PHILADELPHIA -- On Friday morning at the Philadelphia College of Osteopathic Medicine, the Philadephia 76ers kicked off another six player pre-draft workout - their first since winning the NBA draft lottery to select first June 23.
Stepping on the court in Sixers practice gear was 6-foot-7 wing Jaron Blossomgame (Clemson), 6-foot-3 German guard Maodo Lo (Columbia), local prospect 6-foot-7 forward Isaiah Miles (St. Joseph's), another 6-foot-7 man in small forward Taurean Prince (Baylor), 6-foot-8 power forward Winston Shepard (San Diego State), and two-time Missouri Valley Conference player of the year, guard Fred VanVleet (Wichita State.)
Out of the six players, only one, Blossomgame, was not a senior.
With an upperclassmen group in the facility Director of Basketball Operations for the Sixers, Vince Rozman, expected to see some veteran presence in the workout.
"You think you know what you're getting a little bit more than a freshman," he said. "It's not always true but throughout their career there's just a lot more to go on. Hopefully they're a little more mature, this group is super mature, we've had a chance to sit with a lot of them so far."
Rozman continued by saying "a lot of these guys are fighting for jobs right now" after spending three or four years in college as they look to make the jump to the NBA.
Here are some notes from the Friday morning session:
Prince looks to add versatility to an NBA team
The Baylor small forward was the most notable prospect present on Friday, currently slated to be picked 16th in DraftExpress.com's last mock draft.
Working out for a team like Philadelphia, which so badly needs perimeter help, Prince was just looking to hit the floor and show the coaching staff he has the ability to do whatever they may need him to.
"My versatility, that I could handle the ball in pick and roll situations, play defense on different guys. I think I did pretty well," Prince said.
Rozman seemed to take notice of the work Prince put in not only on Friday, but over the duration of his career at Baylor.
"We've seen him a lot in four years, he's a big kid," Rozman said. "Coach (Brett Brown) likes big, physical two-way guys, and he can do that. He does a little bit more with the ball than people might have thought and he's a worker."
Along with displaying his versatility for the ball club Prince tried his best to just go out and enjoy himself during the workout - Philadelphia's choice to blast music during play time certainly helped.
"I love music first of all, and I love dancing," he said. "When you put the love of that and basketball together it just kind of gets me in that mood. Not every workout is like that, so it kind of surprised me. I was just enjoying myself and enjoying the atmosphere, enjoying the people around me."
Prince also had the chance to speak with Brown, who told him "overdue your sleep, drink a lot of water, don't worry about any other things but what you need to do to prepare for the following workout."
The small forward will work out for the Phoenix Suns on Tuesday, already completing workouts with the San Antonio Spurs, Atlanta Hawks, Boston Celtics and Chicago Bulls.
Local product Miles enjoying his opportunity
For the second time in the week, the Sixers brought in a St. Joseph's player. After hosting DeAndre' Bembry on Monday, forward Isaiah Miles was in attendance Friday.
The senior frontcourt player felt his workout with the local professional team was a positive showing.
"I think I shot the ball well, and showed the scouts and coaches I can shoot well and I can spread the floor," he said. "I think I showed that my conditioning is pretty good."
Brown called Miles a "good worker" while Rozman noted he's "gotten a lot better throughout his career."
Going through the draft process with his teammate, Bembry, Miles believes is a payoff to the work the two put in while at St. Joseph's.
"It's huge, he's my best friend he's my brother," Miles said of getting to be evaluated with Bembry. "Seeing someone you battled with through the season have such great success after the seasons over, as well as you, it's kind of a huge process. You'd like to see your brother do well, so I'm glad that me and him are able to go through the process and we're getting what we deserve from the season."
During the pre-draft process agents and teams can get into a players ear and feed them with certain potential draft positions and pieces of information.
For Miles, he doesn't want to get caught up in anything that can take his eye off the prize.
"My preference is I don't really want to know," Miles said in response to what he's heard about his draft position. "I don't want to have my head into that, I want to have my head into working hard every workout. You're going this spot, this team likes you, you know I feel like it's a distraction to me and I don't really want that distraction."
Miles noted that his potential union with the Sixers could provide them with "someone who could spread the floor and be a mismatch problem for a lot of fours and fives. From a shooting aspect I think they need one and I think I could fit there."
On his upcoming workouts Miles noted his busy schedule starting this weekend: "I'm leaving Sunday to go to Houston, I have Dallas and Houston. Then I fly back to Philly. I have the Knicks, Milwaukee, Utah and then I have San Antonio."
Ivy League graduate Lo ready to prove his worth
Lo, a German native and recent Columbia graduate, arrived to the Sixers practice facility with a little bit of a different flavor than the normal NBA prospect.
"It's really interesting if you talk to him and talk about his story," Rozman said of the Columbia guard. "His mother's from Germany and his dad is from Senegal. He's got an interesting story. He played with the German national team last year and preformed really, really well. It's good to get him in the gym, he showed some things that you don't necessarily see him do at college. It was a good day for him."
Lo seemed to echo Rozman's remarks about his performance on the court.
"I think it went well," Lo said of his Friday morning workout. "It was a really good workout, my second one. Just wanted to make sure to show my shooting abilities. Show shooting my three, shooting off the dribble, and just my understanding of the game."
With international experience to go along with his college game, Lo brings the aspect of understanding two types of ways basketball can be played. For himself, he believes the versatility provides an advantage on the court.
"I think in Europe at times it's a different game," he said. "It's less one-on-one and more of understanding the offense, reading the defense, making plays off of it and taking advantage of what you see. I think that's something I bring along as a player, understanding the game and creating for others - sharing the ball a lot and that type of skill."
While basketball has dominated Lo's life up until this point, the guard - who is originally from Berlin - made the decision to move to the United States for a reason that goes beyond the hardwood.
"Education," he said of his choice to play at Columbia, which won the CIT Invitational over UC Irvine. "It's very important to me, it always has been. I love basketball. Basketball is my life and my passion, but it ends at some point in your life. It's good to have something else. In Europe you can't combine both academics and athletics, universities don't have it. It was obvious for me to come to the United States."
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As far as his pre-draft workouts go, Lo only performed for the Minnesota Timberwolves before his Sixers experience. Noting he "just graduated two days ago .. and just came off finals." Moving forward for workouts Lo said there is "nothing definite, since my given situation those are being organized right now."