The 2011 NBA Draft is just over one month away, but the Minnesota Timberwolves decided to hold their first NBA pre-draft workout on Sunday prior to Monday's workout that will be attended by at least 20 of the other NBA teams.
The workout, which was run by assistant coach John-Blair Bickerstaff, included former University of Minnesota players Blake Hoffarber and Paul Carter (who finished his college career at Illinois-Chicago) along with Minnesota State-Mankato's Cameron Hodges, Kansas State's Jacob Pullen, Jamie Vanderbeken of Iowa State and France's Andrew Albicy.
None of the players brought in Sunday are projected to be drafted, though Pullen probably has the best chance after averaging over 20 points for the Wildcats this past season while being named to the Big-12 All Defensive team after both his junior and senior seasons.
Hoffarber, who has been under the radar ever since attending the Portsmouth Invitational Tournament, finished his career with the Golden Gophers as the school's all-time leader in career three-pointers with 279 while shooting an impressive 41 percent from beyond the arc. As a senior, he averaged 13.6 points 4.1 assists and and 3.5 rebounds.
Albicy, ranked as the 94th best prospect in the NBA Draft by Draft Express, is a point guard who is "generously" listed at 5-foot-10 while competing for the French National Team. The diminutive guard averaged 11.1 points and 4.5 assists while shooting better than 40 percent from beyond the arc while playing for Paris-Levallois in France's top division this season.
Carter transferred from Minnesota to Illinois-Chicago following the 2010 season after deciding he wanted to be closer to his sister while she dealt with a rare form of bone cancer. Carter averaged 14.7 points and 8.0 rebounds while being named to the Horizon League's All-Newcomers team.
Vanderbeken is a 6-foot-11 British-Canadian center who averaged 11.1 points on 43 percent three-point shooting as a senior while also pulling in 5.5 rebounds and 1.7 blocks for the Cyclones. He apparently tried out for the 2009 British National Team, but that seemingly didn't work out as there's been no mention of it since.
Last but not least is Hodges, MSU-Mankato's third-leading scorer this past season with 13.7 points to go along with 4.8 rebounds. Hodges, a Minneapolis native and the NSIC's Defensive Player of the Year, has a pretty interesting story that involves him beginning his career at the Minneapolis Community and Technical College after not playing a second of varsity basketball in high school. Oh, Hodges is also a National Guard member.
Anybody Wolves fans would like to see given an opportunity in Minnesota?