Adam Zagoria covers basketball at all levels. He is the author of two books and an award-winning journalist whose articles have appeared in ESPN The Magazine, SLAM, Sheridan Hoops, Sports Illustrated, Basketball Times and in newspapers nationwide.
UConn’s Boatright to Work Out for Sixers on Tuesday
CHICAGO — Ryan Boatright doesn’t appear in the first round of any NBA Mock Drafts.
In fact, the 5-foot-10 point guard out of UConn doesn’t turn up in the second round of the DraftExpress.com mock, either.
But Boatright, who played this week at the NBA Draft Combine at Quest Sports Complex, says he believes he should get drafted. He met in Chicago with the New Orleans Pelicans and will work out on Tuesday for the Philadelphia 76ers. According to Derek Bodner, the Sixers will also work out shooting guard Michael Qualls (Arkansas), point guard Keifer Sykes (Wisconsin-Green Bay) and point guard Terry Rozier (Louisville) on Tuesday.
“[I’m trying to show] that I deserve to be a first-round pick, that I’m one of the top guards coming out of this draft,” Boatright told SNY.tv.
The Sixers own the NBA’s third-worst record and could have had as many as four first-round picks in the June 25 NBA Draft. But Boatright could end up being an undrafted free agent who has to prove himself in summer league.
“Ryan Boatright is a small scoring guard who may not be drafted,” one NBA scout in Chicago told SNY.tv. “If he is drafted he will probably spend the entire year in Europe or the D-League. He is a streaky shooter who struggles to run a team as a point guard.”
Despite his size (he was listed at 6-feet at UConn, but measured 5-10 at the combine) and shooting limitations, Boatright feels being a four-year player at UConn, where he helped the Huskies win the NCAA championship in 2014, helped him mature to prepare for a pro career.
“Just the mentality, the mental toughness that I have, going through what I went through in college, it made me grow up a lot,” Boatright said. “It just expanded my mind. I learned the game a lot more, I understand the game. My basketball IQ is higher than what it was in my younger years, so I think that and my maturity is an advantage.”
Boatright averaged 17.4 points, 4.1 rebounds and 3.8 assists last season at UConn.
Michigan State coach Tom Izzo, who was at the combine, praised Boatright’s abilities.
“We played [UConn] the year before and they beat us,” Izzo told the Hartford Courant. “[Boatright] was unbelievable. He played so hard, he played well. He was so good defensively. Kevin [Ollie] did a great job with that team. Boatright played well against us, I can just tell you that. He played so good defensively it was scary.”
Photo: Charles Rex Arbogast / Associated Press
Adam Zagoria is a Basketball Insider who covers basketball at all levels. A contributor to The New York Times and SportsNet New York (SNY), he is also the author of two books and is an award-winning journalist and filmmaker. His articles have appeared in ESPN The Magazine, SLAM, Sheridan Hoops, Basketball Times and in newspapers nationwide. He also won an Emmy award for his work on the SNY mini-documentary on Syracuse guard Tyus Battle.
A veteran Ultimate Frisbee player, he has competed in numerous National and World Championships and, perhaps more importantly, his teams won the Westchester Summer League (WSL) championships in 2011 and 2013.
He lives in Manhattan with his wife and children.