Congratulations to the lucky franchise that takes a shot on the latest stud out of Xavier University. His ceiling is liable to go Bill - take your pick: Walton or Wennington. His discipline made him a reliable four-year starter, and his relentless work-ethic and high character propelled his team to back-to-back trips to the NCAA Tournament.
Welcome to the NBA, Matt Stainbrook!
Stainbrook's high school career got off to a slow start. A self-described "nobody," he didn't start for his high school varsity team until his senior year. He originally planned to play D-III ball at Case Western Reserve University in Cleveland before receiving an offer from Western Michigan.
Ironically, he started his first game as a freshman against Xavier, scoring 10 points and grabbing 7 rebounds in a close 68-65 win for the Musketeers. X head coach Chris Mack told the New York Times he questioned how Stainbrook - an eccentric center reminiscent of a new age Kurt Rambis - could go unnoticed coming out of high school.
He started 60 games in two seasons at Western Michigan before transferring to Xavier, where he was named one of the team's three captains in 2013-14 after sitting out a year. He led the team in rebounding his junior year (7.4 RPG) and finished the year as an All-Big East Honorable Mention.
He grew as a low-post threat in 2015, scoring in double figures a team-high 24 times and leading the team with 12.3 points per game. Stainbrook earned All-Second Team honors and powered X to the Sweet 16 with team highs of 15.3 points and 8.3 rebounds in three tournament games.
Off the court, you'll be hard pressed to find a draft hopeful with more character than Stainbrook. Matt's little brother Tim walked onto the Xavier roster in 2013. After earning his undergraduate degree the following May, big bro decided to relinquish his scholarship to Tim, and Matt played his senior season as a walk-on.
No longer suffering under the heinous restrictions placed on student-athletes by the NCAA, Stainbrook started working as an Uber driver to make some ends. Now, he looks to earn a real paycheck in the pros. Should Stainbrook be selected on Thursday, he will become (to our knowledge) the first cab driver drafted in the NBA.
The 6-foot-10, 260-pound Stainbrook could be a target for a team in need of an interior presence on the back end of their bench. He can crash the boards and will fight for points inside, and he has a chance to develop into a pretty good pick-and-pop player at the NBA level. Beyond the hardwood, he's a great locker room guy and will serve as an even better face in the community. He could use a year of development, which may lead most teams to stay patient and sign him as an undrafted free agent.
But if you're a team looking for some depth inside, feel free to take a stab at Matt Stainbrook.