Eric Paschall joined a unique situation when the Warriors selected him at No. 41 overall in the 2019 NBA Draft.
Signing on with an organization coming off of five years of immense success and annual NBA Finals appearances, but one that looked to be entering a difficult season with star Klay Thompson expected to be out the entire 2019-20 season.
Once fellow Splash Brother Steph Curry went down with a hand injury, the organization metaphorically threw in the towel and an unrelenting reign of injuries allowed Paschall to get considerable playing time in his rookie season, despite being a second-round draft pick.
The Villanova product credits his rare experience of spending five years in college basketball, and how a myriad of roles allowed him to easily transition to life in the NBA.
"I felt like I was prepared for it," Paschall told Bleacher Report's Howard Beck on "The Full 48" podcast. "I felt like because I was a fifth-year senior coming out, and I've been through every single position possible since sitting out a year, to being a role player, to being one of the main guys but still not the star, to being the star of the team, I feel like I went through everything that I possibly could and it prepared me for this.
"I'm a rookie, I'm not expecting to play 27 minutes a game and getting a lot of touches. So I'm just out there playing hard, and trying to do the right things, but of course my role expands, and I feel like I was well-prepared for it just because I've played in all different roles. I'm 23 years old, so physically I'm more ready too, so I feel like that's something that really helped me out."
Paschall started his collegiate career at Fordham University, playing 31.2 minutes a game as a freshman. But he left the Rams and transferred to Villanova to play under famed head coach Jay Wright. The New York native had to sit out a season before going from 21.7 minutes per game as a sophomore, to 29.8 as a junior and an impressive 36.1 his last season with the Wildcats.
He started out his rookie season strong but did run into the familiar wall many first-year players experience. In the month of action after February's All-Star Break prior to the coronavirus pause, Paschall averaged 32.0 minutes a game for the Warriors, scoring 17.5 points to go along with 4.1 rebounds and 4.2 assists.
With the lineup expected to be back at full strength across the board to start the 2020-21 season, Paschall won't have quite the same opportunity to produce for the Warriors in his second year. But given his array of roles on the court over the years, he shouldn't have much trouble adjusting and thriving under coach Steve Kerr.
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