Recent rumors that Andrew Bogut had a degenerative eye condition, which caused some concern for the NBA teams at the top of the draft, have apparently been quelled.
Bogut is almost certain to be the first or second pick in the NBA Draft later this month. The Milwaukee Bucks have the first pick and are reportedly deciding between the former Utah star center and North Carolina's Marvin Williams, while the Atlanta Hawks, who have the No. 2 pick, have said they will definitely take Bogut if he is available.
Utah coach Ray Giacoletti said he received several calls over the past couple of weeks inquiring about Bogut's supposed eye problems. He said three NBA teams called, along with several reporters from the Milwaukee area, who had heard the same rumors.
"I don't know how these things get started," Giacoletti said.
What made the story more intriguing was that the comments about Bogut were supposedly coming from Bogut's former coach, Rick Majerus.
The Racine (Wis.) Journal Times reported last week that Majerus had said Bogut suffered from "macular degeneration, an eye disease." Other media sources in Wisconsin have reported the same thing.
Giacoletti is dumbfounded by the rumors.
"It was never an issue or a big deal," Giacoletti said. "Both team doctors that saw him both years never found anything. (Trainer) Trevor (Jameson) never knew of anything. Nothing was ever diagnosed."
Giacoletti said Bogut is near-sighted in one eye and the cornea is "a little rough." But the problem is corrected by a special contact lens he wears, according to Giacoletti. He also said he wasn't even aware that Bogut wore a contact when he played for him.
While Giacoletti preferred not to involve Majerus in the discussion about Bogut, he was quoted in the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel earlier this week as saying, "The first I had heard of it was a couple weeks ago when a couple teams called me and said that coach Majerus had made a comment about it."
Bogut was recruited to Utah by Majerus, and he averaged 12 points and 9.9 rebounds as a freshman. This year under Giacoletti, Bogut averaged 21 points and 12.5 rebounds per game and he was honored as the consensus college player of the year.While he won't work out with other prospects, Bogut will be at the NBA pre-draft camp in Chicago this weekend, where he will get a physical exam. At that point, any serious eye problems would certainly be identified.
E-mail: [email protected]