Jordan Crawford likes to shoot
BUCKS.com: Crawford, Jones, and Garcia highlight second day of workouts
It was first round bubble day at the Cousins Center, as Xavier SG Jordan Crawford, South Florida combo guard Dominique Jones, and Seattle big man Charles Garcia headlined the Bucks' second day of draft workouts. On paper it's a fairly diverse group, though they do have one thing in common: all three were born within eight days of one another in October 1988. After the workout, Billy McKinney apparently drew the short straw among the Bucks' brass and was assigned commenting duties for the day. Let's start with his take on Crawford, the Indiana transfer who's as famous for his overhyped pick-up dunk on LeBron James as his March Madness scoring binge this past spring:
"He had a good workout. We’ve had an opportunity to watch him in Chicago, watched him in the Minnesota workout and of course we wanted to bring him in for our workout here today. He’s a very good player. Some of you that covered the NCAA Tournament here in March, he had an outstanding tournament. As I watch a player like him play, he reminds me as kind of a cross between Jamal Crawford and John Salmons, which is kind of a compliment to him. He’s a very good player."
While Jones doesn't have Crawford's sweet stroke, he has a more versatile game that (in case you weren't paying attention) earned him Big East player of the year honors. As a scorer who can also play the point, gets to the hoop, draws fouls and can defend as well, Jones was pegged by DraftExpress as one of the draft's biggest sleepers. That would seem to make him a steal in the second round, which is exactly why he likely won't be on the board when the Bucks pick 37th. Billy, your thoughts?
"(He’s) strong, very good on the ball defender, he’s an excellent on the ball defender. As we watched him in the workouts, in the respective workouts in Minnesota as well as here, you can see that, in addition to his defense, another thing he does well is he’s a pretty good playmaker. He gets to the basket, I think that’s his strong suit right now, being able to beat the defense and get into the paint. His shooting, he shot the ball very well in his workouts. That was a question that I had personally during the year, how well he could shoot the basketball, but he really shot the ball well in his individual workouts."
One of the draft's biggest unknowns, Garcia is far more likely to be available when the Bucks pick in the second round--and he could be available at both the 37th and 47th picks. Poor academics forced him to the junior college route out of high school and then derailed a plan to go to Washington as a junior. He eventually settled for the new Division I program at Seattle University, meaning he's never faced anything close to NBA competition...and the only people who have seen him play are NBA scouts and people with too much free time in the Seattle area. I have absolutely no first hand knowledge of his abilities, so I recommend checking out DX's profile for a better overview of his intriguing (on paper) game.
More impressive is the wide array of skills he's flashed along the way, looking like a real prototype for what the NBA covets from a modern day power forward. The wow factor when watching him play is extremely high-think of somewhat of a cross between Andray Blatche and Lamar Odom. Garcia plays facing the basket almost exclusively, despite standing 6-10, and is often asked to bring the ball up the floor and act as a pseudo point guard for his team, as we saw on film in the Utah game. He's an outstanding ball-handler who can create his own shot with ease in isolation situations and is incredibly difficult to stop off the dribble, which is something you can hardly about any other big man in this draft class.
Aussie center and former Vanderbilt star A.J. Ogilvy was also among the workout participants. Head over to Bucks.com for more interview quotes from McKinney as well as the usual cliche-ridden stuff from the players.
DraftExpress: Positional Rankings
Jonathan Givony released his rankings of where guys *should* be taken. Among the interesting rankings: Paul George ahead of Xavier Henry, Luke Babbitt, James Anderson and Gordon Hayward among small forwards and Patrick Patterson ahead of Ekpe Udoh and Ed Davis at PF.
Also at DX, check out some helpful statistical comparisons that our buddy Troy (aka Brickhouse) put together for 1st/early 2nd round wings, 1st round big men, and 2nd round big men. Obviously it's very difficult to compare the stats of players with vastly different amounts of college experience and who haven't played the same level of competition, but I still find the efficiency stats (particularly TS% and PER) and pace-adjusted per 40 minute stats very helpful in understanding the relative productivity of each prospect. Upside is great, but wouldn't you hope a guy has proven himself at least somewhat in college?
Video: Delfino/Scola sneaker ad
It's the offeason, which means it's time for random international endorsements from your globe-trotting Milwaukee Bucks. Speedingtime and MadTown Hoops both found this gem featuring Carlos Delfino and Luis Scola endorsing Chinese shoemaker Li-Ning, the same brand which outfits the Argentine national team, Shaq, and (of course) Damon Jones. I'm not sure this one compares to the Yi milk/yogurt ads or Ilyasova's laptop commercial, but it's better than nothing.
Speaking of Delfino, our Argentine correspondent Palomba reports that Delfino recently met with the governor of his home state in Argentina and presented him with a jersey--a Bucks one at that.
Ridiculous Upside: Combine Shooting Results
If you're a big fan of small sample sizes, then you'll probably be interested in the shooting stats from the Chicago combine. While this is effectively the only insight we have into prospects' ability to shoot from the NBA three point line rather than just the shorter college line, I'm not sure 25 shots provides much insight.
Ford: Breaking down the first-round bubble
Chad Ford goes over a laundry list of guys hoping to hear their names called among the first 30 picks, including Crawford and Jones. He also talks a bit about another intriguing name that the Bucks have already gotten an up-close look at: Craig Brackins.
Brackins has NBA talent but didn't always show it last year. It's going to be critical that he knock down 18-foot jump shots and attack the glass in workouts. He'll also want to show off the athleticism he demonstrated at the combine. Few scouts saw that on the court last season at Iowa State, so Brackins needs to prove that it can translate into game situations. If he does, he's another guy who should be a lock for the first.