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Friday, July 20th 2018, 4:52am

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Donte DiVincenzo’s draft stock started rising after a
breakout performance in the NCAA Tournament championship game.

Now the sixth man for Villanova’s title-winning squad is a first-round draft
choice for one of the NBA’s up-and-coming teams. The Milwaukee Bucks selected
DiVincenzo with the 17th overall pick of the NBA draft on Thursday night.

DiVincenzo fills a critical need for a perimeter shooter in
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the bench as a rookie.



”And to watch him come off the bench the majority of the time and contribute
and produce the way that he did, shows that he really not only says that he
wants to play a role in winning and will sacrifice and do whatever it takes to
win, but he actually did it,” Bucks general manager Jon Horst said. ”And not
only did he do it, he did it at a high level.”

Starting just 10 games last year, DiVincenzo was named the top sixth man in
the Big East after averaging 13.4 points Rams Game Jerseys , 4.8
rebounds and 3.5 assists per game. His 31-point outburst against Michigan in the
title game, including five 3-pointers, helped scouts take notice of the 6-foot-5
sophomore.

They were also wowed by DiVincenzo’s combine-best 42-inch vertical leap. His
athleticism fits a roster with a core led by All-Star Giannis Antetokounmpo, the
6-foot-11 forward with a 7-3 wingspan.

Perhaps most important to the Bucks, DiVincenzo shot 40 percent from 3-point
range last season.

The Bucks shot 35.5 percent from 3-point range last season, tied for 21st in
the NBA. They averaged just 8.8 3s a game Chiefs Authentic
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, 27th in the league. Better shooting from teammates could
give Antetokounmpo even more room to maneuver in the lane for a highlight-reel
bucket.

”Unreal,” DiVincenzo said at the draft in Brooklyn when asked about playing
with Antetokounmpo. ”My job is to just to go in there and make sure he has all
the confidence in the world that I’m on the court with him.”

The Bucks had their pick of wings with shooting ability with the 17th pick,
with Miami’s Lonnie Walker and Maryland’s Kevin Huerter also on the board. They
could also use a rugged interior defender and rebounder.

But DiVincenzo was too good to pass up. He also played in a pro-style system
at Villanova, which Horst said could help the guard get better acclimated to the
NBA.

”But for us to be able to get him … a guy that has positional size, that can
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, dribble, defend at a high level, compete and, again, to
win at a high level, he’s proven he can do that. Very excited to have
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,” Horst said.

DiVincenzo will still have to earn playing time from Mike Budenholzer, who
was hired last month to replace interim coach Joe Prunty. In Budenholzer, Horst
hired a coach with a reputation for player development who took the Atlanta
Hawks to the Eastern Conference finals in 2015.

One of the league’s up-and-coming franchises hopes to take another step
forward after first-round playoff exits in three of the past four seasons. The
Bucks are also moving into a new arena this fall.

”They’re a playoff team and they’re … on the rise,” DiVincenzo said. ”My job
is just coming there with no ego and just be the hardest worker and just build
confidence in the people around me.”



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