5-foot-9 Kay Felder entering, staying in draft

AP Photo/Duane Burleson
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Since 1990, Just two players listed shorter than 5-foot-10 have been drafted:

The 5-foot-9 Kay Felder will attempt to become the third.

Tony Paul of The Detroit News:

Kay Felder is almost certainly done at Oakland University, he told The Detroit News on Tuesday night.

The star guard has declared for the NBA draft and is actively looking for an agent.

“I don’t plan on coming back,” Felder told The News.

Felder ranked third in the country in points (24.4) and first in assists (9.3) per game. The only player even to near those numbers in the previous 15 years: J.J. Barea at Northeastern.

A junior, Felder just turned 21. It’d be more encouraging if Felder produced better earlier in his career, especially as a shooter. But he has really come into his own.

Felder has tremendous burst and hops, and his outside shooting allows him to take full advantage of both. Not many defenders can keep up as Felder sprints quickly and changes speeds effectively. Lose him near the basket, and he’ll go way above the rim to dunk.

He’s also a nifty passer, constantly looking for teammates while use his dynamic skills with the ball in his hands.

Felder’s size can be a problem, but he’s strong. That gives him a fighting chance. He’ll endure contact in the paint, though finishing over taller defenders could be an issue.

Felder has potential to become a real pest defensively. He shouldered such a heavy load offensively for Oakland, which played him nearly the entire game and ran everything through him. Playing a smaller role in the NBA, perhaps Felder would channel more of his energy into defense. Again, bigger opponents could still give him trouble.

Most project Felder to go in the second round, and that sounds about right in a draft that features quality prospects deep in the first round. Players of Felder’s size just don’t get the benefit of the doubt, though Felder’s confidence and swagger might have teams wanting to believe in him. If I were drafting, it wouldn’t be long into the second round until he’s off the board.