Nick Fazekas: "I can be about the best shooting big there is"
What is your best position as a pro?
Nick Fazekas: I see myself as a four. I will probably play a four and eventually guard some fives and I don’t know how much I will play the five. Even if I get big enough to play some five and four it wouldn’t be too bad. I don’t think I will ever venture to the three spot.
What do you hope to accomplish at these pre-draft workouts with NBA teams?
NF: My goal is to turn some heads and hopefully make people realize how good I am. It’s been great to work out for teams and show them my skills.
You shot 53.2 percent for your career from the field at Nevada. Is shooting your big selling point?
NF: It’s a very big selling point. I feel I can shoot almost as good as almost anyone in the NBA. That is the way I feel, especially as far as any fours or fives. Once I get in the NBA, I think I can be about the best shooting big there is.
Are you so confident that your shooting can stack up with the better big men in the NBA based on the success you had in college or on what you have seen in the NBA?
NF: A little bit of both. There are definitely good shooting bigs in the NBA. Kevin Garnett and even Yao and Brad Miller, guys like that can definitely step out and shoot. But I believe if you want to shoot with me, you will have to be pretty good to beat me.
What are you looking to improve upon?
NF: I like to be able to improve my body and the way I move, my movements, and stuff like that. If I can do that then I can definitely play defense better I’m also looking to have better moves in the post.
You just got finished your fourth workout. How many more do you have?
NF: I have nine more.
What is it like having so many pre-draft workouts?
NF: It’s mentally hard. Physically, it’s not very tough. You get a day off here and there and you kind of take care of your body. Mentally, it’s tough going city to city checking into hotels in such short a time to be able to fit in so many workouts. It’s hard, but it’s all part of the process.
Are you also looking to show NBA teams that you have a solid post game?
NF: Definitely. I don’t want to get a rap that I can only shoot. I scored 2,500 points (actually 2,464) in college. A lot of that was in the post. It wasn’t very often that I got to step out. Teams didn’t just leave me out to shoot. I scored a lot of points in the paint so I don’t want to get that mixed up.
You considered coming out for the draft last year. How difficult was that decision for you?
NF: It was very tough. There were a lot of ups and down. One day I felt it was a good time and next day I felt I couldn’t do that. Eventually it came down to the fact that it was my best interest to come back to college and be that much better.
How did playing your senior year at Nevada help you?
NF: I think it helped me a great deal. It helped me improve my stock, I got an NBA body. I kind of got a little better on my skills.
There was some criticism that you didn’t compete in the Orlando pre-draft camp. What went into that decision?
NF: What went into Orlando, I didn’t think it would improve myself to go out there and play. Orlando has kind of turned into a place where not all the best players go. I can’t sit here and say I’m one of the best players, but when guys in there to me aren’t supposed to be projected to be better than you and then you are playing against them and you don’t play well and get a bad rap. And then everybody is saying you aren’t as good as the guy. That is what went into my decision. I felt I would decrease my stock if I went down there and didn’t play well.
Do you pay attention to the mock drafts?
NF: I don’t pay any attention to it. I don’t ready any of that mock draft stuff.
What do you plan to do the night of the draft?
NF: I have no idea. I will be in Colorado with my family. I talked about going golfing, but it will be too late. Maybe go bowling. I want to do something to take my mind off of it because it’s going to be a stressful day.
You are a three-time WAC player of the year. Do you think the WAC is underrated?
NF: I believe it is. Look at what Paul Millsap did in the NBA. He wasn’t even the best player in the WAC and he is playing so well for Utah. Maybe we get a bad rap because we’re out West and we’re not considered one of the top leagues, but I believe we have good players. If you want to put our top players against another league from the West I am pretty sure we can play with them.
Do you have incentive to show that the WAC has good players?
NF: A little bit. I want to be able to show people how good I am. And if you are going to bring an ACC guy in or Big 10 or Pac 10, I will do just as good. I will play with them, no doubt about it. Just because I’m from the WAC doesn’t mean’ I haven’t seen these guys along the road or ever played against them
Is there a certain spot that you are looking to be drafted and will you be disappointed if you aren’t picked at a certain point?
NF: Not really. I hope I can get in the first round, that is what everyone’s hope is. If that can’t happen it’s not a big deal. It’s all about being with the right team, the right situation and you just go from there.
Marc Narducci covers the NBA for the Philadelphia Inquirer and is a regular contributor to HoopsHype.com
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