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 eighth time from Boston, Massachusetts, having completed 10 of his 13 total team visits scheduled ahead of the NBA Draft.
While this process started out as fun and very exciting, the endless travel and interviews are starting to take a toll. Unlike a basketball season, I have only been home for two days in the last six weeks. Though I promised not to be back on Twitter until after the draft on June 26, I got bored and jumped back on over the weekend. The process is almost over, and I have kept my focus the entire time.
Last time I checked in, I was in a hotel in Minnesota the night before my visit with the Timberwolves on Monday. It seemed to be an especially tough workout, maybe the hardest I’ve had through this process. The whole workout was up and down the court, non-stop. There were basically no water breaks, and I was kind of struggling for a little bit in that one, but I still played pretty well and was happy with my performance.
The head coach, Flip Suanders, he actually led the whole workout, which was kind of interesting. He was a lot shorter than I thought he would be; for some reason, I figured he was tall guy. Richard Solomon (California), Zach LaVine (UCLA), C.J. Wilcox (Washington), Tyler Ennis (Syracuse) and Austin Hollins (Minnesota) were all with me in the workout. It was a good group, and we all worked hard.
There was not much time to rest after the visit. I immediately got showered, dressed, ate and went to the airport for my trip to Houston and next workout with the Rockets on Tuesday. I went up against the big man from Wichita State (Kadeem Coleby), Shabazz Napier (UConn), a kid from Denver (Chris Udofia).
I heard a lot of stuff going into that workout about how hard it was, how it was two hours and they try to kill you, but the first hour went by kind of quick. It was a lot of shooting and one-on-ones. The kid from Wichita fouled way too much, but they didn’t call any foul in the workout…but he fouled way too much. Then we ran three-on-three, and Shabazz is really good, of course.
Shabazz told me, when they played us in the Final Four, the scouting report was to try and get me tired so I would get in foul trouble because they knew that when I got tired, I was more prone to foul. They wanted to get me out of the game. [Editor’s Note: Young went 7-for-13 from the floor and 5-for-8 from the line, scoring 19 points while grabbing five boards. He did not commit a foul in 32 minutes.]
I kind of strained my groin a bit during that workout, and it has bothered me a little ever since. I sat down before doing some of the other drills; I could have gone but did not want to press it too much with a couple workouts still left to go. It’s not a big deal for the most part, just a bit annoying.
When I was in the Rockets facility, a lot of guys with the team kept joking with me because they knew I played for the Gators. They kept saying that Chandler [Parsons] is so Hollywood now, that guys from Florida are soft [because of Chandler] and stuff like that. Like, ‘Oh man, you’re friends with Chandler? Oh man, Chandler is the worst.’ They’re like, ‘I wish we could get him in the gym more instead of taking pictures with models.’ I guess he thinks he’s big-time now or something like that.
Originally, I was supposed to have one day off and go for a visit with Memphis on Thursday. That workout got canceled, so I stayed an extra night in Houston and flew out to Los Angeles on Wednesday for a visit on Friday.
I had a friend that stays out in L.A., so I was able to go out and interact with some people. It was nice to be out of a hotel room and hanging out with people I know outside of basketball. We spent some time at a hookah bar, spoke about country music, sports, watched some soccer. It was good to relax for a little bit before my next visit.
My workout with the Clippers went really well. I cannot remember everyone in the group, but Jarnell Stokes (Tennessee), Jahii Carson (Arizona State), Lamar Patterson (Pittsburgh) and two other wings – they were both really good – were all there. I think it was actually my best workout out of all of them, so far. I was doing a little bit of everything. We played three-on-three and I hit six or seven jump shots.
It took me four years until I finally felt like I was able to shoot a jump shot in a game and really been comfortable doing so. I had to fine-tune it for a while, and I have more confidence than ever in it now. My motivation for shooting it more wasn’t high [in college] because is felt like I was only allowed to shoot around the rim, but it is what it is. You can’t do anything about the past now.
I was also getting assists, rebounding, winning one-on-one battles. I was just doing it all, killing it out there. Doc Rivers popped by for a little bit, watched the workout for like 10 minutes and then left.
My agent told me they loved me, thought I played great, competed and performed well. I was definitely excited about that. I was bugging my agent to find out what they thought as soon as the workout was over because I thought I did so well. They have the 28th pick, so that’s definitely in my range.
I flew out from Los Angeles to Boston on Saturday and guess who I bumped into at the airport – Jo[akim Noah]. Right when my driver dropped me off at my gate, he was standing outside of my car and I hear a loud, “Patty!” We stopped to talk for a little bit. He asked me how the process was going and told me he had a trip to Las Vegas coming up. He said he was excited for me and hoped I landed somewhere good.
It was a five-hour flight, but the movies I tried to download did not finish. As far as TV shows, I finished Sons of Anarchy and am on The Wire now. It’s been a bit slow. The beginning of season three has been dragging. There has been some action with Omar every now and then, but it’s still not much but a lot of talking.
I have visits with the Celtics on Monday and Detroit Pistons on Tuesday. Then, I head back to Jacksonville through the draft and find out where I’m going. I’ll be back with a quick post on Wednesday before the draft on Thursday, and I am definitely excited to wrap up this process!
PATH TO THE DRAFT – PREVIOUS ENTRIES
» PART I: Looking back at career, forward to NBA Draft
» PART II: Hiring an agent, graduating, training for the combine
» NBA COMBINE: Full Two-Day Results
» PART III: Combine Recap: Meetings with the Grizzlies, Pelicans
» PART IV: Combine Recap: Meets with the Knicks, Jazz
» PART V: Visits with the Suns, Spurs, 76ers
» PART VI: Visits with the Bulls, Knicks (and fun)
» PART VII: Visits with the Thunder, Jazz, Mavericks