Loud Links: 06|01|10

NBA's D.J. White returns to teach life lessons | TuscaloosaNews.com
D.J. White was 12 years old when he got serious about basketball. Three years later, a growth spurt enabled him to develop in a 6-foot-9 power forward who made it to the NBA.

White, the Hillcrest High School graduate who earned All-America recognition at Indiana University, returned to his hometown to conduct a basketball camp at Shelton State Community College. "It's special to me because this is the place that made me what I am today," said the 23-year-old White, who plays for the Oklahoma City Thunder. "I've been successful so far, and it all started here in Tuscaloosa.

"I just wanted to come back and give back to the kids and let them know that if they work hard enough some of their dreams can be accomplished; not as far as being a professional athlete but just in life in general. I have a college degree, and I stress that to these kids.

NBA Mock Draft, Version 3.0 - Ridiculous Upside
More NBA Draft workouts are beginning and we've already mulled over the shooting, athletic and size measurements from the NBA Combine so it seems like this morning is as good of time as ever to come out with another mock draft.

NBA Draft 2010: Five Pressing Questions | The Big Lead
1. Will any international players (with no college experience) be taken in the lottery?

Three went in the lottery in ‘06 (Bargnani 1st, Sene 10th, Sefolosha 13th), but things have slowed down considerably in recent years. The last time no international player was taken in the lottery was 2000 (Hedo Turkoglu went 16th).

Among the contenders this year: Donatas Motiejunas PF/C Benetton Treviso. 7-footer who at his best would be like Bargnani or Gallinari – a soft Euro who floats to the perimeter and makes jumpers but can’t defend anyone or rebound against physical PFs. Consensus is that he’s a 1st rounder with a shot at sneaking into the lottery.

Kevin Seraphin PF/C Cholet. More of a power player than Motiejunas, but he’s only been playing since he was 15 and the Frenchman is raw. Seems like a 1st round pick for a team that won’t need to rush him. At this stage, think Ronny Turiaf.

Nemanja Bjelica, SF Serbia. Versatile enough to play 1-4. Just turned 22. As of today, he’s an major, major longshot to go in the lottery.

2010 NBA Mock Draft v. 2.0 (the your money version)-by LukeNukem • The Fantasy Ninjas
15. OKC (via MIL via CHI)—Daniel Orton C Kentucky: Trade alert! In order to ensure they land Orton, the Thunder trade the #21 and #26 picks to Milwaukee. OKC badly needs help in the low post, and Orton, while raw, has a big body and tons of potential.

Hayes, Wittman workout for Wizards | Washington Examiner
Take for example, the vaunted "7" drill that Saunders often uses to conclude the workout. Start at seven, hit a shot from the elbow. Make it, you're down to six, sprint to the opposite sideline and then back to the near elbow for the next shot. Miss, and the number goes up one. This drill is brutal, even for some of the fittest players.

For a player like Gallon, it can be excrutiating. He missed so many shots today that the Wizards staff watching the workout was overheard joking that he might miss his flight.

Then, of course, Jerome Randle blows through the drill, smiling the whole time and missing only a couple in a row when Flip screamed right in his face. And Hayes was perfect, making seven in a row and barely breaking a sweat. Will that drill do anything to help or hurt the stock of any of those three? It may not even hurt Gallon, and it's hard to say it's going to help Hayes, too, who's just angling for an NBA camp invite since he doesn't show up in any mock draft.

 

Prospects work out for Pacers - USATODAY.com
Whiteside and Udoh often were matched up during 3-on-3 play Tuesday. Udoh had the most impressive finish, a two-handed power jam that got praise from other players. Whiteside's length and ability to rise above the competition stood out.

Truth About It " Wizards Pre-Draft Workouts: Breaking Down Jarvis Varnado
Varnado, nicknamed "SWAT", is most known for his defensive presence. He finished his career with 564 blocked shots, the most in NCAA history, averaging four blocks per game over career. He has natural instinct, usually not leaving his feet to gamble on pump fakes, but also has "quick hops" in his ability to recover on second and third jumps. And as many shots as he blocked, he changed and intimidated a ton more, and often against players who thought they could out-smart him by going into his body. He is an intelligent, disciplined defensive player.

 

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