Utah Jazz Draft Workout: Darion Atkins, Richaun Holmes, Traevon Jackson, T.J. Price, T.J. Sapp and Shannon Scott
** Virginia – F – 6’8 – 234
** Would you consider defense your forte?
Oh yeah, definitely. I think that’s a, you know, that na–that comes, you know, natural to me…I pride myself on that. I won National Defensive Player of the Year. I won ACC Defensive Player of the Year. So it’s something I take seriously. I come from a defensive program.
** What do you need to work on?
As I transition, I think offense. My offensive game needs to develop more. Teams are looking for me to pick and pop, be more versatile. You know, tru–I’m, truly in, at the next level, I would be a 3-man, but I see myself being more of a “four” transitioning into a “three.” I think I have good touch. You know, out on the perimeter, I can shoot the 18-, the 19-, the 20-foot. Working on 3-point, so.
** Are you confident you can guard both NBA threes and fours?
Oh, most definitely. Yeah, I think I’m confident in that.
** Bowling Green (Moraine Valley Community College) – F – 6’8 – 232
** Comment on the altitude
It definitely was an adjustment. You know, when I first got here, you know, I wasn’t, I forgot all about it. And so when I got in here, it’s kind of an adjustment, but we was able to push through.
** How did this process get started for you?
[The Jazz] saw me at the Portsmouth — you know, I talked to a few teams down there. The Jazz was one of ’em. And soon after, my agent let me know they wanted to get me in for a workout as soon as possible. So, that’s how it worked out.
** Was there one skill you think the Jazz wanted to specifically see from you?
I think more than likely, my athleticism. You know, that’s the thing that kinda got me on the radar, so I just try to keep working and improve other parts of my game. But I definitely want to show off my strong suits.
** Wisconsin – G – 6’2 – 208
** First workout
** Do you think some teams hold you up to your dad’s level?
You know, I don’t know, man. I think that if they do, then my expectations are always higher. I want to be the greatest player I can possibly be, and you know, I won’t let anything stop me with that. And you know, as long as I have the Lord behind me in that, and Christ strengthening me with that, then that’s fine with me. So I can just, you know, I don’t look at my dad like that. He’s just my dad, at the end of the day. We just have a good time, so.
** How much of these workouts will be you proving you can shoot?
You know, my thing is, you got about three, four point guards in the league that really can shoot the three. Other than that, guys that, you know, can knock down the open shot, and that’s my main focus now, just knocking down the open shot. Not too many Steph Currys, Kyrie [Irving]s out there that can just come off and just light you up for five, six 3s a game. So as long as I can knock down that open shot, be comfortable, be consistent with it, the rest of my game will take care of itself. The good thing about the league is, is so much space. It’s so much opening, I don’t have to settle as much as I did in college. So I mean, I’m just, I’ve worked on it, and I know that I’m capable of shooting.
** On working out with Shannon Scott
I’ve been playing with Shannon since — I remember going to a camp with him in sixth grade, I think. And Shannon was always one of the top guys, so it was great to compete with him, have fun with him, encourage him, man. I thought he had a great workout as well today.
** Who wins one-on-one games between you and your dad now?
He doesn’t play me. He’s scared, so. He’s really, really scared…Last time he played me, I was in ninth grade, and I was right, when I started really getting a feel for the game. And once I hit junior, senior year, he was, he hung up his shoes…All he does is golf and smoke cigars and analyze on TV, so.
** Western Kentucky – G – 6’4 – 223
** Does Jeremy Evans mean anything to you?
Yeah, my first visit to Western Kentucky, he was kinda my host. Coaches — he was there for the summer, and when I went there, he was the one who scooped me up. So, we was up in his, and we was in his car. He was taking me everywhere. I got to know Jeremy real well…I spoke to him, like, a week ago, and, but I was gonna talk to him more when we got up here, but he end up leaving because he went to go watch a former player who he played with at WKU. They in the playoffs overseas, so he went to go watch one of his players overseas, so he over there right now. So I didn’t get to talk to him when I got up here.
** What is Jeremy Evans’ legacy at Western Kentucky?
Really, everybody, nobody ain’t really talk about Jeremy there as a basketball player. Really, Courtney Lee really got the basketball aspect. But Jeremy got the aspect of being the greatest person to ever come through there with all smiles and being goofy and just making everybody day. That’s the aspect he got, and that’s the kind of aspect I really want. Everybody can be, you know, a really great basketball player, but sometimes, great basketball players can, you know, be jerks off the court too as well. So, I don’t wanna have that aspect. I wanna be that guy leaving off the court to be that good person that everybody loves, so.
** Are you going to transition to the “one,” or are you a combo guard?
Yeah, I feel like I can transition to the one. I can handle it pretty well. You know, in the workouts, I feel like I handled the pick-and-roll situation pretty well too, so I feel like I can transition to the one. But like I said, whatever they want me to do, they want me to transition to the one or be a combo, I’m all with it. I just wanna do whatever it takes, really, so.
** Murray State – G – 6’3 – 190
** Comment on the altitude
Everybody says about how the altitude plays a big part, and you get in and you learn it plays a big part. You can try to prepare yourself for it, but you really gonna meet them, meet it once you get here. You’re not really gonna get a real understanding of how much it’ll affect you, but it was a really good workout.
** What are your strengths?
My strength is really, I come out and bring energy. I bring a lot of energy to the court. I try to focus on defense first ’cause you can always control what you do on defense. Offense, you can’t control it all the time, but yeah, when I’m on offense, Imma, I can knock down shots. Today, I wasn’t as much on my shot like I needed to be, but I still was knocking down shots. And also, like, I’m working on becoming a true, true point guard. Playing in the last season I was in, I was moreso — I would be a tweener. Sometimes at the point, moreso at the two…I mainly focus on, I try to focus on defense first, and then offense plays its part.
** Ohio State – G – 6-1 – 185
** Which aspects of your game are you working on?
Just being a more consistent shooter, staying aggressive for the offensive end. I know my defense gonna be fine. Just wanna stay aggressive on offense…In the back of my head, obviously I’m thinking about defense, but I gotta get my offensive game out there to show I can still do it.
** On working out with Traevon Jackson
I known him since about sixth grade, I think, and going to the Big Ten with him too. He did a great job at Wisconsin. But it’s good seeing him out here, just knowing that we both keep growing in our game and keep playing as long as we can.
** What do you know about the current Utah Jazz roster?
I know they have a tall team. I’ve heard that a lot, but I’m just looking forward to try to meet up with the guys and just learning from there.
** Talk about chasing your dream.
It’s definitely tough. I mean, everybody can’t get away with doing that, but I mean, I love working out every morning and getting better every day, so I mean, I enjoy it.
** On whether he likes seeing guys play five-on-five at the combine: I will hold off on that to see who’s gonna be doing five-on-five.
** On the Rudy Gobert draft day deal: It’s one that comes together that night, but is put into motion maybe earlier.
** On getting draft prospects in for workouts: I try. I’m not overly successful all the time, but I try, for the most part.
** On getting draft prospects in for workouts: I lose sleep by being prepared. I don’t lose sleep by not getting guys in.