Former Georgetown Hoya Hollis Thompson was all of two-years old when Sam Cassell made his NBA debut with the Houston Rockets in November of 1993.
So, with Cassell serving as an assistant coach with the Washington Wizards, who have been putting 2012 NBA Draft hopefuls through workouts, including Thompson last Thursday, we are given a chance to crunch the age numbers as the two faced-off in a drill on the Verizon Center practice court.
Cassell will turn 43-years old this November, and Thompson turned 21 this past April; the difference between them — 21 years, 4 months and 16 days — is currently greater than Thompson’s age.
The drill was defensive in nature. Participating players were required to rotate properly on help defense as the ball was passed around. The final component involved the main defender rotating from helping in the paint to closing out on a wing player in the corner (Cassell) using proper technique.
From there, Cassell had free reign to relish the opportunity of scoring on a kid at least 50-percent less in age. And this wasn’t the first time Cassell has dueled with kids — previous battles have come against the likes of John Wall, Nick Young, JaVale McGee, and Andray Blatche — and it likely won’t be the last.
If things go how they should go, the Washington Wizards worked out their future 2012 third overall draft pick on Thursday: Bradley Beal out of the University of Florida. Sure, Michael Kidd-Gilchrist or Thomas Robinson would be fine additions — either/or likely being the target of the Charlotte Bobcats with the No. 2 selection. But Beal fits the greatest need the Wizards have: long distance shooting combined with attack-the-basket scoring.
And if the Wizards value the presence of John Wall, they’ll select Beal over any player not named Anthony Davis. The Wizards have some guys with the skills of Robinson — rebounding, post scoring, hustle, and mean screen setting (see Nene, Kevin Seraphin, Trevor Booker, or Jan Vesely). And while Kidd-Gilchrist is obviously a top five talent, he can’t shoot. Not acceptable at pick No. 3 (unless Beal goes second, then it’s MKG over Robinson).
For the love of God Shammgod!! The Wizards need shooters more than this town needs an enema. (Although, the recent spike in corruption amongst D.C. City Council members does exasperate the latter option.)
Other than Mike Miller’s .480 from the 3-point arc in 2009-10, the last Wizards players to shoot above .410 in a season (while attempting at least 100 threes) were Hubert Davis, Tyronn Lue and Chris Whitney, all in 2001-02.
Jeremy Tyler is a reluctant case study. You’ve probably heard the story. He is the first high school junior to turn pro. No 12th grade year at San Diego High. No sticking to Rick Pitino’s coaching regimen at the University of Louisville, where he’d signed to play in the fall of 2008, a couple months after turning 17. Tyler’s name wasn’t splashed across headlines for being who some thought to be a future No. 1 overall draft pick in pursuit of March Madness glory. No, it was because he was missing out on all of that. Before he could turn 18, Tyler announced he was going to play basketball in Israel.
“I mean, I’ll be sitting here lying to you if I told you it was easy. It’s not easy. I wouldn’t advise, but…,” Tyler said after working out for the Washington Wizards on June 10, stopping in mid-sentence. It’s been over two years since his decision. Tyler’s self-confidence still seems high, but whether he would recommend his path to the NBA Draft to another high school junior is a different story.
“Because it was the best thing for me,” he continued. Later, he still struggles with his recommendation.
Below, an interview and workout video of draft hopeful Raven Johnson, a wing player out of Mississippi State who has worked out with the Wizards, and then, his story…
Athletes and politicians represent the two foremost groups that must be weary of the ills of Twitter. Maybe politicians have more to lose in terms of social standing, but the millions Gilbert Arenas ultimately lost due to his 50-game suspension in 2010 by David Stern is nothing to scoff at. It may have been Finger Gunz in Philly which made the final decision possible, but Arenas’ Twitter escapades surrounding his gun incident helped make a strong case for Stern.
In the furor of 24-hour news cycle overreaction to initial misreporting of the December 2009 situation between Arenas and Javaris Crittenton, Rev. Al Sharpton implored Stern to punish with a heavy hand. Before his suspension (which was initially deemed “indefinite”), and before his original @GilbertArenas Twitter account became non-existent, some of Arenas’ last tweets took to criticizing the reverend of inane public profiling. In the present day, however, Arenas continues to get fined by the NBA for tweets deemed inappropriate (for language), which have also been scrutinized because of their misogynistic nature. Future athletes and politicians will surely continue in this out-of-bounds manner on many occasion.
Mississippi State’s Ravern Johnson, a four-year senior who worked out for the Washington Wizards on June 2, also has first-hand knowledge of Twitter’s tribulations on the college level, albeit much more trivial in comparison to Arenas. In early February 2010, one of Johnson’s tweets, seemingly expressing frustration about a tough season, was deemed “inappropriate” by his university. He was also suspended indefinitely, at first. Johnson’s tweets were not utterly flagrant (they are quoted below), but seeing as the failed system of college athletics serves more as a money-making venture for institutions than it does to serve the athletes and the sport, it makes total sense that many coaches hold a desperate grasp on their ability to be disciplinarians. Not to say the college landscape isn’t chock full of good stories and genuine benefits, there’s just an obscene imbalance. And not to digress too much into a legit area that’s beside the point, because in this case, the punishment remained just. Being dumb enough to Tweet something likely to be viewed as dumb is no excuse.
One moment you’ll hear that NBA team pre-draft workouts don’t mean much, they can be just one of many contact points a franchise has with a player, much less game film scouting. The next moment it’s considered a “telling sign” when a player doesn’t workout for a certain team. Sign of what? Who knows. Are players disinterested? Trying to rig their draft stock? Are teams disinterested? Throwing others off the scent of their desire? Oh the game that’s played — what do all the conflicting reports mean Enes Kanter?
Both sides can use the perception of workouts to their advantage. And the media to a certain extent as well, I suppose. If you feed the monster pixels, we all whore for hits. Kemba Walker cancels his workout against Jimmer Ferdette for the Sacramento Kings … speculate amongst yourselves, Internets. Other players, less secure in their draft status, are just jumping into another window of opportunity, perhaps building a resume toward overseas interest. These workouts, just as anything, are all part of the process. Whatever that means.
Last Thursday, June 2, the Wizards worked out six players: Talor Battle (Penn State), Mike Davis (Illinois), Papa Dia (SMU), Austin Freeman (Georgetown), Justin Hurtt (Tulsa), and Ravern Johnson (Mississippi State).
Toward the latter third of the hour and a half session, the media is let in to watch, joining the already studying eyes of team executives overlooking the Verizon Center practice court while Flip Saunders and the coaching staff put the players through drills.
On Thursday, June 17,Terrico White (G, Mississippi, 6’5, 213 lbs.) worked out for the Washington Wizards along with Chas McFarland (C, Wake Forest, 7’0, 245 lbs.), Kevin Palmer (G/F, Texas A&M-CC, 6’6, 205 lbs.), Dexter Pittman (C, Texas, 6’10, 290 lbs.), Andy Rautins (G, Syracuse, 6’4, 195 lbs.) and Darington Hobson (G/F, New Mexico, 6’7, 205 lbs.) (Note: Hobson actually did not work out for the Wizards because he tweaked his ankle). Get the quick run-down on White and check his post-workout interview video below…
Only one guy jumped higher than John Wall’s 39-inch max vert in Chicago. Well, two according to the DraftExpress database — some dude named Stefan Bircevic (a 6’10″ Serbian cat with a supposed 39.8-inch vert … I don’t believe it, I demand a recount!) and Terrico White (40-inch max vert).
White is another one of those “combo” guards, or more like a mixed-bag between ‘maybe’ and ‘who knows’. The sophomore guard from Ole Miss has a 6’9″ wingspan to go along with his 6’3.75″ height without shoes. Plus, he has huge hands. Whatever that means to the pre-draft measurement junkies. Basically, he’s a great athlete. Read more »
Okay, let’s get this straight first … the 30 points weren’t ‘on‘ John Wall. Wall didn’t guard Devan Downey the whole time, Eric Bledsoe and Deandre Liggins had their tries too. But the game sure was hyped as Downey v. Wall.
On Thursday, June 17, Andy Rautins (G, Syracuse, 6’4, 195 lbs.) worked out for the Washington Wizards along with Chas McFarland (C, Wake Forest, 7’0, 245 lbs.), Kevin Palmer (G/F, Texas A&M-CC, 6’6, 205 lbs.), Dexter Pittman (C, Texas, 6’10, 290 lbs.), Terrico White (G, Mississippi, 6’5, 213 lbs.) and Darington Hobson (G/F, New Mexico, 6’7, 205 lbs.) (Note: Hobson actually did not work out for the Wizards because he tweaked his ankle). Get the run-down on Rautins and check his post-workout interview video below…
Another guy who also worked out on June 17th that I didn’t mention above is John Wall. But he was all by his lonesome for an 11 am session, Rautins started with the rest of those guys around noon.
By the time I arrived at the Verizon Center just after 11 to catch a glimpse of the end of Wall’s workout, Rautin’s name had already become a punchline several times over.