The Utah Jazz went into Thursday night with three first-round draft picks and ultimately ended up keeping all of them. So after taking Taylor Hendricks with the 9th pick and Keyonte George with the 16th pick, they were able to take a little bit more of a risk with the 28th overall pick.

Ohio State’s Brice Sensabaugh started out the collegiate season rocketing up draft boards. His scoring ability and strength with the ball in his hands at 6-foot-6 and 235 pounds gives him the ideal physical profile for the NBA. Add to the equation that he’s an absolute bucket getter and is able to take and make tough shots with high efficiency and it’s easy to understand why NBA teams were drooling at the idea of Sensabaugh going one-and-done in college.

But then Sensabaugh’s season was cut short in March when he suffered a knee injury. Fear started to creep into NBA circles not because of a single knee injury, but because Sensabaugh had already undergone two meniscus surgeries in high school.

The latest knee injury required another procedure that kept him sidelined until this month, which meant nobody got to see him play in postseason competition and he wasn’t able to take part in the NBA combine.

Today, Sensabaugh said that he is itching to get back on the court.

“It’s gonna be something that’s super important for me to continue to take care of my body,” he said. “My body is my job basically. So I’m just going to continue to work on that, get healthy, stay healthy. I’m feeling great though.”

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After being cleared to return to play at the beginning of June, Sensabaugh was already behind when it came to draft workouts and that left room for a lot of players to pass him on draft boards.

Originally thought to be a possible lottery pick, by Thursday night there were some who thought that Sensabaugh might fall into the second round of the draft. So when the Jazz were on the clock at 28, they were happy to see him still available.

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“He’s got a body that you can’t teach,” Jazz general manager Justin Zanik said. “He’s very gifted athletically. We’ve got to do some molding in terms of him getting stronger and leaning out a little bit, but he can do so many things with the ball. He’s an underrated passer. And he’s smart too.”

Despite the knee injury history, Sensabaugh made a big impression on the Jazz when they interviewed him during the pre-draft process. He came across as someone who really wants to prove that he’s more than just a scorer and wants to prove that he’s exactly what everyone thought he could be at the beginning of his season at Ohio State.

Defensively there are a ton of question marks around Sensabaugh, but when evaluating his film the Jazz saw that there were lapses and mistakes, but that there was strength and effort, which is something that they felt comfortable working with.

“I think my defensive potential is actually great,” Sensabaugh said. “It’s something that’s slept on, for sure … Obviously, it’s a big jump to the NBA, but it’s something that has been the A1 focus for me  and I’m looking forward to being an elite two-way player at the next level.”

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