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NBA Draft’s Potential Celtics: Fairfield SF Rakim Sanders 06.23.12 at 12:55 pm ET
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As part of WEEI.com’s coverage of the 2012 NBA draft, we are profiling all players considered likely candidates to be drafted June 28. The Celtics own three picks: 21, 22 (from the Thunder in the Kendrick Perkins trade) and 51.

Rakim Sanders, who finished his college career at Fairfield after three seasons at Boston College, is a borderline draft prospect who helped his stock with an impressive showing at the Portsmouth Invitational Tournament in April. (AP)

RAKIM SANDERS

Position: Small forward

School: Fairfield

Age: 22

Height: 6-foot-5

Weight: 234 pounds

Achievements: 2012 All-MAAC team, 2012 USBWA All-District 1 team

Key 2011-12 stats: 16.6 points, 50.0 FG%, 8.2 rebounds

What he brings: Sanders, who transferred to Fairfield after averaging double-figure points all three of his seasons at Boston College, is an athletic forward who doesn’t have trouble getting to the net. Even though he’s not going to be one of the biggest players on the court, Sanders plays an aggressive style of defense and doesn’t shy away from rebounding or blocking shots.

The Rhode Island native does not excel at 3-point shooting, converting 31.2 percent of his chances in comparison to his 50.0 percent field goal conversion rate. Sanders shot 63.5 from the the line his senior year, leaving room for improvement in that area as well.

Where the Celtics could get him: There’s a chance Sanders could go late in the second round after he averaged 19.3 points and 8.7 rebounds and was named to the all-tournament team at the Portsmouth Invitational in April, but he’s just as likely to be available as an undrafted free agent.

Notes: Sanders was the 2007 Gatorade Rhode Island Player of the Year. As a child growing up in Pawtucket, Sanders got into trouble frequently. He later went to a private school (St. Andrew’s) with the help of family friend Joan Doyle — wife of ex-Pawtucket mayor James Doyle — who paid part of Sanders’ tuition. … While at BC, Sanders was suspended the first two games of his junior season for a violation of team rules.

Recent articles:

Connecticut Post: Fairfield’s Sanders thanks his support group for his own success story

Pawtucket Times: Pawtucket’s Sanders putting best foot forward leading up to NBA draft

Video: This highlight package from Sanders’ sophomore year at Boston College shows his NBA-caliber athleticism and shooting ability.

Read More: 2012 NBA Draft, 2012 NBA Draft's Potential Celtics, Rakim Sanders,
What they said… BC ready for USC 03.19.09 at 10:23 pm ET
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The student-athletes of Boston College headed for the comforts of their hotel rooms but not before sharing their thoughts about facing Southern California on Friday night in Minneapolis.

Tyrese Rice and Rakim Sanders took questions from the media on Thursday. Here’s what they said:

Q. I was going to ask, do you guys feel like you’re playing your best brand of basketball right now? And also, even though you haven’t gone on a long, winning stretch, this tournament kind of requires it.
Do you feel like that makes a difference?

TYRESE RICE:
I don’t think we are playing our best basketball right now, but we are definitely improving. And we have to be ready for tomorrow.

As far as the winning streak, a lot of the No. 1 seeds have had big winning streaks. Really the only big winning streak right now is Louisville. So you can’t really say much about winning streaks; it is who is going to get hot at the right time or who is not.

RAKIM SANDERS:
What he said, we’re improving as a team. I mean, we haven’t like our last game we haven’t won, but we are learning from each game and getting better. So I think yeah.

Q. For both players, guys, talk to me about the national perception. The ESPN talking heads are both predicting Southern California, a fine ball club, to beat you guys rather easily. Despite the fact you are a higher seed, USA Today has you as an underdog in the paper. Nothing is really talking about your team or about the game. How do you guys feel about that kind of lack of respect that you’re getting by the national media?

TYRESE RICE: That’s nothing new when it comes to us. I mean even my freshman year we were No. 10 team in the country and still didn’t get any respect. So it doesn’t mean anything to me. I mean, everybody will always have us as the underdog regardless when we are playing Southern Cal or whoever else.

So we have been playing the underdog roles our whole life. Most of the people on our team have been playing the underdog roles, and we’re fine with that.

RAKIM SANDERS: Really don’t matter to me. At the end of the day, I mean, we’re going to leave it on the court anyway. So it really don’t matter. Read the rest of this entry »

Read More: Boston College, NCAA, Rakim Sanders, Tyrese Rice
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