Wilbekin, Prather trying to improve stock


The NBA draft is coming up on Thursday, and while former Florida senior center Patric Young is moving up on some draft boards, the status of point guard Scottie Wilbekin and small forward Casey Prather remains more murky.

Neither Prather nor Wilbekin are projected to go in the top two rounds on any major NBA mock drafts. Both players have had a number or private workouts with NBA teams, with Wilbekin most recently working out for the San Antonio Spurs.

“You would like to see it happen for both of them because they both have tremendous skillsets,” NBA director of scouting Ryan Blake said.

But Blake said he was surprised that neither Wilbekin nor Prather attended the Portsmouth Invitational, an April predraft camp and tournament for college seniors. Blake said Prather initially signed up to play in Portsmouth, then pulled out, then tried to re-enter at the last minute but was unable to because his spot was taken.

“Prather with his defensive skills and Wilbekin with the way he runs a team, his leadership and his defense, a lot of that resonates in 5-on-5 situations,” Blake said.  “And what happens is, an agent thinks if a player doesn’t show up, a team will wonder ‘Where is that guy?’ and his name will get in their head.

“Well, I think teams are a little bit smarter than that. Teams want to see guys that want to play. I think if you have a chance to be seen, you take that opportunity.”

Blake, meanwhile, raved about the intangibles of Young, who moved up to 30th overall (last pick, first round) in ESPN.com Chad Ford’s mock draft on Monday.

“He has the potential to be a defensive presence in the NBA and I don’t consider him to be as raw offensively as some make him out to be,” Blake said. “That’s where he’s going to continue to develop.”

Other notes:

Florida handed out its jersey numbers for its incoming freshmen and transfers on Monday. It’s subject to chance, but as this point, freshman guard Brandone Francis will wear No. 2, freshman forward Devin Robinson will wear No. 3, Duke transfer forward Alex Murphy will wear No. 5, freshman point guard Chris Chiozza will wear No. 11, Michigan transfer center Jon Horford will wear no No. 21 and preferred walk-on freshman guard Zach Hodskins will wear No. 24.