The Knicks are one of many NBA teams who recently scouted Iona's A.J. English.
English is a 6-foot-4 senior point guard who averaged 20.1 points, 5.1 rebounds and 5.1 assists for a team that lost to Manhattan in last year's MAAC Championship game and then fell to Rhode Island in the first round of the NIT.
He is the son of A.J. English II, an All-American at Virginia Union University and two-year NBA veteran with the Washington Bullets from 1990-92, where he averaged just under 10.0 points per game.
"[Knicks scout Kristian Petesic] liked his ability to score in different ways and get his teammates shots," Iona associate head coach Jared Grasso told SNY.tv. "They are looking for him to continue to improve his defensive intensity and they will definitely be following him closely this year."
The Knicks don't have a first- or second-round pick in 2016 and would have to buy a pick, or potentially bring English (or anyone else) in as an undrafted free agent.
"Going to the NBA isn't important to me," English told SNY.tv last season. "Winning is more important to me, making sure my guys are contending for a national title."
English is not currently projected to be drafted according to DraftExpress.com, which lists him as the No. 57-ranked senior in the nation. Yet with a strong senior campaign - the Gaels open the season Nov. 15 at Valparaiso, and then visit Oregon State Nov. 17 - English could help his stock with NBA decision-makers.
"I expect him to have a great year," one NBA scout said.
"If he plays well, first round," a second scout said. "Right now, he is on many boards as a second-rounder preseason."
Still other experts think English could end up having a solid career in Europe, where several of the aforementioned Gaels are currently playing.
Grasso says English will definitely get examined closely this year.
"I think NBA guys see our style of play and see the way we develop our guys and I think A.J'.s put himself in a position to have the opportunity, and it's a credit to him. But he epitomizes our culture and what we push as our work ethic," Grasso said. "We'll practice for three hours or we'll do an hour individual workout, and he's in the gym at 11, 12 o'clock at night getting shots up every single day. When he got here he was bench-pressing 185 pounds, now he's bench-pressing 320 pounds. For his work ethic, it's taken his game to another level. And I think he's a kid who's focused and has the ability to be an NBA player."
Adam Zagoria is a Basketball Insider for SNY.tv. You can follow him on Twitter.