UNION, N.J. — On a night when former No. 1 draft picks Kyrie Irving and Anthony Davis were in the gym at Kean University for the Nike Skills Academy, the biggest story of the evening revolved around a 6-foot-11 high school player who was barely on the national radar just a couple of weeks ago.
In a room full of NBA scouts, college stars, media representatives and his own high school peers, Myles Turner of Euless (Texas) Trinity put on a show.
The 2014 big man stepped out on the perimeter and smoothly drained long-range jump shots. He ran the floor like a gazelle and flashed his chiseled frame. And he matched up on the perimeter with 6-11 Kentucky-bound big man Karl Towns Jr.
UNION, N.J. —
Had Willie Cauley-Stein made a different decision, he would be eligible for tonight’s NBA Draft in Brooklyn.
And the 7-footer from Kentucky might very well have been taken in the lottery alongside his former teammate, projected No. 1 pick Nerlens Noel.
Instead, Cauley-Stein opted to return to campus for his sophomore season and now he wants to improve as a player, help Kentucky challenge for another NCAA championship and become a top pick in the 2014 Draft.
By JOSH NEWMAN
Special to ZAGSBLOG
UNION, N.J. – Kyle Wiltjer has his unconditional release from Kentucky and, for several reasons, transferring to Gonzaga would make a lot of sense.
The 6-foot-10 junior forward grew up in the Pacific Northwest, in Portland to be exact, where he helped lead Jesuit High School to three straight Oregon 6A state titles. He also counts Bulldogs junior guard Kevin Pangos as a friend. Both players are Canadian and both are currently on the Canadian National Team Development roster.
NEW YORK — Alex Len isn’t sure if the NBA Draft will be broadcast in his native Ukraine, but he hopes his countrymen get to see him shake David Stern’s hand Thursday night.
And he believes he should be the first player to do so as the No. 1 overall pick — ahead of Kentucky’s Nerlens Noel.
“Definitely, I think I played against him my first game I think. I did well against him,” the 7-foot-1 Len said Wednesday at the Westin Hotel in midtown Manhattan, referring to a Nov. 9 game at the Barclays Center in Brooklyn in which Len went for 23 points, 12 rebounds and four blocks and Noel had four points, nine boards and three blocks in Kentucky’s 72-69 victory over Maryland.
Indiana point guard Kevin “Yogi” Ferrell just recently got his passport for the first time because he’s never been outside the United States.
He hopes he needs it next week when the USA World University Games team leaves for the competition in Kazan, Russia. The roster will be cut later today.
“I’ve never been out the country so why not Russia, you know?” the 6-foot Ferrell told SNY.tv by phone from training in Colorado Springs, Colo.
“It would be a big dream to go over to Russia and represent the USA team.”
UPDATED 6/28: Rodney Hood had to withdraw from the USA World University Games team due to an injury to his right Achilles tendon.
“I feel so sorry for Rodney,” said USA head coach Bob McKillop of Davidson. “He committed himself fully to be a part of this team, and we will miss him. He would have been a valuable team member for USA Basketball.”
Rodney Hood hasn’t played an organized basketball game since the end of the 2011-12 season, and now he’s chomping at the bit to play again.
The 6-foot-8 Duke sophomore will be eligible this coming season after sitting out last year following his transfer from Mississippi State. He averaged 10.0 points and 4.8 rebounds during his freshman season there.
“Man, I’m very excited,” the 6-foot-8 Hood told SNY.tv from Colorado Springs, Colo., where he is training with the USA World University Games team.