by John Goodwin, SWX Sports Staff and Gonzaga Athletics
The Los Angeles Lakers have selected Robert Sacre with the 60th overall pick in the 2012 NBA Draft.
The seven-footer Sacre was an all-WCC first-team player last year while averaging 11.6 points, 6.3 rebounds and 1.4 blocked shots in his final season as a Gonzaga Bulldog.
The pick by L.A. comes after reports that the Lakers were shopping their starting center, Pau Gasol, to gauge his value in a possible trade for a first-round pick in the draft.
When asked about his role with the Lakers and his blocked shot prowess, Sacre said he takes pride in his defense. "Defense wins championships. Offense wins games and defense wins championships. I take a lot of pride in my defense," Sacre said. ""I think it's going to be very similar to Ronny Turiaf's role - shut my mouth, know my role and help Kobe (Lakers star Bryant) get another ring."
Sacre, who watched the draft in New Orleans where he had a workout earlier in the week and is in his birth state of Louisiana, becomes the third Bulldog to be drafted in the second round by the Lakers. He joins Paul Rogers in 1997 who was the 54th overall pick and Turiaf who was the 37th overall pick in the 2005 draft.
Sacre becomes the 20th Bulldog taken in the history of the NBA Draft, a list that includes Ian Mahinmi who signed a letter-of-intent to attended Gonzaga in 2005-06 but never donned a Bulldog jersey after being selected by the San Antonio Spurs as the 28th pick in the first round of the 2005 draft.
Adam Morrison, the third overall pick in the 2006 draft by the Charlotte Bobcats, was traded to the Lakers where he won a pair of NBA championship rings. Turiaf is the only other Bulldog to win an NBA title, doing so this year with the Miami Heat.