Austin Daye became the first-round draft pick for the Detroit Pistons last Thursday and comes out of college not necessarily “unheralded” — he is, after all, a sophomore and on a high powered, nationally recognized team — but perhaps with a touch of the unknown simply because, well, I’ll say it: Adam Morrison. That’s right. I’m biased against Gonzaga because of the wispy-stached loser who ruined the Bobcats draft (GRANGER, man!). But Daye has less expectations because he was “only” the 15th pick and, in theory, won’t need to immediately start for the Pistons. But Detroit is obviously excited to have him and he’s excited to be there, which he talked about recently with WDFN, as well as adjusting to the NBA, having a father who played in the NBA and his expectations for Detroit fans. Sadly, no talk of Matt Stafford.
On the anticipation of the Draft:
“Yeah, it’s just a special opportunity and I was happy to be a part of it. You’re lucky enough to be in that elite group of guys in the green room, but you never know what’s going to happen in that type of situation and I was just lucky to be called and blessed to be called and I was happy to be a Detroit Piston that day.”
On the biggest adjustment to the NBA:
“I think the rigors of the 82 games and strength-wise — a lot of guys are in the peak of their physical ability and I just need to get close to that just to get through the 82 games because it’s a lot different than 35 in college. It’s a big adjustment.”
On having a father who played at the NBA helping his preparation:
“Yeah, I think that’s going to be a big help this year going into the season. Just because I have such an advantage, and mentally is as big a part of the game as it is physically. If you can’t remember a play, if you can’t get the right read in a situation, then you’re not a great player. I think having him around will help me out a lot in the long run and it’s already helped me out a lot in my career.”
On having a “number” where he would have pulled out of the draft:
“Yeah, I think it would have to have been 20’s, low 20’s. You don’t want to set yourself up for a shaky situation, especially in the NBA Draft. It’s such a coin flip that you never know what’s going to happen in certain situations — last year a lot of people were shook up that Russell Westbrook went fourth and it changed a lot of things. It was definitely in the low 20’s. But I made my decision and I’m happy where I’m at.”
On whether he’s researched Detroit fans:
“I talked to Joe Dumars and he said that … Detroit has the record for most consecutive home sellouts. And to sell that place out is a lot. I think that’s one of the biggest gyms in the country. And he told me how Detroit fans are so reliable — even though they had a bad season last year, things can only go up … and I think the community in general is only fanatics for their sports teams.