Carl Landry: 2007 #1 Pick (in the second round)

Carl Landry started his collegiate career at Vincennes University, a junior college in Southern Indiana that has produced great players such as Bob McAdoo and Shawn Marion. After playing two years for the Trailblazers, Landry joined the Purdue Boilermakers in 2004.

Landry immediately became the best player on Gene Keady's final team, averaging 18 points and 7 rebounds a game. Near the end of the season, Landry injured his right ACL. In Matt Painter's first year as coach, Landry played in only five games and was shut down for the rest of the season because of the same ACL injury. 

After sitting out most of the previous year, Landry, along with injured teammate David Teague, came back in the 2006-07 season. It was a successful season for Landry as well as the turning-point season for Painter's coaching career at Purdue. Landry dominated in the paint for the Boilers and earned First Team All-Big Ten honors.

In the 2007 NBA draft, which saw fellow Big Ten player Greg Oden of Ohio State selected as the top overall pick, Landry was selected as the first pick in the second round by the Seattle SuperSonics. He was traded to the Houston Rockets before the season started.

While he hasn't had quite the success of Purdue's other first pick of the second round (Drew Brees), Carl Landry has started off his NBA career with four solid seasons.

Landry didn't get much playing time early in his rookie season, but when his number was called he produced on the court. Landry averaged 8 points per game while only playing 17 minutes per game, and that was good enough to earn a spot on the NBA All-Rookie Second Team. Not bad for a second rounder.

Landry has built on his early success in the league and improved each season. He was an excellent interior scorer at Purdue (as wikipedia says, "He was known for power dunks at Purdue"), and he has continued this at the next level. Over four seasons playing for three teams, Landry has a career shooting percentage of 54% and has a career 12.1 points per game scoring average.

First round picks in the NBA draft get a guaranteed contract, but second rounders have to make the team to get paid. Landry showed through his hard work and talent that he belongs in the league. His collegiate knee injury is one reason why he was not selected in the first round, but Landry has showed determination throughout his career. He has had a tooth knocked out by Carlos Boozer in a playoff game, and he also lost three teeth in a collision with Dirk Nowitzki. In 2009, Landry was shot in the leg after a car intentionally hit his in Houston. A couple of months later, Landry scored 22 points in a playoff game against the Lakers.

There will be a few Big Ten players drafted in the second round this year. Purdue Center JaJuan Johnson may even fall into the same draft slot as Landry. Although they won't have guaranteed contracts like the first rounders, the second rounders can look to someone like Carl Landry as a role model. In the NBA, talent and hard work win out, and Landry and many other second round draft picks are living proof of that.

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