You knew the 2014 Chicago predraft camp was well suited for former Florida senior center Patric Young because it displayed his physical skills.
Young made the most of his opportunity with a strong showing — literally. Young bench pressed 185 pounds 25 straight times, the most of any player at the combine and two off Jason Keep’s NBA combine record of 27 reps. Young also measured at 6-foot-10 without sneakers, a passable size for an NBA center.
Most NBA draft analysts still currently project Young as a second round pick, with the website Draftexpress.com having Young going 41st overall (11th pick, second round) to the Denver Nuggets.
Here’s what one NBA scout told me when I asked him about Young’s draft prospects: “He has all the physical tools. The question will be how he can utilize those gifts and athletic ability at the next level. One thing he has going for him is he played for Billy Donovan. He’s not only one of the best college coaches, but one of the best at getting guys ready for the NBA level.”
In 18 seasons at UF, Donovan has not only led the Gators to four Final Fours, but had 18 players move on to play in at least one NBA game. The list includes three All-Stars (Joakim Noah, Al Horford, David Lee) and 12 players currently on NBA rosters.
Young is currently working out at IMG Academy in Bradenton and is represented by agent Jim Tanner of Tandem Sports.
— A few weeks ago, former Gator forward Alex Tyus was named Euroleague player of the month for April. Over the weekend, Tyus had more reasons to celebrate. With Tyus starting at center, Maccabi Tel Aviv upset Real Madrid to win the Euroleague title. Tyus posted a double-double (12 points, 11 rebounds) in the title game.
— UConn coach Kevin Ollie received a nice raise for knocking off Florida twice during the season en route to the 2014 national championship. Connecticut will visit Florida in early January to complete a home-and-home series.
— Interesting sidenote — Jets first-round draft pick Calvin Pryor claimed to have cleanly blocked Florida rising sophomore forward Chris Walker during a high school basketball game. The 5-foot-11 Pryor was a four-year varsity basketball player at Port St. Joe, while the 6-foot-10 Walker played in the same region at Bonifay.