Marcus Fizer was once referred to as one of the most dominant players in the nation. Despite standing at just 6’8″, Fizer went from a McDonald’s All-American to one of the most dominant players in the history of the Iowa State Cyclones.
Fizer was named to the National All-Freshman and All-Big 12 honorable mention teams as a freshman, averaging 14.9 points and 6.7 rebounds per game. This set the tone for his collegiate career, as Fizer became one of the most decorated player in Big 12 history.
As a sophomore, Fizer averaged 18.0 points and 7.6 rebounds per game. He was honored with first team All-Big 12 honors, thus continuing a college career filled with awards and recognition.
One year later, Fizer’s star hit a new high.
As a junior, Fizer demolished the competition while averaging 22.8 points and 7.7 rebounds on 58.2 percent shooting from the floor. Most important of all, he led Iowa State to Big 12 regular season and tournament titles, eventually getting knocked out in the Elite Eight of the NCAA Tournament.
Fizer was handed the following awards and recognitions: Big 12 Player of the Year, consensus first team All-American, first team All-Big 12 and Big 12 Tournament MVP.
Upon the season’s conclusion, Fizer declared for the draft and went fourth overall in the 2000 NBA Draft to the Chicago Bulls. This was a move that many questioned due to the presence of All-Star power forward Elton Brand.
Chicago held on to Fizer, nonetheless, and in 2003, Fizer tore his ACL. Upon recovering, he was taken by the Charlotte Bobcats in the expansion draft—and failed to make the roster. He proceeded to sign with the Milwaukee Bucks and finish the 2004-05 season there.
The next season, the former No. 4 pick had no buyers and decided to hit the NBA D-League with the Austin Toros. This was a move that paid dividends, as Fizer dominated the D-League with averages of 22.7 points and 7.8 rebounds per game. For the first time since coming to the NBA, his potential was on full display as Fizer took home the 2006 D-League MVP award.
Since then, Fizer has received nothing more than 10-day contracts. As a result, he’s opted to take his talents overseas.
Fizer was most recently a member of Weber Estudiantes Bahia Blanca of Argentina’s Lega A. He averaged 13.5 points and 5.9 rebounds during the regular season, but shot just 43.5 percent from the floor in the playoffs.
Fizer reportedly is now a minister.
Julius Hodge was a member of the North Carolina State Wolfpack from 2001 to 2005. In that time, Hodge developed a reputation as one of the most well-rounded players in the ACC.
Even as a freshman, Hodge averaged 10.7 points, 4.8 rebounds and 2.2 assists.
As a sophomore, Hodge took his game to another level. With an increase in playing time, the New York City native averaged 17.7 points on 43.9 percent shooting. He rounded out his stat sheet with 6.1 rebounds, 3.5 assists and 1.3 steals per contest.
Come his junior season, Hodge produced at a high enough level to become a second-team AP All-American.
The NC State star posted 18.2 points, 6.4 rebounds, 3.6 assists and 1.4 steals on 50.7 percent shooting from the floor—up 6.8 percentage points from the previous season. This was his best individual season, by account of recognition, but many will argue that his senior year was his finest work.
With averages of 17.0 points, 6.6 rebounds, 4.8 assists and 1.4 steals, Hodge led the Wolfpack to their first Sweet Sixteen appearance since 1989. Hodge hit a buzzer-beater in the second round to pull off the upset of the defending champion Connecticut Huskies.
Months later, he was drafted 20th overall by the Denver Nuggets.
After playing just 23 games in two seasons, Hodge was out of the NBA. Despite possessing great size at 6’7″ and a versatile skill set, Hodge never seemed to fit with the Denver Nuggets or Milwaukee Bucks.
A major reason was the recovery process Hodge went through after being shot and wounded in April of 2006.
Even still, he managed to dominate the D-League with career averages of 18.7 points, 6.7 rebounds and 6.4 assists per game. Hodge has since traveled the world, playing for more than 10 different international teams since 2007.
That includes the Melbourne Tigers, BC Tsmoki-Minsk and Saigon Heat. Sportando reports that his best year came with Besancon BCD, as Hodge averaged 12.4 points, 6.1 assists, 5.7 rebounds and 1.2 steals in league play.
Most recently, Hodge was playing with Paris-Levallois on a “short-term deal.” Hodge has since moved on to the Saint John Mill Rats of Canada’s National Basketball League.
In the words of one anonymous scout, “He can do a lot of things out on the floor. I like him.”