View Full Version : Jennings and Maynor workout for Pacers

06-18-2009, 02:34 PM
Just a heads up the Brandon Jennings and Eric Maynor have their interviews up on Pacers.com

Both had pretty good interviews. I don't know why, but Maynor reminds me of Billups whenever I see him. Not saying he's the next Billups, but there's just something about him that reminds me of Chauncey


Thirty-six players down, six more to go.

Do we have any better idea of who the Pacers are going to draft than before the workouts began?

We might. But I don't.

One of the players widely projected to the Pacers at No. 13, Brandon Jennings, worked out today, which no doubt will fuel even more speculation he's their guy.

If you're into such things, Jennings did appear to drop something of a hint.

Asked what range of teams he was working out for, Jennings said, "four through eight."

Catching himself before the obvious follow-up question could be asked, Jennings quickly added, "I worked out here just in case. You never know what's going to happen in the draft.

"I just wanted to show the Pacers if they're looking for a point guard and I'm still on the board, I would like to be taken."

Many experts believe that's exactly where they're looking. Jennings isn't one to disagree.

"They're saying they are looking for a point guard," he said. "So, hopefully, we'll see what happens."

Quick bio: Jennings was the national high school player of the year in 2007-08, averaging 35.5 points, 6.8 assists and 3.2 steals at Oak Hill Academy. He signed with Arizona but encountered admissions difficulties and opted to take the unprecedented step of turning pro in Europe instead, signing with Lottomatica Roma (Italy).

(Quick aside: one of his teammates was none other than The Llama himself, Primoz Brezec, who averaged 9.4 points and 4.4 rebounds)

Modest stats in Italy not a deterrent

He posted modest statistics (7.6 points, 1.6 assists) in 16 Euroleague games but scouts weren't deterred because his team had other quality point guards (including former hot prospect Sani Becirovic) and the coach played a tightly controlled system that did not allow his open-court talents to flourish.

Larry Bird generally doesn't get too excited about teen-aged prospects but Jennings' European experience, including the adjustment to a new culture, makes him more advanced than most 19-year-olds.

I'm still not sure he'd fit with the Pacers because he seems a younger version of T.J. Ford, but Jennings is one of the most intriguing prospects in this draft because of his freakish athleticism and knack for the spectacular.

"A lot of the things I learned were off the court," Jennings said. "I learned how to take care of my responsibilities, do things on time, be a responsible adult.

"You really don't know how good you have it until you step out of your boundaries and go to a different country or live in a different place. I'm really thankful I'm an American."

Maynor believes he's "NBA-ready"

The other top point guard to visit Thursday was Eric Maynor of Virginia Commonwealth, who offered an interesting contrast to Jennings in that he is a proven four-year college performer who carried his program to national prominence.

He has the requisite size (6-3, although a slender 165) and resume. The two-time Colonial Athletic Association Player of the Year was a big-game standout, scoring 21 against UCLA in the NCAA Tournament this past March and hitting the game-winning jumper to beat Duke in the first round his sophomore year.

"I'm mature and I'm ready," he said. "I'm NBA-ready. I think, coming out of school four years, I learned a lot."

In the weeks since, though he has fared well in workouts, he hasn't exactly enjoyed the grueling process.

"It's a dream of mine to play in the NBA," he said, "but one thing that's not a dream to do is ride in small planes and go from city to city and as soon as you get off (the plane), you've got to go work out.

"But that's the price you've got to pay if you want to be a pro."

Hansbrough, Henderson in Friday

Two ACC standouts headline the final workout of the week Friday in Conseco Fieldhouse, as North Carolina's Tyler Hansbrough and Duke's Gerald Henderson will be evaluated by the Pacers' basketball staff.

Hansbrough, who averaged 20.7 points and 8.1 rebounds for the national champions, has been climbing draft boards after exhibiting surprising athleticism in workouts. The 6-4 Henderson, who averaged 16.5 points for the Blue Devils, has been a popular mock-draft projection for the Pacers at No. 13.

Also due in are Cedric Jackson (Cleveland State), Kevin Rogers (Baylor), Anthony Smith (Liberty) and Scott VanderMeer (Illinois-Chicago).

06-18-2009, 03:10 PM
I'm liking Jennings more and more. I am really hoping he drops to us at 13...

duke dynamite
06-18-2009, 03:11 PM
Jennings sounds tempting...

06-18-2009, 03:14 PM
I'd agree, both had good interviews. I always think Jennings comes off as more mature than I'd expect. It seems like Italy really was an eye opening experience. He's got great talent, we'll just see if he keeps it together. Part of me still feels like he just knows how to interview well, and isn't as mature as he seems. But the reports out of Italy were that he just kept working hard despite the lack of playing time.

Maynor seems solid. I have thought for a while now that we are going to have a good draft night. I think we'll walk away with some good players. I'd be happy with a few of the PGs that could be available, particularly Lawson and perhaps Jennings depending on what the "master plan" is. I'm excited.

I think someone will take a chance on Jennings before us. His upside is very high. I could see NYK or GSW liking him a lot.

06-18-2009, 03:30 PM
Yeah, they both look pretty good to me did a quick crash course on youtube on video of both of their games after watching the Pacer interviews. Jennings has great handles and is a human highlight reel waiting to happen. He reminds me a bit of Allen Iverson. In the video I watched of Maynor where he takes over the game against GW, he really looked like someone you want in crunch time to get the win. I think I would be happy with both, but still hoping for Blair at 13.

06-18-2009, 03:34 PM
You have probably seen these but here you go again Youtube vids on Maynor and Jennings:

Jennings: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4wXJvsWEmcw

Maynor: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zCE2XV1or3A

06-18-2009, 03:37 PM
LOL @ anyone complaining about getting Jennings at #13. And FTR there were plenty of people in this boat about 10 days ago. He's got his own thread devoted to him about why the Pacers shouldn't draft him.

06-18-2009, 03:45 PM
You have probably seen these but here you go again Youtube vids on Maynor and Jennings:

Jennings: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4wXJvsWEmcw

Maynor: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zCE2XV1or3A

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06-18-2009, 03:58 PM
I was being too lazy to embed the vids, thanks again!

06-18-2009, 04:04 PM
Yep, Jennings is my dream pick at #13. If Jonny Flynn goes at #4 to Sacramento (seriously, I've read reports that say he is at the top of their draft board right now), then it has a very real chance of happening.

Lance George
06-18-2009, 04:32 PM
I'm an optimist so if we ended up with Jennings I'd look at his positives (passing, athleticism). However, as of right now, he's not at the top of my wish list. He comes across as the typical immature prima donna that flames out due to, basically, being a little boy in a man's league.

06-18-2009, 04:40 PM
As long as Bird thinks Jennings' attitude is either overblown, misunderstood, or can be kept in check by Granger and co., then bring him on. Sounds like a pretty good talent.

If that's how it shakes out, I hope we are getting smoke blown up our asses like we did multiple times this decade.

06-18-2009, 07:00 PM
I updated my original post to add what Conrad had to say. He also mentions that Hansbrough and Henderson will be in town tomorrow!

06-19-2009, 02:17 AM
I'm a Jennings fan and would definitely be at Conseco more if he somehow ended up here. I made a Virtus Roma mix for anyone who is interested.

He obviously acquired his share of critics over his decision to play in Europe and his subsequent struggles, however at times he did show flashes of his great ability and potential. He's a joy to watch. I still think people are underrating the magnitude of a 19 year old point guard at 6'1, 165 jumping from Highschool to the freakin' Euroleague, where it is a big man's game.

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06-19-2009, 02:37 AM
You're not alone on the Maynor-Billups comparison. I've felt the same way. I think it's that they look fairly similar and both are apt to hit the big shot.

http://statboysports.com/uploaded_images/maynor-727128.jpg http://www.nbaloud.com/images/chauncey-billups1.jpg

06-19-2009, 08:42 AM

Indy Star


Spend 15 minutes standing in the rain above and outside the Indiana Pacers' practice court at Conseco Fieldhouse, and what you see is the distilled essence of Brandon Jennings.

There are moments when the young point guard looks like an emerging Tony Parker, a player with speed, flash, style and that unteachable something that leaves talent evaluators searching for the right adjectives.

And then there are moments when Jennings, who bypassed college to spend a year playing pro in Italy, looks like all that style has left substance behind, when his decision making is beyond regrettable.

Let's put it this way: While I don't know who the Pacers are going to take in next Thursday's NBA draft, I'm pretty confident Jennings, who came in Thursday for a workout, won't be the guy.

(And, as a follow up, I'm not too bullish on the possibility that DeJuan Blair is the choice, either. There are concerns around the league about his knees, although there were concerns about Danny Granger's knees, too. I'm hearing, though, that Blair didn't blow away anybody in his workout.)

But back to Jennings . . .

The Pacers are open to drafting a point guard despite having T.J. Ford and possibly re-signing Jarrett Jack, and that's a positive sign that team president Larry Bird is looking toward the long term rather than just next season. But Jennings is too much of a risk for a franchise that can't afford to be wrong any longer. The Pacers noticed that Jennings' team in Rome used him off the bench and at shooting guard, not trusting his choices as a point guard. He averaged 5.5 points in 17 minutes per game.

If you're going to grab a point guard in draft with a lot of them, why not go for a proven quantity, an established guy, like North Carolina's Ty Lawson?

That said, I'm rooting for Jennings to go high in the draft and have a nice career because he did something too few kids are willing to do: He stepped outside the system and used the system before it could use him.

When it became clear he wasn't headed to college -- he had no desire to go, and didn't score well enough on tests to get admitted to Arizona -- he joined with former shoe executive Sonny Vaccaro and worked a deal where he could play one year in the Euroleague.

If the NBA and its insipid age limitations were not going to let him chase his dreams, why should he waste a year languishing at some junior college? The Euroleague is the second-best league in professional basketball. Jennings got to play NBA-quality players, and learned how to survive the NBA lifestyle. Drop an L.A. kid into the middle of Rome just after his 18th birthday, and he's going to grow up, whether he likes it or not.

Jennings did it, and another Vaccaro product, high school junior Jeremy Tyler, is headed overseas for two years.

Of course, when basketball players make noise about coming out early, the outrage chorus reaches a predictable crescendo. But when a 16-year-old baseball player recently chose to concentrate on baseball rather than his high school studies, there was nary a peep of discontent.

"Of course the (NBA's age limitation rule) is unfair," Jennings said after his Thursday workout. "You're stopping a kid from his dream. You've got this 16-year-old baseball player, he's not even going to high school his junior and senior year, but he'll be making big money at a young age, just like in golf and tennis and other sports.

"Look at the NBA right now. Dwight Howard. Kobe (Bryant). LeBron (James). Kevin Garnett. All guys right out of high school who are the face of the NBA right now."

There will be skeptics who will look at his subpar numbers at Lottomatica Roma and say, "Well, he would have been better off playing a year in college."

First, this presupposes he could have gotten into college, and that's hardly a guarantee given his test scores. (Maybe Derrick Rose's buddy could have lent a hand, and a No. 2 pencil.)

Beyond that, he had to learn a hundred times more about high-level basketball playing and practicing in the world's second-best league with grown men. In college, he would have practiced against lesser players and, in most games, he would have played against lesser talents. In Italy, he was challenged every day.

"These are grown men," Jennings said. "These are pros who fight for minutes like their lives depend on it."

He was asked whether high school players going to Europe could become a trend.

"If I go top five, you'll see more kids go (overseas) early," he said. "I think I could be a trendsetter."

He probably won't be a Pacer, but I'd like to see him move up the draft charts. He took a risk where others chose to play it safe. He may be a project, but he's an intriguing one.

I'll leave the "Kravitz & 15 minutes in the rain" jokes to your own imagination.

06-19-2009, 08:46 AM
I think he reads our critiques of him on here...I think he's right that Jennings won't be the guy, and I don't think Blair will be either. I'm guessing Lawson.

06-19-2009, 08:57 AM
I think he reads our critiques of him on here...I think he's right that Jennings won't be the guy, and I don't think Blair will be either. I'm guessing Lawson.

I swear it sure seems like he does.

06-19-2009, 09:00 AM
I swear it sure seems like he does.

Haha this was a bit of a mea culpa for the Blair article. He was SO sure the other day that Blair was the right pick, and we MUST pick him. Now he's not so sure, huh? Maybe he's actually doing some homework now.

We should start a thread with no credibility whatsoever and see if he writes a column picking up the same idea.......

Mr. Sobchak
06-19-2009, 09:04 AM
Lawson had probably the most impressive workout out of all the prospects..fwiw

06-19-2009, 09:05 AM
We are harder to peg this year than we were last year. I basically knew going into the draft that Rush and Hibbert would be the picks (although I didn't see the trade coming).

06-19-2009, 09:06 AM
Lawson had probably the most impressive workout out of all the prospects..fwiw

With...us? Were you there/how do you know? I've been thinking for a while now that Lawson would be the guy, so that doesn't surprise me. I think we'll find a taker for TJ Ford.

Mr. Sobchak
06-19-2009, 09:17 AM
Yes -- with us. The team is also higher on TJ than most of us are on here. Don't be suprised to see another team overpay for Jack and us to draft a guard to back up TJ.

06-19-2009, 09:39 AM
So the Pacers wouldn't mind having 2 6' tall PGs? That's interesting. Where did you get the info on Lawson's workout?

Mr. Sobchak
06-19-2009, 09:53 AM
I'm not exactly at liberty to say...It's good info - I wouldn't make stuff up like that.

06-19-2009, 09:54 AM
I think he reads our critiques of him on here...I think he's right that Jennings won't be the guy, and I don't think Blair will be either. I'm guessing Lawson.

A local call in show host JMV is a big time fan of this website. When I call in he always asks what are they talking about on PD. He is a very decent dude and is hosting a predraft party of @ The Pub. I will be there.

06-19-2009, 10:00 AM
I will say... and if I am wrong I will gladly eat my words. I DON'T WANT THE PACERS TO DRAFT JENNINGS EVEN IF HE DOES FALL TO US. He is a me-first type of player. He makes the fantastically "wow" plays, but I am not a hopeless romantic over-looking his lack of real basketball IQ. He is not the type of player that makes entry passes. He is the guy that creates for himself and when its not there, he passes. I just don't care for him. I don't like his new-found "maturity". He is just not the type of player I want the Pacers taking a risk on. I would much rather have Maynor or Lawson. There is no way Holiday or Evans falls. I think their upside is better because they are bigger guards. Jennings will be a waste of a lottery pick. If we draft a PG, it is either for another team or we aren't re-signing Jack.

06-19-2009, 10:14 AM
You're not alone on the Maynor-Billups comparison. I've felt the same way. I think it's that they look fairly similar and both are apt to hit the big shot.


I completely agree with this assessment. I think someone mentioned this the other day. Maynor is more of a floor general and a leader. He just knows how to play the game the right way. Not super athletic but has savvy moves to get past his man. If he can put on a couple of more pounds he would be a stud. A taller point guard to boot.

Jennings reminds me of a kid who plays at the playground, sort of like those and1 type of events. He has the talent to play ball the right way, but looks like he wants to play streetball more. I was stated that Roma used Jennings as a shooting guard because they didnt trust his pg judgement, which I tend to agree watching numerous clips of him. Jennings will give you the wow factor but it seems mostly he will leave you shaking your head at thimes with his decision making.

I think drafting Maynor that high would be a reach but ultimately if we could somehow get him later on I wouldnt be disappointed.

My guy is Tyreke Evans btw, but I know there is no way in God's green earth will will get him.

06-19-2009, 10:39 AM
We should start a thread with no credibility whatsoever and see if he writes a column picking up the same idea.......

We tried that once when it seemed like Ron Artest trade rumors were coming from what was discussed on PD. Didn't happen. Pissed off some members who felt we were deceiving them. Not going to do that twice.

06-19-2009, 10:42 AM
A local call in show host JMV is a big time fan of this website. When I call in he always asks what are they talking about on PD.

Thanks. I truly appreciate you mentioning it and I likewise appreciate JMV being positive about PD. :)