** First workout.
** How was the workout? It was exactly what I’ve been preparing for. You know, I’ve been preparing for awhile, for someone to give me a chance, you know, waiting for that call. Someone to give me a chance, and they did, but you can’t prepare for the air. I mean, up here it’s a lot different. I haven’t been up here–obviously I went to school at Weber State, so I was used to it–but I went home back to New Mexico for about a month and a half now, and when you get back up here, the air’s a lot different.
** What is your goal on the professional level? To play at the highest level I can. You know, I just feel like I put in the work, so much work to, for someone to give me an opportunity, you know what I mean? That’s why I was so happy to come up here, ’cause they gave me a great opportunity, and so, but I see myself at the highest level. You know, I’m a hard worker. I’m a team guy. I’ll do whatever I need to do to make it to there. Everyone needs a shooter. Yeah, exactly. Everybody needs a shooter, you know what I mean, and you know, today I didn’t shoot as well as I’ve always shot it, you know what I mean, but, and as well as I’ve been shooting preparing up to this, but I mean, it happens some days, and so you just move on with it and work harder and just get better.
** What’s your best NBA skill? Shooting…I just feel like I can make shots. You know, you give me shots over and over again, I’m gonna knock ‘em down. And that’s what I’ve always been known for, so.
** What do you need to improve? I always gotta improve something, whether it’s ball-handling, defense, so, but I mean, other than that, I feel like I just, I improve every part of my game. I still work on my shooting as much as I work on everything else, ’cause you want to keep that at the highest level, so, but I have a lot of things to work on, just like everyone else, so.
** What was it like playing with Damian Lillard at Weber State? I wanted to guard him everyday. I wanted him, if he was going to score, I wanted him to score on me every time because I wanted to get better. And I think doing that helped me get better and helped me mature as a player and as a person, and you know, I know he got tired of me ’cause I would always try and guard him, do everything I could, following him, just to do everything he did so I can prepare myself to be at the highest level, but the back and forth, the competition was good.
** Altitude reference: Yes.
** What do you bring? I bring a lot of different intangibles. I’m a heady player. You know, I’m pretty mature. I’m not going to make mistakes off the court. You know, I feel like I thrive in an environment like this. It’s cause it’s more laid-back, you know, kinda like Lehigh, where you know, it’s not too much to do but at the same time it’s a very good community and it’s the only show in town. So I think that I bring a lot of scoring or different aspects in terms of, you know, being able to knock down shots off screens, being able to handle the ball and kinda run the show. So I think I bring a decent amount of intangibles and I’d say I’m one of the players that’s ready to play right now, tomorrow.
** Sixth workout. Been to Orlando, Philadelphia, Portland, Phoenix and Sacramento.
** On interviews: You’re surprised how much they know about you. They know everything. They know if you have a girlfriend. They know what color your dog is, and everything. Do you have a girlfriend and what color is your dog? I do not have a dog, but yes, I do.
** On coming out of a smaller school: What people don’t understand is that there’s guys that go to Kentucky, Ohio State, Kansas, and they struggle in the NBA. It’s a transition for everyone. It doesn’t matter where you come from. It matters how hard you work and how, you know, dedicated you are. You know, they throw out your college, your resumes are out the window. It doesn’t matter who won the championship. It doesn’t matter who was MVP. Everybody was MVP of their college and All-Conference. This is a new game.
** On playing four years in college*: I took advantage of a opportunity to get a degree. A lot of players, you know, they’re in a position where either they have to leave for their families, or they feel like they just want to explore the draft while they’re young. I graduated; I’m 21 years old. There’s sophomores in the draft that are older than me. There might be some freshmen too…I’m ready to play right now. There’s, everybody has weaknesses in their game, but I feel like my game is very rounded and I’m a chameleon. I can come in and contribute in a multitude of ways, and I feel like it’ll show when I step on the court.
* Also, he promised his mom he would graduate on time.
** Can you play point guard in the NBA? Absolutely. I feel like I’m going to.
** On David Locke: I’ve been following him [on Twitter]. I follow a lot of different media outlets, and I seen he broke down my game a little bit. You know, he was very critical of my game, as he’s supposed to be. And last night, he tweeted that I could play the point guard whereas before he said that I was gonna be a bust. And I let him know about it. You know, I pointed out, you know, oh how the tides change, you know, ’cause he broke down my game a little bit and picked the three worst games and just showed all my misses. And I was like, well, where are the makes at, you know? But I was just, all, it was all fun and games.
** Who do you compare yourself to? I watch a lot of Steph Curry. I’d say that’s a pretty solid comparison, just in terms of, you know, being in college a little bit longer, kinda being made by the tournament. A lot of people didn’t know who I was until we beat Duke. So I’d say, just his ability to knock down shots. You know, off the ball and on the ball, I have a lot of similarities to that. And I’d say he shoots better than me and I’m more athletic.
** On playing point guard A lot of people want to know what position I’m gonna be, and I look forward to showing you that…I’m a pretty good decision-maker although my assist-to-turnover ratio didn’t show that. I think it was a variety of things. You know, having to, you know, be more of a scorer. Having to take some bad shots, and it was a credit to my coaching staff and my teammates for trusting in me and putting the ball in my hands a lot and allowing me to do those type of things. So your assist numbers will go up with more talent around you? Absolutely… For instance, look at the Jazz. You got Gordon Hayward. You got Al [Jefferson]. You got Paul [Millsap]. You got a variety of different guys that are just, you know, good. Good players who can create their shot. You got a guy in the post that can score every time he touches the ball. You know, I didn’t have that. I had solid players, but I also had some doctors, lawyers, and guys that are gonna be working on Wall Street.
** People calling Enes Kanter “Ernis/Ernest”: CJ McCollum
** Was able to get info on Utah from high school teammate Kosta Koufos and also Keith McLeod (all three are from Canton, Ohio)
** What is your greatest strength? My ability to shoot and score the basketball.
** Where do you need to improve? Lateral quickness is definitely one of the things I have to work on…In terms of the next level you can never be in good enough shape, so conditioning is a big thing that I work on.
** Said his first purchases would be hiring a personal chef and an “energy-efficient car” and later clarified that meant an “energy-efficient luxury vehicle.” Currently drives a truck his mom bought his brother, who is playing overseas.
** Which player did you emulate growing up? On the court, I emulated, you know, Allen Iverson, the way he approached the game. Swagger. He was just very ruthless in terms of driving to the basket and you know, a small guy that played big. That’s kinda the guy I looked up to on the court.
** What do you do during your free time? I take a lot of naps. Watch a little bit of “Gossip Girl” and “Pretty Little Liars” every now and then.* And just breaking down film.
* I can’t tell if he was being facetious but it didn’t seem like it.
** Walt Perrin: We value more, probably more off the court than maybe on the court because of the maturity factor. (KALL, 1280, 1320, Utah Jazz)
Note: Richard Howell and Kenny Kadji were also supposedly part of this workout.
** How do you see yourself fitting in on a team with a few young bigs already? Just whatever the coaches ask for eh, ’cause I feel like I’m versatile, so whatever he wants me to do, I’ll do it. So, yeah…I think I would fit in anywhere, to be honest with you. Not being cocky or anything, just that I don’t care if they’re old or young. But yeah, it’s all good.
** Where do you expect to be drafted? I don’t know. They just said first round, so that’s what I’m aiming for.
** Where are you most NBA-ready? I think running and setting screens, as well as defending and stuff like that. Yeah. That’s where I think I’m most ready, but yeah, all the other stuff will come around. But I feel like as a big man, it’s good to just get all your defense, rebounding, blocked shots, screening, running on lockdown first so that’s your foundation. Then you can work on everything else.
** What do you need to work on the most? Probably low-post. Kinda everything, like everything, but everyone says that. So mostly the one that needs improvement is getting open for my shots, just creating separation and stuff.
** Tell us about your family with the 18 kids. We all have same dad, just different mums. And I’ve only met 15 of ‘em. So I don’t know where the other three are…It’s normal for me, ’cause I didn’t grow up any other way.
** Six of you played for New Zealand’s national team? Um, two… [counting] Yeah, I think so. Six…just the six.
** Fifth workout. Been to Boston, Dallas, Oklahoma City and Philadelphia.
** NBA comparison? I’ve been told, kinda Serge Ibaka. But’s that’s only kind of, you know what I mean? He’s really good. So I don’t play exactly like him, but that’s what I’ve been told.
** What do you bring to an NBA team? I mean, I think foremost is rebounding and hustle. Intensity. I mean, I’m always going to go out there and give it 110 percent. And I’ve been working on my shooting quite a bit and I think it’s a lot better than people think it is right now. And I’m just trying to go out there and show that, and just bring little things. Help teams win, really.
** Fifth workout. Been to LAL, Brooklyn, Houston and Milwaukee.
** Greatest strength? I think in rebounding, probably. Probably rebounding and my physicality, really, is up there with the best of ‘em. I mean, I personally believe I’m one of the best rebounders in this class, and I just want to go out there and show it.
** Seventh workout. Been to Houston, Milwaukee (two days), Boston, Dallas and Philadelphia. “Tomorrow I go home to Germany. So, very excited about it.”
** European basketball vs. NBA basketball: In Europe, you play, like, set plays all the time. And in the NBA, you play transition. So I think the NBA fit me better than in the, in Europe, so.
** Is Utah a desired destination for you given its lack of point guards? I think it’s a great situation for point guard, so when they draft me, it’s a very good situation, so we can play right away, I think, so.
** What do you bring to the NBA? I think the first thing is defense. After defense, try to lead the team. Try to bring everybody together. And yeah, try to win games.
** Have you studied NBA history? Do you know Deron Williams and John Stockton played here? Not really. But I watch Deron Williams play here. So, but John Stockton, not really.
** Are you able to watch NBA games in Germany? I watch every game, so, every night I watch NBA. I watch it on the stream, in the Internet. So, follow every time. Do you watch Jazz games? Little bit late. So it’s every time, like, 4 o’clock in the morning.
No follow-up question on which illegal streaming sites he prefers.
** Who do you model your game after? Rajon Rondo.
** How do you pronounce your last name? Schroeder. So, it’s very difficult for you, so…I never heard a guy from America who pronounce it very well, so. It’s Schroeder, so…That is my problem. “Schroeder.”* I got a nicksname.
* Pronounces it with long “o” in American way.
** Is Dirk Nowitzki Germany’s god of basketball? Yeah, for sure. Everybody talk about him. Everybody likes him, because he respect everybody. Talk to everybody nice, and yeah, I met him in Dallas too. And we talk very long, so. Is Chris Kaman second on that list? Yeah, but he not German. (laughs) So I think, yeah, but.
No follow-up question on whether David Hasselhoff is Germany’s god of singers.
** Was “discovered” at the age of 11 by a coach in a park while he was taking a break from skateboarding by playing basketball. Has played two years of professional ball in Germany’s first league. Began learning English in fourth grade.
** What do you need to improve on? I think I have to improve on the finishes for sure, because it’s like 7-foot guys over there, like Ibaka. They blocking shots, so I have to go into contact and try to finish strong.
Alternate Siva pic inspired by @da_breezman.
** On the altitude: You don’t notice it at first, but your mouth starts getting real dry.
** What do you bring to an NBA team? I think the biggest thing I can bring is probably my leadership, and you know, my playmaking abilities. I love getting everybody involved. I love getting everybody open shots, and I think playing in the NBA, it’ll be a lot more space off the pick and roll, and that’s one of my strong suits. So I think that’ll be one of my things I can bring to a team.
** One word to describe your NBA skillset? Playmaker.
** Fifth workout. Been to Boston, Philadelphia, Detroit, and Washington; has several more scheduled, including Sacramento.
** What’s something people should know about you? I’m a great all-around person. And I have a strong faith in God…Definitely a people person. I’m a leader…I love bowling. I love watching movies.
** On workout with the Jazz: Utah had a, the “Utah 100″ [at the end of its workout]. You shoot a hundred threes at the end, and, so you find out if you can really shoot because you’re dead tired. How many did you hit? Today I shot the highest out of everybody. I think I shot around, like, 65.
** Jazz VP of Player Personnel Walt Perrin: We try to get winners. We don’t really want to bring in guys who are, you know, 5-28, ’cause they don’t know how to win. Winners are very important to us. (KALL; Utah Jazz)
As you’ve seen, I’ve been writing completely random factoids or quotes on player photos in draft workout posts. This was the one for Pierre Jackson:
A day or so later, it was Jackson’s Twitter avi (thanks to @davidjsmith1232 for the heads-up!):
I’ve been on vacation…hence the lack of posts (if anyone’s noticed). I’ll be catching up on everything over the course of the next few days.
Breaking news: Randy Rigby is now brought to you by Burt Brothers Tires. I hope Les Olsen is prepared to be trashed on 1280 from now on.
On Jerry Sloan
We’re having conversations. And it’ll be forthcoming, you know, on any announcements that can be d–but right now, it’s premature.
Veteran point guard to lead the young guys, or young point guard to grow with them?
I think, those are decisions also, I’m gonna say that, I’m glad that we’ve got great minds like Kevin and Dennis, that are going to make those final decisions.
But as I hear conversations going, one of the advantages that I think that we’ll have is, is that definitely we want to continue to build a young core. We’ve got a number of players that are 21, 22 years old; 20 years old. And I think we’re looking at adding some more players in those ranges that can kind of grow up together and build this so that you can ha–hopefully build a championship-caliber team that can be growing and competing for a 10-year period of time. Much like we’re seeing San Antonio have been able to do.
The same time, I think there’s an advantage to take advantage of free agency as well, and maybe you look at an older player that can also come in, who can be a little more of a seasoned person, who can also make sure that those y–even though the young guys may be learning a lot, he can also mentor the young point guard, as well as make sure that the young big guys are getting the ball where they need to get it, to help them in their development as well.
So I think you’ll see maybe a combination of things going on from our basketball operations to make sure that we get the right kind of perso–team, that can complement and lift this team, and help us grow as fast as possible.
Thank the Millers for Taylor Swift
We just recently had a successful concert over here, with Taylor Swift. I actually went to it. I was one of the few 50-year-olds that was there at the event.
But the one thing that hit me, as I sat in there, that it kind of warmed my heart about the Utah Jazz. And I, as I realized and saw, here’s 20, well, there was about 16,000 people there, sold out immediately…
Without the Utah Jazz and the commitment the Millers have made to really bring this facility here, and have it here primarily for basketball, but without them this facility here, Taylor Swift’s concert would not be coming through here in a smaller venue.
It takes a major NBA city to be able to deliver those kind of NBA and top quality talent, and I thought this is a, a really kind of a, it was kind of warming to me to think something totally different from sports that these people are being able to enjoy…and it was a remarkable concert.
On Justin Bieber’s outfit at Game 7 of the Heat-Pacers series
Gordon Monson: What kind of person wears sunglasses indoors?
Spencer Checketts: The Biebs, Randy. The Biebs can get away with that.
Rigby: You gotta be a successful music guy. Or Antoine Carr.* (1280)
* More breaking news: Antoine Carr is on his way to Salt Lake City with a baseball bat for that comparison.
How important are analytics and how much do you plan on using advanced numbers moving forward?
Well, we’ve used them for about the last 15 years. We got a book that’s about 121 pages, I think, long.* Bob Hyde, our CFO, has been doing it for probably the last 14 years…I think the thing we haven’t done is we haven’t beat on our chest to express the fact that we’ve, you know, we’ve been doing this stuff for awhile. I think Dennis [Lindsey] will take it even to another level, as far as that goes, and it’s certainly all part of what you try and do. It’s another resource to do. Now, I think when you were talking about [John Hollinger and Lionel Hollins' reported clash over analytics], I don’t think it had anything to do with analytics here, or coaching. I think it had to do with somebody being on the floor when a coach was coaching his team. …
You can certainly sit down with ‘em, with coaches or whoever and have discussions at the appropriate time, but if they’re out there on the coaching floor and you’re trying, and you’re interrupting practice, shame on you. And I’m not saying the guy did that. I’m just saying that that’s not what you’re supposed to be doing.
How has Tyrone Corbin changed and matured in your mind?
KOC: I’m sorry, I missed that question.
Spencer Checketts: How has COACH Corbin changed and evolved over the last couple of years in your mind?
KOC: Oh, I, you know, again, I think that’s something that the two of us could speak about in private. It sounds like I’m giving him a rating as far as that goes. I think the one thing I do know is that he wo–he’s his hardest, he’s his toughest critic. And his self-evaluation is harder than anybody else could be on him. And I think he’s gonna continue to improve,* and that’s through work, that’s through the film sessions, that’s through summer camp, that, you know, he’s here for every workout. I think the work ethic that he’s exhibited, one, as a player, and two, as a person that really, really wants this franchise to improve* and wants himself to improve.* (1280)
** Altitude reference: Yes.
** Where are you most NBA-ready? I think that I can come in as a big point guard and bother a lot of smaller guards. My athletic ability and my ability to guard ones and twos. I like to get up and down the court. I think that I’m a tough guy. I like to do all the dirty work, and I’m just willing to do whatever it takes to make a team and make an impact and help somebody out.
** What do you need to work on? I think just adjusting, just keep adjusting to the NBA game. More pick and rolls…and just working on becoming more of a point guard, ’cause in college I had to play off the ball a little bit and shoot a little bit more. Now it’s more about me getting more guys involved and learning how to be a point guard.
** What position do you see yourself playing in the NBA? I see myself as a point, but I can also play off the ball if I have to.
** Fifth workout. Been to Detroit, Boston, Orlando and Phoenix.
** Any crazy workout stories? Just the 3-minute runs caught me off guard…I didn’t know what to expect. I just, I thought the workout was over with, and then Coach [Jeff] Hornacek and Danny Ainge, he was just like, Danny Ainge was like, “Cool off a little bit, and get ready for our legendary 3-minute run.” I never heard about it, still kinda confusing. He said, “Just run for three minutes.” I’m like, I thought he was joking, but he made us do it, but it was good.
** Altitude reference: Yes.
** Sixth workout. Been to Memphis, San Antonio, Detroit, Chicago and Brooklyn so far. Sacramento and LA Lakers ahead.
** Where are you most NBA-ready? Out on the wing. Definitely have to be able to guard better, and be able to shoot the ball. I think three, shooting the three and playing defense is my problem.
** Were you able to follow the Jazz on the other side of the country? A little bit…You got a young nucleus of guys, and I got a situation right now where they want to choose some bigs. Got some guard play. Alec Burke,* and Hayward, Gordon, you know. And you just gotta, you know, every team’s looking for certain pieces. Utah can be a team that’s a couple pieces away from, you know, going down to the playoffs and making the playoffs.
* People calling Alec Burks “Burke”: Solomon Hill.
** There are concerns that you’re listed at just 5’10″… You know, the saying is, you know, you c–size doesn’t matter. You know, heart, size of the heart does.
** Third workout.
** What would you bring to the Jazz? You know, I think I can bring in some energy. You know, I’m a real energetic guy. I’m really emotional. You know, I like to get the crowd into the game, you know, and just, I’m a good leader as well.
** Where are you most NBA-ready? I think I got a lot of skills. You know, I like to get my teammates involved first. You know, I like to pass the ball. You know, the assists stat sheet looks great…If I need to score, you know, I don’t have a problem doing that either.
** What do you know about the Jazz? Well, this past year, I didn’t know much. But when I was there, I know, you know, seeing Alec Burks come in, you know, he was in the Big 12…He was a great player, you know. We ran a couple of their sets at CSI, so, I, like the flex, stuff like that, you know. Kinda know a couple of their, some of their plays, so I’m familiar with their offense.
** Sell yourself to Jazz fans. Just know I’m a good guy, you know? I’m a great people person. You know, I like to interact with fans, and if y’all got any questions, you know, my Twitter account is @PierreJackson55. Feel free to hit me up anytime.
** On the altitude: It gets you at first. I tried to go for a little run yesterday at the hotel, but it didn’t work. But it gets you, but you know, after a while it’s just mental and you just gotta get, fight through it, and you know, just play basketball.
** Third workout; 12 scheduled. Been to Boston and Detroit so far; Portland, Dallas, Houston, San Antonio, Indiana, Minnesota ahead.
** Where are you most NBA-ready? I think with my ability to rebound, defend, you know, block shots. I think that, you know, a lot of teams look at me as like that, being one of those high-energy, undersized guys like Kenneth Faried, you know, Paul Millsap here. You know, guys like that who are undersized but play hard, intense, and you know, do the little things it takes to win.
Glen Rice Jr.
** Altitude reference: Yes.
** You were teammates with Derrick Favors at Georgia Tech. Has he told you anything about the Jazz? No, I actually just seen Derrick for the first time in a little while. I lost his number so we hadn’t been in contact.
** Where are you most NBA-ready? The ability to shoot the three. I believe you can use that anywhere.
** What are your weaknesses? Gotta work on ball-handling. One thing I’ve been working on for most of the summer.
** Fifth workout. Been to Houston, Dallas, Milwaukee and Chicago so far.
** On playing last season in the D-League: D-League had an excellent group of players out there. I think it’s a little better competition than college. Three-point line was in the NBA range, and we got a lot of NBA guys that came down and played with us. I feel like that just better prepared me for this next level than college did.
** What kind of questions were you asked during the interview session? They basically just want to make sure I’m still, that I’m matured, that I’m ready to just get out here and work. Those are the main things. They don’t want any backlash or, of anything that happened before.* And I just tell ‘em, that I have matured and you can see it in the D-League, that I’ve been working on my game as well as off the court, and just maturing.
** No one asked Jr. about his dad’s 3-day stint with the Jazz in 2003. (Glen Rice Sr. was traded by Houston to Utah for John Amaechi, and then waived.)
* Referring to this?
** Altitude reference: Yes (was asked about it though).
** On pursuing a career in basketball: I’m trying to play at the next level, you know? The more, you know, NBA exposure you can get over here, the higher your stock goes overseas. And you know, the better you perform, you know, the more people see you, the more people talk around the league, the more workouts you get. I’m just trying to play basketball. You know, I love this game. You know, obviously I’d love to play in the States, play in front of my family, but you know, wherever I end up playing is where I end up playing. And Imma enjoy myself and Imma do my best.
** Has worked out for Houston and Brooklyn so far.
** Do you have workouts scheduled with other teams? Talking to a lot of teams right now. You know, hopefully what I did today spreads around the league, and you know, there’s a lot of teams who wanted to know how I did today. (KALL, 1280)
1320 had Matt Moore of CBS Sports on to talk about his draft predictions.
On his prediction for the No. 21 pick
Where’s Alec Burks? Can anybody tell me where Alec Burks is? Because I miss Alec Burks. I would like to see him again. If anybody sees him, can they call his mother? ‘Cause we’re very worried about him. …
I think there’s a lot of opportunity there [at 21] for [the Jazz] to get an impact guy [shooting guard] if they’ll just, you know, play him.
Do the Jazz truly have a reputation for burying young talent behind washed-up vets around the league?
They’re well known for having relatively inexplicable things going on and not having really any explanation given…
One NBA GM describes it, I asked him for one word to describe each team, and the Jazz word that he used was “inscrutable.” They’re simply hard to figure out sometimes, not just from what their objectives are with trade demands or anything like that, but also from their roster decisions and how they choose to develop guys.
It’s kind of a weird perception. They’re not necessarily known for not developing guys. There have been a lot of quality guys that have come out of there, but there is kind of a perception that sometimes players get lost and are never kind of heard from again ’til they go somewhere else.
On Al Jefferson, Paul Millsap, and the trade deadline
The impression that I got was, it was frustrating [for other teams] because those were two of the big pieces supposedly on the counter…
Around the trade deadline, what often happens is teams are waiting for big things to fall into place. OK, this guy’s gotta get traded and then from there we kinda move on. Josh Smith was supposed to be that piece and then the Hawks decided, nope, not gonna move him.
The Jazz were the next part of that, where everyone was kinda waiting, and everyone kept calling and saying, “Are, is he available? Are you guys gonna make a deal?” And their response was always of the, “Well, I don’t know. We’ll see.” And no one really knew what was going on, until the last minute. They like to leverage as much as possible…
They did, I think, frustrate a couple of GMs trying to make a deal with what I heard from their conversations with the Jazz at the deadline.
What would be your advice to the Jazz?
I think they need to go young. Go with [Derrick] Favors. Go with [Enes] Kanter. Start building young. See if you can’t develop something and have a guy turn into a real, legitimate superstar given the opportunity. And then you’ll have an idea of where you need to go, and if you don’t find that, then you know you need to start over.
This organization needs to be targeting a championship. It’s time they move in that direction, rather than just competing and trying to build assets. They took a step back this year, and if you’re in that kind of position and take a step back, I’m of the opinion it’s time to blow up the thing and start over with the young guys.
Note: Amath M’Baye and Malik Story were also at this workout.
** On the workout: The other guys, they played great, and I feel like it was the best workout I’ve had so far. [How many workouts have you had?] This was my second one.
** What would you bring to the Jazz? A lot. Physicality, passing, my passing ability, and my athleticism. [Being a pass-first point guard] is what I’ve been known for, I guess, my whole college career.
** Where do you need to improve? My 3-point shot. I struggled at that my junior year, last year, I mean. That’s been my main focus this summer.
** What do you know about the Jazz organization? Not much. I mean, I watched a long time ago when John Stockton and Karl Malone, those guys played. But as of now, I really don’t know as much…My old coach [Sidney Lowe] is coaching here right now. So, I mean, it’s pretty fun to see him again.
** Have you talked to Lowe about getting a tryout? That’s been my main goal, to talk to him about that right now. But I mean, I don’t think it’s really up to him, so.
** Did Lowe recruit you? Yes, sir. My freshman year, he got me at NC State.
** On Hargrave Military Academy: Hargrave was a great experience for me. I mean, a lot of guys have done it. They been through the process, they know how it is. Like, I mean, Josh Howard actually was a guy who went through that process, and just to go through that is very humbling experience.
** Who have you worked out for? This is, just finished my third one. I did the Spurs, the Nuggets, and I came here for the Jazz.
** What are your strengths and weaknesses? I can continue working on, you know, bettering my handle. Getting stronger. You know, just being able to put the ball on the floor and get to the rim for easy finishes. But you know, I can continue to be consistent with my jump shot, but you know, just my overall game, I can continue to work on.
** Who do you compare your game to? I try to take pieces from a lot of people game. But I like how Danny Green, how he can shoot the ball, how he spaces, how he defend. And I like how Kawhi Leonard defend. But somebody I try to pattern my game after and try to, you know, I just try to, you know, work on things that he do, is Paul George.
** Proprietary information on the Spurs (also UDQM): One of the tests that was pretty funny to me was when I went at the Spurs. So we had a stick, and it was like six guys, and we all have to, you know, not let our fingers, like, come from the stick, so we all have to, like, stick the stick on the ground with all of us moving at the same time, and, like, sit on the ground. So that was pretty challenging, but once we got that, all of us were just trying to go down on our knees first and keep the stick up here, but we all just had to realize that we all had to come down at the same time and let the stick down. But that was just one of the, you know, fun test that we had.
** What is the one skill you hang your hat on? My shooting ability. And how I play defense. And rebound the ball. And just spacing, you know, run the floor. But my main one I hang it on is shooting.
** Where are you most NBA-ready? Just being able to run the pick and roll, execute, getting to the lane and finding open teammates with lobs or kicking out to 3-point shooters. So I think my pick and roll experience in college is gonna translate well. And just having to work on my defense, that’s the biggest thing people are gonna doubt.
** What do you know about the Utah Jazz? Great young core. Alec Burks, [Gordon] Hayward, [Derrick] Favors, Enes Kanter. So, a great young core, in every position other than a point guard. So I think I can come in here and just add another young person that can grow together as a unit and hopefully become a great team if I ended up on the Jazz.
** What’s your first impression of Salt Lake City? The altitude. Jesus. It was like, when I first started working out today, it was tough to, like, get my breath…So the altitude here is something that I have to adjust to, but it’s a great city. I was walking around yesterday. So it’s a great city, great people, and it’d be great to come out here and be a part of it.
** Sell yourself to Jazz fans right now. I’m a good guy, on and off the court, and I’d be great in the community. Friendly face…you can come up to me. I’m not going to be stuck up, ever. I don’t care how big I get. That’s something my dad was like. He’s a very humble guy. I’m never gonna be like a show-off, boastful, a guy like that. So, very personable. And I did well in college. I got the All-ACC, the second team AP, all that stuff. So, just a good guy on and off the court, really.
** Where have you worked out? I’ve worked out with the Milwaukee Bucks and the Boston Celtics. And I really don’t know where I’m going [next].
** Who do you compare yourself to in the NBA? I would say Ty Lawson…great pick and roll guy, quick, strong, fast.
** How’d the workout go? Man, it was tough, but it was by far my best workout, as far as competition and competing, and getting after it. It was a great workout.
** Who have you worked out for? Portland, Chicago, and Denver.
** How’s the altitude? Oh my God. You know, I mean, it’s tough. It’s hard to get used to, but it gets you ready to, it gets you prepared physically, and it gets you in shape. I’m dead tired right now.
** What are your strengths? My athleticism, hands down. I know I bring my athleticism. How I rebound the ball. And just effort and energy.
** What do you need to work on? Most definitely my jump shot, but really just everything. Just everything as far as, just dribbling, shooting, rebounding the ball, you know, just everything. Every aspect of the game. (KALL,1280,Utah Jazz)