Big East standouts hope to enhance draft status
June 15, 2011
Not every prospect is trying to break into the lottery. Some are just trying to get drafted.
Such is the case for the six players schedule to work out for the Pacers on Thursday in Conseco Fieldhouse. Though several were accomplished collegians, their NBA Draft prospects are modest.
Big East standouts, Austin Freeman of Georgetown and Rick Jackson of Syracuse, headline the group that also includes Frank Hassell of Old Dominion, Willie Reed of Saint Louis, Mychel Thompson of Pepperdine and Billy White of San Diego State.
The 6-3 Freeman was the preseason Player of the Year in the Big East and averaged 17.6 points, 3.7 rebounds and 2.4 assists as a senior. Though diagnosed with Type 1 diabetes late in his junior season, he has adapted well and did not miss any games last season.
Jackson (6-9, 240), was the Big East Defensive Player of the Year in 2010-11, leading the league in rebounds (10.3, seventh nationally) and blocked shots (2.5). He also led the Big East in field goal percentage (.588) while averaging 13.1 points.
Hassell (6-9, 255) averaged 15.1 points and 9.4 rebounds for Old Dominion and had 20 points in the Monarchs' 60-58 loss to Butler in the first round of the NCAA Tournament.
Reed (6-9, 220) is a slender power forward prospect who averaged 12.4 points, 7.9 rebounds and 2.1 blocks as a sophomore at Saint Louis but was suspended for his junior season due to a violation of the school's code of conduct.
Thompson (6-7, 200) is the eldest of three athletic offspring of former No. 1 overall pick Mychal Thompson. His younger brother Klay, considered by many mock drafts as a strong possibility for the Pacers with No. 15 overall in the first round, was a standout at Washington State while Trayce is a baseball player in the Chicago White Sox organization. Thompson averaged 14.6 points and 5.9 rebounds at Pepperdine.
White (6-8, 235) was one of the standouts that led San Diego State to national prominence last season, averaging 10.3 points and 4.4 rebounds. He finished his career as the school's all-time leader in field goal percentage (.600).
This will be the Pacers' seventh pre-draft workout involving a total of 42 players.