College Hoops

Takeaways from UConn men’s players at NBA Draft Combine

Takeaways from UConn men's players at NBA Draft Combine

It was a reunion for UConn’s starting five in Chicago, where they arrived at the start of the week for the NBA Draft Combine.

Riding momentum from last month’s NCAA Tournament glory, their collective stock largely continued to rise as they put their skills on display in front of NBA scouts, coaches and executives at Wintrust Arena, home of Big East foe DePaul, this week.

Here are five takeaways from their performances at the Combine so far:

How draft lottery impacts Clingan, Castle projections

Donovan Clingan and Stephon Castle were dressed to impress as they attended the Draft Lottery on Sunday with other projected top picks.

The Atlanta Hawks landed the No. 1 overall pick for the first time since the lottery was introduced in 1985 and Alexandre Sarr, the French 7-footer who played in Australia’s National Basketball League this season, quickly emerged as the likely top pick. Unfortunately for Clingan, who has been in the conversation to be taken as high as No. 1 since the Huskies’ NCAA Tournament run, the teams most in need of a center – like the Portland Trail Blazers (No. 7 overall pick) and the Memphis Grizzlies (No. 9) weren’t as lucky with which the ball machine spit out.

“He has a natural suitor in the Washington Wizards at No. 2, but also some real competition from other prospects, such as Sarr and Zaccharie Risacher,” ESPN draft analyst Jonathan Givony wrote.

ESPN projects Risacher, a 6-foot-9 forward from France, to go with the second overall pick and Clingan to be the next big man off the board at No. 6 to the Charlotte Hornets, who have new ownership and a new head coach in Charles Lee, the former top assistant for the Boston Celtics. Castle, one of the best defensive guards in the draft who continues to highlight more offensive elements of his game at the combine, is projected to go to the Grizzlies with the No. 9 pick.

Clingan focused on adding another element

Dan Hurley was never a fan of Clingan attempting 3-point shots in games over the last two seasons. But the big man, who measured 7-feet, 1 3/4 inches without shoes, continued to put shots up in practice and frequently showed off his jumper in warmups all year.

It is clear that the shot has been one of the main focuses during the draft process for the 20-year-old Bristol native, who looks to prove his fit in the modern NBA game.

Clingan attempted…

Click Here to Read the Full Original Article at UConn Mens Basketball – Hartford Courant…