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."


skaternater said...

I think a big guy who can rebound and play solid defense will be a good fit for this team. We are loaded with guards and small forwards, but a little short on the big tuff guys.

Unknown said...

Vasquez is really talented. He will do big things for someone in the NBA. And it seems we have a chance to get him cheap, and we do need a back up point who can score and get other players involved. He would beat out Bayless easily for the 2nd spot, and be nipping at Blake's heals. I only question his personality in relation to the Blazers. He's an outspoken kid who might fit in better on the Nuggets. That's my first impression at least. He can shoot, and slash to the basket, and finish. He's big for a point guard, so he'd be a tough match up for most, and he's not afraid of anyone. He's really a combo guard, and gets a lot of rebounds too. I'd love to have his abilities on this team, but I wonder how he would mesh with Roy and the others. If the staff thinks he fits in, then I think he could be a steal. As long as it doesn't interfere with us getting a PF.

Unknown said...

Casspi looks like a good player from what I saw on Youtube, but I was more impressed with Freeland. It seemed Freeland was more likely to translate to the NBA in terms of strength. Both guys will need to hit the weight room big time. It would be nice if we could find someone a little more sturdy out of Europe or South America (i.e. Scola).