TWO BITS: Young & NBA Draft, Donovan & USA

1 » In his first two-round mock ($) of the 2014 NBA Draft, ESPN Insider’s Chad Ford predicts that Florida Gators center Patric Young will go off the board with the last pick of the first round (No. 30 overall) to the San Antonio Spurs. Ford explains: “The Spurs love players that are ‘over themselves.’ That’s a perfect description for Young. He does all the little things, rebounds, defense and uses his toughness to get buckets. He won’t do anything spectacular, but is NBA ready right now.”

Young, whose favorite team is San Antonio, worked out for the Spurs on May 30 and wrote about his visit in his exclusive Path to the Draft blog on OnlyGators.com.

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. …

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.

By comparison, only one of three mock drafts from CBSSports.com have Young going in the first round (Zach Harper predicts No. 28 overall to the Los Angeles Clippers). The other two, by Gary Parrish and Matt More, do not have Young going until the second round. None of the four aforementioned mock drafts have either point guard Scottie Wilbekin or forward Casey Prather being selected.

2 » Gators head basketball coach Billy Donovan improved to 17-0 in international play with USA Basketball over the weekend, parlaying the under-18 team’s record-breaking defeat of Uruguay on Friday into a 100-46 defeat of Mexico on Saturday and 118-64 win over Argentina on Sunday. The United States accomplished its most important feats on Saturday, not only securing a semifinal appearance in the 2014 FIBA Americas U18 Championship but also locking up a berth in the 2015 FIBA U19 World Championship. The Americans are now playing for a medal in the FIBA Americas, first taking on the Dominican Republic on Monday at 7:30 p.m. in a semifinal showdown.

Should the United States win, it will play for a gold medal on Tuesday. Donovan has previously won gold with USA Basketball in the 2012 FIBA Americas U18 Championship and 2013 FIBA U19 World Championship. “The guys did a good job [Sunday night],” he said after USA Basketball’s last game. “I think during our last three games, we’ve gotten better in some areas and we got a chance to learn in some other areas, so we’re excited that we’ve been able to move on and advance to the medal round.”

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2 Responses to “TWO BITS: Young & NBA Draft, Donovan & USA”

  1. Tractorr says:

    Taking Young would be a smart move by San Antonio. They have a team that can win a championship next year. Picking a player who can contribute immediately is more important than ultimate ceiling.

  2. Marlex says:

    Go Team USA! Bringing Billy Ball to the world!

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