Tuesday, July 22, 2014

NBA Draft tracker: Jazz bring in six more hopefuls for pre-draft workout (6 items)

By , For the Deseret News

May 20, 2014

The Jazz have resumed their pre-draft workouts following the NBA scouting combine with another six players who are in town to show the Utah brass what they can do. The most notable names of the bunch are Big 12 Player of the Year Melvin Ejim (Iowa State), SEC Player of the Year Scotty Wilbekin (Florida) and Niels Giffey from the national champion Connecticut Huskies. Here is a look at how each player performed during their time in the NCAA and what each player's strengths are.

1 of 6. Jerrelle Benimon

Benimon, a 6-8, 245-pound forward out of Towson spent his first two seasons with the Georgetown Hoyas as nothing more than a bench player. It wasn't until Benimon transferred to Towson that he provided significant production. He is a dominant rebounder who can finish around the rim. When he gets the ball in the paint, he is also skilled at drawing contact and is an improving free-throw shooter. His most productive season came as a senior when he averaged 18.7 points on 52.9 percent shooting from the field, 11.2 rebounds, 3.6 assists and 1.2 blocks in 36 games.

For his career, Benimon averaged 10.1 points, 6.8 rebounds, 1.8 assists and one block in 128 games.

2 of 6. Sam Dower

Dower, a 6-9, 243-pound center out of Gonzaga, spent his first three seasons in Spokane, Washington, as the backup to Kelly Olynyk, although he still saw a decent amount of minutes. It wasn't until Olynyk was a rookie in the NBA that Dower earned a spot in the Bulldogs' starting lineup. He has a soft touch around the basket and a good face-up game out to 15 feet. While he doesn't draw contact often, he is an impressive free-throw shooter. His most productive season came in his lone season as a starter when he averaged 14.4 points on 57.1 percent shooting from the floor, 7.2 rebounds and 1.1 assists in 34 games.

For his career, Dower averaged 9.3 points on 56.2 percent shooting as well as 4.2 rebounds in 18 minutes a night in 137 games.

3 of 6. Melvin Ejim

Ejim, 6-6, 220-pound forward out of Iowa State, was a productive member of the Cyclones during his four years in Ames, Iowa. Ejim was a solid wing scorer and a fantastic offensive rebounder in his first three seasons before stepping up his game thanks to more opportunities as a senior. With an ever-developing outside game and more minutes, he made a huge jump in his final year. In 2013-14, he averaged 17.8 points on 50.5 percent shooting from the field, 8.4 rebounds, 1.8 assists and 1.2 steals in 34 games. He had one of the most impressive games of the year in all of college basketball when he knocked down 20-of-24 shots from the field on his way to a career-high 48 points and 18 rebounds in an 84-69 win over TCU.

For his career, Ejim averaged 12.2 points, 7.8 rebounds, 1.4 assists and 1.2 steals in 135 games.

4 of 6. Niels Giffey

Even though Giffey, a 6-7, 204-pound guard-forward out of UConn, spent four years playing for the Huskies, he wasn't in the rotation until his junior year. Even when he finally earned minutes, he didn't produce on a high level. His biggest strength is his ability to spread the floor with his outside shot. His most productive season came in 2013-14 when he averaged 8.4 points on 54 percent shooting including 48.3 percent from behind the arc.

For his career, Giffey averaged 4.6 points in only 3.3 attempts from the floor and 2.5 rebounds in 139 games.

5 of 6. Jake Odum

Odum, a 6-4, 180-pound guard out of Indiana State, played major minutes during his four seasons and was a big part of the Sycamores' success every step of the way. Odum is at his best on the offensive end of the floor when he is getting into the paint and creating scoring chances for himself and his teammates. He averaged nearly six free-throws a night in 134 career games including a Missouri Valley Conference-leading 227 attempts as a junior. As good as he was at drawing contact, he may be even better as a facilitator. He finished no worse than third in the MVC in assists per game in his four of his seasons at Indiana State. His most productive season came as a junior in 2012-13 when he averaged a career-high 13.6 points on 47.6 percent shooting, 4.5 rebounds, 4.6 assists and 1.5 steals in 33 games.

For his career, Odum averaged 11.7 points, 4.6 rebounds, 4.5 assists and 1.5 steals a game.

1. Jazz Source
Alpine, UT,
May 20, 2014

Some of these prospects, especially the bigger guys first on the list, have some impressive stats. There are some good wing rebounders in there and rebounding typically is a skill that translates from College to the pros.

Will be interesting to see if they draft a PG later on.

2. LVJazzFan
Glendale, AZ,
May 21, 2014

They should have Raul Neto this coming year as well as Trey Burke so drafting a true Point Guard would be foolish unless they think the guy can start today. The Jazz now know where they are drafting so it is time they start looking at some potential first round picks and not at a bunch of guys who probably won't even get drafted. Ejim is the only player on this list that is even projected to be drafted! Come on Jazz!