CLIPPERS LOOK AT POST PLAYERS AND TWO GUARDS IN THIRD PRE-DRAFT WORKOUT
Mike Muscala, one of six players who worked out for the Clippers Friday morning at their Playa Vista training facility, stuck around a few minutes after the group was finished stretching to show off his ever-expanding range.
A 6-foot-11 center from Bucknell, Muscala has shown a range of skills throughout the last three weeks of pre-Draft workouts, but he is intent on giving teams a glimpse of his potential as a shooter.
“I didn’t get a chance to shoot it (perimeter jumpers) in college and I shouldn’t have because we had a lot of really good shooters on our team and I was the biggest guy on my team,” Muscala said. “I think I have work to do before I can do it well in a game, but it’s something that I’m working on day in and day out.”
Muscala was a 50 percent or better shooter in each of his final three seasons with the Bison, but coming from a mid-major program, he said, could give NBA teams pause about selecting him in the June 27 Draft.
“I think I have a lot to prove,” Muscala said. “Even though I had four pretty good years and Bucknell, it’s coming from a mid-major, so I think I have a chip on my shoulder a little bit. In front of NBA scouts and stuff like that I have more to prove, so it’s been fun.
“When I got to Bucknell I wasn’t a very good mid-range shooter at all and we worked on that every day at Bucknell and I think I’m willing to adapt and work hard to do what the team needs from me.”
Friday was the third pre-Draft workout the Clippers, who own the No. 25 pick, have conducted since beginning the process at the beginning of the month. Muscala was joined by big men Colton Iverson (Colorado State), Brandon Davies (BYU) and Grant Jerrett (Arizona) as well as guards B.J. Young (Arkansas) and Elijah Johnson (Kansas).
It is the first time the Clippers have worked out a group that included post players. And according to Jerrett, the group was put through a gamut drills.
“A lot of skill stuff like post moves, screening away coming to the opposite block, high-post catches, opening up and ripping through, reverse layups, jump hooks, stuff like that,” Jerrett said.
It allowed each of the four bigs an opportunity to showcase different aspects of their game, which was particularly important considering, as Muscala noted, the group was made up of guys with distinct skillsets.
“The three [other] big guys kind of all had different types of games,” Muscala said. “Colton was a big banger, Grant was a good shooter and Brandon Davies was inside-out, so it was good. It was good to get different matchups and have two good guards.”
Iverson is a 263-pound bruiser. Jerrett, who was a 2012 McDonald’s All-American, has drawn comparisons to Ryan Anderson of the New Orleans Hornets. And Davies has well-rounded game in both the post and mid-range.
“We were able to go against each other, a lot of post-game work,” Davies said. “They just wanted to see your footwork and touch around the basket. It was a good workout, a lot of fun and I got to go up against a great group of guys.”
Young, a sophomore scoring guard from Arkansas, and Johnson, an athletic senior from Kansas, helped facilitate the big men, working in tandem in 3-on-3 drills, running pick-and-rolls and such. And much like the Clippers’ previous two workouts they were put through shooting and ball-handling drills as well.
“I think everyone tries to mix things up and get a guard in there so you can do some pick-and-roll stuff,” Davies said when asked about Friday’s workout compared to others. “There are other workouts where it’s all bigs and all you do is post game and post work the whole time. It’s nice to mix things up and be able to showcase your pick-and-pop ability and roll to the hoop and other things like that.”
For players like Davies or Muscala, who is rated No. 33 in Chad Ford’s overall prospect rankings, the chance to take his game outside of the post was certainly a welcome opportunity.
|Elijah Johnson||B.J. Young||Grant Jerrett||Brandon Davies||Colton Iverson||Mike Muscala|