Draft Central - June 14th 2010

Draft Central | Video | Quotes

Stanley Robinson

Stanley Robinson - UConn - Senior
7/14/1988 - 6'8" - 220 lbs - Forward | Draft Profile

  • Career Highlights: Played in 126 career games with 103 starts, averaging 9.8 points and 6.2 rebounds. His 1,231 career points places him 30th in UConn history.
  • Strengths: An explosive athlete with tremendous bounce. Runs the floor like a guard and can finish with authority at the rim. Has improved his shooting range and has been more committed as a rebounder.

Kim Tillie

Kim Tillie - Utah - Senior
7/15/1988 - 6'9" - 230 lbs - Forward | Draft Profile

  • Played for the Under-18 French National Team that won the 2006 European Championship and qualified for the 2007 FIBA Junior World Tournament
  • Both parents played professional volleyball and competed in the Olympics
  • Finished in the top 20 in the MWC in total rebounding at 4.4 boards per contest as a Junior

Larry Sanders

Larry Sanders - VCU - Junior
11/21/88 - 6'11" - 235 lbs - Forward | Draft Profile

  • Career Highlights: Team was 75-27 during his three seasons with two regular season CAA titles and one postseason CAA title. Two-time CAA Defensive Player of the Year.
  • Strengths: Extremely long and athletic forward who can rebound and block shots at a high clip. Runs the floor extremely well for his size. Has a frame that should fill out nicely. Offensive game is a work in progress.

Jarvis Varnardo

Jarvis Varnado - Mississippi State - Senior
3/01/88 - 6'9" - 210 lbs - Forward | Draft Profile

  • Career Highlights: All-time leading shot blocker in NCAA history with 564 blocks. Named SEC Defensive Player of the Year his final three seasons. Earned All-SEC First Team honors as a junior and senior.
  • Strengths: Superb shot-blocker with great athletic ability and length. Great rebounder who finishes well around the rim. Has a developing back-to-the-basket game.

Sylven Landsberg

Sylven Landesberg - Virginia - Sophomore
4/10/1990 - 6'6" - 210 lbs - Forward | Draft Profile

  • Career Highlights: Averaged 16.9 points and 5.5 rebounds over two seasons. Scored at least 20 points in a game 21 times during his Virginia career. Atlantic Coast Conference Rookie of the Year in 2009. Six-time ACC Rookie of the Week selection during the 2008-09
    season
  • Strengths: Smooth, fluid athlete who gets to the basket and the free throw line. Has a knack for keeping defenders off balance and creating scoring opportunities. Very good ballhandler and rebounder from the wing. Also has good court vision.

Tommy Mason-Griffin

Tommy Mason-Griffin - Oklahoma - Freshman
5'11" - 206 lbs - Guard | Draft Profile

  • Third-Team All-Big 12 selection and member of Big 12 All-Rookie Team.
  • Averaged 14.1 points, 5.0 assists and shot 42.4 percent from three-point range.
  • Made at least one three-pointer in 29 of 31 games.


VIDEO

Check back to Bucks.com for video, stories, and photos of today's workout. For instant updates follow us on Twitter (@bucks).




Billy McKinney - Bucks Director of Scouting

On today's workout...
"Our workout today I think consisted of what we call the kangaroo court workout. We had some guys who had some serious hops in here today. Two of the best shot blockers in the league in Larry Sanders and Jarvis Varnado and of course Stanley Robinson from UConn was an exceptional athlete. So it was a very good, spirited workout today."

On if shot blocking transfers over from college to pros...
"Well it depends on who the player is because if we look at the NCAA record holder for shot blockers, he never played a game in the league. (Hasheem) Thabeet, who was one of the top picks in the draft, has struggled a little bit in that area. I can't say that it does necessarily but I think that the two guys that we have in today, should they find themselves in the league, it's something that they'll do consistently."

On if shot blocking is something that catches his eye...
"Oh no doubt about it. We're a defensive oriented team and of course, one of the things that we're looking at of course in the draft is trying to get more length and athleticism."

On if Larry Sanders is in the mix at No. 15...
"I think that might be a little bit of a stretch, but anything is possible. This draft is a little bit crazy right now because we're not sure how the top 15 is shaking out. Every week we go through mock drafts and we look at the mock drafts and different people are all over the board. We think that might be a little bit of a stretch (to have Sanders at 15) but we have him in anyway to look at him in the event that something might happen in the event that we might move back."

On if Stanley Robinson will crack the top 20...
"It's possible. I would say one of the things about Stanley Robinson and that he would tell you that one of the things he has to improve is his shooting, his offense, so that might limit where he goes in the first round. He could be a late first round pick, he could go in the second round, it just depends on how the team that drafts him views him."

On if Robinson is a three or a four...
"He's an athlete; and with the NBA, playing smaller lineups, he's a guy that could play some four with a smaller lineup. Defensively, he could defend the three's and defensively, defend some fours because he's so long and he's so athletic."

On Sylven Landesberg...
"He had a very good workout today and he's been at several of the workouts that we've attended. The one thing about him, he has good size, known as a scorer at the University of Virginia, but one of the things that he's done very well, he handled the point guard today and he made some very good decisions as a big-sized, good-sized point guard."

On how academics factor into the draft process...
"When you talk about academics, I've had the good fortune of being in this league a long time and if you start trying to equate book smart with a guy's court intelligence, there's not a correlation."

On Jarvis Varnado being an intriguing prospect...
"Absolutely. He's a guy we've looked at his entire year at Mississippi State this year, as well as his entire career. (He's) a very good shot blocker, a good athlete, and he is a little raw offensively, so he'd be a good complimentary player to some of the guys we have in our lineup right now."

On where Varnado would be drafted...
"I would say possible he could slip into the late first round. Again, it depends on how much a team likes him low in the first round. I think it'd be a stretch for us to say that we'd look at him for 15. But he could go late in the first round or possibly early second round."

On Robinson working needing to work on free throws...
"I would say so. That kind of fits into the offensive category that I talked about. I think he surprised people by the fact that he makes his outside shot a little bit more consistently. But that's one of the things, if he's going to be a three in the league, if people want to categorize players as a three or four, that's something he'll have to do a lot better."

Top

Kim Tillie

On the workout...
"It was okay for me. It was my first workout, so it was something new for me. It was a good competition level. These guys were really good to compete against. It was pretty intense. I was a little disappointed with my performance because I didn't make all of my shots and stuff. I could do better. It's a good experience for the next workouts now. Since I got done with my workouts, I know what to expect."

On his expectations coming into the draft...
"I don't know. It may be a surprise, or not. I already signed a contract overseas with an option to go out if I get drafted. I am set right now to go play in the professional first division in France, so I don't have much pressure right now. I'm doing all of this for exposure and to show people out here what I can do for maybe next year and the years to come."

On his strengths...
"I'm a big guy that can handle the ball. I'm 6-11. I need to show them I can handle the ball and shoot from the perimeter. I can shoot threes if I'm open and I need to prove that I can do that. I'm more versatile than a lot of bigs."

On France in the World Cup (opened with a draw against Uruguay)...
"When the World Cup comes around, I'm in front of my TV. It was disappointing, but we'll see. They have Mexico next game, so we'll see how that goes."

Top

Sylven Landesberg

On the workout...
"I think it went pretty well. It was fun. We got to compete a little bit and that's the best thing."

On his previous workouts...
"I've been to Detroit, Indiana, Miami and New York. This week is my last run, so after here I'm flying to L.A., then from L.A. to Dallas then Portland and Sacramento. I got a bag packed for eight days with a bunch of stuff in there."

On the travel...
"It's fun, but it's also a little nerve racking. You don't really get to settle down too long in one spot. You're just always on the move, but it's something you have to get used to."
On the pre-draft process...

"It's been hectic, but I've been able to go to a workout and come home for a little bit then come back. Now, I'm on the road straight, so I'm not coming home until the last one is over. It's a little different."

On his expectations heading into the draft...
"Right now I'm hearing that I'm on the bubble. Hopefully I'll be able to push myself in that first round for a lock."

On what he can continue to work on...
"I made a lot of strides on my jump shot, but I still feel that I need to keep improving with that."

On his strengths...
"I would just say my ball-handling and just being able to create off the dribble."

Top

Tommy Mason-Griffin

On his workout...
"It went well. No complaints. I felt like I had a pretty good showing. It was a tiring workout though."

On his previous workouts...
"I worked out with Houston and I worked out in Minnesota. I have Portland and Dallas left. I'm just trying to go out with a bang before the draft on the 24th."

On what his strengths and weaknesses...
"Just keep making open shots and getting in better shape. I'm a leader and I can penetrate and get into the paint any time and make other players make shots and help my teammates. Be a leader by example."

On his size...
"A lot of NBA teams like big guards, but I feel like if you watch me play you should want to take a chance on me."

On his expectations for the draft...
"I just hope I get selected and I'm going to be ready for any team that takes me."

Top

Jarvis Varnado

On the workout...
"I think it went pretty good. I blocked a few shots, rebounded, played some good defense, finished a few easy baskets. I think I did good for the most part.

On his workout schedule...
"This was my seventh one and I think I have three more left."

On if he's getting a sense of where he'll be drafted...
"No, it's hard to tell. I try not to worry about that, I let my agent take care of that. I just go out there, try to perform every day."

On his shot blocking being a big asset...
"That's my (strength), blocking shots, running the floor and rebounding. I think I'd fit in great in Milwaukee."

On the key to blocking shots...
"Just good timing. You can't block everything, you have to know that and just knowing when to go and when not to go."

On what he knows about the Bucks...
"They're a good team, almost beat Atlanta in the playoffs. They're an upcoming good team and Scott Skiles is a great coach, so it would be wonderful if they picked me up."

On how he describes his offensive game...
"It's coming along. It's just going to be a work in progress and I'm willing to work on it every day just to get better at it."

On who he styles his game after...
"Marcus Camby and his defensive presence with blocking shots, rebounding and running the floor."

Top

Stanley Robinson

On his jump shot...
"I've been working on it a lot. I know I can make it; I just have to prove it to people. Overall, I can and I think I did pretty good."

On what he would bring to the Bucks...
"I'm hungry, I'm aggressive and dedicated to win and I do whatever it takes to win."

On if he's a small forward/power forward...
"Whatever position they put me at, I'll play it."

On his workout schedule...
"I've had like 13 and I have five more left."

On if he's wearing out...
"Nope. I'm pretty much just getting in shape every day as it goes on."

On if he's a first or second rounder...
"I'm not concerned. I just want to get picked, that's it and just go from there.'

On there being a wide range for him with all the workouts...
"It's a lot of teams that I've been working out for so I'm pretty much just staying dedicated to what I'm doing and that's giving it 110 percent effort. Hopefully somebody picks me and hopefully it's the Milwaukee Bucks."

On what he knows about the Bucks...
"I know BJ (Brandon Jennings). That's a close friend of mine because we played in the NBA camp, went undefeated and did pretty good, so I'm close to him."

Top

Larry Sanders

On the workout...
"I think it went well. Everybody competed, it was fun."

On what he would bring to the Bucks...
"I think I'd bring a lot of energy. That's one thing I try to bring everyday, practice or games, my ability to run, especially with a point guard like who they have, and just my work ethic. I think I can work hard and push my teammates and push myself."

On where he's hearing that he'll be drafted...
"I'm hearing first round. I try to stay away from people saying different things because at the end of the day, it's basketball. You go out, you work out and hopefully one team will fall in love with me. It's just basketball, I'm not getting too mixed up with the picks."

On starting his basketball career only four or five years ago...
"I always have an open mind and I'm willing to learn all the time and I try to learn from everything, even rival players. So I think that's helped me progress to this point."

On what made him start playing basketball...
"Well my high school coach pulled me in. He introduced me to the organized side of basketball. Once I got introduced to that, that's when I fell in love with playing defense and being on a real team and that was enough motivation for me right there. I just fell in love. I never played any other sports, just basketball since 10th grade."

On if he feels he can still get better...
"I feel like my energy and just being really active allows me to catch up with some players that have been playing since they were six. Things that God has given me, my length, my ability to run, that allows me to catch up to everybody else. I think my upside is huge."

On who he models his game after...
"I would say if I had to choose one player, I'd probably say Kevin Garnett. Just his focus and he's mentally always prepared."

On how tall he was when he started playing basketball...
"I was 6'6" and I was on JV and my shorts were about this big so you can just imagine how I looked out there."

On playing with Eric Maynor in college...
"It was wonderful. That's one of the things that I love; having a good point guard and the Bucks have that. I had that (in college) and I think that it just allows me to play to my best and we'd definitely compliment each other."

On if he could play some five...
"Whatever they want me to do I'll go out there and do it. Whatever position they tell me to play, I'm going to try and work and play that position."

On if he's a pick and roll or face-up player...
"I would say pick and roll. Face-up is something I definitely work on all the time. That's where I want to expand my game; being able to face up from the elbow, take players off the dribble that are slower. Things like that I work on all the time."

Top

Potential Building Blocks
Monday's workout features shot-blocking athletes
By Brett Winkler

As the 2010 NBA Draft approaches, front office staffs around the league are doing their best to combine all of their information to get accurate readings on the draft eligible players.

Oftentimes, it helps to compare prospects to current or former NBA players. Great shooters might draw comparisons to Michael Redd, great defenders to Luc Richard Mbah a Moute and great passers to Brandon Jennings.

Sometimes, though, finding a comparison is even easier than that. During Monday’s pre-draft workout, the Bucks staff knew exactly what they had with the six players in the gym.

“Our workout today I think consisted of what we call the kangaroo court workout,” Bucks Director of Scouting Billy McKinney said. “We had some guys who had some serious hops in here today.”

Monday’s marsupial-like lineup consisted of Virginia’s Sylven Landesberg (6-6, 207, sophomore), Oklahoma’s Tommy Mason-Griffin (5-11, 206, freshman), Connecticut’s Stanley Robinson (6-9, 210, junior), Virgina Commonwealth’s Larry Sanders (6-11, 235, senior), Utah’s Kim Tillie (6-11, 230, senior) and Mississippi State’s Jarvis Varnado (6-9, 230, senior).

Varnado, whose 564 career blocks while at MSU are tops in NCAA history, and Larry Sanders (2.6 blocks per game in 2009-10) did little to disprove McKinney’s animal kingdom comparison. Both players possess physical traits that many NBA teams will be looking to add to their rosters on June 24.

“We’re a defensive oriented team and, of course, one of the things that we’re looking at in the draft is trying to get more length and athleticism.”

Varnado swatted 4.7 blocks per game last season, the second highest total in the nation, to match his output in 2008-09 and give him three straight seasons with at least 150 blocks. Sanders, meanwhile, eclipsed the 90-block mark in all three of his seasons at VCU.

While shot-blocking ability doesn’t always transfer to the professional level, McKinney was confident in the consistency both players have shown throughout their careers.

“I think that the two guys that we have in today,” he said, “should they find themselves in the league, it’s something that they’ll do consistently.”

The athletic Robinson, who averaged 1.2 blocks himself last year, showed many of his other skills at the Bucks Training Center that helped him earn 103 starts in four years at UConn.

“He’s an athlete,” McKinney said, “He’s a guy that could play some four with a smaller lineup. Defensively, he could defend the threes and some fours because he’s so long and he’s so athletic.”

The shot blockers weren’t the only ones getting noticed on the Cousins Center hardwood Monday, though. Mason-Griffin, a 5-11 point guard, didn’t let his zero career blocks hinder him from showing off his strongest characteristics.

“I’m a leader,” he said. “I can penetrate and get into the paint any time and make other players make shots and help my teammates.”

Utah’s Tillie, while tall enough at 6-11, took the opportunity to emphasize a different skill set than blocking shots during his first workout. The France native already has a contract in the top league in his home country should he not be selected next Thursday.

“I’m a big guy that can handle the ball,” he said. “I need to show them I can handle the ball and shoot from the perimeter. I can shoot threes if I’m open and I need to prove that I can do that. I’m more versatile than a lot of bigs.”

McKinney’s kangaroo comparison goes beyond the prospects’ hops and length, too. The hectic schedule for many of the prospects has given them a pouch-like mentality as they travel across the country.

“I got a bag packed for eight days with a bunch of stuff in there,” said Landesberg, whose last few workouts will take him to Los Angeles, Dallas, Portland and Sacramento. “It’s fun, but it’s also a little nerve-racking. You don’t really get to settle down too long in one spot. You’re just always on the move, but it’s something you have to get used to.”

Not unlike the well-traveled draft prospects, the Bucks will keep busy with draft workouts scheduled for every day this week. Hop on by Bucks.com for continuing coverage of the team’s workouts.

Top