 210-pound range before, and that’s my goal for this year. I’m going to be working hard with the people here to get there.”

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