Mike Scott might feel a little salty about one college player the Washington Wizards are working out on Tuesday.
Scott played his college basketball at the University of Virginia. And he was pretty good there too, finishing as the Cavaliers third all-time leader in rebounds.
But this past March Madness, the Cavaliers had high hopes as the NCAA tournament’s No. 1 overall seed. It was assumed that they would steamroll No. 16 University of Maryland Baltimore County in the first round.
But then Jairus Lyles turned into a Super Saiyan-like scorer and dropped 28 points, four rebounds and three assists on Virginia, leading the way for UMBC to trash the Cavaliers’ pack-line defense. UMBC became the first 16-seed to beat a 1-seed in NCAA tournament history.
By the standard of most mock drafts around the internet, Lyles isn’t projected to be selected in the 2018 NBA Draft, but he’s one of six players who will work out for the Wizards on Tuesday.
A native of nearby Silver Spring, Lyles started his college basketball career at VCU before transferring to UMBC. The 6-foot-2 guard averaged 20.2 points, 5.5 rebounds and 3.5 assists per game for the Retrievers this season while also shooting 39 percent from three-point range. He hit big shot from behind the arc in Vermont to send the Retrievers into the NCAA tournament where they then stomped Virginia for a historic win.
Lyles probably won’t be drafted, but he could be an intriguing summer league addition for the Wizards.
The other players attending Friday’s workout are Chris Chiozza (Florida), Hamidou Diallo (Kentucky), Tiwian Kendley (Morgan State), Doral Moore (Wake Forest) and Ray Spalding (Louisville).
Likely the best prospect out of this bunch, Diallo is a 6-foot-5 one-and-done from the Calipari factory in Lexington. He was the 10th best prospect when he came out of high school a year ago, per 247sports, and notched the sixth highest vertical at the NBA combine with a jump of 40.5 inches. Rook wrote about him back in March.
Chiozza, a 6-foot guard, played four seasons at Florida. As a senior, he was a first-team All-SEC selection, shot 35 percent from three-point range and averaged 11 points per game.
Kendley is a local guy from Morgan State, an HBCU in Baltimore. He’s 6-foot-5 and averaged 25.7 points per game for the Bears.
At 7-foot-1 and 280 pounds, Moore is a big man in every sense of the word. Some might call him a Large Adult Son. He posted per-game averages of 11.1 points and 9.4 rebounds per game for the Demon Deacons.
Spalding posted per-game averages of 12.3 points, 8.7 rebounds and 1.3 assists per game at Louisville. He is 6-foot-10.
Washington has the 15th and 44th overall picks in the upcoming draft.