Check out complete coverage of Monday’s multi-player pre-Draft workout, as the Kings welcomed Shabazz Muhammad and more to Sacramento.
On Monday, Head Coach Michael Malone and the Kings hosted their fourth multi-player pre-Draft workout, featuring six prospects.
Following is a list of participants, including background information on their respective careers to date. Plus, following the workout, Kings.com caught up with Shabazz Muhammad and Trevor Mbakwe to gain insight into Monday’s go-round and more.
– Brandon Davies, F, Sr., BYU – The First Team All-West Coast Conference selection averaged 17.7 points on 52.2 percent from the field and 8.0 rebounds per game in 2012-13, ranking among the top five in the WCC in all three categories. The 6-foot-10 forward earned MVP honors in the Portsmouth Invitational, tallying 20.6 points and 9.3 rebounds, while connecting on 67.6 percent from the floor.
– Elias Harris, F, Sr., Gonzaga – The two-time First Team All-WCC selection and 2013 WCC Tournament MVP finished his career as the second-leading rebounder in school history (979), averaging 7.4 boards to go along with 14.6 points per outing as a senior. The quick and athletic forward helped lead No. 1 seed Gonzaga to the third round of the NCAA Tournament.
– Zeke Marshall, C, Sr., Akron – The two-time Mid-American Conference Defensive Player of the Year and First Team All-MAC selection ranked third in the nation in blocks (122) as a senior, finishing his career as the all-time conference swat leader (368). The 7-foot center became only the fourth Division I player in the last 30 seasons to average at least 13.0 points on 65 percent from the field, 7.0 rebounds and 3.5 swats per game.
– Trevor Mbakwe, F, Sr., Minnesota – The Third Team All-Big Ten selection led the conference in rebounding (8.7 per game) for the second time in the last three seasons, while adding 10.0 points and 1.4 blocks per contest in 2012-13. The 6-foot-8 forward grabbed 327 boards as a junior, the third most in a single season by a Gopher.
– Shabazz Muhammad, G-F, Fr., UCLA – The Pac-12 Co-Freshman of the Year and First Team All-Pac-12 selection ranked fourth in the conference in scoring (17.9 points per game) and 12th in three-point accuracy (37.7 percent) in 2012-13. The 6-foot-6 swingman helped lead UCLA to a 25-10 record and scored a team-high 20 points in the second round of the NCAA Tournament.
– Romero Osby, F, Sr., Oklahoma – The First Team All-Big 12 selection led the conference in PER (28.9) and ranked among the top five in scoring (16.0 points per game), field-goal percentage (52.6 percent) and rebounding (7.0). The versatile 6-foot-7 forward earned team MVP honors while helping lead the Sooners to the second round of the NCAA Tournament.
How was today’s workout?
“It went great. Coach (Malone) is a really good coach – (it) impressed me (seeing how the) head coach is running the practice. It was an all-out great performance, great competition and just felt really good.”
What are your goals for your rookie NBA season?
“If (I were Drafted) here, winning more games than last year, making the Playoffs. I know it’s going to be a young team – Sacramento is a young team with some great pieces. We can be a really good team. (Adding) myself in, I can give us a little bit more variety on offense and also look to play (shooting guard) and (small forward) and really try to stretch out the defense.”
What aspects of your game have improved most since the end of your college season?
“My off-the-dribble ball-handling – my coming-off-the-dribble shot. I did a great job of that today, just coming off the dribble, feeling comfortable with that shot and just squaring my shot up. I think it’s one thing I’ve really been improving on, and I can see it’s really making a big difference for me.”
Your sister, Asia, played on the Sacramento Capitals tennis team last year. What kind of feedback did you get from her about the city?
“I have family in Sacramento, too – my uncle, (Stephone Paige), who played with the Kansas City Chiefs, lives out here. It’s great – I love Sacramento. It’s close, it’s California – it’s my home. If (there is) opportunity to come here, I would love to experience it.
“This gym makes you want to be in here all day – the facility is second to none, the coach is great. This is a great opportunity. If I had the chance to come here, I think I’d give them a lot of options.”
How familiar are you with current Kings players?
“Jimmer Fredette is a really good player – he can really shoot the ball. Isaiah Thomas, who can really score. There are so many guys who can score the ball, and it’s (the style) I like to play …
“It’s a really young team with DeMarcus Cousins, Isaiah – a lot of really good, young pieces who can really score the ball. Just putting myself in there, I think I can do the same, and we’d (pose) some matchup problems for a lot of teams in the West.”
Are there any current or former NBA players with whom you model your game?
“I try to model my game after James Harden, Manu Ginobili – those are the guys I try to look at, just with their ability to get to the next spot. Even though they’re not the fastest or biggest guys, they use their ball-handling and (quickness) to get to the rim and draw fouls – that’s one thing I try to do.”
How was today’s workout?
“It went well – it was probably one of the most competitive workouts I’ve had so far.”
What kind of feedback did you get from Coach Malone?
“We have some interviews set up afterward, but he just liked the way I play, how hard I play. I think he appreciates he knows what he’s going to get from me. It’s his first year here, he’s a great coach and I expect him to bring that tough, defensive-minded (approach) to the team.”
In previous workouts, have you experienced a hands-on approach with a head coach like in Sacramento?
“No, usually they’re on the sidelines watching, but this has been the most active. He ran the workout and I think it was good for us to see, first-hand, how it would be if we were to play here. I can see the intensity he coaches with and how he’s going to have a positive impact on this team.”
Prior to today, you faced Shabazz Muhammad in the NCAA Tournament. What are your impressions of his game?
“He’s a tough player – he can score, he can do a lot of different things. I was able to beat him (in the second round of the Tournament), but he’s definitely one of the best players in his class and I think any franchise that gets him is going to get a hard-working player.”
How would you characterize your game and how you could fit in with a team?
“I think I’d be one of those high-energy guys, like the Kenneth Faried-type – come in and play hard, block shots, defend, rebound, score when I have to. One of those guys who are going to do the little things it’s going to take to win ballgames. I think it’s one of the things the coaches have been impressed with so far with me.”
How familiar are you with former University of Minnesota and Kings great Bobby Jackson?
“He’s a legend back home at Minnesota – he did so much for the program. I haven’t seen him for a while (since) he’s so busy with the NBA, but he was a great player and anytime you get a chance to talk to him, it’s always a good talk.”
– For complete Kings pre-Draft workout coverage leading up to the 2013 NBA Draft, stay current with Kings.com’s Offseason Central.