Safety Anthony Scirrotto had a productive career at Penn State and was named All-Big Ten by conference coaches this past season. But he didn't get an invitation to the NFl Scouting Combine, and he wasn't the only recognizable name left out. Get the scoop on that and more inside Monday with Mike.[details]
HEADER JOSH HEYTVELT Power Forward/Center Gonzaga University Bulldogs #42 6:10.0-246 Clarkston, Washington Clarkston High School
OVERVIEW For the first time in three seasons, Heytvelt was able to "enjoy" his time on the basketball court. Injuries and his well-documented arrest occupied most of his time since before the 2005-06 season, but the fifth-year senior, a rarity in this era of college players heading to the NBA before their time, the power forward put together a banner final campaign.
Heytvelt earned All-West Coast Conference first-team honors for the first time in his career as a senior, leading the team in scoring (14.9 ppg), field goals made (186), free throws made (156), total rebounds (222) and offensive rebounds (63). He became the 32nd player in school history to score more than 1,000 points in a career, finishing 23rd all-time with 1,172 points. He also ranks fifth in Gonzaga annals with 95 blocked shots.
Heytvelt earned three varsity letters at Clarkston High School, where he went on to set team career records in points (1,380), rebounds (652) and blocked shots (247). As a senior, he averaged 20.2 points per game in earning Greater Spokane League Most Valuable Player and Washington State Class 3A Player of the Year honors, the latter for the third consecutive year. He was also a McDonald's All-American nominee.
The Bantams finished seventh at the Washington State Class 3A Tournament as he averaged a double-double for the tourney with 20.0 points per game (tied for third in the tournament) and a tournament-leading 12.5 rebounds per contest. During his junior year, he averaged 20.6 points per game and was a first-team All-GSL selection, as the school made the switch from the Border League to the GSL while competing as a Class 3A team in a Class 4A league.
During his sophomore season, Heytvelt earned Border League Newcomer of the Year honors, as Clarkston went 18-7, advancing to the Washington State Class 3A Tournament, but lost its first two games. That year, he averaged 9.8 points per game. He scored 25 points, grabbed 15 rebounds and added three assists and five dunks to lead the State All-Stars to a 97-94 win over the City All-Star squad in the All-State 3A game held at Gonzaga University in June 2004.
Heytvelt enrolled at Gonzaga University in 2004, spending his first season redshirting for the basketball team. The injury bug struck before he could suit up for his first game for the Bulldogs. He was hampered throughout the 2005-06 preseason with a precursor to a stress fracture in the left ankle that would limit him to just 14 games of reserve action. He averaged 3.6 points and 2.1 rebounds per game while averaging 9.5 minutes each contest.
As a sophomore, Heytvelt was beginning to emerge as one of the elite power forwards in college. He started 22 of the team's first 25 games and was averaging 15.5 points and 7.7 rebounds. In a classic November matchup, he proved that he belonged with the best in the game, as he scored 19 points and grabbed eight rebounds while holding All-American forward Tyler Hansbrough to nine points in the North Carolina clash.
However, on Feb. 9, 2007, Heytvelt was arrested along with teammate Theo Davis after officers in nearby Cheney found marijuana and psychedelic mushrooms in their gold Chevy Trailblazer. The amount of marijuana was only enough for a misdemeanor, but possession of mushrooms is a felony.
Police pulled the car over because its taillights were not working. Officers smelled marijuana and searched the vehicle. Reports said the players were cooperative, but Heytvelt was suspended indefinitely on Feb. 10 for violation of team policy and missed the final nine games of the regular and postseason.
Heytvelt fulfilled all stipulations of his suspension and was re-instated to team in October for the 2007-08 season. However, he sat out the first 11 games while recovering from surgery to repair a stress fracture in his right foot. He was sidelined all of preseason and a decision was made to operate in early November to insert pins to speed the healing process.
Heytvelt did not returned to action until the Dec. 20 game vs. Oklahoma in the All-College Classic in Oklahoma City. He struggled to find his scoring touch and was relegated to reserve duty at the end of that season. He started just nine of 22 games he played in, averaging 4.9 rebounds, 10.3 points and 20.6 minutes per game.
Having completed obligations for community service in March, Heytvelt spent the 2008 offseason returning to full health. He was an All-WCC and NABC All-District IX choice as a senior in 2008-09. He averaged a career-high 14.9 points per game, hauling down 222 rebounds to go with 30 blocked shots and 20 steals. He shot .544 from the floor and had a career-high .730 percentage from the foul line.
Gonzaga's season came to an end when it faced eventual national champion North Carolina in the 2009 NCAA Tournament. The eagerly awaited matchup of Heytvelt vs. Tyler Hansbrough was not a repeat of their 2006 encounter. The Bulldogs forward was held to 14 points with no rebounds, four personal fouls and three turnovers, while the UNC All-American flipped in 24 points to go with 10 rebounds and two steals.
Heytvelt was invited to play in the Hershey's College All-Star Game sponsored by the National Association of Basketball Coaches during the 2009 tournament Final Four festivities. He hit the winning 3-pointer in the final minute, scored 17 points and grabbed 11 rebounds to lead the Reese's All-Stars to a 105-100 win over Hershey's All-Stars. He went 7-for-10 from the field, including 3-for-5 from three-point range, and also dished out four assists and had one block and one steal.
2008-09 SEASON All-West Coast Conference and National Association of Basketball Coaches All-District IX first-team selection...Fully recovered from three years of injury and off-field problems, Heytvelt started all 34 games, leading the team in scoring average, points, field goals, free throws, total rebounds and offensive rebounds (63)...Totaled a career-high 507 points (14.9 ppg) on 54.4 percent shooting from the field (186 of 342), as he made 23 of 57 three-point attempts (40.4 percent) and 112 of 156 free throws (71.8 percent)...Grabbed 222 rebounds (6.5 rpg) and blocked 30 shots (0.9 bpg)...Handed out 22 assists (0.6 apg) to go with 43 turnovers and 20 steals (0.6 spg)...Scored in double digits 29 times and had at least 10 rebounds in four contests, producing four double-double performances...Also named to the Old Spice Classic All-Tournament team.
2007-08 SEASON Fulfilled all stipulations of his suspension and was re-instated to team in October, but sat out the first 11 games while recovering from surgery to repair a stress fracture in his right foot...Was sidelined all of pre-season with the stress fracture and a decision was made to operate in early November to insert pins needed to speed the healing process... Returned to action Dec. 20 vs. Oklahoma in the All-College Classic in Oklahoma City...Appeared in 22 games, starting nine contests, as he was benched for the team's final eight games of the regular season...Finished with 226 points (10.3 ppg) on 78 of 156 field goals (50.0 percent), 8 of 24 three pointers (33.3 percent) and 62 of 94 free throws (66.0 percent)...Had 108 total rebounds (4.9 rpg) that included 39 from the offensive glass...Charged with 45 personal fouls and 34 turnovers...Dished out 13 assists and had 15 blocks while tallying 16 steals.
2006-07 SEASON Started 22 of 25 games before he was suspended on Feb. 10 for the final nine contests...Scored 388 points (15.5 ppg) on 53.7 percent shooting from the floor (144 of 268), 40.4 percent from three-point range (21 of 52) and 71.8 percent from the foul line (79 of 110)...Grabbed 193 rebounds (7.7 rpg) that included 46 from the offensive glass...Credited with 11 assists, 1 steals, 43 blocked shots (10th on the school single-season list), 40 turnovers and 75 personal fouls...Scored in double digits in first 14 games of season.
OFF-FIELD ISSUES On Feb. 9, 2007, Heytvelt and teammate Theo Davis were arrested and then suspended from the team the following day. The players were arrested after officers in nearby Cheney found marijuana and psychedelic mushrooms in their gold Chevy Trail-blazer, said Cmdr. Rick Campbell. The amount of marijuana was only enough for a misdemeanor, but possession of mushrooms is a felony, Campbell said.
Police pulled the car over because its taillights were not working, Campbell said. Officers smelled marijuana and searched the vehicle. He said the players were cooperative.
"It was close to midnight. They needed to have their lights on," Campbell said.
The players were booked into the Spokane County Jail for investigation of drug possession. The two were released on their own recognizance, a jail spokeswoman said.
"Obviously, the program is shocked and extremely disappointed," Gonzaga head coach Mark Few said.
Heytvelt was charged with felony drug possession. He was later drug tested and was determined to be clean, according to his attorney, Dennis Thompson. Davis was charged with misdemeanor possession of marijuana with less than one-tenth of a gram in his pocket.
Few was furious that Heytvelt had been out the night before a big game. Heytvelt rationalized the decision by saying that he and Davis would have been back at their apartment by midnight had they not been stopped by police. Instead, they returned home Saturday morning, when they were released on their own recognizance.
"I didn't have a whole lot of things I wanted to say to him," Few said. "We had a game in four or five more hours. We had shoot-around coming up. One of the things I was watching was to see how his teammates would accept him. Initially, some of them didn't want him around."
The school decided to give Heytvelt a second chance. "I was still very much for out of sight, out of mind," Few said. "I didn't want him around. I don't know if I had softened my stance, but it did open my eyes."
Heytvelt is thankful Gonzaga allowed him to stay after he agreed to complete nearly 300 hours of community service work and meet with a drug counselor on campus.
"I have a lot more respect for the coaching staff and all that just because of the people they are and (because they) gave me a second chance," Heytvelt said. "That was the big thing I needed from them. I don't know what I would have done if I didn't play basketball. I don't know what I would have done if that had happened. I don't know."
2005-06 SEASON Heytvelt was hampered throughout the preseason with a precursor to a stress fracture in the left ankle...Also suffered a left ankle fracture vs. Connecticut, missing more than two months of the season...Appeared in just 14 games as a reserve, scoring 51 points (3.6 ppg) with 30 rebounds (2.1 rpg), adding one assist, five steals and seven blocked shots, as he had 13 turnovers and 29 personal fouls in 133 total minutes (9.5 mpg).
2004-05 SEASON Redshirted as a freshman.
CAREER NOTES Heytvelt started 65 of 95 games during his Gonzaga career, becoming the 32nd player in school history to score more than 1,000 points (1,172 ranks 19th all-time)...Averaged 12.3 points per game, shooting 52.7 percent from the floor (429 of 814), 37.7 percent from three-point range (55 of 146) and 69.8 percent from the free-throw line (259 of 371)...Grabbed 553 rebounds (5.8 rpg) with 95 blocked shots (1.0 bpg), the fifth-best career total by a Gonzaga player, ranking behind Casey Calvary (207, 1998-2001), Ronny Turiaf (179, 2002-05), Austin Daye (121, 2007-present) and Tim Ruff (99, 1981-85)...Handed out 47 assists (0.5 apg) with 52 steals (0.5 spg) and 130 turnovers.
HIGH SCHOOL Attended Clarkston (Wash.) High School, playing basketball for head coach Brendan Johnson...Earned three varsity letters, setting team career records in points (1,380), rebounds (652) and blocked shots (247)...As a senior, he averaged 20.2 points per game in earning Greater Spokane League Most Valuable Player and Washington State Class 3A Player of the Year honors, the latter for the third consecutive year...Also a McDonald's All-American nominee...The Bantams finished seventh at the Washington State Class 3A Tournament, as he averaged a double-double for the tourney with 20.0 points per game (tied for third in the tournament) and a tournament-leading 12.5 rebounds per contest...During his junior year, he averaged 20.6 points per game and was a first-team All-GSL selection, as the school made the switch from the Border League to the GSL while competing as a Class 3A team in a Class 4A league...During his sophomore season, Heytvelt earned Border League Newcomer of the Year honors, as Clarkston went 18-7, advancing to the Washington State Class 3A Tournament, but lost its first two games...That year, he averaged 9.8 points per game...Scored 25 points, grabbed 15 rebounds and added three assists and five dunks to lead the State All-Stars to a 97-94 win over the City All-Star squad in the All-State 3A game held at Gonzaga University in June, 2004.
INJURY REPORT 2005-06 Season: Hampered throughout the preseason with a precursor to a stress fracture in the left ankle...Suffered a broken left ankle vs. Connecticut in the title game in Maui while diving for loose ball and having a UConn player land on top of him. He had surgery on 11/28 to repair the break and returned to action 2/11 vs. Stanford.
2007-08 Season: Sat out the first 11 games while recovering from surgery to repair a stress fracture in his right foot...Was sidelined all of preseason with the stress fracture and a decision was made to operate in early November to insert pins to speed the healing process, returning to action 12/20 vs. Oklahoma in the All-College Classic.
2008-09 Season: Underwent offseason foot surgery to insert two more pins in his right foot, since the earlier surgery did not heal properly.
PERSONAL Graduated with a degree in Sports Management...Born 6/26/86...Resides in Clarkston, Washington.
SCOUTING REPORT Positives: Though durability is a big problem, Heytvelt proved what he is capable of doing with his offensive game, when healthy, during his senior year, showing that his leaping ability and reach (7'1 1/4" wingspan) allow him to deliver his jump spot with ease from mid-range (converted 44.5 percent of his possessions from the catch-and-shoot)...Has the ability to finish around the basket, but he is more comfortable using his smooth stroke from beyond the arc (37.7 percent three-point shooter for his career and 40.4 percent as a senior) and is better served facing the basket for his scoring opportunities than playing with his back to it...Has good mobility to get in front on the fast break and good hands to secure the ball in catch-and-shoot plays...More of a rebounding presence on the defensive end, but did convert 68.1 percent of his offensive boards with put-backs, as he shows good elevation to make shots off the glass (especially from weak-side rotations)...Has the footwork to step back and create his shot, getting good spacing when delivering with a fadeaway...Times his leaps well and is a solid blocker, thanks to his long arms and ability to get his feet off the floor...Has a quick and high release, evident on pick-and-pop plays...Has a good inside scoring game, fighting through double teams to get vertical and deliver an emphatic dunk...Possesses the large, soft hands to be a violable option for the quick passes when working into the paint, using his size and reach (9'0") to finish strongly at the rim... Effective shooter in the post, as he has developed a nice mini-hook, doing a nice job of pivoting and turning his shoulder to create enough space and get the elevation on his shot to feather the ball in...Shows good balance shooting when coming off screens and has made decent improvement with his handle when playing the post (reduced his turnovers from 43 as a junior to 34 last year, despite playing close to double the minutes from his previous season).
Negatives: Good rebounder, but before he tries to bang heads inside at the NBA level, he is going to have to improve his overall strength, as he can be backed down in the post and when pushed around, his defense suffers (gets passive)...Lacks the lateral quickness needed for rotations and does not do a good job of staying in front of shooters when defending on the perimeter...Lacks back-to-the-basket scoring ability and his focus in games is very inconsistent (will disappear when he is not involved in the offense)...One of the worst passers among the big men in this draft and is inviting for defenders to steal the ball any time he dares to put it on the floor (high and loose dribble)...Has good shot blocking numbers, but it is rare to see him fight for the ball when operating down low...Has serious durability issues and even though he has been a good citizen since his 2007 drug arrest, character red flags are sure to go up in some NBA organizations (also has a bit of a "different" personality that some teams will shy away from)...Because of his poor ball handling skills, it sometimes negates his ability to set himself and gain space needed to fire off his perimeter shot...Puts the ball on the floor too much, especially when pushed away from the basket, as he will just force up an ill-advised shot rather than kick the ball out...Has a penchant for all but disappearing in big games, especially in his much anticipated matchup vs. Tyler Hansbrough in the 2009 NCAAs...Inconsistent shooter who gets his points in spurts (will get in a rhythm where he will just toss up low bricks)...Bit of an actor on the court, but the conference refs soon became tired of his penchant for flopping...More comfortable shooting from mid-range rather than in the post, as he tends to rush his shot and force the issue when pressured...Might need to trim down a bit, as the added weight he had as a senior (was up to 260, but down to 246 for Chicago pre-draft camp), as he did not display the great leaping ability in 2008-09 that he did in the past and was a step behind perimeter shooters when called upon to defend.
Compares To: MATT BONNER, San Antonio -- While Heytvelt has the quick release to make his mid-range jumper and the quickness to run the open court, he has had a long history of injury problems. He had a better offensive season as a senior, but his defense suffered, as his added weight left him a step behind when covering. He is an efficient rebounder, but seems to have lost some of his leaping ability (perhaps from his leg woes) and will never be the dominating shot blocker he showed as a sophomore.