Lakers Select Derrick Caracter at No. 58

After selecting forward Devin Ebanks with the 43rd pick of the second round, the Lakers picked UTEP big man Derrick Caracter at No. 58.

Caracter was named to the All-Conference USA Second Team after averaging 14 points and eight rebounds as a junior, and ranked 16th in the country in field goal percentage (56.7 percent).

Lakers General Manager Mitch Kupchak said that the team wasn’t expecting Caracter to be available as late as No. 58,

“We had him going a little bit earlier in the draft,” said Kupchak. “Of the two or three guys that were on (our draft board), we felt most comfortable with (Caracter).”

Caracter spent two seasons at Louisville before transfering to UTEP, a move that mandated his sitting out the 2008-09 school year, before claiming the seventh most rebounds in his conference at El Paso.

“He got into much better shape (at UTEP),” said Kupchak. “He still has to work on his conditioning, but he’s lively and he can shoot the ball a little bit with some range (12-15 feet). Good rebounder.”

Kupchak is hopeful that either Ebanks, Caracter or both can make the Lakers roster for the 2010-11 season, though both will first have the chance to prove their worth at the Las Vegas Summer League in July.