Fred Dudley and Donald Didlake team up again. Three takeaways from the Gilbert draft.
The Gilbert Draft League held its fall draft last night, leading to plenty of talking points in UH Arizona today. Here are my three biggest takeaways from the draft.
Fred Dudley and Donald Didlake are back together
Steven Wess had the first pick in the draft, and with plenty of options available, he went with the legend Fred Dudley. While Dudley missed four games in the summer season, he claims to be all in this season, ready to prove why he was the number-one overall pick.
To complement Dudley’s game, Wess picked Donald Didlake with the last pick in the second round, reuniting the two most decorated players in the history of Arizona open leagues. Dudley and Didlake played multiple seasons together on the Splash Brothers in Scottsdale and on Quiet Storm in Gilbert. They won two titles during that span, one in 2015 with the Splash Brothers and one in 2016 with Quiet Storm.
This is the first draft league Didlake has ever played in, so it’ll be interesting to see how they will play together in a different format. If it’s anything like they did back in the open days, the rest of Gilbert is in trouble.
Derio Parker gets taken third overall
Getting taken third overall is a big compliment for most people, but if I was Parker, I’d be wondering why I wasn’t taken with the first pick. Parker played in Gilbert, Palm Valley and Tempe in the summer, and he led his teams to a 2, 3 and 5-seed respectively, taking them all to at least the quarterfinals, and winning the tournament with Free Smoke. He also helped lead Level Up, a Gilbert team, to the semifinals in the spring season. Simply put, he helps teams win.
It’s not hard to see why when you look at his numbers. Here are his splits last season across the three leagues:
Gilbert: 21.9/6.3/6 with shooting splits of 42/37/76
Palm Valley: 24/5.4/4.9 with shooting splits of 65/49/64
Tempe: 37.7/7.9/7.3 with shooting splits of 54/45/79
Those are just nuts. They helped earn Parker All-Palm Valley Second Team honors, All-Tempe First Team honors and the MVP award for Tempe. Add in the championship and that’s one of the most impressive seasons in Arizona draft history.
The main reason I can think of Parker falling just a bit is because there’s a chance he could run into the same situation that happened this summer in the semifinals, when Free Smoke played City Boys. Parker was on both teams and played minimal minutes for City Boys. You don’t want to take a player first overall just for him to not play in the biggest game of your season. I’d assume Parker will be playing in multiple leagues again (he was selected fifth overall in the Tempe draft, so he’s at least playing in two leagues this season), so that could be an issue.
Still, I’d take the risk; he’s too good of a player to pass up. He now gets to team up with Christian Bower, setting up arguably the best backcourt in all of Arizona.
Jordan Sisk and Darycke Brisby get selected back-to-back...again
The Tempe draft was held on Tuesday night, and the final two picks in the first round were Jordan Sisk and Darycke Brisby, going 11th and 12th in a 12-team league. They got taken back-to-back again in Gilbert last night, only this time Sisk was taken 8th, the final pick of the first round, and Brisby was taken ninth, the first pick of the second round, meaning they’ll team up with team captain James Slabaugh.