Blazers Work Out Six Prospects On Wednesday

USA TODAY Sports

The Portland Trail Blazers worked out six prospects on Wednesday morning in advance of the 2013 NBA Draft.

The Portland Trail Blazers worked out six more prospects at the Tualatin practice facility on Wednesday in advance of the 2013 NBA Draft.

  • Dewayne Dedmon | USC | Junior | 6-foot-11 | 239 pounds | C | DX profile | No. 61 in top 100
  • Junior (2012-13): Led the Trojans in rebounding (7.0), blocks (2.1 - 44th nationally) and steals (1.1). Finished in double figures in rebounding eight times and scoring eight times in 31 appearances, with two double-doubles. Had five-plus blocks on three occasions, including a season-high six vs. UC Riverside, and three or more on 12 occasions. Posted 13 points, 13 boards and five blocks at Utah and 10 points, 11 rebounds and four blocks in only 23 minutes vs. Cal. Missed the final game of the season after being suspended for violating team rules.

    More from Matt Kamalsky of DraftExpress.com...

    As is the case with most raw, athletic big men, Dedmon does his best work on the offensive end as a finisher at the rim. Lacking a natural feel for scoring inside, but having little issue elevating to dunk the ball around the basket, Dedmon shoots a solid 56% as a finisher, even if it pales in comparison to the 74% he shot last season.

    Where Dedmon has always stood out is as a rebounder. He was not quite as productive crashing the offensive glass as he was last year, but showed significant improvementon the defensive end. Improving his overall per-40 minute rebounding average from 10.2 to 12.1, Dedmon ranked as the 11th more prolific rebounding center amongst BCS-conference players.

    Dedmon also showed significant development on the defensive end. Though he is the most foul prone player in our top-100, he showed significantly better awareness as a weakside shot blocker, averaging an above average 3.8 blocks per-40 minutes pace adjusted and doing a better job making crisp rotations to erase the mistakes of his teammates.

    Making strides as a shot blocker and rebounder, two aspects of the game he struggled with a year ago, the name of the game for Dedmon moving forward is polish. If he can be a more disciplined individual defender and develop a more efficient offensive repertoire, he could certainly give scouts something to think about in addition to his physical tools and solid motor should he return to school. Possessing many of the tools teams value in a third center, it's not difficult to see Dedmon ending up on a NBA team's roster, even if he may not have progressed as quickly as some may have hoped considering he turns 24 later this year.

  • Archie Goodwin | Kentucky | Freshman | 6-foot-5 | 189 pounds | SG | DX profile | No. 32 in top 100
  • Career Highlights: Led the SEC in free throw attempts and finished 11th in scoring as a freshman. Selected Freshman All-SEC.

    Freshman (2012-13): Kentucky's leading scorer with a 14.1 scoring average (11th in the SEC) en route to Freshman All-SEC honors. Averaged 12.8 points in SEC games only. Posted 25 double figure scoring games and had five outings with 20 or more points. Ranked second on the team in assists (88, 2.7 apg) and steals (36, 1.1 spg). His 466 points scored in his first season ranks as the 10th best mark for a UK freshman ever. Became just the ninth freshman in school history to sink 100 or more free throws as he made an SEC- leading 212 attempts. Shot at least eight free throws in one-third of his appearances. Only the third UK freshman under John Calipari to begin his career with five-straight double figure scoring games.

    ...

    High School: Notched Parade and McDonald's All-America accolades. Had 14 points on 7-of-13 shooting in 18 minutes for the West team in the McDonald's game. Played in the Nike Hoop Summit for the U.S. Junior National Select Team, scoring seven points in a loss to the World Select Team. Rated as the No. 14 prospect in the nation by Scout.com and No. 15 by ESPNU and Rivals.com. Won two AAU national titles during his career.

    More from Kyle Nelson of DraftExpress.com...

    Goodwin is an excellent NBA prospect from a physical perspective, standing around 6'5 in shoes with a massive 6'10 wingspan and a developing 198-pound frame. Additionally, he is an explosive athlete around the basket, quick in both transition and off-the-dribble. Simply put, Goodwin has the physical profile of an NBA shooting guard with athleticism and length that will allow him to compensate for any height deficiencies at the next level once his frame fills out.

    His prospects are less sure when analyzing his performance on the offensive end of the floor. As an 18-year-old freshman, one of the youngest players in college basketball, Goodwin played a significant role for the 21-12 Wildcats, commanding a team high 27.5% (by a wide margin) of Kentucky's overall possessions and scoring a solid 17.4 points per 40 minutes pace adjusted. Furthermore, he was at his best against Kentucky's best competition, posting solid scoring numbers in early-season contests against Louisville, Duke, Baylor, and Maryland.

    His lack of productivity can, in part, be attributed to a prolonged slump once Kentucky reached conference play, during which he averaged 12.7 ppg and shot just 18% from beyond the arc and 57% from the free throw line, but his inconsistency amidst his significantly better run in November and December suggests that this may be more of an issue than simply hitting the freshman wall. SEC teams undoubtedly figured out how to stop Kentucky and Goodwin struggled badly under the pressure of being the only player on the roster capable of creating their own shot effectively. The scrutiny that comes along with playing at such a large program coming off a national championship may have been more than he was ready to handle at this stage of his career.

  • Myck Kabongo | Texas | Sophomore | 6-foot-3 | 180 pounds | PG | DX profile | No. 59 in top 100
  • Career Highlights: Led Texas in scoring (14.6 ppg) and assists (5.5 apg) as a sophomore, earning team MVP honors. An All-Big 12 Honorable Mention and Big 12 All-Rookie Team honoree in 2011-12. As a high school senior, selected McDonald's and Jordan All-America. Also a Fourth-Team All-American by Parade Magazine. In international play, helped Canada's junior national team to a bronze medal at the FIBA Americas U-18 Championship. Averaged 19.8 points, 7.8 rebounds and 6.4 assists in five contests.

    Sophomore (2012-13): Only played the final 11 games with Texas during the 2012-13 season due to a 23-game NCAA suspension to start the year. Upon his return, led the team in scoring (14.6 ppg), assists (5.5 apg), steals (2.0 spg) and minutes (37.3 mpg), and ranked second in rebounding (5.0 rpg). Shot 41.8 percent from the field, 29.6 percent from three-point range and 79.2 percent from the free throw line.

    More from Derek Bodner of DraftExpress.com...

    Coming into the season as the second rated point guard in the 2011 high school class according to the RSCI board, Myck Kabongo had big expectations placed on his slender shoulders. While Kabongo did not have a standout freshman year, especially in terms of his own scoring output, he showed the skills, leadership, and maturity that made him such a highly rated prospect as well as some of the weaknesses he'll need to improve upon in order to reach his full potential.

    Kabongo is first and foremost a pass first point guard. He has very good natural point guard instincts, displays a consistently high basketball IQ, and is extremely unselfish. Combine that with his excellent court vision and these are extremely promising qualities for a point guard prospect to have, particularly one at such a young age. Kabongo was 7th in the DraftExpress database in assists per field goal attempt, and his 6.7 assists per 40 minutes pace adjusted was the top mark among freshman in our top 100 database.

    Kabongo isn't quite as advanced when looking for his own shot, as his 12.4 points per 40 minutes pace adjusted, a number which is in the bottom 10 of our top 100 database, will a attest to. He shows some potential as a catch and shoot threat, as he appears more consistent in his form when he's able to step into the shot. Shooting off the dribble, however, is something he is not yet comfortable with. He doesn't get very much elevation on his jump shot and he struggles to maintain his balance when pulling up off the dribble. This is something that affects the rest of his offensive game, as defenders are able to sag off of him substantially when defending him off of pick and roll and isolation situations, limiting his ability to get into the lane.

  • Mason Plumlee | Duke | Senior | 7-foot | 238 pounds | C | DX profile | No. 16 in top 100
  • Career Highlights: Closed his Duke career ranked in the top 10 in rebounds, field goal percentage, blocks and dunks. Selected Pete Newell Big Man of the Year and Second Team AP All-American as a senior. A two-time Capital One Academic All-America First Team selection.

    Senior (2012-13): Averaged 17.1 points (3rd in the ACC), 10.0 rebounds (2nd), 1.9 assists and 1.4 blocks (5th), while shooting 59.9 percent from the field (7th in the nation). Tied for sixth in the nation in double-doubles. Just the second Blue Devil to average a double-double for a season under Mike Krzyzewski. Received the Pete Newell NABC Big Man of the Year Award, becoming the first ACC player ever to win the award. A Second Team All-America honoree from the USBWA, AP and NABC. Named to the All-ACC First Team and NCAA Midwest Regional All-Tournament Team.

    More from Bodner...

    On the defensive side of the ball, Plumlee has the size and willingness to be an effective post defender, as he has in years past. He has continued to fill out his frame, as it appears he has added both lower and upper body strength, and has done a better job of holding position down low. He's also a very good defensive rebounder, with his 8.0 defensive rebounds per 40 minutes pace adjusted ranking second among centers expected to be drafted in the first round, trailing only Nerlens Noel. He does a good job boxing out and fighting for position early, and does a good job tracking the ball.

    While he's overall a good athlete, his lateral quickness is average at best. He tends to give quite a bit of room to ball handlers on the pick and roll, as he struggles to get back to his man if he doesn't. In the NBA, with improved pick and roll play and the big men he'll be asked to defend, this is going to be a concern. Duke was attacked mercilessly at times on the pick and roll this season, and Plumlee was a major target of opposing coaches due to his inability to step outside of the paint. He's also not a prolific shot blocker, so it remains to be seen how effective of a rim protector he will be inside the paint.

    Chris Haynes of CSNNW.com reports some strong quotes from Plumlee...

    "I feel I'm the best big in the draft," Plumlee told CSNNW.com. "I would say that's the biggest chip on my shoulder when people say he is what he is or he can't get any better, honestly that's a bunch of bull****....

    "The biggest misconception I would say is when people think just because you're older and you put up numbers, that you don't have an upside. Are you kidding me? This is my job now," he said.

    "They think I'm not going to be able to knock down shots come time for the season? They think I'm not going to add to my game? LeBron [James] is still adding to his game. Can they say LeBron doesn't have upside? That's crazy to me."

  • Phil Pressey | Missouri | Junior | 5-foot-11 | 177 pounds | PG | DX profile | No. 52 in top 100
  • Career Highlights: Missouri's all-time leader in assists (580) and career assists average (5.9 apg) and tied with Anthony Peeler for career steals (196). His six career point-assists double-doubles is a school record. Selected First Team-All SEC as a junior, a season in which he established a Tigers record for single-season assists (240).

    Junior (2012-13): Averaged career highs in scoring (11.9 ppg) and assists (7.0 apg), finishing No. 13 nationally in assists per game. Shot 37.6 percent from the field. Named First Team All-SEC and All-SEC tournament. Chosen for the Bob Cousy Award Final 12 List. Broke his own school record for assists with 240, just one assist shy of second all-time in SEC history.

    More from Kamalsky...

    Fearless to a fault with the ball in his hands, Pressey's play down the stretch of close game was spotty at best, and his willingness to try and force the issue to help his team, whether as a facilitator or passer, was met with mixed results. The absence of versatile second point guard Michael Dixon in Frank Haith's lineup was certainly a factor in just how much ownership of the Tigers' offense Pressey sought to assume. Despite his shortcomings, Pressey has had his moments over the last two seasons, carrying his team for stretches with impressive confidence amid high-turnover and poor shooting games.

    Pressey's assertiveness spills over to the defensive end where he tends to improvise to try and force turnovers. Coming up with 2 steals per-40 minutes pace adjusted, Pressey likes to gamble. He will need to shore up his focus on this end of the floor as he faces a major challenge in overcoming his lack of size. Possessing solid quickness, Pressey will need to emerge as a better ball hawk to help compensate for the difficulties he'll face contesting shots and defending taller guards in the post due to his diminutive size.

    One of the most productive passers in college basketball last season, Pressey certainly looks the part of a backup floor general thanks to his ability to create for others on the pick and roll. Whether he can become more than that depends on what more he can bring to the table as a decision-maker, scorer, and defender down the road. He'll certainly be in play throughout the second round as a player who seemingly could fit in very well on a team flush with bench scoring that isn't already committed to a backup point guard.

  • E.J. Singler | Oregon | Senior | 6-foot-6 | 215 pounds | SF | No DX profile | n/a in top 100
  • Played four seasons at the University of Oregon, where he averaged 10.9 points (44.3% FG, 37.3% 3-PT, 84.8% FT), 5.1 rebounds, 2.0 assists, 0.77 steals and 29.3 minutes in 142 games ... Earned All-Pac-12 First Team honors as a senior in 2012-13 after averaging 11.7 points, 4.9 rebounds and career highs in assists (2.8) and minutes (31.0) ... Finished his career ranked first in school history in wins (89), sixth in career free throw percentage (84.8%) and 11th in Oregon history in scoring (1,546)

    Note: Singler worked out for the Blazers earlier this month.

    Joe Freeman of The Oregonian reports...

    Singler said he didn't know why the Blazers requested a second look, and he didn't care. Most mock drafts do not feature his name, so any opportunity to flash his basketball ability is a welcome opportunity.

    "I'm thinking it's a good thing," Singler said of the Blazers' interest. "If they want me back, they saw something that they liked and they wanted to see a little bit more. Just really happy I got the opportunity to come back and showcase my skills."

    All vitals/information/video courtesy of DraftExpress.com and ESPN.com, with notes courtesy of Casey Holdahl at Blazers.com, who has more right here.

    Blazersedge's one-stop shop for all pre-draft workout information is right here.

    The Blazers opened the pre-draft process by working out six players three Thursdays back, another four three Fridays back, six more two Mondays back, another six two Fridays back, six more last Tuesday, six more last Friday and six more on Monday. They also put Indiana's Cody Zeller through an individual workout and Lehigh's C.J. McCollum got the same treatment. Blazers GM Neil Olshey took questions about the pre-draft process and Blazers coach Terry Stotts explained his role in the workouts.

    The Blazers are expected to run a total of nine or 10 workouts in advance of the 2013 NBA Draft, set for June 27. The Blazers hold the No. 10 pick in the first round and three second-round picks (No. 39, 40 and 45).

    PS Thanks to KVin2 in the FanShots.

    -- Ben Golliver | benjamin.golliver@gmail.com | Twitter

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