2019 Draft Workouts: Kyle Guy

June 6, 2019 - Virginia guard Kyle Guy speaks with Pacers.com's Wheat Hotchkiss following his pre-draft workout with the Pacers at the St. Vincent Center.

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2019 Draft Workouts: Kyle Guy

June 6, 2019 - Virginia guard Kyle Guy speaks with Pacers.com's Wheat Hotchkiss following his pre-draft workout with the Pacers at the St. Vincent Center.
Jun 6, 2019  |  02:37

2019 Draft Workouts: Luguentz Dort

June 6, 2019 - Arizona State guard Luguentz Dort speaks with Pacers.com's Wheat Hotchkiss following his pre-draft workout with the Pacers at the St. Vincent Center.
Jun 6, 2019  |  01:36

2019 Draft Workouts: Talen Horton-Tucker

June 6, 2019 - Iowa State swingman Talen Horton-Tucker talked to Pacers.com about his preparation for the draft and what he thinks he can bring to an NBA roster.
Jun 6, 2019  |  01:57

2019 Draft Workouts: Cody Martin

June 6, 2019 - Nevada's Cody Martin talked about playing alongside his twin brother and what he's out to prove to teams during the pre-draft process.
Jun 6, 2019  |  02:52

2019 Draft Workouts: Josh Reaves

June 6, 2019 - Penn State's Josh Reaves worked out with the Pacers on Thursday and talked about his defense being what sets him apart from other prospects.
Jun 6, 2019  |  01:59

2019 Draft Workouts: Amir Hinton

June 6, 2019 - Shaw guard Amir Hinton speaks with Pacers.com's Wheat Hotchkiss following his pre-draft workout with the Pacers at the St. Vincent Center.
Jun 6, 2019  |  02:16

Guy Back to Having to Prove Himself

by Mark Montieth
Pacers.com Writer
@MarkMontieth

He looked like an intern recruited from the video staff to fill out a squad so a five-on-five game could be played. The lucky-to-be-there outcast who would be expected to stand in the corner and maybe, just maybe, get an occasional outlet pass for a shot.

"I don't pass very many eye tests," Kyle Guy said following his workout with the Pacers on Wednesday.

Give him credit for self-awareness, which is a good place to start in identifying the qualities that go into finding a roster spot in the NBA. He knows what he looks like, but he also knows what he can do, knows what he cannot do, and believes that will be enough to lift himself to the ultimate level of basketball.

Guy stands 6-foot-2 and weighs 168 pounds according to the handout sheet that identified the six players who participated in the workout at St. Vincent Center, most of whom will be drafted in the second round or not at all. He was the shortest and lightest player in the group, but also the best-known to the average college basketball fan because of the drama he contributed to Virginia's NCAA championship run.

His undersized frame and outsized accomplishments combine to create a unique circumstance for Guy as the NBA draft approaches.

2019 DRAFT CENTRAL: Complete Coverage at Pacers.com/Draft »

People know his name and respect his game because of his poise amid the glare of the NCAA tournament spotlight. He drew a foul on a desperate 3-point attempt in the left corner and then hit three foul shots with 0.6 on the clock in Virginia's Final Four victory over Auburn. He followed by scoring 24 points off a variety of shots in Virginia's overtime championship victory over Texas Tech.

NBA teams don't care about that now, however. They want answers to some fundamental questions about his game.

Should Guy go undrafted, the argument will be made that he should have stayed at Virginia for his senior season. But he knew he wasn't going to grow taller, wasn't going to significantly improve in any facet of the game and wasn't going to ever ride more momentum than now.

"Nothing else to prove," he said. "This is who I am. I'm a goal-oriented person. I set goals, I accomplished them, I move on."

Kyle Guy

Photo Credit: @Pacers

Which is not to say arrogance has crept into his outlook. Asked about working out for his hometown team, the Lawrence Central grad said, "super cool, very thankful and blessed to be here, trying to seize the opportunity." He also said he's "not getting too big of a head or getting my hopes up."

Which is not to say he doesn't think he can play in the NBA.

"I don't really care how I get to the league," he said. "I'll go in through the back door. If I get drafted, I'm drafted. Whatever. I know I belong here."

Guy carries a chip on his shoulder for motivation. He's been doubted often throughout his career and has learned to thrive on that. He has, for example, retweeted someone's list of draft candidates who were well-known names in college basketball but are unlikely to be selected.

"You have to give the haters some love, too," he said, smiling. "My mom always told me if I'm going to retweet good things about me I have to retweet the bad things, too. Let them know I don't care what they have to say."

Guy will have plenty of opportunities to sell himself to an NBA team, to let them see the good and bad in his game. His primary task is to prove his can play point guard, or at least display the ballhandling, passing, and recognition skills of a point guard, being that one doesn't find many 6-2, 168-pound shooting guards in the NBA. Wednesday's workout was his sixth, and he has four more lined up for Western Conference teams after a couple of days off.

It's all a continuation of the "whirlwind" that has swept up his life since Virginia's championship, one that will continue with the draft on June 20 and his wedding next month. He was hoping to graduate in three years, but had to abandon that once he was faced with selecting an agent, preparing for workouts and deciding whether or not to stay in the draft. That didn't leave much time for grinding out his final semester, which he promises to complete later.

"I'm the kind of guy who has to sky-dive with no parachute," he said. "I can't have one foot in and one foot out."

General euphoria was a distraction, too. How can a guy, any guy, focus on catching up on his classwork when he just completed a magic carpet ride like none in NCAA tournament history? Virginia, after suffering the embarrassment of becoming the first No. 1 seed to lose in the first round of the tournament last year, came back to win it all in the unlikeliest of fashions, barely surviving its final three games. There was the missed free throw that improbably set up an overtime-forcing shot in the Elite Eight win over Purdue. Then Guy's three free throws in the Final Four win over Auburn. And then a teammate's 3-pointer with 12.9 seconds left that tied the game and helped force overtime in the title-clinching win over Texas Tech.

It will take a lifetime to process all of that.

"I haven't had much time to let it sink in," Guy said. "I see the highlights and can't even believe some of the plays we had to make to win it.

"It doesn't really feel real, maybe because it was so dramatic. I'm sure it will come when I'm done playing."

The challenge now is to put off the end of his career for as long as possible. He has a lot to prove before he can resume it, however.


Have a question for Mark? Want it to be on Pacers.com? Email him at askmontieth@gmail.com and you could be featured in his next mailbag.

Note: The contents of this page have not been reviewed or endorsed by the Indiana Pacers. All opinions expressed by Mark Montieth are solely his own and do not reflect the opinions of the Indiana Pacers, their partners, or sponsors.

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