NBA Draft: Media Day Part 1
When asked what his paramount adjustment will be at the next level, Bennett responded: “Transitioning my game from the power forward to the small forward”. Bennett was steadfast in proclaiming that his pro position is at the THREE, making it known without direct questioning.
Some scouts say you are the most “NBA ready” prospect in the draft. Is your game ready for the pros?
“I’m 6’7, so people say I’m a tweener, but I don’t really look at it like that. I dominated college all year. I scored inside and outside, I rebounded and helped my teammates score as well. So I feel I’m ready.”
With the presence of Canadian basketball on the rise, how would you describe the upcoming talent pool?
“There are a lot of great players facing off 2-3 hours a day – obviously Wiggins, Tyler Ennis and Dylan Ennis – great competition all year round. “
Porter carried himself calm, cool and collected as always, fondly reminiscing about his summer job cleaning his High School gym to make a little extra cash. He was supremely confident that those days were behind him.
Outside of substantial enhancement of your shooting range, what was your greatest on-court improvement from year one to year two?
“Just my overall confidence level in my game... taking it to another level as a sophomore when I needed to.”
Do you buy into comparisons between yourself and Tayshaun Prince stylistically?
“We have some similarities. He contributes in different ways, offense and defense.”
Do you believe you’re in play for the #1 pick? Particularly given Cleveland’s current roster configuration?
“They have Kyrie at the 1, Dion Waiters at the 2 and Tristan Thompson at the 4. What they’re missing, I feel like that’s where I come in.”
In the face of swarming media, Burke was well-spoken, amiable and willing to elaborate and put his personal touch on each and every response.
How tough was it to leave Michigan after getting within a game of cutting down the nets?
“It was tough to leave my teammates, but I think everyone knew it was the right decision to go pro. My stock was high, and I was pretty much assured that would I get an opportunity to play in the NBA. Who knows what would’ve happened next year…”
Have you envisioned what it will be like to hear your name called on Thursday night?
“I have visualized it. I know I’m going to be nervous because it’s the moment of a lifetime. I knew it would come, but I didn’t know how early it would come. I’m going to just try and enjoy it.”
Did you challenge Nik Stauskas to a shooting contest?
“It never went good my way. It never went good shooting against a guy like Nik Stauskas.”
Carter-Williams showed up in a snazzy white blazer, far and away his loudest statement of the early afternoon. MCW spoke in a low tone that seemed to elevate a notch when describing his lead guard strengths.
What parts of your game translate best to the league? And what areas need work?
“The best part of my game that translates is my ability to create for others and finding space in the pick and roll. I got to keep working on knocking down shots and getting stronger.”
On being in contact with Jason Kidd: Do you see similarities between yourself and Kidd in terms of court vision and size for the point guard position?
“Definitely, that’s why I reached out to him. I try to model my game after his. He was a great player and had a great career. To learn from someone like that, it’s good.”
Do you pay attention to the point guard background chatter surrounding yourself, Trey Burke and C.J. McCollum?
We go against each other every day. We work out together (note that Burke didn’t work out against either in Detroit). It’s a friendly competition. I let my game talk for itself. If C.J. and Trey go in front of me, then they go in front of me. I just compete.
Is there a player, past or present, that you model your game after?
“No, not really. I take parts of different players’ games. I watch LeBron. I watch Ray Allen shoot the ball. I watch how they shoot, how they dribble and the moves they make and try to add them to my game.”
Did a heavy scoring burden at Georgia prevent you from fully showcasing your skills?
“Kind of. Coach Fox really wanted us to stay in the offense.”
Word is you won’t slip past Minnesota at #9… your thoughts?
“I was talking about that with my agent. I think that’s right. I think I’ll go in the top ten. “
What were key focus areas between your freshman and sophomore campaigns?
Consistency in all dimensions. Coach Fox and I sat down to discuss what I need to improve on. We watched film and worked on my game every day.
Adams could potentially be the most laid back cat I’ve ever had the pleasure of meeting. When asked about the difficulty of the draft lead-up, Adams responded: “nothing really bothers me. It’s not worth getting upset.” He was extremely conversational and unbelievably relaxed given the occasion, discussing key issues ranging from Pinot noir to his golden tooth to the professional forecast for Tray Woodall.
What did you gain most from your year at Pittsburgh?
“Mostly the physical side of things, working on my conditioning and getting stronger.”
Do you believe continuing to add bulk will inhibit your incredible agility at 7’0?
"No, I don’t think so. That depends on the strength and conditioning coach. I’m just going to work hard."