No T-shirts PLEASE!

I watched almost no college basketball this year. As such I have almost no idea who the Blazers should draft. But I do know that any player that the Blazers should not draft  a player who wore a t-shirt under their jersey in college. Why? Find out after the jump.

Last year in the build up to the draft I came to the conclusion that I didn't think that Johnny Flynn was a baller. Was it because he is 5'11? No. It was because of pictures similar to the one below:



I realized that because Johnny Flynn was wearing a t-shirt (or at least a t-shirt like undergarment) under his jersey, that my expectations for him as a professional player were lessened. Upon further review, I became convinced that players who wear t-shirts under their jersey in college generally have worse NBA careers than those that don't. Consider the following:

Are there players that have beaten the Curse of the T-Shirt? Yes. Shaq and Jason Kidd were both part-time t-shirters in college while Larry Johnson and Marcus Camby both were full timers. Also notable are that both Alonzo Mourning and Dikembe Mutombo beat the curse, although a case could be made that they were only wearing t-shirts due to the tradition of Georgetown centers wearing t-shirts that was started by Patrick Ewing (of whom, by the way, could be said to have had a disappointing career). More recently players such as Ben GordonEric Gordon (the jury is still out on him), Rajon Rondo was a part-timer, and Delonte West could be said to have potentially beaten the curse as well. So while it isn't a perfect test, there seems to be great value. The value in the t-shirt test largely  seems to be in deciding between players of roughly equal quality. In other words, if the Mavericks had for some reason decided to trade the draft rights to Jason Kidd to the Blazers in 1994 for the draft rights to Aaron McKie+filler, the Blazers would have been crazy to turn that down, despite Jason Kidd being a part-time t-shirt wearer.

Now you may be asking yourself "What constitutes wearing a t-shirt? Many players wear something under their jerseys." The rule of thumb that I use is that if a player were to raise his hand, if you can see their armpit then they aren't wearing a t-shirt.

What does this mean for the Blazers this year? Based on the current mock draft at the players that are within the range of the Blazers seem to be:

Based on this list, the Blazers should not draft Daniel Orton, Gordon Hayward or Damion James. While they may become fine professional players, the odds are not in their favor due to them failing the t-shirt test.


Agree or disagree? Lets hear it in the comments.

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