Two possible first-rounders emerge
The workouts continued to headline the day’s schedule, but the results began to lose some of their luster.
A midday workout slated to show off Prairie View A&M’s Roderick Riley drew little interest, and with no one reporting on its results, it might have very well been a shutout from an attendance standpoint.
Meanwhile, the SFX workout featured Poland’s Armands Skele in addition to a second day of Erazem Lorbek, Roko-Leni Ukic and Sasha Vujacic. It became apparent that the 6-foot-7 Vujacic would be the top player in the Pre-Draft Camp had he elected to participate. He’s a smooth player who demonstrates confidence and delivers results. Ukic, might be the top point guard in camp based largely on his solid overall game. Lorbek is a player perhaps best suited for Europe right now and possibly NBA a few years down the road. Skele is an average player with an average kind of game. He should not be in this draft.
Back at the gym, the NBA camp was in full swing, but most of the NBA teams there were still waiting for a player to emerge and break away from the pack. The three games produced a mixed bag of results for some, but finally saw two first-round candidates emerge from the pack.
In the opener, Jackson Vroman took a quantum leap forward in his quest to stand apart from the crowd with a 17 point, 7 rebound effort as Team 6 took the measure of team 3 76-56. Luis Flores chipped in with 13 points and 5 assists. For Team 3, Brandon Bass led the way with 11 points.
Vroman is playing with the same energy and vigor he displayed in Portsmouth. He could put himself into draft night consideration with the combined results from the games he’s played as well as the skill drills.
The nightcap doubleheader began with Croatia’s Drago Pasalic turning in the best performance to date with 21 points and 13 boards in leading his Team 1 to a 106-91 victory over Team 4. Strong support came from Beno Udrih, who contributed 15 points, 7 assists and 3 steals. Udrih was a perfect 11-11 from the free-throw line. For team 4, Ricky Minard’s 20 points led the way.
Pasalic, a Croatian playing at home for the storied KK Split squad, showed flashes of brilliance as he was very active, crashed the boards constantly and displayed an ability to score.
Udrih has been a model of consistency as his second game is a carbon copy of his first. His point guard play is a picture of composure and cool, as his play has drawn comparisons to that of John Stockton. Both Udrih and Pasalic have positioned themselves as first-round likely selections, and with one game remaining for them, they have one last opportunity to place themselves squarely into the mix.
In the finale, Team 5 prevailed over team 2 72-71 behind a very balanced attack. Damien Wilkins led the team with 13 points. For Team 2, Andre Emmett scored 20 points.
Delonte West is out with a foot injury, while Herve Lamizana played despite an ankle sprain.
Tiago Splitter has a noon workout scheduled, which may be the last of the international workouts on the agenda.
The final day means that several players will have their final chance to impress the NBA types here with their play. Three games once more on tap as the curtain will come down tonight.
George Rodecker is in his twelfth season of providing expert analysis on the NBA Draft. He has been diligent in pursuing analysis by acquiring the consensus opinions of experts. Rodecker also writes for Basketball Times, Eastern Basketball and College Hoops Insider, as well as consulting privately with several pro teams and leagues around the globe
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