Draft Prospects' Reactions to Monty Williams' Hands-On Approach
The Phoenix Suns had 36 draft prospects workout for them last week as Monty Williams received his first opportunity to lead as the newest head coach of the team. While most pre-draft workouts don’t feature the head coach, Williams took a more hands-on approach by guiding the drills and teaching along the way. The prospects definitely took notice to the unique experience.
BENNIE BOATWRIGHT: Real good guy. I can tell by just meeting him today. Gained a lot of wisdom from him. It was a great experience… He was big on guys and their confidence during the draft because you might not go as high as you want to go, but he said just understand that you’re a hooper and you have value.
CHARLES MATTHEWS: Just teaching us the game. Understanding that there’s a difference between college and the NBA and showing us how much one difference of a foot can possibly make.
CHARLIE BROWN: It means everything to us because we really listened to it and we just try to incorporate it into our game.
CODY MARTIN: Just his energy (stood out). Trying to feel us out, but at the same time just letting us play and have fun. I think the biggest thing, we were talking about playing with pace and he was teaching us. I think a lot of times in these environments they just want you to play and let you figure it out. They let us do that to a certain extent here, but they also teach and stop us. We’re learning along the way.
It’s important because then I can take what he taught me here to my next workout…I think a lot of times teams just bring you in to see how you are on your own and figure it out and how you interact with your teammates and with the staff and things like that. That also gives them a chance and an opportunity to see how you react when they teach you. It was a great learning experience for me.
That’s just in him. That’s just who he is naturally. You can tell that’s what he loves to do. He wants to teach everyone and allow them to get the opportunity to learn whether they play for this team or somewhere else. I think it shows that he genuinely cares about number one, basketball and two, informing the guys who come through.
It shows me that if I was able to end up here, I’d learn a lot in a very, very short amount of time. If I had a long career here, I can’t imagine how much I’d improve my game.
DESHON TAYLOR: He was a good guy. I feel like he’s a player’s coach. He’s going to let his teams go out there and go. He seemed like a great guy.
DEWAN HERNANDEZ: I felt like the coaches were really trying to teach us the game on the fly instead of just throwing us out there.
DLYAN OSETKOWSKI: It was great. Having the head coach at a workout brings a sense of urgency from the players point of view. I think everyone out there today can say that they learned something, can take something to their next workout.
ETHAN HAPP: I came in here and I learned some things. I think they have a high basketball IQ and can relay messages to players easily.
FLETCHER MAGEE: It was awesome. He actually helped us out a lot, giving us pieces of advice going forward… Just little keys of how to be smarter and gain a little advantage. I think that was one of the best parts.
GARRISON MATHEWS: They didn’t want us to just necessarily go in as just another workout. You go there to learn something. You go there to improve, not just show what you can do. You need to improve and get better and ask questions. It’s a job interview.
GRANT WILLIAMS: It’s kind of crazy. [Monty Williams] introduced himself and I was like ‘I know who you are. I was a fan. I’ve been keeping up with you.’ It was exciting to meet him in person. You see a lot of great people and you see a lot of names you’ve grown up watching. It’s just incredible.
Definitely goofy. He’s a guy who’s honest. He’s going to coach you at a high level. He’s going to push you because he feels competing is a big thing. He’s going to call you out if you’re cheating something. That’s something you want from a head coach. You want somebody who is that hands-on and dedicated.
JARED HARPER: It was great. This was my first workout where a coach was actually really hands-on, showing us what to do and how to do different things.
JAYLEN NOWELL: That was really a blessing. We are young guys trying to come in and learn how to play this game because it’s played so differently at the high school and college level. For him to teach us different things, like spacing, it’s different than college. Little things like don’t step on your back foot when you’re in that corner because the corner’s smaller. Just things like that carry a long way for us.
That’s what you want out of a coach. Somebody that is there to challenge you mentally, but help you through those challenges. That’s how you be the most successful. To have a coach like that, it was really amazing today.
JOHN KONCHAR: He coached us through a bunch of different plays. If he saw an error, he kind of pointed it out. He coached throughout the whole entire workout. It was awesome.
He didn’t discourage anyone. When he says words, everybody’s listening. Everybody was looking at him in the eyes because everybody respects him. He’s been in this game for a while and you just want to learn as much as you can during this process.
JON ELMORE: Obviously they’re new, but just their ability to teach and slow things down, especially for the younger guys. Just the ability to breakdown certain actions and situations that we’re going to face in the game. I thought coach did a great job teaching a few little details that take you a long way, that most people don’t even think about in the game.
JORDAN CAROLINE: It was really cool having the coach out there and being really hands-on.
JOSH REAVES: It’s kind of refreshing just seeing that the organization is kind of hands-on having their coach out there.
JUSTIN ROBINSON: His insight was really good. His knowledge and presence is obviously cool to have around.
JUSTIN SIMON: He taught a lot. Just about the spacing, communication, the little things. As far as don’t be a robot out there. The coach may have something drawn up, but you’ve just got to read and react and read the defense.
It was great. He was very hands-on teaching. I loved it. I loved the whole thing about it. To have him instead of just sitting down and evaluating, he was actually hands-on watching and coaching and teaching at the same time which was great.
JUWAN MORGAN: I think that’s what separated this workout from a lot of different other ones just because he’s open to seeing how we react.