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TCU Basketball’s Desmond Bane drafted by the Memphis Grizzlies.

Desmond Bane is the first Horned Frog basketball player to be drafted since 1999, and the first to go in the first round since Kurt Thomas in 1995.

TCU vs Lipscomb | Fort Worth, TX | November 20, 2018
TCU vs Lipscomb | Fort Worth, TX | November 20, 2018
Melissa Triebwasser


TCU Basketball great Desmond Bane made history Wednesday night, becoming the first TCU Basketball player since Lee Nailon in 1999 to hear his name called during the NBA Draft.

Select #30, the last pick in the first round, Bane was drafted by the Memphis Grizzlies (well, he was drafted by the Celtics, but will be traded to Memphis), where he joins a team that desperately needs his shooting touch as it rebuilds around an exciting young core in Ja Morant and Jaren Jackson.

In Bane, the Grizzlies are getting a “mature, consistent, hard-working player,” who is lethal from long range, has an NBA-ready pull-up jumped, and a high IQ to match a high motor on the defensive end.

Bane played four years for the Horned Frogs, starting 13 games as a true freshman and all but one the rest of the way. He increased his scoring average from seven points a game to nearly 17 across four seasons, leading the program to an NIT Championship and TCU’s first NCAA Tournament in two decades along the way. Desmond has been named to multiple All-Big 12 teams, has been an All-Region player and an All-District honoree twice.

As a senior, Bane’s 16.6 ppg were second in the Big 12, and he rebounded at an impressive rate for a guard, pulling down 6.4 rebounds (10th in the league) and dishing out 3.9 assists (good for seventh most in the conference) as TCU’s primary scoring option. He was the only player in the Big 12 conference to be in the top ten in the league for each category.

Bane got better every year; whether it was improving his three point accuracy (.442 as a senior) or adding playmaking elements to his game, he was never satisfied with being good. That chip on his shoulder has been there a long time, and fans of Memphis shouldn’t expect it to go away anytime soon. “It’s a testament to my hard work, showing how far I’ve come. I was lightly recruited out of Richmond, Indiana — not a lot of people knew about me knew who I was. Now all the big news sources are telling my story, giving people an inside look on who I am as a person.”

One such source was Forbes Magazine, who did a great profile on Desmond a few weeks back. In that profile, this story was relayed — and it should have his new fan base excited.

By all accounts, Bane has been masterful in his interviews with teams, and he has separated himself as one of the best shooters in the draft with the work he’s done on the floor. In fact, a source told me that Bane had the opportunity to work out in front of a group that included one organization’s owner, GM and coaching staff, and Bane didn’t disappoint, drilling 21 off-movement threes in a row at one point in the session. The same source made it a point to note that 21 straight is nothing for Bane, who can exceed that number with regularity. They also mentioned that it wouldn’t be all that surprising if Bane were to be selected within the first 20 picks of this draft.

Masterful in his interviews doesn’t begin to describe what a great guy Desmond is, someone who grew up in a blue collar family and was taught the value of hard work by his great grandparents, who raised him from the time he was two years old.

We will talk more about the off-the-court Bane in an article tomorrow, but let’s tell you more about the type of player he will be for the Griz.

About him, the Stepien Scouting Report says:

Mentality Overview: Team-first player. Plug and play, plays with a high-motor, and possesses a high IQ.

Offensive Role: Spacing G (C&S and movement), secondary/tertiary playmaker.

Defensive Role: 2/3 defender, with positional versatility going up due to strength and some going down as quickness improves.

He’s an elite shooter — and when I say elite, I mean top-tier from day one, on a variety of different shots, especially from deep. He can create his own shot and finish at the rim, too.

He’s an above-average passer, both in the flow of the game and as a pick and roll partner, that has a great feel for making the right decision as a result of his exceptionally high basketball IQ and experience playing in an elite collegiate league. He’s a guy that has gotten better every year and found ways to add things to his game — and while his handle needs some work, his history of improving his weaknesses suggest he will be more than serviceable in that area early-enough in his career.

Desmond Bane is a really great player who is an even better person, someone who is going to work his tail off on the court and make you proud off of it. He is a player that can contribute day one, and be a consistent part of a winning team — one that adds value on both ends of the floor. In him, the Grizzlies are getting a “mature, consistent, hard working player. I feel like I bring value on both ends of the floor, from knowing the game, knowing how its played, and my physical attributes. I have a nice body of work over four years at TCU, where I developed not only physically, but mentally along the way. That will help me throughout my NBA Career.”

Congratulations, Desmond. Your Frog Fam couldn’t be happier for you or more proud of you, and it won’t be long before Memphis fans are saying the same.