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Bogut looks like the man
by Gery Woelfel / June 20, 2005

In an intense, almost non-stop workout in which Andrew Bogut was tested in every imaginable way, the seven-foot center from Utah convincingly showed those in attendance he has the necessary athleticism to compete at a high level in the NBA.

During a hour-long workout at the Bucks’ training facility in St. Francis, Bogut raised eyebrows with his agility around the basket, his good footwork and his ability to elevate, which he demonstrated on several occasions with high-flying, powerful one-hand throwdowns.

If anyone had any serious reservation about Bogut’s athleticism, they were emphatically dispelled with a performance that was clearly better than the one turned in by Marvin Williams a day earlier. Bogut and are the only two players the Bucks are considering for the No. 1 overall selection in the June 28th NBA draft.

After the workout, Bogut said he disappointed in his shooting but was generally satisfied with his audition, which was watched with understandably keen interest by virtually everyone affiliated with the team’s basketball operations and owner Herb Kohl.

Asked what he liked about his showing, Bogut said, “I showed that I can shoot a hook either way, that I’m ambidextrous, that I can get up and down the floor, that I can jump … I’m athletic enough to play in the NBA.’’

Before being put through a rigorous workout by Bucks assistant coaches Bob Ociepka and Mike Sanders, Bogut did a series of drills to measure his jumping abilities. He acquitted himself more than nicely.

Bogut went 28 inches in a no-step, vertical leap and went 31 in a one-step, vertical test. Said one Bucks official: “That’s not good; that’s great for a guy his size.’’

Bogut also showed he has a handle. It might possibly be as good as any center's in the NBA already. In drills where he started from mid-court, Bogut easily dribbled around obstacles before pulling up for a J or taking it hard to the basket. On a couple occasions, Bogut nonchalantly dribbled the ball between his legs or around his back while going full-tilt to the basket.

What Bogut didn’t show in the workout was his passing skills. He wasn’t asked to, because Bucks general manager Larry Harris and the team’s scouting staff had already seen enough of Bogut’s ability either in person or on tape.

“Coming into the league next season, he’ll be one of the five best passing centers in the league,’’ Harris said. “That’s probably his best skill.’’

One other facet of Bogut’s workout that was noticeably impressive was his stamina. While Bogut broke a good sweat, he only took one short, break in the workout. It was amply apparent Bogut came physically prepared.

“He’s been working out the last couple of months almost every day except Sundays,’’ said David Bauman, Bogut’s agent from SFX. “Even if he was tired in the workout, he would have played through it. He’s a warrior.’’

Besides his one-step and standing vertical leaps measurements, here are some other noteworthy numbers recorded by the Bucks on Bogut: He’s 7-foot-1 with shoes and weighs 254 pounds. He has an 8.6 percent body fat and a wing span of 7-2. His vertical reach is 9-2.

Williams, meanwhile, was measured at 6-8 with shoes and weighed 228. He had a 29-inch no-step vertical leap and 33-inch one-step vertical leap. His body fat was 8 percent, while his wingspan was 7-3. His vertical reach was 8-11.

- The Bucks plan to do their own testing on Bogut’s eyes. Several weeks ago, Bogut’s former coach at Utah, Rick Majerus, said Bogut had macular degeneration, an eye disease. Utah officials disputed Majerus’ contention.

Bauman said tests from the recent pre-draft camp in Chicago showed Bogut’s eyes were fine.

“He was 20/40 without contact lenses; with contact lenses he’s 20/15,’’ Bauman said. “There’s absolutely no issue there. I don’t even know where that started; It’s just preposterous.’’

Told a website quoted Majerus as saying Bogut had an eye problem, Bauman said, “Rick Majerus saying that Andrew is going blind is like me saying that Rick Majerus is skinny.’’

- Bogut wore No. 4 during his two seasons at Utah, but he’ll be getting a new number if he joins the Bucks since that number, once worn by guard Sidney Moncrief, has been retired by the organization. Bogut said he was already aware of that and was contemplating 44.

- Quotes of the day: When a reporter said he thought the Bucks’ No. 1 pick was coming down to a safe pick (Bogut) or a sexy pick (Williams), Harris replied, “You know what: They probably both think they’re sexy. But that’s not for me to say.’’ When asked if he was receiving good vibes from NBA officials about Bogut, Bauman quipped, “Yeah. We’ve decided not to pull Andrew’s name out of the draft.’’

Gery Woelfel covers the Milwaukee Bucks and the NBA for The Racine (Wis.) Journal Times

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