Through the 2014 NBA Draft on June 26 in New York, New York, Florida Gators center Patric Young will be keeping you up-to-date on his Path to the Draft with exclusive comprehensive blog entries here at OnlyGators.com.
The 11th player in school history to end his career with more than 1,300 points and 800 rebounds, Young averaged a career-high 11.0 points per game as a senior and also contributed 6.2 boards per contest last season. He is second all-time at Florida in games played (149), fifth in blocks (159) and dunks (142), eighth in minutes played (1,644), and ninth in field goal percentage (.577) and games started (107).
Young in 2013-14 claimed SEC Defensive Player of the Year honors for the first time but was also named SEC Scholar-Athlete of the Year for the third-straight season, becoming the first player in league history to accomplish that feat.
He checks in for the fourth time from Philadelphia, Pennsylvania after completing the first three of 14 total team visits he has scheduled before the NBA Draft.
I’m three workouts into the NBA Draft process. It is already proving to be a long, hectic process, and June is going to be crazy. As of right now, I have 14 total workouts scheduled and 11 to go.
My first workout was with the Phoenix Suns on Wednesday, my second was with the San Antonio Spurs on Friday, and the one I just finished up was hosted by the Philadelphia 76ers on Sunday.
At my first workout in Phoenix, I heard rumors from the guys at IMG that there was going to be a lot of running and it would be high-tempo. Those guys were right. I was definitely a little nervous going into it because I could see them taking me as one of their picks, and I really wanted to do well.
When I got into Phoenix on Tuesday, I decided to get some work in and put up some shots at the gym. It helped calm my nerves a little bit to get used to the facility.
I didn’t do as great as I wanted to, but I still played really hard, competed well and got a lot of good feedback from the team. I still shot the ball really well; I just think the nerves got to me a little bit with it being my first workout. My energy level, defense and rebounding were absolutely there though.
I interviewed with the assistant general manager, Pat Connelly, and he just told me that in my first few years in the league I need to focus on doing whatever I can to help whatever organization I’m with, with my energy, defense and rebounding.
I ended up staying an extra night in Phoenix because there was no point in me leaving so soon to go to San Antonio. I would have been bored if not for my friend living in the area. I spent that night after the workout with him, and we went go-carting, which was pretty cool. It was an indoor go-kart track and those go really fast. It was great. People might think the cart would be uncomfortable in my legs because I’m so tall, but it was actually my forearms that bothered me. They were burning from making the turns and those go-karts get up, man.
When I left for San Antonio, I was really excited for that workout because the Spurs have been my favorite team since I was a little kid. One of my best friends growing up was a Lakers fan, and I really admired The Admiral [David Robinson] and Tim Duncan. I felt like The Admiral was the best and Tim Duncan was his protégé. The Twin Towers. They started winning those championships and those were some good memories. I always wanted to be like Tim Duncan when I was growing up. I haven’t met many Spurs fans, but it’s a nice occasion when you meet one and they appreciate the same things you do about the team.
I probably did not appreciate their brand of basketball when I was growing up but now I just love good, team basketball – guys that just understand the game in all aspects. Guys that when one man goes down – when Tony Parker goes down – Boris Diaw steps up. Manu Ginobili comes in and does his thing. Marco Belinelli, same thing. Matt Bonner, when his name is called, he doesn’t falter. He just comes in and does his job, does what the coach asks him to do. I just really respect a team that is not about the “I,” a team that’s really focused on being a team. I got mad respect for that.
I got them winning the NBA Finals this year. They were supposed to win it last year.
Of course, they’re focused on winning a championship right now, so a lot of their head coaches and assistant coaches weren’t there when I visited, but they brought their D-League coaches and scouts.
My workout in San Antonio was much better than the one in Phoenix. I did a lot of two-on-two, and they also asked me to do the bench press again. I got 24-and-a-half reps this time. I didn’t want to do it again, but they made me.
I got a lot of good feedback from them as well. They’re still unsure about what they want to do with their pick, but it’s definitely a place I could fit in. I would love to be a part of an organization like that. If they selected me, that would be awesome.
Sunday, I had my workout with Philadelphia and it was by far my best one so far. Their general manager, the people that are at the head of basketball operations, they loved me. They said I sounded very experienced and mature in my interview. They asked me questions about myself but also about other players in my interview because they said I had an NBA scout perspective on these players just because I articulated well and understood the game. When it came down to the court, it was me, DeAndre Daniels, Cory Jefferson, Jakarr Sampson and Jordan McRae.
We did three-on-two, two-on-one and then one-on-one full-court. Starting with that, I felt like I was doing great. I was dunking on guys, making good passes, finishing, good blocks, rebounding, being loud and vocal. Jordan McRae and I were on the same team for a bit and that was kind of weird, playing with a guy from the Tennessee Volunteers.
That workout went great. It was high-energy and a great, competitive environment. I competed well. They told us at the end that we were the best group they had so far. I played Cory Jefferson one-on-one and beat him in every spot. I had a lot of good moves going and shot the ball well around the end of the workout, too.
They had me shoot a lot of three-pointers, too. I actually was pretty decent at the corner threes. Being the shortest one by distance, I probably hit 8-out-of-10 combined, and then at the top of the key I hit 3-out-of-5. The other spots on the corners…well…I was terrible.
The thing I’ve come to realize is there’s a lot of free time on the road after you do these workouts. I’ve been catching up on shows on Netflix – Sons of Anarchy – watching movies, sleeping. I have not gone out and traveled around in the cities because I really don’t want to walk around and get lost. So far the hotels have been right near the gyms, so it has been easy to just hang out, order room service and relax.
The schedule is getting real for me now. It’s going to be an average of three workouts each week going forward. This week coming up, I have Chicago and New York back-to-back on Tuesday and Wednesday.
My goal is to keep showing how much I want it, that I’m as talented as anybody else out there and I can go contribute to a team right now.