It's hard to believe it was only a week ago the Trail Blazers' 2008-09 campaign came to an unceremonious conclusion in Houston. The sting of a season ended far too quickly is still present, but there's no time to dwell in the pain of the past. Onward to the future!
The first step: pre-draft workouts. The Trail Blazers, not an organization known for complacency, especially when it comes to the draft, are already scheduled to bring in 12 collegians for evaluation on May 11th and 12th. The invitees are as follows:
May 11: DeMarre Carroll, Forward (Missouri); Cedric Jackson, Guard (Cleveland State); Joe Krabbenhoft, Forward (Wisconsin); Wes Matthews, Guard (Marquette); Garrett Temple, Guard (LSU); A.D. Vassallo, Guard (Virginia Tech)
May 12: Jeff Adrien, Forward (Connecticut); Josh Carter, Guard (Texas A&M); Alonzo Gee, Guard (Alabama); Daniel Hackett, Guard (USC); Chris Johnson, Forward (LSU); Jeremy Pargo, Guard (Gonzaga)
My understanding (and please feel free to correct me if I'm misinformed) is teams are allowed to bring in players for workouts earlier this season thanks to the dissolving the the Orlando Pre-Draft Camp, which had apparently outlived its usefulness. Players will now go to Chicago for physicals, but now all workouts will be handled on a team-by-team basis. Player personnel-types prefer to see players in their own gym anyway.
Also probably worth pointing out that this is just the first round of pre-draft workouts. It's safe to assume there will be more potential picks taking to the floor of the practice facility before the 2009 Draft rolls around on June 25. After all, the Trail Blazers are currently in possession of the 24th pick (the lone first rounder), the 32nd or 33rd pick (pending the outcome of the Draft Lottery) from the LA Clippers, the 38th pick from New York (via Chicago), the 55th pick from Denver and the 56th pick. That's five picks for those of you keeping track at home.
Bios, courtesy of sports communication wunderkind Aaron Grossman, are below.
Birthdate: Mar. 5, 1986
From: Columbus, N.J.
College: Cleveland State
NOTEWORTHY: Spent two seasons at St. John’s before transferring to Cleveland State … Played 54 games, making 35 starts, for St. John’s from 2004-06, averaging 4.3 points (34.9% FG), 3.5 rebounds, 1.7 assists and 1.56 steals … Sat out 2006-07 season per NCAA transfer rules … Played in 71 games (all starts) for Cleveland State from 2007-09, averaging 12.3 points (40.5% FG), 5.3 rebounds, 5.2 assists and 2.82 steals … Named 2008-09 Horizon League Defensive Player of the Year … Named a Second-Team All-Horizon League choice in 2007-08 and 2008-09 … Led the Horizon League in steals in 2007-08 and 2008-09 ...Ranked third in the country with 3.03 steals per game in 2008-09.
Birthdate: Oct. 14, 1986
From: Madison, Wis.
NOTEWORTHY: Played four years for Marquette from 2005-09, averaging 13.2 points (44.0% FG), 4.9 rebounds, 2.1 assists and 1.22 steals in 127 games … Posted career highs of 18.3 points (47.5% FG), 5.7 rebounds and 2.5 assists during his senior season in 2008-09 … Named a Second-Team All-Big East performer as a senior … Sixth in the Big East in scoring (18.3) and third in free throw shooting (82.9%, 213-257) in 2008-09 … Started every game in guiding the Golden Eagles to three straight seasons of 24-plus wins from 2006-09 … Named Mr. Basketball for the state of Wisconsin by the WBCA/Milwaukee Journal Sentinel as a high school senior … 2005 AP Wisconsin Player of the Year.
Birthdate: May 8, 1986
From: Baton Rouge, La.
NOTEWORTHY: Played four seasons for LSU from 2005-09, averaging 6.7 points (37.1% FG), 3.7 rebounds, 3.6 assists and 1.43 steals in 134 games, including 131 starts … Became the all-time leader in games played (134), starts (131) and minutes played (4,432, 33.1 per game) at LSU … Named to the 2009 All-SEC Second Team and All-SEC Defensive Team as a senior … An SI.com All-Glue Team and All-Louisiana Second Team selection in 2009 … Ranked fifth in the SEC in assists (3.8) and fifth in steals (1.71) … Started all 35 games on a 27-8 Tigers team in 2009 … Named to the 2008 Collegeinsider.com All-American Defensive Team.
Birthdate: Apr. 2, 1986
From: Toa Baja, Puerto Rico
College: Virginia Tech
NOTEWORTHY: Played four years for Virginia Tech from 2005-09, averaging 13.7 points (44.4% FG, 38.5% 3-PT), 4.4 rebounds and 1.7 assists in 133 games, 88 starts … Posted collegiate bests of 19.1 points (45.0% FG), 6.2 rebounds and 2.6 assists in his senior season in 2009 … Named to the All-ACC Third Team in 2009 … Ranked fourth in the ACC in scoring (19.1), fourth in three-point field goals made per game (2.4), eighth in free throw shooting (83.5%), tied for ninth in field-goal percentage (45.0%), 14th in rebounding (6.2) and second in minutes played (36.7) as a senior … Led the Hokies in scoring in his junior and senior seasons.
Birthdate: July 27, 1986
From: Birmingham, Ala.
NOTEWORTHY: Spent two seasons at Vanderbilt before transferring to Missouri … Played 64 games for Vanderbilt from 2004-06, averaging 7.2 points (50.8% FG), 5.0 rebounds and 1.3 assists … Sat out 2006-07 season per NCAA transfer rules … Played in 70 games for Missouri from 2007-09, averaging 14.9 points (54.9% FG), 6.9 rebounds, 1.8 assists and 1.36 steals … Named to the All-Big 12 First Team as a senior … Leading scorer (16.6) and rebounder (7.2) on 2009 team that reached the Elite Eight … Tied for sixth in the Big 12 in scoring (16.6), tied for seventh in rebounding (7.2), third in field goal percentage (55.8%) and sixth in steals (1.55) in 2008-09 … Honored as the Big 12 Conference’s Newcomer of the Year in 2007-08.
Birthdate: Mar. 24, 1987
From: Sioux Falls, S.D.
NOTEWORTHY: Appeared in 136 games for Wisconsin from 2005-09, averaging 6.1 points (46.2% FG), 5.6 rebounds and 2.0 assists … Never missed a game in his collegiate career, playing in the most games (136) in Wisconsin history … Started all 69 Badgers games during his junior and senior seasons … A 2009 All-Big Ten Honorable Mention … Totaled career highs of 8.2 points and a team-best 6.7 rebounds in 2008-09 … His 6.7 rebounds ranked seventh and his 84.6% free throw percentage ranked fourth in the Big 10 during his senior campaign ... Named to the 2008 Big Ten All-Defensive Team.
Birthdate: Nov. 20, 1986
From: Dallas, Tex.
College: Texas A&M
NOTEWORTHY: Played in 135 games for Texas A&M, averaging 11.6 points (44.4% FG, 42.0% 3-PT), 3.8 rebounds and 1.8 assists … Did not miss a game in four seasons with the Aggies … Averaged collegiate highs of 13.8 points and 4.3 rebounds in leading Texas A&M to the NCAA Tournament in 2008-09 … His 299 three-point field goals are the most by a Texas A&M player in school history … Led the Aggies in scoring in his junior and senior seasons … Named to the All-Big 12 Third Team in 2008-09 after being named an honorable mention in each of the two previous seasons … National co-leader in three-point accuracy, making a school-record 50.0% and setting a school best with 86 three-pointers as a sophomore in 2006-07.
Birthdate: May 29, 1987
From: Riviera Beach, Fla.
NOTEWORTHY: Played four seasons for Alabama from 2005-09, averaging 12.7 points (45.2% FG), 5.7 rebounds, 1.3 assists and 1.16 steals … Appeared in all 128 Crimson Tide games in his four seasons, including 97 consecutive starts to end his career … Second Team All-SEC selection in 2008-09 … Posted career highs of 15.0 points and 7.2 rebounds during his senior season … Led the Crimson Tide in scoring in his senior campaign … 12th in the SEC in points (15.0), tied for ninth in rebounds (7.2) and seventh in offensive rebounds (2.8) in 2008-09.
Birthdate: Dec. 19, 1987
From: Pesaro, Italy
NOTEWORTHY: Played three seasons for USC from 2006-09, averaging 8.7 points, 3.6 rebounds, 3.6 assists and 1.07 steals … Averaged career highs across the board (12.3 points, 45.8% FG, 4.2 rebounds, 4.7 assists, 1.37 steals) as a junior in 2008-09 … Named to the All-Pac-10 Second Team and the Pac-10 All-Defensive Team in 2008-09 … Tied for third in the Pac-10 with 4.7 assists, eighth in steals with 1.37 and second in minutes played at 37.3 in 2008-09 ... Helped the Under-20 Italian team to a bronze medal at the European Basketball Championships in 2007.
Birthdate: Mar. 7, 1986
From: Chicago, Ill.
NOTEWORTHY: Played four years for Gonzaga from 2005-09, averaging 9.3 points (46.5% FG), 3.4 rebounds, 4.4 assists and 1.27 steals … Appeared in all 132 Bulldogs games during his four-year stint at Gonzaga … Led Gonzaga’s 2008-09 Sweet Sixteen team in assists (4.9) … Named an All-WCC Honorable Mention in 2008-09 … Led the WCC in assists (4.9), ranked ninth in field goal shooting (47.9%) and seventh in steals (1.35) during his senior season … Named WCC Player of the Year and was an AP Honorable Mention All-America selection as a junior in 2007-08.
Birthdate: July 15, 1985
From: Montross, Va.
NOTEWORTHY: Played four seasons for LSU, averaging 7.2 points (48.8% FG), 5.2 rebounds and 2.00 blocks in 88 games … Posted collegiate bests of 7.2 rebounds and 2.71 blocks during his senior season in 2008-09 … His 2.71 blocks per contest in 2008-09 ranked ninth nationally and second in the SEC … Ninth in the SEC in rebounding (7.2) in 2008-09 … Named to the SEC All-Defensive Team as a senior … A 2009 All-Louisiana Third Team selection in 2009 … Started all 35 Tigers games in 2008-09 … Averaged 10.0 points (8-14 FG), 6.0 rebounds and 4.0 blocks in two 2009 NCAA Tournament games … Notched a career-best 11.6 points (52.5% FG) as a junior … Notched 29 career double-doubles.
Birthdate: Feb. 10, 1986
From: Brookline, Mass.
NOTEWORTHY: Played four seasons for Connecticut from 2005-09, averaging 12.1 points (51.4% FG), 8.5 rebounds and 1.14 blocks in 133 games … Ranked 19th in the country and fourth in the Big East with a career-best 9.9 rebounds per contest as a senior … A Third-Team All-Big East Selection in 2008-2009 … Ranked 14th in the Big East in field goal percentage (50.5%), fifth in offensive rebounds (3.2) and 15th in blocked shots (1.17) in 2008-09 … Started every game in his final three seasons, including helping Connecticut reach the Final Four in 2009 … Named to First Team All-Big East as a junior in 2007-08 after averaging a collegiate-high 14.8 points (50.01% FG) to go with 9.1 rebounds … Tallied 47 career double-doubles.