published 02/05/13 5:01pm
After some negative buzz coming out of college, Pistons swingman Kyle Singler took a unique route to the NBA.
Photo: Albert Pena / Icon SMI
It's not uncommon for a college basketball star to fall flat in the NBA. Hoops history is littered with NCAA standouts who disappeared as pros, but Kyle Singler decided he wouldn't be one of them.

The best player on the Duke University team that won the 2010 NCAA title, Singler was named the tournament's Most Outstanding Player. While many fans figured the highly-skilled forward was headed to instant NBA stardom, NBA teams and scouts seemed to be less than impressed with his pro prospects. Not big enough for power forward, came the critiques; not fast enough for small forward. Doesn't pass enough for shooting guard.

Of course, Singler was too good to go undrafted, landing at third overall in the second round of the 2010 Draft, to Detroit. Yet, unlike many hoops hopefuls, Singler made a unique, intelligent, and somewhat risky move: he decided to forgo a contract with the Pistons and instead sign in Europe--something most prospects don't do until after their NBA dreams have disappeared. After improving his game and confidence for a year in Spain, Singler returned to the Pistons as a 2012-13 rookie, and hasn't looked back. Now Detroit's starting small forward, he's been one of the NBA's most impressive and dependable rookies so far.