Tim Hardaway Jr. was one of the stars of the NBA Draft Combine in Chicago and could be moving toward the first round according to ESPN’s Chad Ford.
Hardaway Jr. has been hiding in plain sight for the past three years. Whether it was comparisons to his father or the fact he was surrounded by so much talent at Michigan the past two years, he’s struggled to convince scouts he’s a first rounder. I’m not so sure that’s the case anymore.
His performance at the combine, shooting the ball in the athletic testing, and in Friday’s live action 3-on-3′s put him in the same groupings with Kentavious Caldwell-Pope, Jamaal Franklin, Glen Rice Jr. and Allen Crabbe for the next 2-guard to come off the board after McLemore and Oladipo get drafted.
Ford now has Hardaway at No. 28 on his Top 100 and also made the case for Trey Burke (or Ben McLemore) going No. 1 overall.
Mike Rothstein profiles Trey Burke after spending two days of draft prep with the point guard:
His game has been honed for this moment since he was a sophomore in high school. Burke has been thinking about the draft, about where he’ll go, about the next stage of his life, almost daily.
“It gives me goose bumps, really,” Burke said the next day, after an appointment with a chiropractor.
Burke could become the highest draft pick from Columbus, Ohio, since Antonio Daniels went fourth overall in 1997, and the highest pick out of Michigan since Robert Traylor went sixth in 1998. In preparation, he has worked out twice almost every weekday, training with the same man who got him ready for his two-year college stint, Anthony Rhodman.
As he completes the metamorphosis to the pros, Burke has kept his circle tight. His representation is, literally, family. His trainer, Rhodman, has worked with him for five years. One of his main sounding boards, Ronnie Steward, is almost like family.
“It’s not even a circle,” Burke’s father, Benji, said. “We call it ‘keeping a dot.’ We don’t want anybody outside that we really don’t know.
“It’s really a family thing. Just a family thing.”
AJ Turner, a guard formerly in the class of 2014 at De La Salle, has decided to reclassify to the class of 2015. Turner will also be transferring from De La Salle to New Hampton School in New Hampshire. Turner will repeat his junior year and play two seasons with New Hampton.
Turner was thought to be one of the leading candidates for Michigan’s Mr. Basketball award next season after averaging 18 points and six assists and earning third team All-State mention. Michigan is continuing its recruitment of the talented swingman, along with Michigan State, Northwestern and others. Turner is rejecting interview requests at this point but released the following statement on his move.
As reported this weekend my family and I have decided that it would be best for me as a student-athlete to transfer and reclassify to New Hampton Prep in New Hampshire. I will now do two years of school at New Hampton and will graduate in the class of 2015.
I began school at an early age and have always taken pride in my academics and that will continue going forward. I have been an honor roll student all of my life and I have already passed the ACT. I know the decision I have made is a challenge but I am up to facing that challenge and I feel it will only help me down the road grow as a student-athlete.
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Report Cards are back and a month late is better than never. We’ll start with the NBA Draft prospects and work our way through.
When Tim Hardaway Jr. committed to Michigan, he was a 6-foot-4, rail-thin 3-star prospect whose skills were limited mostly to outside shooting. As his body and his skill set developed at Michigan, so did his role.
He carried Michigan to the NCAA tournament in his freshman season, supplementing Darius Morris’s passing with a torrid 3-point shooting streak to close the season. His sophomore year brought the challenge of deciphering his role alongside another new, supremely talented back-court mate, Trey Burke. While his sophomore year was a step back, his final season was clearly two steps forward. Hardaway improved across-the-board and expanded his game to include rebounding and ball-handling duties, as well as an augmented defensive role. His new versatility allowed him to finally feel secure in his role alongside Burke, who blossomed into the best player in the country.
While Hardaway improved steadily during his time at Michigan, game-to-game consistency was always a struggle. This rule held true this past season — there were times Hardaway appeared utterly unstoppable, and times when he seemed to force matters. Especially during the later portion of the season, it felt as though Hardaway attempted to put the team on his back at times, often with disappointing results (see: Final Four). But while his career-long lack of consistency persisted into this past season, Hardaway’s disposition and effort was never questioned and he won Michigan a lot of games (at times almost by himself). His scoring may have been up-and-down, but Hardaway limited the “disappearances” that plagued his first two seasons in Ann Arbor.
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