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Utah Jazz Draft Workout: Russell Byrd, Denzel Livingston, DJ Newbill, Maurice Ndour, Rayvonte Rice and Trey Zeigler

May 7, 2015
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** Master’s College – G – 6’8 – 215
** Comment on the altitude
[Shooting drills were] pretty challenging after an hour long of going hard, and altitude like this.
** What do you bring?
I think I’m pretty versatile. I think coming out of high school and coming into college, I was just a shooter. A guy who can spot up and knock it down, and I think I’ve kinda evolved into more of a multi-faceted player. You know, I can defend. I feel like I can score inside the 3-point line as well, and then you know, still knock down the 3-pointer when it comes my way…I’m an athlete, but I’m not any, I’m not a freak athlete. I’m not a LeBron [James], so I gotta use my head and my footwork and my body better than those guys with more God-given ability have to. So, the years definitely give me that advantage, and something I’ve learned how to do.
** Talk about chasing your dream.
This is something I’ve been dreaming about since I was little. You know, just the opportunity to even be here in this gym. You got Coach [Jerry] Sloan over there. I mean, it’s just crazy, you know, to be where I’m at…I’m happy to be here, and I’m ready to keep, you know, making the most of whatever opportunities come my way.


** Incarnate Word – G – 6’4 – 178
** First workout
** Comment on the altitude
I was kinda sluggish from the beginning, but at the end I started to pick it up. ‘Cause I’m not used to the altitude, since I’m from Texas…I thought I was well conditioned at home, but when I came here, I don’t know, it just snuck up on me.
** What do you bring?
I like to score the ball, so I was, you know, three in the nation in scoring, and I like to just, any way I can get the ball in the hole, that’s the way I like to do it. [That’s my] main focus….I’m more of an offensive player.
** Talk about chasing your dream.
It’s a dream come true, basically, ’cause I never thought I would do this — be in this position that I am now since I come from a small school. But you never know who watching you, and I guess, they [saw] something, and they brought me up here. And I’m glad to be out here.


** Ohio (Monroe) – F – 6’9 – 200
** First workout
** Comment on the altitude
The altitude kinda got me, in the first 35 minutes, I would say…You just gotta push through it. I mean, it’s just that kinda thing that, you know, during the workout, it’s just hard for you to g–you know, to breathe.
** What do you bring?
I like to see myself as a versatile player, so you know, I’m trying to do, you know, pretty much anything on the court. Anything I can do to get my team, you know, a win, so Imma do it. But you know, when it’s come to the game, I think I’m just a guy that, you know, bring a lot of energy. I play my heart out. You know, I’m an effort guy, so you know, that’s something that you don’t have to worry about me.
** Talk about chasing your dream.
It’s just unbelievable, man, and it’s a blessing. I mean, four days ago I was sitting with my mom, ’cause she came for my graduation. And when I knew that I was coming here to work out, I was just like, well, you know, I never thought that, you know, growing up, I would be able to work out with a NBA team at some point in my life. So, it’s just a blessing, and you know, I’m embracing it. You know, and I don’t have nothing to lose, so you know, I’m just keep going forward and do the best I can.


** Penn State (Southern Mississippi) – G – 6’4 – 210
** First workout
** Comment on the altitude
The altitude was kinda challenging at first, but I warmed up to it…Kinda when I first started going, I was kinda a little winded at first. Then I kinda got my second wind and picked it up.
** What do you bring?
Definitely intensity, energy, effort. I’m a guy who raises the level when I’m out there out there on the court. Just play hard and play tough. Definitely physical toughness and mental toughness.
** What do you know about the Utah Jazz?
Utah Jazz? This is a hall of fame program. You know, guys like Coach Sloan helped make it a hall of fame program. John Stockton, Karl Malone. You know, I played against Trey Burke in college, so I kinda know about the type of player he is, and the type of guys they like.


** Illinois (Drake) – G – 6’4 – 230
** First workout
** Comment on the altitude
Getting used to this altitude ain’t no joke, but I mean, [the workout] was good, man.
** What’s good about your game and what do you need to work on?
I would say I got a lot better with my shot, but I mean, obviously it could get better. Sliding my feet guarding quicker guards, just working on my agility.
** Talk about chasing your dream.
I mean, it’s just great. I mean, trying to make one of my, I mean, my dream come true, working out in front of these guys, trying to impress these guys, I mean, you can’t ask for nothing better.


** TCU (Pitt, Central Michigan) – G – 6’5 – 203
** First workout
** Comment on the altitude
The altitude is different here, so it’s harder to go. The conditioning, you gotta be in shape.
** What do you bring?
Just all-around. I’m a versatile guard. I pass, make plays for guys, and I create my own shot as well. And defensively, just taking on ownership of guarding, you know, if it’s the point guard, the 2-guard, you know, just taking ownership of that.
** Talk about chasing your dream.
[Making an NBA team] would be amazing. It would be a dream come true. It’s what I’ve been working for since I was, like, five. So it, I would love to play in the NBA.
** What do you know about the Utah Jazz?
The tradition. You know, obviously John Stockton and Karl Malone. When I started watching basketball, those guys were playing and winning a lot, so the tradition of them, and other guards like Deron* Williams that played here. So, they’ve always been a playoff team.
* “Duh-RON”


** Did any of the prospects stand out today?
Stand out in terms of what?
Talent or fit?
I would say, I don’t know if I wanna give a particular name. But I would say there was one or two guys that was a little bit intriguing. But again, I, you know, with this early workout and even though they are seniors, they still have a long way to go to be an NBA player.
** Does the workout process change from year to year, or do you have a set routine?
There’s been a little bit of change this year, ’cause we have a fairly new staff…A lot of guys we have on our coaching staff right now were not here for most of our workouts last year, so they have come in. Quin [Snyder]’s, has, tweaked a little, few things that we’ve done last year. Brad Jones, who is running our workouts, he’s tweaked a few things. So, it’s an ever-lu — ever-going process, changing process.
** How involved is Quin Snyder in the process?
All the coaches, including Quin, will be very involved in the draft process. They’ll have a say. They won’t have the final say. That’ll be on Dennis [Lindsey], and Kevin [O’Connor]. But they are very involved. Now, Quin wasn’t here today, because he’s, you know, away for this week. But going forward, we expect Quin to be involved, just like the coaches.
** Thoughts on the 2015 draft?
I don’t see a lot of so-called “NBA superstars,” if any. But that’s not to say, somebody may jump forward and become the next Stephen Curry or somebody like that.

6 Comments leave one →
  1. Matt permalink
    May 7, 2015 11:21 pm

    Gotta love that some of these dudes know basic Jazz history. Ndour fluent in 5 languages? Wow! He should be successful in life regardless of an NBA career.

  2. Matt permalink
    May 7, 2015 11:21 pm

    Also, thanks for summer content, Moni

  3. russellkanning permalink
    May 9, 2015 8:53 am

    No Way
    Russell Byrd is from my little ol college. I guess he transfered from Michigan State after not living up to expectations. The Master’s College is just a tiny 1200 student Christian liberal arts college.
    We have had only one guy make it to the NBA, Mike Penberthy, who was a little guy who could shoot 3s for the Zen Master. He might be better known for being one of the guys that Kenny Smith holds over Sir Charles head, having one a championship. :)

    • May 9, 2015 9:47 am

      If the Jazz pick him up and I see a guy in a custom “Byrd” jersey next year at the ESA, I’m going to assume it’s you.

      • russellkanning permalink
        May 9, 2015 1:13 pm

        right over my Tebow shirt


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