Friday, June 5, 2009
KP Pre-Draft Quotes: June 5
The varsity staff was on hand today at the practice facility to watch the first full blown workout of the pre-draft season. Kevin Pritchard, Tom Penn, Nate McMillan, Dean Demopoulis, Monty Williams, Chad Buchanan, Steve Blake (with shoulder sling) and the training staff were in attendance to watch six players go through about an hour worth of drills and scrimmages. Nothing incredibly exciting, but worthwhile nonetheless.
"We feel like there’s great value in these workouts," said Pritchard. To see them out on the floor, to see comparables but also to take them to lunch and see how you feel about them. Part of what we do is the intel process and see if they fit with us organizationally."
You probably wouldn't recognize too many of the attendees at today's workout unless you're a serious college basketball fan, which in part speaks to the difficulty of getting players in your gym when you're picking at No. 24.
"It’s a little bit more challenging because of where we’re picking," said Pritchard when asked about scheduling workouts. "We’re getting more of the second round guys, but we’re seeing the guys we need to see.
"The real truth is that if we haven’t done most of the work by now then we’re behind the curve. Chad (Buchanan) and our scouts have done such a good job of getting us prepared for right now. Now is just the icing."
The participants in today's "icing" were Jerel McNeal, Greivis Vasquez, Omri Casspi, Micah Downs, Chinemelu Elonu and Chris Johnson. Here's what Pritchard had to say about each guy.
Jerel McNeal, 6-3, Guard, Marquette
"Scoring guard. Had a great career at Marquette. Really can get to the basket. He’s working on his shot. He needs to become a pure point guard, but has some attributes that will get him to the NBA. I definitely think he’s in the NBA."
Greivis Vasquez, 6-6, Guard, Maryland
"Love his height, love his size. He’s got great basketball IQ. He knows how to run a pick and roll. Will need to get a little bit better on defense, but he’ll be interesting in the NBA. He’s a point guard. He’s got tremendous size for the position."
Omri Casspi, 6-9, Forward, Maccabi Tel Aviv
"Tough kid. Shot the ball well today. He’ll make the NBA and he’s got a chance to be a first round pick."
Micah Downs, 6-8, Guard, Gonzaga
"Micah had a good day today. I’ve seen him at Kansas, I’ve seen him at Gonzaga. He can shoot the ball. In a league that needs shooters and size, he’s fits the bill. He reminds me a little bit of (Vladimir) Radmanovic."
Chinemelu Elonu, 6-10, Forward, Texas A&M
"He did a good job. He’s a physical presence. Tough, can finish around the basket. He’ll need to improve his perimeter shot, but he had a good day today."
Chris Johnson, 6-11, Forward, LSU
"Great length. Can block some shots. He gets off the floor quick, both on his first and second jump. He will have to become a better rebounder. He needs to gain some weight, get stronger. But he’s got a chance."