Only a year ago, Brampton, Ontarios Anthony Bennett was making a splash in the NCAA at UNLV, averaging 16. Jon Lester Jersey .1 points per game, 8.1 rebounds, shooting .533 per cent from the field and .375 per cent from the three-point line with a good mix of power and range. The 68" freshman was drawing comparisons to former alum and Naismith Player of the Year Larry Johnson, and was considered a cant-miss NBA lottery pick. Today, two months into his rookie NBA season after being selected first overall by the Cleveland Cavaliers in the 2013 Draft, ESPNs NBA Insider Chad Ford says "hes looking like the worst #1 draft pick of the last twenty years." Bennetts season averages of 2.5 points and 2.1 rebounds per game, shooting .275 per cent from the field, .556 per cent from the free throw line and .148 per cent from behind the arc in 10.5 minutes per game do little to contravene Fords claim. Bennetts agent and former AAU coach Mike George feels the media criticism is making a bigger story than necessary and is tinged with bias. "Obviously hes the #1 pick so theres a lot of pressure in that regard," George says. "I also think the fact that hes Canadian [means] a lot of the American media are not telling both sides of the story." Yet, Ford was also the biggest champion of the now since forgotten, Serbian 7-footer Darko Milicic, who in 2002 was drafted behind LeBron James and ahead of Carmelo Anthony, Dwyane Wade and Chris Bosh. So how did Bennett go from stud to dud? Last January, he developed a torn left rotator cuff which he played through, until the Runnin Rebels were eliminated from the NCAA tournament in March. After declaring for the draft, he had shoulder surgery in May and wasnt cleared for basketball activity until September, missing all of Summer League. He finally was able to participate in Clevelands training camp, with a focus of getting back into game shape, working on his conditioning and losing weight. The other side of the story that George refers to - the unfair media criticism - is that the Cavaliers strategy was always to ease Bennett in. Mary Schmitt Boyer of the Cleveland Plain-Dealer, who covers the team, agrees. "They actually are kind of stacked at power forward," she says. "So bringing him along slowly, on what they anticipated was going to be a playoff team, was definitely part of the plan. I know that they are a little sensitive to criticism of him, compared to some of the other players. They say if he played as many minutes as some of these other players, his stats would be better. Im not sure I am totally in agreement on that." But minutes are hard to come by for a rookie on an underperforming 11-21 squad searching for wins. Sending him down to the D-League isnt an option that the Cavaliers are entertaining, so is their master plan working? "For the past two months, hes been going two-a-days and getting himself back in shape," George says. "Thats why hes cut his weight down to 243 right now, and you see the difference between his play today and the start of the season. He looks different on the floor, hes running better, and playing with more confidence." Schmitt Boyer offers a more measured assessment. "Its very, very incremental," she says. "Hell do little things that coaches see and will point out to him when they are going through game footage. But I do think hes catching on and getting a little better, although theyve set the bar pretty low. I sense that his confidence is actually getting better. Even if it might not be totally showing up in his stats, theyre showing more confidence in him." That confidence, coupled with opportunity, may be the shift Bennett needs, as he has lost 17 pounds since training camp. The Cavaliers have indefinitely suspended centre Andrew Bynum, freeing up minutes in the frontcourt and have ended the small forward experiment, moving him back to his natural slot in the power forward position. "Is he starting off slower than a number 1 pick should?" Schmitt Boyer asks. "Yes, and Im not trying to soften what hes doing in any means. A couple years ago, people were really down on Tristan Thompson and now Im not sure he wouldnt be the second pick in that draft. Its a little quick to determine him the worst number one pick in twenty years. He may well be a bust, I just dont think its fair to say that after two months in the NBA." The end result of Bennetts rookie campaign lies somewhere in between. He wont go down as the worst pick in the last twenty years, yet is hard pressed to live up to the standard of a number one draft pick. Make no mistake, no one will pencil him in for the All-Rookie team just yet, but chances are high Bennett will prove that Ford may have been suffering from a case of premature proclamation. Sammy Sosa Jersey .ca. Hi Kerry, Love reading your column and loved watching your analysis on the TSN broadcasts!And were now in Round 2! Bruins! Canadiens! We know all about the great games of the past from the players, the broadcasters and the writers. Willson Contreras Jersey . Kyle Shanahan was hired as offensive co-ordinator Monday after spending the previous four years in the same role with the Washington Redskins. http://www.cubsteamproshop.com/cubs-kosuke-fukudome-jersey/ . Trailing 5-4 in the third set, the 12th-ranked Isner fought off two match points and evened it at 5-5 with consecutive aces. 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