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More Second Round National Finalist Lovin'

A Daily Babble Production

Earlier this week, we mused about the NBA possibilities for former Memphis Tiger Joey Dorsey.  In the interest of providing equal opportunity coverage to all components of one of the most memorable collegiate championship games of all time, we shift our focus today to another man who could well be a gem of the second round.

Indeed, the man drafted immediately after Joey Dorsey was none other than Kansas point guard Mario Chalmers.  While Dorsey intrigues because of his extreme hit-or-miss potential, Chalmers catches the eye because it's quite hard to imagine him becoming anything but a solid contributor at the professional level.

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It is only in a world full of tremendous upside potential and the idea that being labeled "solid but not spectacular" is something to be dreaded that a player like Mario Chalmers becomes a second-round draft pick.

No, Chalmers isn't spectacular, and he isn't likely to be so at the NBA level.  He doesn't have that added "Wow!" dimension that the likes of Chris Paul, Deron Williams and perhaps soon Derrick Rose do at this level.   But he can do just about everything.

Chalmers played three years at a program that is consistently one of the country's best.  He grew as a player in each of those years, routinely upping his shooting efficiency, lowering turnovers and becoming a more consistent all-around player for the Jayhawks.  The guy is a good passer and smart decision-maker, and by his final year at Kansas, he had raised his assist-to-turnover ratio to 2.25-to-1.  He has a high basketball IQ, knows how to make the right plays to make an offense go and certainly won't lose you too many games with boneheaded play.

Chalmers also became incredibly effective shooting the basketball by the end of his tenure at Kansas.  He improved his field-goal and three-point shooting each year, finally averaging 12.8 points on 51.6 percent field-goal shooting and 46.8 percent three-point shooting his junior year.   Those numbers are criminally good and serve as a testament to his ability to both take and make good shots without forcing up bad looks at the basket.

It also no doubt doesn't hurt that by playing at Kansas, Chalmers became quite well accustomed to playing on the big stage throughout his amateur career.  The Jayhawks routinely play in atmospheres that may be more highly charged than those of many NBA games, and Chalmers knows how to carry himself as a winner.  He also made his own indelible mark on the big stage back in April when he calmly canned the three-pointer that tied the national title game in the waning seconds of regulation, thus giving Kansas a chance to win in overtime.

So far as one can tell, the only major knocks on this guy are that he played in a very successful system but wasn't off-the-charts great, thus leading some to wonder if he could be analogous to former Miami Hurricanes quarterback Ken Dorsey in that regard.  Beyond that, there isn't much to complain about.   Chalmers isn't exceptionally undersized for a point guard at 6-foot-1 and 190 pounds.  He plays well defensively, and he is comfortable playing in the limelight.  

Plays hard, plays smart, plays efficiently: That's Mario Chalmers in a nutshell.   Here's guessing the Miami Heat made quite a steal in acquiring him on draft night.

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