Draft Workout: White and Taylor
Timberwolves.com had the chance to catch up with several of the draft prospects at today's workout, including Minneapolis natives Royce White and Jordan Taylor. Enjoy their 1-on-1 interviews with John Focke and the quotes that follow, the latter of which include comments from President of Basketball Operations David Kahn.
How was the workout? It went real well. It was a good workout today, glad to be home, glad to be back at this facility.
You looked real comfortable out there. This isn't your first workout? Yeah, I've been through three; this is my fourth today. You kind of get into a rhythm with it. Everybody does something different, but it's kind of the same format — an hour of all out, hard play.
The Timberwolves have the 18th pick. Have you thought much about being a Timberwolf? Every day. I would give anything to be able to come home and play, play for the fans here. Unfortunately, I don't have a say in it.
What have you learned from (Iowa State head coach) Fred Hoiberg? He's definitely a pro. He came from the league and played in the league. He does a lot of league-oriented X's and O's. Through my two years there, he showed me film and showed me what it was going to be like.
Do you still talk to him? Yeah, I was on the phone with him before I came here. He's keeping a close watch on me.
How much do you think a change of scenery helped you develop? It helped a lot. Sitting out helped me a lot. I was able to watch the game from the sidelines, and I was able to see what makes teams successful.
A lot of times, if an athlete plays in his home town, there can be some added pressure. Do you like that kind of pressure? Yeah, I like that pressure. There's no team I'd rather play for than the hometown.
What kind of feedback are you getting from the anxiety discussions with other teams? They have a lot of questions about it, but I'm just honest. I tell them what I know, which isn't much. I've only had it for three years, so I tell them what I know, and I hope that's good enough.
What was it like for you to finally have a chance for people to see you play? It was fulfilling. It filled the void that I had the year before, and the year before that.
Any feedback about where you might fall in the draft? The thing about me is that my range is so wide. It could be 10 to 35, late first round, early second, some have me going undrafted... so I have no clue. If I got drafted 60th, that would be good.
You played for Bo Ryan, known for his methodical offense. Is that something NBA teams are concerned with, being able to adapt to a faster pace? Yeah. I know high school isn't the NBA, but I definitely played a fast style. I like getting up and down. It's an adjustment, but I'm obviously willing to adapt.
What are some of the top skills that you want to show to these scouts? Just the ability to go out and compete with anybody at any time. There are going to be days when your shot's falling or it's not, things are going your way, but most of all you have to go out and compete every day. I think to play in this league you have to be able to shoot, as a guard... all I can do is try to knock down shots and make plays.
How are the nerves coming to try out for the Wolves? It was pretty nervewrecking... I grew up watching the Wolves, so it's a dream come true. It's fun to be down here playing and having the opportunity to work out for the guys here.
Do you think Royce White has the ability to play multiple positions? I don't know yet. I think it would help him if he could. Sometimes we get carried away with analyzing these guys; I think he's a good basketball player.
How much is the anxiety thing an issue? I think it's like anything that you have to process as a factor. Interviewing him last week in Chicago, he feels like he's got that under control. He doesn't think it will be much of an issue, if any. Royce, to his credit, is very up-front and candid about it. He's very comfortable talking about it.
What does Jordan Taylor need to prove to find a place in this league? I think the one thing is that there's no question he's a high-character kid. He has a lot of appealing attributes; he's just a solid kid. I think his shot needs to become more consistent. He's able to drive the ball, and he showed in college he could finish around the rim.
The system he came out of (Wisconsin) was very slow. Is that an advantage or disadvantage? I don't know. I wouldn't read too much into that... I'm sure he plays all summer long and plays a different style. It's not a big deal.