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by Mike Fisher    Fri, Jun 27, 2008, 05:41 PM
And there’s your guy: Shan Donte Foster, the SEC Player of the Year and Vanderbilt’s all-time leading scorer and all-time 3-point marksman. Foster, listed at 6-5, 205, fits the shooting-guard need and fits the general “shooter’’ need we’ve discussed at length.


And, if you believe coach Rick Carlisle, he was the last available talent on Dallas’ “realistic ‘A-list” of desirables.

“We’re very happy with the guy we got,’’ Carlisle said. “We had a list of a players, A’s, B’s and C’s. … Shan Foster was the last of the A’s on our list. … I don’t think many of us would’ve dreamed we’d get a kid like this that low.’’

Added Donnie Nelson: “A heck of a pick at 51. … We had a number of different ‘ace’ scenarios, and Shan was one of them. … We feel like we can potentially put him on the floor, even if he’s just a 3-point specialist. Might be able to sneak in there as a shot-maker.’’

Assorted additional immediate thoughts:

ITEM: It’s pronounced “Shane.’’ But no ‘E.’

ITEM: Donnie: “Shan has length and athleticism, someone who can really shoot the 3, which was a big priority. Rick felt we needed shooters to surround Jason (Kidd) with. He’s a pretty good rebounder for size, a pretty good assist/TO ratio, a better playmaker than you think. … We feel fortunate.’’

ITEM: Carlisle: “You’re talking about one of the leading scorers in a major conference. …  To be a Player of the Year in a big-time conference, you have to be pretty damn good.’’

ITEM: Yes, the Mavs examined moving up. They also considered accepting offers for the 51st pick. Carlisle said the depth of the draft was causing teams to offer unusual sums of cash for second-rounders. Nelson said the money was “crazy,’’ and that there were a few players who “slipped’’ who Dallas did consider.

“But had we gotten Shan at the top of the second round, we would’ve been happy,’’ Donnie said.

ITEM: The numbers are hard to scoff at: As a senior, the Kenner, La., native averaged 20.3 points and 4.9 rebounds while shooting .523 from the field and .469 from behind the arc.

ITEM: Shan is buddies going way back with fellow Louisiana native Brandon Bass.

ITEM:  Josh Howard was the POY in the ACC and a was four-year college player, a comparison not lost on Carlisle. “The thing I like along with the shooting ability is the maturity, experience, and extremely high character,’’ the coach said.

We could note that Brandon Bass was the POY in the SEC, too. So the Mavs are certainly collecting hardware collectors.

ITEM: Where can Shan improve? “He’s a slender kid, he doesn’t have great strength, and he needs to get better defensively,’’ Carlisle said. “That has to do with physical makeup. We’ve got a strength coach here very anxious to get started with him.’’

ITEM: The second-team All-America is a catch-and-shoot guy – not a create-off-the-dribble guy.

ITEM: Despite his “experience,’’ Foster turns 22 on Aug. 20.

ITEM: Foster was among the prospects who had worked out with the Mavs. Obviously, the workout went well. Oddly, Carlisle wasn’t in town to witness it.

From Eddie Sefko: As ESPN shows a tape of Shan singing “I can’t wait to play in the NBA,’’ Sefko jokes, “Oh, with him singing and Carlisle on piano, they can’t miss!’’

Added Carlisle:  “He had a piano on front of him, but a very good singing voice, too. We like the Renaissance Man.’’

ITEM: The singing thing, plus a physical resemblance, is why teammates long ago nicknamed him “Usher.’’

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