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Draft

Draft workout notes: Senior Day at Raptors Pre-Draft Workouts

The Raptors hosted a pre-draft workout this morning at the BioSteel Centre, six players were in attendance, five of them seniors, most of them projected to be on the outside looking in come draft night. Although a lot of these players aren’t projected to go in either the first and second round of this years draft, they all have interesting skill sets, and could be a good indicator of what the Raptors are potentially looking for come draft night.

The most intriguing player worked out today was South Carolina’s P.J. Dozier, who’s long 6’7 frame, mixed with his ability to play the point guard position, is a player to watch out for in the second round of this years draft. He has a very raw offensive skill set, and could present himself to be a bit of a project on that end of the floor.  However he has great defensive upside, and the threat to posing a major mismatch both ends of the floor. Dozier is the kind of project you would love to take on in the late second round.

PLAYER NOTES

Here’s the full list of players who attended the workout:

Name Position Height College
Matt Jones Guard 6-4 Duke
Jordan Matthews Guard 6-4 Gonzaga
Matt Thomas Guard 6-4 Iowa State
PJ Dozier Guard 6-5 South Carolina
Justin Tuoyo Forward 6-8 Chattanooga
Kennedy Meeks Forward 6-9 UNC

Matt Jones

Draft Express Ranking – Unranked

The senior out of Duke, finished his college basketball career this year with an impressive resume, including a National Championship. In his final year at Duke, Jones was playing close to 33 minutes a game, averaging 7 points, shooting 39% from the field, and 34% from three on close to four attempts per game. His usage in his final year dropped to 12% (a NCAA career low), along with his TS% to 51%.

Although he is unranked on most draft boards currently, he possess a lot of interesting skills. Jones is a strong defensive player, showing the ability to guard multiple position on the perimeter, he has a very Norman Powell-esque build standing 6’4 with a 6’8 wingspan, and has a pretty decent shooting stroke from deep.

Recently, at the Portsmouth basketball invitational (a postseason camp held for NCAA seniors), Jones put on a scoring clinic to go along with his strong defense. He averaged 17.3 points, pulled down an impressive amount of offensive rebounds, and shot a nice 41% from three. In the final game of the tournament, Jones scored 22 points, with the game winning buzzer beater from deep. This showing definitely helped Jones’ draft stock out, but he is most likely someone we will see in the Summer league or G-League next year, rather than walking across the stage at draft night.

Jordan Matthews

Draft Express Ranking- Unranked

Matthews played his first three season of college basketball with the University of California. He was known throughout his college career as being a knock down shooting threat. In his first three years he made 201 three pointers to the tune of 41%, he also made 21 more threes than twos in his first three years.

Matthews made a big decision after his junior year. He finished his degree in three years, and graduated in the summer from the University of California. After he graduated, he  transferred to Gonzaga for his senior year as a graduate transfer, citing differences with head coach Cuonza Martin, and the desire to play deeper into the tournament. Matthews completed an astounding 6 classes in a 12 week summer semester, and focused on basketball his final year.

Matthews was no different in his senior year. Knocking down a ton of threes, shooting 39% from three on 5.6 attempts per game, more than double the amount of two pointers he took. Matthews is a fearless scorer from deep, and quickly forgets about the previous missed shot. While this might be a great mental skill, it can also be a problem at times. His shot saw some good and bad stretches this year, and if you look at his game logs he would have a four game stretch where he shot close to 50% from three on 5 attempts per game, and then have a couple games where he would go 3/9, and 2/7. Consistency is probably key here, but Matthews is another guy who we might see in Summer League or the G-League as a elite knockdown shooter.

Matt Thomas 

Draft Express Ranking- Unranked

Just like the other two names mentioned above, Matt Thomas is another senior guard who can shoot it very efficiently from deep. In his final two years at Iowa State, Thomas shot an impressive 43% from three, on close to six attempts per game. He is yet another player who attempts more than 50% of his shots from behind the arc in college, and served as Iowa State’s primary scorer in his final two years. But much like the other two players, Thomas is not ranked to go in either rounds of the NBA draft as of right now, and it’s very unlikely his name will be called on draft night.

P.J. Dozier

Draft Express Ranking- 50

The combo guard sophomore out of South Carolina projects to be a very interesting second round pick. A former Mr. Basketball in South Carolina, Dozier turned down multiple offers from big time programs to play for his hometown team. Standing 6’7, Dozier has the skill set to play the point guard position, averaging 22.8% AST% in his Sophmore year. With a wingspan reaching 6’11, a 40” vertical jump, and an extremely slim 201lb weight, he possess a body that when fully grown into could be a very effective ball handler, and versatile defender at the NBA level.

Defense is one of Dozier’s best skills. His ability to switch onto guarding multiple positions, his length makes it easy for his to get into passing lanes, and has the quicks and vertical to defend shots at the rim.

While he shows signs of being a plus defender, and has a very interesting frame, he needs to prove he isn’t a liability on the offensive end. Dozier is still listed as a combo guard, although he can be a good facilitator. He doesn’t have the greatest handles yet, and might be suited to work off the ball early on. His shot mechanics are by far his greatest weakness entering the draft, as he shot 28.5% from three on 3.9 attempts per game, and 59.7% from the free throw line on 3.7 attempts per game last year. He is however pretty good at finishing close to the basket, shooting 45% on 9.1 two point attempts per game.

Offensive skills like shooting and dribbling are something that can be developed over time, things like wingspan, smart defense, and upside are not teachable. Dozier will be an interesting player to look out for in the second round of the draft.

Justin Tuoyo

Draft Express Ranking- Unranked

After playing in his first year at VCU, the strong power forward Tuoyo transferred to Chattanooga. The 6’10 senior is a defensive presence down low, blocking close to 3 shot per game, with his 7’0 wingspan, his timing at the basket makes opponents fearful of coming down into the low post. His strength in the low post, allowed him to pull down 9.1 rebounds per 40 minutes. Defense is Tuoyo’s best skill set, but offensively he doesn’t have the ability to stretch out his shooting to the three point line, and does a majority of his damage from the high post and down. Tuoyo is a high-motor player, it will be interesting to see how his defensive skill set transfers to the next level.

Kennedy Meeks

Draft Express Ranking- Unranked

If you watched the National Championship game this year, you probably recognize Kennedy Meeks’ name. In his 22 minutes in the final NCAA game of the year, Meeks was a key contributor scoring 7 points, and pulling down 10 rebounds, 4 of them being on the offensive glass. Meeks at 6’9 played centre in college, but with his size it’s more likely he will play power forward with his skill set. On offense, Meeks does all his work inside, only attempting one three point shot all season. He shot an impressive 55% from the field in his senior year, and pulled down a very impressive 9.5 rebounds per game. Meeks is another strong defensive presence, and will most likely be playing onto a Summer League team this year.

ASSORTED

  • The Raptors will be holding pre-draft workouts over the next two days.

*A NOTE ON THIS PROCESS: We’re going to hear a lot of names rumored or reported to be coming in/meeting/working out/etc. I’m not always going to pass them on, especially this early in the process. A lot of it is due diligence and doesn’t mean a ton, and they’re also just low-value posts (“Rumor: Player X to work out”). Sometimes there will be (good) reasons the team doesn’t want the names public or a player can’t come in (Visa or scheduling issues). If anyone does visit and there’s media availability, we’ll have you covered. Obviously, feel free to comment and discuss those rumors (Hoops Hype is a good source for rumor aggregation) in the comments/forums, I just may not always throw a post up. Closer to the draft, as we get into second workouts or if someone outside of Toronto’s range visits, that information becomes a little more important.

Follow – @Spenred

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