One part of the draft process that often goes overlooked by many fans are the pre-draft workouts. That is especially true when none of the players who are coming to town are expected to be selected in either round of the draft. Even though many of the players who are in town for the Jazz to work out aren’t highly regarded it is still a very important thing to keep an eye on. The reason for that is because plenty of solid NBA players go undrafted but still make NBA rosters. All you have to do is look at former BYU standout Brandon Davies who went undrafted a year ago, but managed to make the Philadelphia 76ers. The same was true for Wesley Matthews who made the Jazz even though he didn’t get drafted. With this years crop of draft eligible talent being so deep, there will be plenty of players who don’t get selected who will make it to the NBA.
The first group of players brought in for the Utah Jazz are Taylor Braun, Bryce Cotton, Stephen Holt, Akil Mitchell, Mike Moser, and Ronald Roberts Jr. Here is a look at how each player performed in college and where they will project at the next level.
Taylor Braun, North Dakota State: Braun was a great player in the Summit league because he can do a little bit of everything on the floor. Braun is a big guard who can handle the ball and did a solid job as a senior at finding the open man. His greatest strength might be his ability to knock down the outside jumper. Braun shot 41.4 percent from behind the arc in his time with the Bison.
For his career, Braun averaged 14.2 points on 48.5 percent shooting, 5.8 rebounds and 2.9 assists in 116 games.
Bryce Cotton, Providence: Cotton is an impressive lead guard who can really score the basketball as well as create good looks for his teammates. He has a decent outside stroke, but where Cotton is most effective is when he gets into the paint where he can finish at the rim, get to the free-throw line or find the open man. Cotton led the BIg East in assists (5.9 per game) and finished second in scoring (21.8 per game) in 2013-14.
For his career, Cotton averaged 15.2 points, 2.8 rebounds and three assists in 130 games.
Stephen Holt, Saint Mary’s: after spending three seasons off the ball, Holt ran the point for the Gaels as a senior and put up some nice numbers. Holt is a proficient scorer (15.2 points a game in 2013-14) thanks in part to his good outside touch (44.3 percent from behind the arc as a senior). Holt also showed the ability as a senior to be a willing passer and solid on-ball defender.
For his career, Holt averaged 108 points, 4.2 rebounds, 2.4 assists and 1.4 steals in 127 games.
Akil Mitchell, Virginia: after having his best offensive season as a junior (13.1 points a game) Mitchell took a step back as a senior even though he shot a better percentage from the floor. The reason for that is because Mitchell took far fewer shots in a very balanced Virginia offense. Even though his scoring and also his minutes were down in ’13-14, Mitchell was still a beast on the glass averaging seven rebounds a game.
For his career, Mitchell averaged 6.9 points on 51.9 percent shooting, six rebounds and 1.1 assists in 133 games.
Mike Moser, Oregon: Moser should be familiar to most local college basketball fans after playing for UCLA, UNLV and Oregon over the last five years. Moser has a nice face up game and is an excellent rebounder. His best season came as a sophomore with the Rebels when Moser averaged 14 points, 10.5 rebounds, 2.3 assists, 1.9 steals and one block a game. After is minutes and production diminished as a junior with the addition of Anthony Bennett to the UNLV lineup, Moser decided for a new start with the Ducks and played well. In 34 games with Oregon, Moser averaged 13.2 points, 7.7 rebounds, 1.6 assists and 1.1 steals.
Ronald Roberts Jr., Saint Joseph’s: Roberts was an excellent finisher around the rim and a solid rebounder during his four years with the Hawks. He stepped up his game in added minutes and averaged a career-high 14.4 points on 60 percent shooting from the floor, to go along with 7.4 rebounds and 1.4 blocks a game.
For his career, Roberts averaged 10.7 points on 57 percent shooting and 6.6 rebounds in 131 games.