Lakers: Pitt's Ashton Gibbs, UVA's Mike Scott, South Dakota's Charlie Westbrook and Campbell's Eric Griffin
Christopherson to take part in official workout for Minnesota
Nicholson stock rose
At midseason the NBA draft stock of Bona senior center Andrew Nicholson was fading. Projections had him going late in the second round, if he went at all. But that dynamic finishing stretch to his career, capped by a dominant performance against Xavier in the A-10 title game, put Nicholson on the fast track. He's now projected to go in the first round, anywhere from 23rd to 30th.
"Who knows until he gets drafted?" Schmidt said. "But supposedly he's doing well with workouts." Schmidt said that Nicholson, a physics major, has been working out for NBA teams in addition to finishing up his degree.
"It's been difficult on him," Schmidt said. "It's not the easiest major."
“I go back on Monday to finish up and see my kids one last time,” Joseph said. “Once graduation is over, I’ll be heading to Atlanta. That’s where my agent is based. And that’s where I’ll train to get ready for team workouts.”
Mock NBA draft boards have slotted Joseph anywhere from the second round to unselected in the upcoming draft. Joseph said Luchey told him he could be drafted anywhere from No. 20 to No. 35. Joseph said former SU assistant coach Rob Murphy, with whom he remains close, has also been making inquiries on his behalf.
Joseph said he will attend the NBA Draft combine in Chicago. His agent told him he likely will work out for eight or nine NBA teams before the draft.
I like Nicholson...it wouldn't surprise me to see a team take a chance on him early in the draft like the Kings did with Jason Thompson.
A PHYSICS Major? Wow Respect!
LANSING -- While Draymond Green was putting together a Big Ten player of the year campaign as a senior at Michigan State, NBA talent evaluators began envisioning him as a first-round draft pick. More recently, Green has been hearing he could be selected in the 20-to-30 range of the first round.
Asked about potentially becoming a lottery pick and sneaking into the top 14 on June 28, Green said Saturday it was within range.
"I’m always optimistic, and I’m going to keep on working hard for anything that I can possibly get to," Green said after signing autographs for $20 apiece at Legends Sports & Games. "It’s all about a team’s needs, though. It’s all about what teams fall in what spots, and you never know what that team needs."
Among the NBA teams Green said is scheduled to work out for are the Boston Celtics, Chicago Bulls, Golden State Warriors, Indiana Pacers, Miami Heat, Oklahoma City Thunder and San Antonio Spurs. Each of those teams has a late first-round draft pick.
Detroit has a lottery pick, and while signing autographs, Green did so wearing a Pistons cap. "It’s my hometown team. I love the Pistons. It would be great," the Saginaw native said.
Green is currently working out at Michigan State and said he was especially focused improving his body -- advice he got from former Spartans and Pistons guard Mateen Cleaves.
"The thing he always talked to me about is to take care of your body and treating it like a business because it is a business," Green said.
Kyle O'Quinn couldn't help himself.
After donning an authentic Los Angeles Lakers practice jersey Monday at the team's workout facility in El Segundo, Calif., he walked into the bathroom, looked into the mirror, and grinned.
"It's all becoming very real now," O'Quinn said, referring to the chance that he could be taken in next month's NBA draft.
Consider this: The Lakers, who flew O'Quinn in to work out at the Toyota Sports Center, aren't the only team willing to bring him in for a closer look.
The 6-foot-10, 240-pound center and former Norfolk State star has similar trips lined up with the Brooklyn (formerly New Jersey) Nets next Saturday, the San Antonio Spurs on May 22, the Golden State Warriors on May 23and the Oklahoma City Thunder on May 27.
Then O'Quinn will attend the NBA combine on June 6in Chicago. The draft is scheduled for June 28.
Wouldn't shock me if O'Quinn crashed the first round. He's so long and he's got a soft touch around the rim.
If the C's took Nicholson and O'Quinn at 20 and 21 I wouldn't be too upset. They need bigs depth more than anything.
F Robbie Hummel has a workout scheduled for May 22 with the San Antonio Spurs, he told GoldandBlack.com Monday. It's Hummel's first reported workout for an NBA team.
The Nets again are holding a mass pre-draft workout this weekend with 44 NBA hopefuls scheduled to attend.
The Nets, who are holding the workout in conjunction with the Rockets, staged a similar combine last year. All 30 NBA teams are expected to have representatives on hand to watch skill tests and 5-on-5 competition for the mostly second rounders. Nope, no one from Kentucky.
There will be a lot of local talent including Big East Player of the Year Jae Crowder of Marquette, a 6-6 235-pound forward. Other familiar faces are 6-7 Syracuse forward Kris Joseph, 6-1 Iona guard Scott Machado and 6-0 Xavier guard by way of Long Island Tu Holloway.
One guy the Nets figure to watch closely is 19-year-old combo guard Evan Fournier of France, projected by some as a late first rounder. The Nets traded their first round selection to Portland in the Gerald Wallace deal – but it is protected one through three. GM Billy King, however, is a well-known trader, frequently acquiring picks right around past drafts.
Some other players of note expected at the four sessions scheduled for Saturday and Sunday are LSU 7-0 center Justin Hamilton, 6-3 guard Marcus Denmon of Missouri and 6-1 guard J’Covan Brown of Texas.
Ames, Ia. -- He swished a few baseline jumpers and then worked on free-throw technique this week in so much solitude that you could hear the Sukup Basketball Complex air conditioner kick in.
“But that’s all going to change real quickly,” former Iowa State star Royce White said before one of his twice-daily workouts.
Workout gym today.
Miami Heat tomorrow – May 25 to be precise.
Then it’s the Golden State Warriors on the 28th, and then Oklahoma City on the 30th.
After that’s it’s the Indiana Pacers, and then the four-day combine in Chicago between June 6-8.
Let the showcasing tryouts begin.
“It’s like it’s the start of a new life,” White, 21, said. “I’m ready to take that next step – whatever that next step may be, and wherever that next step leads me.”
White enters the June 28 NBA draft after foregoing his final two years of college eligibility. He doesn’t own the can’t-miss reputation as former Ames High School star Harrison Barnes, who many predict to be among the top 10 players picked after leaving North Carolina following his sophomore season.
“I’ve got to prove myself, not only what I can do on the court, but off it,” White said.
On the court, the 6-foot-8 forward averaged 13.4 points, 9.3 rebounds and 5.0 assists a game. He combined for 38 points, 22 rebounds and six assists while playing against Connecticut’s Andre Drummond and Kentucky’s Anthony Davis, both likely lottery picks, in the NCAA Tournament.
“He’ll land somewhere in the first round,” ESPN draft analyst Chad Ford said. “It’s going to depend largely on interviews.”
White has no prediction where he’ll be picked, although many mock drafts expect him to be around the 20th player selected.
“My agent told me not to pay any attention to that stuff,” he said.
White knows, though, that interviews with team executives will be just as important as proving last year’s 49.8 percent free-throw accuracy was a fluke.
“I’m in the best shape of my life,” he said. “I’m working out twice a day. Everyone pretty much knows what I can do on the court. It’s the other stuff that I have to show them that I have in order.”
White has been transparent about an anxiety disorder that has been as much a part of his life as basketball and his varied off-the-court interests. That situation, he predicts, will come up a lot between now and the draft. That’s the reason he goes over in his mind potential questions he may need to answer.
“A lot of people will have questions about my anxiety, and I understand that,” he said. “All they need to do is talk to me. I’m very comfortable talking about it; I always have been.”
He’s even prepared to answer questions about the newest addition to his family of tattoos – the still-developing rendering of former crooner Frank Sinatra positioned on his muscular left arm.
“Frank Sinatra? Why not Frank Sinatra,” White responds. “My love for music goes way back.”
When asked about anxiety, he’ll mention plans to produce a documentary about his life.
“A film company has agreed to do it,” White said. “It’s going to be revolutionary in terms of the way we approach mental illness. People are already working on raising money for the project. Once it’s done, we’ll shop it to film festivals.”
It’s all part of his plan – as is producing music for his IAMU (I Am You) music label.
“I’m getting the other part of my life in order, too,” White said. “If basketball doesn’t work out for some reason, I’ve got a Plan A.1 – if everybody has an anxiety about people with anxiety.”
Miami, Oakland, Oklahoma City, Chicago... man there must be a lot of dumb people out there who are going to wonder how he is going to drive to all those spots seeing as how his fear of flying is such a major draft issue. smh.
PHILADELPHIA — While the 76ers are playing games of high significance, the NBA Draft is less than six weeks away and the interviewing and workout process has begun. This morning the Sixers will have four players in for a workout at their PCOM practice facility, including a pair of Big 5 players.
Guards Zack Rosen of Penn and Maalik Wayns of Villanova will get a look from the Sixers’ scouting staff, as will Maryland shooting guard Terrell Stoglin and Iona point guard Scott Machado. All four are considered second-round possibilities in the June 28 draft.
Rosen was the Big 5 Player of the Year as a senior and could get a lift from the Jeremy Lin hype that occurred this year. He averaged 18.2 points and 5.2 assists in his final year with the Quakers. Wayns, who declared after his junior season, averaged 17.6 points and 4.6 assists for the Wildcats.
Stoglin might be the most intriguing of the bunch. He led the Atlantic Coast Conference in scoring (22.1 ppg) for the Terrapins, but had his draft hand forced for him when the school suspended him for a year after the season.
The Sixers have the 15th, 45th and 54th overall picks in the draft.
The Warriors will hold their first pre-draft workout on Monday at the team’s downtown Oakland practice facility.
Six players will be in attendance: Old Dominion’s Chris Cooper, Oregon State’s Jared Cunningham, Nevada-Reno’s Olek Czyz, Cal’s Jorge Gutierrez, Mindaugas Kupsas from Lithuania and Missouri State’s Kyle Weems.
The Warriors could have as many as four picks in the NBA draft on June 28: The No. 7 pick, the No. 30 pick, the No. 36 pick and the No. 52 pick.
Whether or not the Warriors have the No. 7 pick – or better – will be determined during the NBA draft lottery on May 30. If the Warriors remain in their spot or move up, they will keep the pick.
If the Warriors fall back to No. 8 or worse, they will lose the pick to the Utah Jazz.
None of Monday’s participants are expected to be an early first-round pick.
To the world, it was “conduct detrimental to the team,” and to the coach, it was something that could not be condoned. So Tony Mitchell, a 6-foot-6 wing player with jaw-dropping athleticism, was suspended from the Alabama basketball team in February. At first it was “indefinitely,” then for the season.
“It was just me being over-competitive,” explained Mitchell, one of the standouts at yesterday’s pre-draft combine staged by the Nets in cooperation with the Rockets in East Rutherford. “I hate losing, and losing got to me. I wanted my team to do better, and it cost us in the end. I apologize for what I did.”
Mitchell, who averaged 13.1 points and 7.0 rebounds as a Crimson Tide junior, said he had an “argument, a confrontation” with Alabama coach Anthony Grant in the wake of a four-game losing streak and the subsequent loss of starting status after a scoring slump. So he looked to the NBA and hoped to put it all behind him. But he still may pay the price.
One scout at yesterday’s combine said Mitchell was “unquestionably” a second-round pick and “maybe a first round if it weren’t for the other stuff.” But teams can’t afford draft mistakes. Most proceed cautiously, though Mitchell shows enough to intrigue.
“As you can see, he’s an elite athlete,” the scout said, shortly after Mitchell wowed the joint with a couple reverse alley-oop dunks. “He’s a slasher, outstanding in transition. And his shot has improved.”
Mitchell was not surprised to hear that.
“I work on it every day — and night,” he said.
Mitchell was pleased with his workout, where he felt he showed all 30 NBA teams “athleticism, my length and energy. I think I did pretty good. I played with a lot of energy and effort showed I can play defense.”
The Nets have the 57th pick in the draft, having dealt their own selections in trades. Their first-rounder belongs to the Trail Blazers from the Gerald Wallace trade, though the Nets will keep it if it is No. 1, No. 2 or No. 3.
* The Nets start a three-day free agent mini-camp today. ... General manager Billy King said center Brook Lopez is “doing good” as he tries to come back from foot injuries that limited him to five games. King noted Lopez has “added some muscle, reduced his body fat.”
King is optimistic (“I feel really good about it,” he said) of his chances to keep restricted free agent Lopez along with Deron Williams and Gerald Wallace, both of whom are expected to opt out. “Those are three cornerstones we’d like to build with,” King said.
NCAA Tournament darling Kyle O’Quinn, a 6-foot-10 center from Norfolk State by way of Jamaica, Queens, is excited about having two teams in New York City. “It brings more life to a big city,” he said. “Honestly, I think it’s going to be mayhem, but we’ll see.”
The Knicks will hold a pre-draft camp at their facility in Tarrytown today, and while the team only has a second-round pick in June's NBA Draft, more than one of the attendees could find themselves on the periphery of the Knicks 2012-2013 roster. The Las Vegas Summer League is back this year and due to limited cap space, general manager Glen Grunwald could be motivated to extend a non-guaranteed contract to an undrafted player.
Here's a look at the participants:
• Tu Holloway, G, 6-0, 190, Xavier, Senior—The Musketeers' floor general isn't tall, but he's a decent penetrator with good passing skills. He needs to make better decisions with the basketball (1.63 assist to turnover ratio as a senior) and his 3-point shooting leaves something to be desired (34.6 percent as a senior). Holloway has a 6-5 wingspan, so even though he's generously listed at 6-0, he has ways of making up for his size. Holloway is from Hempstead, NY but finished high school at Harmony Prep in Cincinnati. He originally agreed to go to Indiana. However, he was allowed to change schools when Kelvin Sampson stepped down. Holloway is typically seen as a late-second round pick.
• Scoop Jardine, G, 6-2, 195, Syracuse, Senior—New Yorkers know Scoop Jardine well, as the Orange traditionally have a big following in the city. But while he does have good size (6-3 with shoes and a 6-5 wingspan), the Philadelphia native isn't the most athletic player in the draft, and might not be taken in June's draft. Jardine isn't slow and his improved physique has given him deceptive quickness. He made 37.9 percent of his 3-point attempts as a senior, which was a major improvement from his freshman season (27.8 percent). Unfortunately, Jardine's free throw percentage plummeted to 55.1 percent in 2011-2012. In fact, he shot 82.9 percent from the line as a freshman and that number dropped to 75 percent as a sophomore and then to 66.4 percent as a junior, so that is a troubling trend. Jardine never averaged more than 12.5 ppg in any season (that came as a junior), so he's looked at as a pass-first point guard.
• Khris Middleton, F, 6-7, 217, Texas A&M, Junior—Middleton is going to be all over everyone's mock drafts, from the late first round to being off the board altogether. He has a nice mid-range jumper and solid athleticism, but he's not going to wow anyone in any particular area. He's kind of like a more athletic version of Landry Fields. And like Fields, Middleton can rebound well for a swingman (5.0 rpg as a senior). Middleton also likes to put the ball on the floor and is a decent isolation player.
• John Shurna, F, 6-9, 215, Northwestern, Senior—If the Knicks are unable to re-sign Steve Novak, keep an eye on John Shurna, who hails from Glen Ellyn, IL—about an hour's drive from Novak's hometown of Libertyville. Like Novak, Shurna can shoot (44 percent from 3-point range as a senior), and at 6-9, he's considered a big small forward or a "stretch four." Unlike Novak, Shurna isn't a bad shot blocker (1.7 bpg as a senior) and he can actually score from inside the arc as well. He'll be available in the second round if the Knicks are so inclined.
• Michael Eric, C, 6-11, 240, Temple, Senior—The Lagos, Nigeria native is unpolished, but he has good size and athleticism. He started 15 times last season after fracturing his right patella, but still finished with averages of 9.0 points and 8.8 rebounds per game. He also blocked a couple shots per game as well. He's not a lock to get drafted, but the Knicks might be wise to invite him to the Summer League.
• Bernard James, C, 6-10, 240, Florida State, Senior—James actually looks like a backup NBA center. He can play defense, he rebounds well (8.1 rpg last year), but teams might be a little concerned that he's already 27-years old. James was on the wrong path as a high school dropout, but elected to join the Air Force—where he served our country in Iraq and Qatar—and later discovered a talent for the game. James then went to junior college before playing two solid seasons on a very respectable Seminoles team. James isn't overly talented, but if the Knicks want a backup for Tyson Chandler, then this high-motor big man makes a good candidate.
EAST LANSING -- Draymond Green will be among the prospects to work out in Chicago at the NBA Draft combine June 7-8, according to his agent, Herb Rudoy.
Green worked out for the Boston Celtics on Tuesday after working out for the San Antonio Spurs last week. He said he has scheduled many more team workouts in advance of the June 28 draft in Newark.
"I think going into my first one last week, I was pretty nervous not knowing what to expect," Green told Jeff Goodman on Sirius XM. "You're nervous because this is a huge part of your future and can determine how the rest of your life goes and all those different things that are running through your head.
"One thing I told myself as I was on my way to the airport yesterday is I'm not going to go into this workout worrying about anything, worrying about how I work out, worrying about how I shoot. I'm going to just go into this workout knowing that it's still basketball at the end of the day and don't get to worrying about it so much like I had been starting to do to the point where you're missing the process and stop enjoying it and before you know it it's over with."
The 6-foot-7, 230-pound Green hopes to become a first-round draft pick.
Casper Ware knows how to play basketball—the Long Beach State legend has proven that every time he’s touched a ball, whether it was at Gahr High, as a 49er, or in the Drew League. But what he’s doing now is a strange form of basketball, flying around the country to work out for different NBA teams, in the hope of starting a pro career, either as a draft pick or by signing a contract afterward.
First he turned heads at the NBA combine, where he was the highest scoring competitor at the agility and speed drills, which was important given that he was also the shortest player invited. His measurement on height came in at 5’9.5”, a half-inch taller than Isaiah Thomas, who he’s drawing the most “upside” comparisons too.
Since the, Ware has had private workouts with the Golden State Warriors, the Cavs, and just recently, the New Jersey Nets. He’s currently headed to the Pacific Northwest to show his stuff to the Portland Trailblazers. Each time he’s worked out for a team, local writers have praised him as a stand-out. It’s bad news that he wasn’t invited to the second-round NBA Combine in Chicago, but four teams have invited him for private workouts since then, as his defensive skills have drawn rave reviews, as well as his speed and agility.
If you’re not already, follow Casper on Twitter for an interesting insider’s view of the life of a traveling NBA hopeful. Just last night a delayed flight flew his arrival to Portland into jeopardy, obviously a stressful incident as it's essentially like potentially showing up late for a job interview--one that requires you to be at your physical best, and not jet-lagged.
Of course, we wish him the best and join the rest of Long Beach in pulling for the Friendly Point Guard to catch on somewhere. You can also CLICK HERE to see an interview Ware did with NBA.com after his workout with the Nets.
The Warriors held two separate predraft workouts on Monday morning, bringing in 12 players in advance of the June 28 NBA draft.
The first workout included Michigan State’s Draymond Green, Xavier’s Tu Holloway, Syracuse’s Kris Joseph, Iona’s Scott Machado, Texas A&M’s Khris Middleton and Vanderbilt’s Jeff Taylor.
The second group included Baylor’s Anthony Jones, West Virginia’s Kevin Jones, New Mexico State’s Wendell McKines, Stanford’s Josh Owens, Villanova’s Maalik Wayns and Washington’s Tony Wroten.
Green was the 2012 National Association of Basketball Coaches Player of the Year and consensus All-American. He finished his career as the Spartans’ all-time leading rebounder.
Green is considered an undersized power forward, but he has a solid all-around game and shot 38.8 percent from the beyond the arc.
Holloway averaged 17.5 points and 4.9 assists per game and wound up as Xavier’s sixth all-time leading scorer.
Taylor is considered by many to be a first-round selection and could go as high as the mid-first round.
He averaged 16.1 points and 5.6 rebounds per game his senior season, while shooting 49.3 percent from the field and 42.3 percent from 3-point range.
Owens was Stanford’s starting power forward, and averaged 11.6 points per game in both his junior and senior seasons. Over the course of his four-year career, Owens shot 57.3 percent from the field.
Wroten played one year at Washington and averaged 16 points, five rebounds and 3.7 assists per game. He was the Pac-12 Freshman of the Year and First Team All-Pac-12.
McKines, who played at Richmond High School, averaged 18.7 points and 10.7 rebounds per game (8th in the country) his senior season. McKines red-shirted his junior year after sustaining an injury.
Nevada's Dario Hunt Works Out for Pistons, Raptors
Former Wolf Pack center Dario Hunt had workouts with both the Pistons and the Raptors. He's already worked out for the Lakers and the Celtics.
Hunt was a second-team All-WAC selection last season, averaging 10.3 points, 9.7 rebounds and 2.3 blocks per game. He is Nevada's all-time leader in career blocked shots.
He has signed with agent Greg Nunn of Premier Sports and Entertainment. The NBA Draft is June 28th in New York City.
OAKLAND – The Warriors held another predraft workout on Saturday, bringing in six players in advance of the NBA draft on June 28.
The six players were Cincinnati’s Yancy Gates, California’s Harper Kamp, LSU’s Justin Hamilton, Oregon’s Garrett Sim, UC-Santa Barbara’s Greg Somogyi and Kansas’ Tyshawn Taylor.
Gates, a 6-foot-9 power forward, averaged 12.2 points and 8.9 rebounds per game for the Bearcats. Gates isn’t much of a shot-blocker but he’s a physical defender.
He is probably most known for his part in a brawl against Xavier back in December, which cost him a six-game suspension. But Gates said that incident has helped him grow and mature as a person.
Tayler averaged 16.9 points per game for the Jayhawks, who fell to Kentucky in the NCAA championship game. Tayler is 6-foot-3, but isn’t considered a true point guard.
Still, what Taylor does is defend, which could make him appealing to the Warriors.
The Warriors could have as many as four picks in the draft: The No. 7 pick (or better), the No. 30 pick, the No. 36 pick and the No. 52 pick.
If the Warriors fall back to No. 8 or worse, they will lose the pick to the Utah Jazz. None of Saturday's participants are expected to be an early first-round pick.
UDC’s Nigel Munson Works Out for Washington Wizards
Former University of District of Columbia and DeMatha High basketball star Nigel Munson participated in a Washington Wizards National Basketball Association (NBA) Pre-Draft workout May 25.
The 6-foot-2, 180-pound guard was joined by center Michael Eric from Temple University, power forward Xavier Gibson from Florida State, guard Scott Machado of Iona, forward Antwaine Wiggins of the College of Charleston, and forward Khris Middleton of Texas A&M during the workout at the Verizon Center. They were put through a series of drills that tested athletic ability, basketball skills and IQ.
Munson, who played for UDC from 2009-2011, was selected to the All-East Coast Conference team this past season after leading his team to the Firebirds’ first National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA) Division II championship tournament appearance.
The Washington, D.C. native was named to the All-Met team as a DeMatha standout and played one season for Virginia Tech before transferring to UDC, where he ranked eighth in the nation in the 2011-2012 season in assists with 6.5 per game and was 32nd among Division II scorers with 19.4 points per game.
"I'm really happy for Nigel," UDC basketball head coach Jeff Ruland said. "He's certainly done well here, and I hope he goes as far as he can."
Now, Munson will have to wait until he NBA draft, scheduled for June 28, to see if the Wizards will add him to their roster.
KJ rarely takes a day off and spends countless hours in the practice facility trying to improve before his next NBA workout. His former teammates want to be in his shoes when their college careers are over. As a result, they are definitely watching him now.
"They ask me certain questions like, how was the workouts?" Jones said. "What kind of things did you guys do? How was the travel and stuff like that? I try to help them out as much as possible. I am still kind of new to the process."
The process continues for Jones who just worked out for the Chicago Bulls on Saturday. He will visit the Miami Heat on Monday before returning to Chicago for the NBA Pre-Draft Combine from June 6-10.
Johnson-Odom, Taylor among those at session
St. Francis - The Milwaukee Bucks need a big man.
That much is obvious after the team dealt 7-foot center Andrew Bogut to Golden State in a trade deadline deal in March.
But the team also could use some guard help, preferably a guard with size to assist the team's smallish starting backcourt of 6-foot-1 Brandon Jennings and 6-3 Monta Ellis.
The Bucks opened a series of draft workouts Sunday at the Cousins Center, a session heavy on guard talent and featuring Marquette's Darius Johnson-Odom and Wisconsin's Jordan Taylor.
Also competing in the six-player workout were 6-7 senior guard Kris Joseph of Syracuse, 6-6 senior guard Chris Johnson of Dayton, 6-5 freshman guard Tony Wroten of Washington and 6-4 junior guard Jared Cunningham of Oregon State.
Bucks assistant general manager Jeff Weltman said several of the players would be considered with the Bucks' second-round pick, the 42nd overall selection in the June 28 draft.
"At 42, you don't know what you're going to be picking," Weltman said. "You pick the best player.
"We have needs on our team, but at 42 you feel like the odds are at a point where you have to go (with the guy) with the strongest likelihood to make the league, play on your team and hopefully address a need."
Wisconsin forward Jon Leuer was the Bucks' second-round pick (40th overall) and stayed with the club all of last season. In 2008 the Bucks took forward Luc Richard Mbah a Moute (37th overall) and he immediately became a prime defender and a key part of the team's rotation.
"We have a number of kids that we're really interested in at that pick and some of them are here today," Weltman said.
Weltman said Joseph was limited by a groin injury but still was able to take part in some drills.
Johnson-Odom had the support of Marquette coach Buzz Williams, who was in the stands to observe the workout.
"You want to be yourself when you come to these workouts," Johnson-Odom said. "Our (Marquette) practices really prepared me for these workouts. You're going to have days where you have to go back-to-back. It's going to get crazy for me after the combine (the pre-draft camp in Chicago).
"I'm going to be a player and I'm going to be a defender. I don't care if I have to go to D-League, whatever you need me to do to help the program, that's what I'm willing to do."
The 6-2 Johnson-Odom said he received some advice from Oklahoma City star Kevin Durant on Saturday night. Johnson-Odom attended Durant's basketball camp in Chicago and a friendship was struck.
"I have a good friend in Kevin Durant and texted him last night about the game," Johnson-Odom said of the Thunder's playoff victory over San Antonio. "He texted me back as soon as he got it.
"He said, 'It's going to be hectic this month. You've just got to stay focused and stay faithful.'
"I'm able to talk to him. He's helping me out because he likes my game and he likes the person I am."
Johnson-Odom will take part in the pre-draft camp this week before moving on to workouts with other teams. He said he has workouts scheduled with Portland, Sacramento, Utah and Charlotte.
Taylor said he received a message from his agent, B.J. Armstrong, indicating a spot had opened up for Taylor in the Chicago camp. The native of Bloomington, Minn., was not on the initial list of 60 players selected for the league's annual camp.
"You've got to try to find a way to stand out," the 6-1 Taylor said. "Obviously I'm not a freak athlete or anything like that. I'm trying to stay within myself and not do anything I can't do. But still trying to do some things I can do."
Taylor said he would be excited to take part in the Chicago camp, where the top players are evaluated by NBA general managers and coaches.
"It's just another opportunity," Taylor said. "It's all I've ever asked for as a player. I've always been undersized, maybe not the fastest, whatever. "
Johnson was taking part in his fourth workout after earlier sessions with Philadelphia, Washington and Oklahoma City.
He shot nearly 40% from three-point range as a senior at Dayton and averaged 12.4 points and 6.4 rebounds.
"I just want an opportunity to play," Johnson said.
Cunningham said it was his fifth workout after competing for Golden State, Detroit, Miami and Cleveland.
He was the Pac-12's leading scorer while averaging 17.9 points for Oregon State last season.
"It's a good organization and they're looking for a big guard," Cunningham said. "I feel I can fit their need."
Wroten turned 19 in April and decided to leave Washington after just one season as the team's point guard. He was named the Pac-12 freshman of the year.
Bulls active in pre-draft workout process
As is usually the case with teams that enjoy regular-season success, the Bulls won't have the opportunity to pick from the top-heavy slew of prospects considered to have star potential in the upcoming NBA Draft.
However, with the 29th overall selection, they will have a chance to find a diamond in the rough for a roster in need of contributors next season, regardless of prior professional experience.
Now, it may be asking too much for the front office to get a late first-round pick as ready to immediately establish himself as Taj Gibson, the No. 26 pick back in 2009, but next season, Bulls head coach Tom Thibodeau might not have the luxury of easing along a rookie as slowly as he did with backup center Omer Asik or swingman Jimmy Butler in the past.
The organization has already begun the process of bringing in prospects and there has been and will continue to be a flurry of activity leading to this week's NBA pre-draft combine in Chicago.
Over the weekend, the Bulls worked out Michigan State forward Draymond Green, St. Bonaventure power forward Andrew Nicholson and Iona point guard Scott Machado, a rare trio of four-year college players considered first-round prospects.
Monday is the last scheduled the last Berto Center workout on the slate until the following week, according to a source. In addition to Jared Cunningham (6-foot-4 junior) and John Jenkins (6-foot-4 junior), the morning group consists of: Will Barton, a 6-foot-6 sophomore shooting guard from Memphis; Doron Lamb, a 6-foot-4 sophomore shooting guard from Kentucky; Tanner Smith, a 6-foot-5 shooting guard from Clemson; Hollis Thompson, a 6-foot-8 small forward from Georgetown. In addition to Tu Holloway (6-foot senior) and Fab Melo (7-foot sophomore), the afternoon group consists of: J'Covan Brown, a 6-foot-1 junior point guard from Texas; Josh Owens, a 6-foot-8 senior power forward from Stanford; Robert Sacre, a 7-foot senior center from Gonzaga; Tony Wroten, a 6-foot-5 freshman point guard from Washington.
When he was a boy, Scoop Jardine used to wait outside the arena after Philadelphia 76ers games, holler at players like Allen Iverson and Dikembe Mutombo as they got into their cars, and then declare to his father, “I’m gonna have those cars some day.”
That day could be approaching.
On Sunday morning at the Philadelphia College of Osteopathic Medicine, Jardine and Kentucky’s Doron Lamb (see story) worked out for the 76ers as part of the organization’s ongoing pre-draft workouts. Jardine – a Philly native who starred at Neumann-Goretti High School before enjoying a sterling five-year college career at Syracuse – has already trained for a few NBA teams and says he has 18 workouts set up over the next 26 days.
“Right now, I’m turning a lot of heads,” he said. “My stock is really rising since the workouts started. My dream is just to be drafted. I don’t know where but I’m very confident I’m going to be drafted come June 28.”
While Jardine’s name is not included in many mock drafts, his confidence is not without merit. As the starting point guard on two No. 1 teams, he possesses all the intangibles to be a solid backup, if not a star, in the NBA. And while ex-Syracuse teammates Dion Waiters, Fab Melo and Kris Joseph might be considered more pro-ready, it’s no secret that Jardine was the engine that made the Orange purr over the past few years.
“I went to college a boy and I’m a man now,” said Jardine, who averaged 14.7 points over Syracuse’s final three NCAA tournament teams to help the Orange advance to the Elite Eight this past season. “I think coming to a team like the Sixers that’s well-established and needs little pieces to make the team go, I think that’s what I am. I’m a great locker room guy. I’m all about the team.”
On top of the maturity, leadership and basketball IQ he forged while at Syracuse, Jardine has also worked hard to elevate the weaker aspects of his game. Since he graduated (with two degrees), Jardine has dropped more than 10 pounds, gotten quicker and has improved his shooting touch.
For his career at Syracuse, he shot just 45.5 percent from the field, 36.4 percent from three-point range and 68.6 percent from the foul line. Sunday at PCOM, however, he was drilling shots from all over the court.
“I had a great workout,” he said. “I shot the ball really well, competed and played at a high level. And I showed them I got quicker.”
The Sixers front office already knew a lot about the Philly kid coming in, but seemed to be impressed with Jardine’s hour-long workout – especially with his energy. Afterwards, Philadelphia’s director of player personnel, Courtney Witte, called him a “junkyard dog” who might fit in well in head coach Doug Collins’ system.
“He brings for Coach Collins that defensive mentality – defense first,” Witte said. “He pressures the ball. He’s got long length. He’s relentless. He’s really tough mentally and a physical-type player.”
For Jardine, Sunday’s workout represented not only an opportunity to impress his hometown team but also see family and friends for the first time in a few months, since his home base for training has been in southern California.
While out in Cali, though, he gets to enjoy at least one Philadelphia connection: Pooh Richardson. Jardine has been working out with Richardson, a Philly native who enjoyed a 10-year NBA career throughout the 1990s.
“That’s like a dream come true, also being from south Philly,” Jardine said. “He’s really been a big brother to me since I got out there.”
Jardine has also gotten advice and support from other current and former professionals, including his grandfather, Isaiah Wilson, who played in the NBA for Detroit and in the ABA for Memphis in the early 1970s. And he often discusses the pre-draft process with ex-Neumann and Syracuse teammate Rick Jackson, who went undrafted last year before beginning his professional basketball career in France.
“I went and watched Rick when he was going through it last year,” Jardine said. “He had a lot of workouts like I’m having. He tells me to always drink a lot of water and make sure you’ve got your mind right because coming into workouts you never know. I didn’t know it was going to be just me and Doron Lamb today. You’ve always gotta be ready.”
Jardine, it seems, has been ready for his moment for more than a decade, ever since he yelled out to NBA players, collected autographs and decided that’s who he wanted to emulate. And while playing for any NBA team would be a life-changing opportunity, getting a shot with the team he grew up rooting for would be even more surreal.
Scoop Jardine a 76er?
“That’s the dream,” he said. “I’m trying to make it into a reality.”
NBA draft: Owls' Eric leaning on old roommate
As Micheal Eric prepped for his NBA pre-draft workout with the Sixers on Saturday, he had the perfect man right in his corner — who better than Lavoy Allen.
A year ago, Allen, the current Sixer and former Temple center, found himself standing in the same shoes as Eric, his close friend, former teammate and old college roommate.
The 6-foot-11 Eric showcased his game at the Philadelphia College of Osteopathic Medicine with four other big men: Terrance Henry (Mississippi), Kyle O’Quinn (Norfolk State), John Shurna (Northwestern) and Henry Sims (Georgetown) (see story).
They did so in front of Sixers head coach Doug Collins, general manager Ed Thorn, Vice President of Basketball Operations Tony DiLeo and Director of Player Personnel Courtney Witte.
The Sixers have the 15th overall pick in the June 28 draft as well as the 45th and 54th pick, and drafting big is what they’ll most likely do early, and possibly late.
“We feel at our selections, there’s talent there that can fill a need,” Witte said.
At this time last year, Allen was grinding through workouts and hoping to open eyes on the NBA radar, so when Eric was seeking advice, he knew the ideal person to contact.
“We were roommates for four years,” Eric said.
And during Allen’s first season in the NBA and Eric’s final year as an Owl, the two stayed in touch as if they were family.
“It was a great experience just with him being there as a big brother,” Eric said. “Age-wise, I’m older than him, but he was a big brother, trying to teach me the ropes.”
So Allen offered him wise words of wisdom — advice that helped him work his way into the Sixers’ rotation and compete as a key contributor during the NBA playoffs after being selected 50th overall in the 2011 draft.
“He gave me a lot of advice,” Eric said. “Just pay attention to details and have patience. If things don’t work out right away, still have patience, it’s gonna come through. I think that’s the best advice a friend can give me and I’ve been doing that. I’ve listened to the details from my trainers and when I get out to the workouts, I just focus on what they want me to do and do it well.”
You won’t find many NBA prospects vying for a draft spot as experienced and educated as Eric. The Nigeria native played four years at Temple and last season, he was a graduate student. Eric earned his bachelor's degree in advertising in May of 2011 and is currently pursuing his master's degree in adult and organizational development. His growth and maturation are apparent in multiple ways.
Each season, the 240-pound center’s production increased in scoring and rebounding.
“As you can see, Lavoy’s a prime example. He stayed all four years,” Eric said. “I think those are things kids need to learn nowadays, because when you go to college, college coaches teach you. When you come to the next level, they want you to perform.”
In 2011-12, Eric averaged nine points per game, 8.8 rebounds per game and blocked 39 shots despite missing 13 games with a fractured right patella, an injury that is completely healed.
“It feels great,” Eric said. “It’s a great feeling to know that it’s finally healed up, the strength is back and I have a lot of bounce in my step now.”
But his development is also evident in his demeanor.
Eric brings a high basketball IQ. The long and athletic big man understands his role, relishes the defensive side of the ball and isn’t afraid to do the dirty work.
“I’m very energetic, I’m very loud on defense, I try my best to be the best teammate,” he said. “I come out here to just compete and competing means just being the nastiest player on defense against another big man, and that’s all I do. I’m not worried about scoring, I’m not worried about putting up numbers, but I’m worried about getting my team wins.”
And that’s what Witte likes about Eric.
“He’s gotten better each year,” Witte said. “He brings defense, he brings a toughness, he brings something that NBA teams are looking for.”
Griz open draft workouts Monday
The Grizzlies plan to take a long look at adding outside shooting during the June 28 NBA draft, and their scouting staff is said to feel strongly about Vanderbilt sharpshooter John Jenkins. So it should come as no surprise that Jenkins will highlight the Grizzlies' first pre-draft workout Monday in FedExForum.
Memphis owns the 25th overall pick in the first round. Jenkins, a 6-4 guard, led the SEC in scoring the past two seasons and shot 44 percent from three-point range during the 2011-12 campaign.
His workout partners will include other shooting guards in Kentucky's 6-4 Doron Lamb and Kansas' Tyshawn Taylor, and point guards Dee Bost of Mississippi State, Tu Holloway of Xavier and Scoop Jardine of Syracuse.
University of Memphis guard Will Barton heads the list of draft candidates scheduled to audition for the Griz on Tuesday. That session is also expected to feature shooting guards Kim English (Missouri), Bradford Burgess (Virginia Commonwealth), and point guard Casper Ware (Long Beach State).
The Griz are expected to work out as many as 25 prospects, including Royce White (Iowa State), Draymond Green (Michigan State), Jae Crowder (Marquette), Will Buford (Ohio State), Darius Miller (Kentucky), Evan Fournier (France), Andrew Nicholson (St. Bonaventure), Kevin Jones (West Virginia), Tony Wroten (Washington), Jared Cunningham (Oregon State), Quincy Acy (Baylor) and Jeff Taylor (Vanderbilt).
UNC center Tyler Zeller said he would be in Sacramento to workout next week. Not sure which day but he thinks Tuesday.
Drew Gordon is also scheduled to be at Monday's workout with John Henson.
Thanks for all the info BTPH. Lots of action and news leading up to draft day...
Journal Times DOT COM
The Milwaukee Bucks’ quest for a big man resumes Thursday.
The Bucks, who have been in the market for a center since trading Andrew Bogut to Golden State in March, will be working out several centers at their training facility in St. Francis.
One of them is Tyler Zeller of North Carolina who, according to several NBA officials, is on the Bucks’ short list of candidates for their first-round pick, the 12th overall.
Zeller enjoyed a stellar senior season with the Tar Heels, averaging 16.3 points and 9.6 rebounds. While not an elite athlete, Zeller is fundamentally-sound and possesses a solid all-around game.
Zeller is also coming off an impressive performance at last week’s pre-draft combine in Chicago. At the combine, Zeller had a sit-down meeting with Bucks officials. Zeller said Bucks coach Scott Skiles, also an Indiana native, teased him about going to North Carolina instead of Indiana.
Zeller, who is 6 feet, 11½ inches and weighs 247 pounds, and Illinois’ Meyers Leonard — the tallest player in the draft at 6-11¾ — are generally regarded as the Bucks’ top two draft prospects.
Bucks officials will also be checking out another potential first-round center Thursday in Fab Melo of Syracuse, along with Kyle O’Quinn of Norfolk State, who is likely to be available when the Bucks make their second-round selection.
-- Duke center Miles Plumlee said he has made periodic trips to Wisconsin. His mother, Leslie, is from Neenah and his grandfather, Bud Schultz, still lives there. … Bucks general manager John Hammond’s name has surfaced as a candidate to replace Rod Thorn as the Philadelphia 76ers’ president and general manager. Danny Ferry is considered the frontrunner for the job. Hammond has one year remaining on his contract with the Bucks. … Some blue-chip players will become available on July 1 and so will one Grade-A coach: Scott Brooks of Oklahoma City. One would assume Brooks will re-sign with the Thunder, although I have heard that is far from being a slam dunk. … Several NBA scouts have told me Baylor’s Perry Jones reminds them of former Buck forward Tim Thomas, for good and bad. … Ex-Badger Brian Butch, now fully healthy after having knee surgery, will be playing for the Atlanta Hawks in the Las Vegas Summer League. … So which team has allegedly “promised” to take Syracuse guard Dion Waiters. I’ve been told by two NBA officials that it is the Phoenix Suns, who pick right after the Bucks. … I can never ever remember when the consensus No. 1 overall pick in the NBA drafted has waited this long to sign with an agent or agency. But Kentucky’s Anthony Davis is still mulling his choices, apparently between the Wasserman Media Group, Creative Artists Agency and Bill Duffy’s BDA Sports. ... The Bucks are keeping the door open to possibly re-sign unrestricted free-agent in-waiting Kwame Brown. … While the Phil Jackson to New York and Orlando rumors have died down, I’m still hearing the Zen Master is receptive to coming out of retirement and could return to the NBA season in a consulting role.
SLAM CANOE DOT CA
TORONTO - Making an assessment of Montreal’s Kris Joseph and where he belongs in this 2012 NBA draft class is not getting any easier.
The standout Syracuse forward was in Toronto yesterday but a groin strain kept him from taking part in a scheduled workout for the Raptors with five other draft eligibles including fellow Canadian and Gonzaga big man Robert Sacre.
DETROIT Free Press
Norfolk State big man Kyle O'Quinn called the system of individual workouts and physical measurements that were part of the NBA's predraft process a "set-up" at last week's combine.
O'Quinn, a 6-foot-10 prospect who worked out for the Pistons this week and could be a candidate for one of their two second-round draft picks, said that stuff doesn't measure how a guy competes when it's "five-on-five."
So keep his thoughts in mind when looking at the measurements and abilities measured last week.
One of the lowest-rated athletes there was Ohio State's Jared Sullinger, who is in the mix for the Pistons' first-round pick at No. 9.
Sullinger's lane agility and his three-fourths court sprint were among the worst at the combine. The naysayers would say that proves that Sullinger isn't athletic enough to contribute at the NBA level.
But as O'Quinn points out, the game is played five-on-five and the combine drills don't measure basketball IQ and toughness, traits that Sullinger definitely appears to have.
MEMPHIS – Former UAH men's basketball star Josh Magette participated in a pre-draft workout for the Memphis Grizzlies on Tuesday as he aims to become the third active product of the program to play professionally.
“It was really cool to be able to work out with a bunch of guys who are probably going to be drafted,” Magette said. “It was a great experience – something I'll remember for a long time.”
The 2012 Daktronics South Region Player of the Year joined five others at the team's training facility, and the day included a 75-minute session on the floor.
“We were really excited for Josh to have the opportunity,” said Lennie Acuff who mentored Magette during his four seasons with the Blue and White. “He's obviously proven himself to be a great player at our level, and we're excited about the opportunities that he has going forward to play professionally.”
The Birmingham, Ala., native was a two-time All-American, and he rewrote the record books in becoming the Gulf South Conference's all-time leader in assists with 878 and steals with 268. Helping the Chargers reach new heights, he was an integral member of a squad that won the NCAA South Regional two straight years en route to a pair of Elite Eight appearances.
That team success has placed Huntsville on the basketball map.
“I think obviously the success we've had has brought more attention to our program, and I think it's given our players more opportunities to do things when they finish school,” said Acuff before having more praise for his former point guard. “Josh – his accolades speak for themselves. His work ethic and his commitment to improve were absolutely awarded with this opportunity. We're just so excited about what lies ahead for his future, and he deserves everything he's getting.”
Magette has received additional interest from other teams in the NBA, and should he join the professional ranks, he would become part of a group that currently includes Joe Smith who is currently playing in Argentina and Jason Smith who plays in Germany.
Pacers Offical Website
Pacers Host Second Predraft Workouts
Six more players to come to Bankers Life Fieldhouse, including Kentucky's Darius Miller, Marquette's Jae Crowder
June 13, 2012
The Indiana Pacers hosted a second day of predraft workouts for players today. The workout consisted of a similar format as the prior workout—a 3-on-3 scrimmage and coaching session. The atmosphere was competitive, but friendly.
Workout participants included Kent Bazemore (Old Dominion), Jae Crowder (Marquette), Will Barton (Memphis), Jeffery Taylor (Vanderbilt), Darius Miller (Kentucky), and Khris Middleton (Texas A&M).
Be sure to cjeck back soon for video interviews, photos, and insight from the workout.
Pacers.com has complete coverage of all things draft-related for the Pacers. Coverage includes predraft workouts, featured player spotlights, insight, and analysis leading up to and immediately following the 2012 NBA draft. Keep up to date at Pacers Draft Central 2012.
The Sixers on Thursday will host three college prospects for a pre-draft workout: Quincy Miller (Baylor), Terrence Ross (Washington) and Mike Scott (Virginia).
Miller is a 6-foot-9, 210-pound forward who just completed his freshman year at Baylor. He earned Big 12 Freshman of the Year honors this past season after averaging 10.6 points and 4.9 rebounds per game.
A 6-foot-6, 195-pound guard, Ross entered the draft after his sophomore season. The First Team All-Pac 12 selection averaged 16.4 points per game for Washington in 2011-12.
Scott, a 6-foot-8, 242-pound forward, averaged 18.0 points and 8.3 rebounds per game last season as a senior for Virginia. The big man also shot 56.3 percent from the field and 80.8 percent from the free throw line en route to earning First Team All-ACC honors.
Wizards work out Bradley Beal
By Gene Wang
Adding a wing player who consistently can sink jump shots is among the top priorites for the Washington Wizards in the June 28 NBA draft, and on Thursday morning, the club’s coaches and front office executives got their chance to evaluate a guard in Bradley Beal who’s an ideal fit for that job despcription.
(Chris Graythen - GETTY IMAGES) The 6-foot-4 guard from Florida caught the attention of Coach Randy Wittman and his staff as well as team President Ernie Grunfeld during the 5-4-3-2-1 drill in which a player must make five jumpers at one end of the court, four at the other and so on until finishing with a dunk.
Beal needed nine shots to sink his first five field goals but missed only once the rest of the way, including going 4 for 4 in the second round and making consecutive jumpers in the fourth round. Georgetown forward Hollis Thompson and Grambling State guard Quincy Roberts also participated in the approximately two-hour session.
“I think I did pretty good actually,” Beal said. “I wasn’t too nervous. I thought I would be a lot more nervous than I was, but overall I think a pretty good job, showcased a lot of things I was capable of doing.”
Beal is expected to be selected in the top five and may be available when the Wizards pick at No. 3 overall. Other players on Washington’s radar include Kansas forward Thomas Robinson and Kentucky guard Michael Kidd-Gilchrist. Robinson, a native of the District, worked out on Wednesday, and Kidd-Gilchrist is scheduled to do the same on Friday.
Neither of those players, though, possesses a jump shot as reliable as Beal, who after averaging 14.8 points per game for the Gators last season as a freshman declared for the draft.
Beal’s stock ascended considerably thanks to a closing stretch of the season in which he developed much more confidence in his jumper. That translated into elevated shooting percentages that helped him become the first Florida player to be named first-team all-SEC and SEC all-freshman in the same season.
“Basically I can create off the dribble,” Beal said. “We did a lot of drills where we had to dribble the ball and pull up and shoot jumpers, so I think I did a pretty good job of that. That’s what I wanted to showcase the most.”
Another enticement for the Wizards to select Beal is skill as a rebounder. Beal averaged nearly seven a game, the most on Florida, and led all guards in rebounding among the six major conferences.
Beal had 10 games with at least 10 rebounds. All other guards in the SEC, meantime, combined for five games in double-figure rebounding, and no other guard in the SEC had more than one game with at least 10 rebounds.
“I believe I can probably rebound when I want to,” Beal said. Florida “Coach [Billy Donovan] constantly got on my butt about that too. I just took it upon myself to be able to do it, and I just took that responsibility to step up and start rebounding.”
As a national high school player of the year as a senior, Beal said he finally realized near the end of this season he needed to focus on having fun rather than chase the expectations.
That modification allowed his game to flourish, and these days Beal is intent on highlighting skills other than his shooting ability. He had a 39-inch maximum vertical leap at the NBA combine, and he has the arms and hands perhaps to become a reliable defender at the next level.
“I’m the type of guy that wants to earn everything,” Beal said. “I want to earn every bit of it. I don’t want anything given to me. I’m just going to come here and work hard if [the Wizards] choose me.”
Philly Dot Com
The Sixers will continue their pre-draft evaluations of prospective draft picks on Friday, bringing in St. John’s Mo Harkless and Georgetown’s Hollis Thompson.
Harkless, a 6-8 guard/forward, was named Big East Rookie of the Year at the end of the season after averaging 15.5 points and 8.6 rebounds. He started all 32 games last season for St. John’s and averaged a team-high 36.1 minutes per game.
Thompson, also a 6-8 forward, is also an early entry candidate who applied for early entry last season but later withdrew his name to return to school. Thompson earned All Big East Honorable Mention in his last season after averaging 12.8 points and 5.5 rebounds for Georgetown. He is the Hoyas all-time leader in 3-point field goal percentage (44.0 percent).
The Sixers have the 15th, 45th and 54th picks in the June 28th draft.
Harrison Barnes vs. Bradley Beal in Cleveland on Saturday, source told CBSSports. Should be interesting to see what happens in that one.
Warriors work out six more players
By Jimmy Durkin [email protected]
Posted: 06/14/2012 01:17:21 PM PDT
June 15, 2012 4:42 AM GMTUpdated: 06/14/2012 09:42:25 PM PDT
Jared Sullinger is aware that the biggest knock on his basketball game is a lack of athletic ability. His response?
"I (couldn't) care less."
Sullinger, the 6-foot-9, 280-pound forward out of Ohio State, was one of six players to work out with the Warriors on Thursday morning at their downtown Oakland practice facility. The Warriors own four picks in the June 28 NBA Draft, including the No. 7 selection.
Sullinger, a consensus first-team All-American, is considered to be in the mix at that No. 7 spot if the Warriors choose to keep the pick rather than negotiate a trade. He spoke at length after his workout about the criticism of his athletic ability.
"I was hearing it when I was in college, I was hearing it in high school, I was hearing it in middle school," Sullinger said. "I'm just one of those type of guys that's never going to be athletic. Athleticsm does not bother me. I don't need it to be good."
Sullinger, who averaged 17.3 points and 9.7 rebounds per game during his two seasons at Ohio State, pointed to the Minnesota Timberwolves' Kevin Love and Memphis Grizzlies' Zach Randolph as players who have succeeded in the NBA with less than average athletic ability.
"If you want to draft somebody that's stupid athletic and is able to touch the top of the backboard, but has no skills or is just raw with talent, by any means, take that," Sullinger said. "I just accept the fact that I'm a below-the-rim player and I find other ways to score."
Two pieces of the Warriors' core for next season are power forward David Lee and center Andrew Bogut. Both are post players noted for their passing ability, which is considered one of Sullinger's strengths.
"I'd love to pick their minds and learn how to play in the post in the NBA," Sullinger said of Lee and Bogut.
North Carolina forward John Henson, Kentucky point guard Marquis Teague, Temple forward/center Michael Eric, Florida State forward Bernard James and Clemson guard Andre Young also worked out.
NBA Insider: Pistons set sights on big man in the NBA draft
The Pistons are headed into the NBA Draft looking for a big man in the first round, but are preparing themselves in the event they have to go big later, as well.
More than a few bigs made their way to Auburn Hills earlier this week, prospects for the two second-round picks the Pistons own (Nos. 39 and 44).
Many will remember how the Pistons expected to take a big last year in the first round, before Brandon Knight slipped from being the projected third pick to the eighth spot.
Say top-rated swingmen North Carolina's Harrison Barnes or Florida's Bradley Beal slip a few spots, or the Pistons feel the unlikely urge to move up, their gaping hole next to Greg Monroe will remain.
Bigs like Mississippi State's Arnett Moultrie, who was in town Tuesday, North Carolina's John Henson and Tyler Zeller will probably still be available at No. 9, and the Pistons have their share of options.
The Pistons could just want to load up on young frontcourt players. Bringing in the likes of Henry Sims (Georgetown), Miles Plumlee (Duke), Bernard James (Florida State), Kyle O'Quinn (Norfolk State) and Travis Hyman (Bowie State) suggests they're doing their homework.
"They're genuine guys, good people," said O'Quinn of the Pistons during the draft combine.
O'Quinn became a star of sorts during March Madness, leading Norfolk State to an upset over No. 2 seed Missouri.
"There weren't (any) pressure questions," O'Quinn said. "You always have to prove yourself, that you can play."
Coming from a Division II school, Hyman (7-foot, 245 pounds) feels like he made a good impression on the Pistons.
"They were surprised at my skill level defensively playing with D-1 guys," said Hyman, the CIAA defensive player of the year.
Iowa State one-year wonder Royce White’s either back-end NBA Draft lottery material or a middle-of-the-road selection.
Depends on whom you ask.
But suffice it to say Cyclone coach Fred Hoiberg sees the first-team all-Big 12 do-everything point forward more up the chart then down during the June 28 draft.
“The big thing I think teams are looking for with Royce is doing a lot of background work and interviewing him,” Hoiberg said during Thursday’s Big 12 coaches teleconference. “From everybody I’ve talked to, he’s done an excellent job with that. He got hurt the second day of (last week’s) combine, which is unfortunate because he missed the testing. He had neck spasms and was unable to do the testing where I think he would have set some all-time records.”
White — who Hoiberg said bench-pressed 185 pounds 30 times in pre-combine workouts in Ames — made quite an impression as a Cyclone, despite only taking the court one season.
He led ISU in scoring, rebounds and assists while publicly campaigning to raise awareness about anxiety and other mental disorders.
“Anxiety, I would say for me, as much as it’s a burden, it’s also a gift,” White said last season. “It helps me balance different things.”
White also made Hoiberg and his staff adopt an unorthodox approach to offensive sets — in a good way.
The Cyclones reached the round of 32 in the NCAA tournament in their first appearance since 2005 thanks in part to White’s ability to create mismatches.
“We just played to the strengths of out guys last year,” Hoiberg said. “We played through Royce the majority of our offensive possessions, whether he was bringing the ball down on the break, or he was facilitating on the perimeter. A lot of times we played through him on the elbows then we’d get him the ball in the post and let him go to work down there and see how teams played us.”
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LR to Bank Transfer
SALT LAKE CITY — The NBA draft isn't for another seven weeks, but the Utah Jazz are in full prep mode for that June 27 event.
Utah has two first-round picks, including a lottery selection (likely No. 14) and the No. 21 choice via Golden State to cap off the Deron Williams deal with the Nets. The Jazz also have the No. 46 spot in the second round.
The team will hold its first pre-draft workout Saturday with six players, including four guards and two big men.
The invitees include: 6-6 guard/forward James Ennis, Long Beach State; 6-1 guard Myck Kabongo, Texas; 6-9 forward Jamelle Hagins, Delaware; 7-foot center Colton Iverson, Colorado State; 6-5 guard Michael Snaer, Florida State; and 6-4 guard Nate Wolters, South Dakota State.
Neither the public nor media are allowed to watch the pre-draft workouts. Media will have an opportunity to interview players after the first tryout session, but the Jazz announced that none of their staff members will be available for comment.
It isn’t certain that if Dwayne Davis had been given the option of writing his own script for the past year, whether he could have come up with a better plot.
• Non-qualifier, down to his last year of eligibility for Division I basketball, is reunited with the coach who originally recruited him out of high school, only to turn him loose for failing to follow team rules and policies.
• Takes that chance, and after a few bumps along the way, including a one-game suspension for being late for team meeting, becomes the leading scorer for a team that puts up more wins than any other in school history.
• Along the way, not only is he named Conference USA’s Newcomer of the Year as well as a first-team All-C-USA selection, he becomes the first in his family to earn a college degree.
• After coach helps him get a spot at a postseason tournament crammed with administrators from the National Basketball Association and overseas professional leagues, he grabs attention by not only being named all-tournament but leading the all-star affair in scoring.
“The documentary ought to be pretty good,” Davis joked the day before he walked across a stage at Green Coliseum to receive his bachelor’s degree from Southern Miss.
Davis said he already had received workout invitations from the Chicago Bulls, Dallas Mavericks and Utah Jazz before the June 27 NBA draft.
“There’s no preference where I want to go,” Davis said.
But to think of where he’s come from …
USM coach Donnie Tyndall, who had recruited the 6-foot-5 Philadelphia, Pa., native to Morehead State some five years ago, shook his head as he considered Davis’ tale.
“It’s an unbelievable story,” Tyndall said. “With him graduating, leaving this school with a degree in hand, and having a chance to fulfill a dream, with at least a legitimate chance to make an NBA roster, I don’t think it can end any better.”
Davis, who averaged 16 points and 4.5 rebounds a game, helped USM to a 27-10 record that included a three-game run in the National Invitation Tournament.
“I give all the credit to my coaches,” Davis said. “Everybody on the coaching staff, they pushed me. If it wasn’t for them, guiding me, and staying on me and just grinding on me every day in practice, I wouldn’t be here. All the praise goes to Coach Tyndall for just grinding and staying on me and not giving up on me.”
Tyndall deflected the credit back to Davis.
“He deserves it,” Tyndall said. “I’m humbled, but here’s a kid, who in five years’ time, has gone from a preschooler or kindergartener to a college graduate, and I don’t mean that education-wise. I mean that from a growth and maturity and mentality standpoint. He was a great teammate.”
Tyndall had no problem going to bat for Davis, and used connections to help him land a spot in the Portsmouth Invitational Tournament in Portsmouth, Va.
“He was an alternate to get in, and I have a relationship with a couple guys up there, and have had a few players in it over the years,” Tyndall said. “We kind of pushed them, ‘Hey, give this guy a shot,’ which, fortunately, they did. He goes up there and shocks everyone and makes the all-tournament team.”
Davis averaged 21.7 points in three games, shooting 50 percent from the floor, including making 10-of-20 from beyond the 3-point arc. He also averaged 3.3 rebounds, 3.0 assists and 1.3 steals a game.
“Once I got there, I just played my game,” said Davis, who played point guard, off guard and wing. “I felt comfortable, felt like I belonged. No pressure was on me.
“It was nothing like I’d ever been to. The experience was just great. (Scouts, coaches, agents), they’re right there on the sideline, on the baseline. Every NBA team is there, so it was very exciting..”
Davis said he had hoped his play in Portsmouth had earned him a slot at the second and final pre-draft event in Chicago on May 15, but his name was not on the list released Friday.
Still, Davis said he felt good about his professional basketball future after signing with Keith Kreiter of Edge Sports International, Inc., in Chicago.
“If I don’t get drafted, then it’ll be France or wherever,” Davis said. “I’ve got so many overseas (opportunities) just because of what I did at Portsmouth. That helped my value over there.”
Tyndall said he wouldn’t be surprised if the NBA gave Davis a hard look.
“Who knows?” Tyndall asked. “You get in front of that many teams, and all it takes is one to like you. Obviously, we’re hoping he gets drafted, but if not, he’ll certainly be on someone’s summer-league roster.”
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