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Sunday, 12 January 2020 18:40

Blaze 2026 Draft Report

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Today was draft day and for the first time in a while, Blaze fans are starting to get excited about the team.  With that excitement, the Blaze threw a draft party at the stadium with a $5 entry and the all money for entry and food concessions (including Beer) going to St. Jude’s Children Hospital.  When it was announced, tickets sold out by the end of the first day which is amazing with the attendance the Blaze have had.  Coming into today’s draft the team held the #1, #5 and #29 picks.  Rumors were the team had secretly been hoping a certain PG would go pro (they did not), but they were excited that the best person in the draft, fit a big need for them.  The big mystery was who would be chosen at #5 as the team had the following guys in for workouts for the position; William Azevedo, Marcel Bradley, Geraldo Ibanez, William Hoopes, Gerald Mathers, Jose Lui, Thomas Carter and Ambrose Vela.  Many stories came out and all of them had a different guy going #5, so the fans and this writer were very curious to see who it would be.  Let’s look at the Blaze picks.


With the first pick the Blaze took C Byron Dambrosio out of Maryland.  While some people didn’t think he should go #1, overall everyone agreed with the pick.  At Maryland he was a 4-year starter and showed consistency throughout.  He blossomed his senior year offensively and that is what moved him up the charts.  The team has said that Byron will be splitting time with last year’s starter Norman Woolsey.  With that tandem together the team is hoping to solidify the #5 position for many seasons.  The crowd let out a big cheer, but everyone in the crowd pretty much knew from the start that Bryon was the pick

When the #5 pick came up, Bradley, Azevedo and Ibanez had all been chosen, so they were not going to be chosen.  Rumors started coming out that it was down to Vela, Mathers and Lui with Hoopes on the outside (only because he and Dambrosio play C).  The team had their doubts about all of them and their likings about all of them.  The only reason Mathers got passed on it has been said is he and Dryden play same type of spot and they didn’t need that to be a problem.  So, saying that the team picked Jose Lui out of Oklahoma St.  Lui is a hybrid that can play both SF/PF and projects to be a solid defender and defensive rebounder.  With that pick the Blaze fans for the most part cheered.  The ones that booed were drowned out by the cheers.

The team had been rumored to be close to 2 deals in just dumping the 29th pick for a future 2nd rounder, but when the draft got to the 22nd pick and a guy the team had on their radar was still there, they decided to hold off.  Holding their breath, the front office watched pick after pick go and the guy they wanted still there.  Then with the 28th pick the Inferno took Gary Tyler (a good pick), the Blaze knew they had their guy.  With the 29th pick SG Ivan Moreira out of Tulane was chosen.  Ivan can shoot the ball as good as anyone from the outside.  He has been saying that all his life and proved it in college.  His major flaw is he has allergies and it is playing defense.  Whenever asked to play defense Ivan breaks out in hives and sweats.  The crowd was super excited about this pick.  While it is a 2nd rounder and they usually don’t do much, the team has said if Moss has a bad camp, Moreira will get his shot.


With 3 picks the Blaze got Byron Dambrosio, Jose Lui and Ivan Moerira all guys that have potential to help this season and be part of a team that has some good future potential.  The fans hopefully will be as excited when the season starts and the Blaze hope to bring in some wins.


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