For just about every rule, one can find an exception hiding somewhere.
When it comes to basketball players and consecutive ACL surgeries, the rule is that players dont just bounce back overnight. It isnt that a player cant come back, but that a full recovery from this injury takes time. A re-injury usually indicates a more serious problem. A player almost never comes back a year later with improved athleticism and in better basketball condition.
The preseason reports of a fully mended and improved Curtis Sumpter
came in, and were promptly and justifiably ignored by the DraftExpress staff. Weve heard this one before. Sumpter wasnt an elite prospect to begin with, very much in the middle of a position switch when the injury mishaps began.
But Curtis Sumpter
is recovered, and he is better than ever. The 5th year senior looks more like a true SF every time out, showing off dramatically improved first-step explosiveness and a polished jumper out to the college 3-point line. Sumpter is still limited as a ballhandler and shot creator, but has clearly worked to develop a midrange game that now includes a few wrinkles. He can pull up off the bounce when he has space, and still manages to utilize that slithery toughness to get to the rim at opportune moments.
Sumpter still doesnt entirely look the part of NBA SF just yet, but the remarkable development he has made since tearing his ACL in the 2005 NCAA Tournament and then re-injuring the knee last fall is simply undeniable. He has the size, length, and mentality to be a bothersome wing defender in the NBA, and if that perimeter stroke continues to sizzle for him, a first round call isnt out of the question come draft night.