Draft

Draft workout notes: Ryerson’s Tanor Ngom headlines first group

With the Toronto Raptors having a draft pick (59th overall pick) this year heading into June (versus zero last season), the first group of pre-draft workouts began today at OVO Athletic Centre. Perhaps the most intriguing prospect of the six players this morning was Tanor Ngom, who just wrapped up his second season at Ryerson University, becoming the only other USports athlete this year to declare for the NBA Draft (the other is Kadre Gray of Laurentian). For reference, Raptors Republic will refer to the ESPN NBA Draft Rankings below. The full list of players to work out this morning are as follows:

Name

Position

Height

Weight

School

Hometown

Jordan Davis

Guard

6-0

185

Northern Colorado

Las Vegas

DaQuan Jeffries

G-F

6-5

230

Tulsa

Edmond, Okla

Tanor Ngom

C

7-0

210

Ryerson University

Dakar, Senegal

Josh Sharma

C

7-0

230

Stanford

Lexington, Mass

Daishon Smith

Guard

6-1

175

Louisiana-Monroe

Jacksonville, FL

Tres Tinkle

F

6-8

225

Oregon State

Missoula, Montana

Jordan Davis
ESPN Rank: N/A

Davis is a six-foot guard who was named this year’s Big Sky Conference Player of the Year, appearing in 32 games for the University of Northern Colorado averaging 23.4 points, 4.7 rebounds and 4.7 assists per game. Davis has been described by Northern Colorado head coach as a “miniature Russell Westbrook.”

Raptors 905 head coach Jama Mahlalela, who led today’s workouts, said, “Definitely some similarity in terms of the style of play, right, a real sort of down hill driver, right? I think you notice that sort of, attacking the rim, getting into the paint, and finishing at the rim or finding some kickouts, I think that’s very Westbrook-esque in terms of that size.”

DaQuan Jeffries
ESPN Rank: #89

Jeffries was the only player at today’s workout that’s landed on ESPN’s draft rankings, and at 6-foot-5 and at 230 pounds, the guard/forward has got some size for his position. Jeffries averaged 13.0 points and 5.6 rebounds for Tulsa in the 2018-19 season.

Mahlalela on Jeffries: “I think that Jeffries was really good, really solid athlete, I think that really shines. Big frame, really solid, you know, ability to sort of punch in the gaps and finish at the rim which is really high level.”

Tanor Ngom
ESPN Rank: N/A

Ngom has gotten a lot of attention north of the border since he came to Toronto from Senegal two years ago to play at the USports level instead of heading to the NCAA. The 7-foot-2 center averaged 11.3 points, 5.6 rebounds, and 2.3 blocks per game in the 2018-19 season and progressed into a dominating force during the post-season where Ryerson went on to earn a provincial silver medal and a national bronze medal.

More eyes were set on Ngom following Ryerson’s exhibition game versus Duke last August where Ngom recorded 12 points, 6 rebounds, and 3 blocks. That particular matchup has become a common point for analysts evaluating the 21 year-old, but Ngom feels he has made significant progress since that game.

“Everything, from the way I run to the way I approach the game is completely different since the Duke game,” Ngom said after his workout. “I feel like a couple weeks before the Duke game is when my mentality completely changed and I approached the game in a different way. I’m way more professional in the way I approach the game, the way I prepare my body for workouts and games. It’s night and day the way I approach the game, and my game in general.”

“I think, you know, we weren’t sure what he would look like versus sort of like high-level talent, and bigs, and space, and speed, and force,” Mahlalela said, “and I thought he really held his own. He looked very comfortable out there.”

Mahlalela added, “And then his frame, I think is a real long, lanky frame that there’s a lot of potential there, so I think as a coaching staff we’re definitely pleasantly pleased with what he brought to the table.”

Josh Sharma
ESPN Rank: N/A

Sharma was another 7-footer to hit the court today for the Raptors. The 7-foot center from Standford averaged 10.2 points, 7.1 rebounds, and 1.4 blocks per game during the 2018-19 campaign.

Daishon Smith
ESPN Rank: N/A

Smith averaged 21.0 points, 4.5 rebounds, and 3.8 assists per game while shooting 40% from distance this past season for University of Louisiana Monroe. The six-foot-one guard also made a strong impression on the coaching staff.

“…Daishon Smith was also, I think a really talented point guard,” Mahlalela said. “Someone who can get into the paint and kind of create his own shot which is something you always need. And I think he really showed that in the workout today.”

Tres Tinkle
ESPN Rank: N/A

Tinkle is a 6-foot-8 forward who recently finished his fourth season with Oregon State. He averaged 20.8 points, 8.1 rebounds and 3.8 assists for the Ducks. Tinkle could return to Oregon State for his senior year, but has had workouts with Philadelphia and Utah already in addition to Toronto.

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