Vanderbilt coach Kevin Stallings on Festus Ezeli's ceiling: 'He really could develop into a dominant guy'

Super Fes? (Photo by Doug Pensinger/Getty Images)

Vanderbilt coach Kevin Stallings had plenty of reason to be excited after the 2012 NBA Draft.

With three prospects selected in the first 31 picks - John Jenkins, Golden State Warriors draftee Festus Ezeli, and Jeff Taylor - it was arguably the best draft in program history.

Stallings took to the airwaves to discuss all three Vanderbilt prospects on WPRT-FM in Nashville and offered the highest praise for his former center Festus Ezeli.

I think that he's the guy of the three that- he really could develop into a dominant guy, I think. And I know people could laugh at me based on the senior season that he had. But I think that what happened with Festus and the reason he was able to move into the first round is that he got over being scared to jump on his knee; he sort of mentally got past the injury once our season got over and he performed athletically very well for these people.

When you see a 7-foot, 265-270 pound guy with that kind of body and that kind of athleticism that he possesses when he's normal and right, I mean, he could end up being a special player. I think Golden State might have gotten a steal right there with Fes. And I think his offense will develop and I think he'll turn into a very, very good NBA player.

Stallings' thoughts pretty much echo what the guys at SB Nation's Anchor of Gold told us in their Q&A posted yesterday, but they passed this on as what might be considered a more authoritative take on the issue.

For reference, the knee injury Stallings referred to was a MCL and PCL sprain in his right knee that cost him the first 6-8 weeks of the 2011-12 season, as described previously by Christian D'Andrea of AoG. So it's possible that nobody really saw the extent of what Ezeli is capable of during this past season.

Are we maybe starting to overestimate this guy's talent a little? Possibly, but Jerry West knows basketball and was pretty good at it, so I'll trust the opinions that match his evaluations for now.

For more on Ezeli, check out Christian's own summary of Vanderbilt players in the 2012 NBA Draft. For more on Vanderbilt basketball in general, visit Anchor of Gold.

For more on the Golden State Warriors draft, check out SBN Bay Area's storystream. To follow along with analysis and reaction to the entire NBA draft at SB Nation's main story stream or SBN Studios' 2012 NBA Draft features.

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