Posted: Friday June 9, 2006 11:30AM; Updated: Friday June 16, 2006 11:41AM
Villanova's Kyle Lowry has taken steps to ensure he's still NCAA-eligible, but that doesn't mean he's going to return to the Wildcats.
David E. Klutho/SI
3. 'Nova's Kyle Lowry, who also hasn't hired an agent, isn't a lock to stay in the draft. But he's getting close.
By participating in a workout arranged by agent Andy Miller on Wednesday afternoon, Lowry effectively became ineligible in the NCAA's eyes, although he can get reinstated if he proves he covered all expenses -- which he is doing, with his mother diligently keeping track of the receipts. Still, it's another small step toward remaining in the draft pool, where he's regarded by most as a late-first-rounder and by some scouts as a better point guard than Kentucky's Rajon Rondo or UCLA's Jordan Farmar. The fact that Lowry's workout -- held at the Milkhouse between games -- was well-received could push him even closer to the league.
A scout in attendance said Lowry looked extremely fast, and was "able to show open-floor speed that he didn't really get to display at Villanova." The scout went on to say, "With the hand-checking rules the way they are now, no one will be able to stop Lowry from getting into the lane."
4. Texas' Daniel Gibson may have received a second-round promise.
Gibson, a sophomore combo guard who followed fellow Longhorns P.J. Tucker and LaMarcus Aldridge into the draft, unexpectedly pulled out of the camp at the 11th hour, citing personal reasons back at home in Houston. But a league scout said on Friday that he believed Gibson had received a second-round promise this week and therefore decided to skip Orlando and remain in the draft rather than return to Texas. That means the 'Horns, who are bringing in McDonald's All-Americans Kevin Durant and D.J. Augustin, will have an all-new starting lineup in 2006-07.
5. The dearth of NBA-range three-point shooters at the camp will only boost the draft stock of Duke's J.J. Redick.
NBA personnel have watched a three-point brick-fest in Orlando the last two days; through the first five games teams shot 22 of 71 (30.9 percent) from long distance, and on four occasions a team made either one or zero threes in the course of an entire game. With very few players looking comfortable shooting NBA threes, I think it hammered home the point that the NCAA isn't producing many bona fide sharpshooters these days. And Redick, despite pro teams' misgivings about the rest of his game, is the kind of marksman who doesn't come along very often. In an increasingly offensive-minded league, Redick is too much of a commodity to fall outside the top 10.
6. The top of the draft may be wide open, but don't expect Tyrus Thomas to drop past No. 2.
The Raptors may be eyeing Italian Andrea Bargnani of Benetton Treviso at No. 1, but they're also reportedly entertaining multiple trade proposals to teams that could be looking to snatch Thomas. Should he not go No. 1, it would be shocking to see Thomas get passed up by the Bulls. The reason: Chicago was one of the first teams on the Thomas bandwagon, well before his breakout game against UConn in January and his blockbuster showing in the NCAA tournament, and the Bulls are rumored to have coveted Thomas for some time.
7. The injury that ruined Gerry McNamara's final game at Syracuse was extremely serious, even if he wouldn't admit it.
After the Orange's first-round loss to Texas A&M in the NCAA tournament, McNamara was testy in a press conference in which he said he let his team down, and wouldn't acknowledge he was nearly incapacitated by an injury. He was, however, willing to talk about it at the draft camp on Wednesday -- when he looked healthy and knocked down 4 of 6 threes in his first game. McNamara explained that back in March he had a serious groin issue affecting him all the way up into his pelvis and abdomen.
"When you're lying down to put your socks and shoes on because you can't lift your leg, it's bad," McNamara said of his state during his last big dance. "I just didn't want to make excuses for myself, because my team deserved better than that. But it was a lot of pain."