Former NCAA Title Game Stars To Work Out For Jazz
SALT LAKE CITY, Utah – The Utah Jazz continued their pre-NBA Draft diligence by inviting six more to work out for the team on Wednesday.
Two of the six players, Mamadi Diakite, who played at Virginia and Matt Mooney, formerly at Texas Tech, were key players for the two schools that played for the NCAA Tournament championship in Aprl.
Diakiate’s Cavaliers prevailed over Mooney’s Red Raiders in an 85-77 overtime thriller to clinch the title.
Here’s a bit of info on each of the six players who will show off their skills to the Jazz organization on Wednesday:
One of the most highly recruited high schoolers in the country back in 2015, Battle has declared for the NBA Draft after this junior year at Syracuse. It’s his second go-around with NBA scouts after declaring for the 2018 draft last season. This time, however, he has signed an agent and will likely not return to the Orange regardless of his evaluation. The 6’6 guard led the Orange in scoring in each of the last two seasons. He’s projected to be a second round pick or undrafted, according to some mock drafts.
After a stellar NCAA Tournament run that culminated in a national championship, Diakite has decided to test the NBA waters. He has not ruled out the possibility of returning to Virginia should he decide that the time is not right for him to go pro. While he wasn’t invited to the NBA Combine later this month, he’ll be a participant in the NBA G League Elite Camp and have an outside shot at making it to the Combine if he plays well there.
Gibbs was workhorse for Norte Dame over the last two seasons, ranking near the top of the national leaderboard in minutes played. Last season, he averaged 13.4 points and 3.4 assists per game for the Irish. He is also an early entrant in the Draft and will maintain his college eligibility.
Utah Jazz Announce Pre-Draft Workouts pic.twitter.com/nSHf6qg87y
— Utah Jazz PR (@UtahJazzPR) May 7, 2019
Hernandez is in an interesting spot. In January, it was found that he had improperly received benefits from an agent and as a result, he has ruled ineligible for the remainder of the season and part of next season. It’s possible that he will not return to college basketball regardless of how his NBA evaluation goes. Hernandez was once a five-star recruit in high school and a McDonald’s All-American in 2016. In the 2017-18 season, he averaged 11.4 points and 6.7 rebounds per game for the Hurricanes.
Mooney came to Texas Tech as a graduate transfer this last season and was a key member of the Red Raiders team that advanced all the way to the championship game. In the semifinals game against Michigan State, Mooney scored 22 points to help his team move on to the title game, where they were defeated by Virginia. He was named to the 2019 All-Tournament team. Despite the accolades, Mooney is not projected to be an NBA draft pick.
Randolph led the Wildcats in scoring in what was a down year for Arizona basketball. For now, he’s just testing the waters but could return to Arizona depending on how his evaluations go. If he returns to Arizona, it’s likely that he’ll have a reduced role as the Wildcats are expected to bring in a highly-talented freshman class for next season.
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