An early “Welcome to Europe!” goes out this morning to All-Metro Atlantic Athletic Conference guard Rico Pickett, who yesterday announced that he’d be foregoing his senior year at Manhattan College to test his fortunes on The Continent for a season – this less than two months after announcing he’d be entering the NBA Draft.
The Rivals scouting report on the Decatur, Alabama-born guard praises his “very nice combination of size and athleticism at the point guard position,” stating that “Pickett is an unselfish setup man with good court vision. Good with either hand on the drive and [on] the finish, he can score both at the basket and from the outside. He does tend to force things to the rim when he gets in the lane, though, and has plenty of room to improve as a defender.”
Statistically, Pickett had a sick year indeed, averaging 17.7 points per game on 46.2% overall shooting to go with 1.3 steals per. Pickett also contributed a single-game high of 33 points against Loyola in the conference tournament.
In high school ball, Pickett was named Alabama’s all-state second team in 2006 and was a first-teamer in 2007. That same year, Decatur High School played in the Alabama Final Four, with Pickett scoring an All-Tournament nod there. His first two years of college ball were spent at University of Alabama and Miami Dade Community College.
So what do you say, European basketball devotees? Who wants ‘im?
Official press release from Manhattan College Jaspers Basketball follows.
(Press release) — Rico Pickett has announced he will pursue a professional basketball career overseas for the 2010-2011 season. The 6’4” guard from Alabama received All-MAAC honors last season after leading the conference in scoring averaging 17.7 points per game.
“I would like to thank everyone who helped me along the way at Manhattan College,” said Pickett. “I spent one year at Manhattan, but I will always consider myself a member of the Jasper family. I would especially like to thank Coach Barry Rohrssen for his support and guidance. He will always be an extended family member to my family and me.”
Pickett led Manhattan in scoring 19 times and recorded double-figures in 27 of 29 appearances last season. He posted 20+ points on 10 occasions and poured in 30+ points twice, including a career-high 33 points in a MAAC Tournament victory over Loyola.
“We are supportive of his decision to pursue a professional career and fully understand this is what is best for him and his family at this time,” stated Rohrssen. “We wish Rico all the best in his future endeavors.”
Pickett finished the 2009-2010 campaign ranked sixth in the MAAC for field goal percentage (44%) and was in the top-15 for steals (1.3 per game) and 3-point field goal percentage (33.3%). He shot 71.1% from the line and averaged 3.9 rebounds per game.