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Draft Notes: Lee, English, Bender

Kentucky junior power forward Marcus Lee is likely to remain in this year’s NBA Draft, according to coach John Calipari, Adam Zagoria of SNY.tv relays. “Marcus really wants to do this, and my guess is that he’ll keep his name in the draft because this is what he wants to do,” Calipari told reporters. “And I just told him to go up there [to the NBA draft combine] and do your thing and show the athletic player that you are. But he’s also worked out. We’ve had those guys work out with teams before the combine so two or three teams could evaluate them, talk to them, and Marcus went to the combine.” Lee is the No. 29 junior overall, according to Jonathan Givony of DraftExpress.

When asked whether the same held true for freshman point guard Isaiah Briscoe, the coach noted that much depended on how well Briscoe shot the ball during his workouts, Zagoria adds. “Don’t know yet,” Calipari said of Briscoe’s plans. “He’s worked out with a few teams. Did a pretty good job. You know, with Isaiah, the whole thing comes back to just shooting the ball. Because they know the other skills that he has translates, including physically and defensively and rebounding. It all translates, so he’s just got to be a more consistent shooter. And if you’re watching the NBA, if you choose to do that, what you’re finding out is that now there is a premium on shooting.

Here are the latest news and notes regarding the 2016 NBA Draft, which will be held on June 23rd at the Barclays Center in Brooklyn, New York:

  • Former Iona combo guard A.J. English has workouts scheduled for later this month with the Pistons, Mavericks, Lakers and Clippers, Josh Thomson of The Journal News relays.
  • Purdue senior center A.J. Hammons has withdrawn from this week’s NBA draft combine, Givony reports (via Twitter). The big man declined to participate in the five-on-five portion of the event, deciding instead to train in Houston, the scribe notes.
  • Croatian forward Dragan Bender is the best international player in this year’s draft, but his frame isn’t NBA-ready yet, and he will need to improve his outside shooting before he will be able to make an impact in the league, Givony notes in his profile of the 18-year-old. “To become NBA-ready I need to improve all the things in my game and try to put them on a higher level, try to put them on an NBA level,” Bender said. “It’s really hard to achieve those levels, but I’m really working hard to do it. Those little things are separating me from those players playing in the NBA.” Bender is slotted third overall in Givony’s rankings.
  • The Pacers have a workout scheduled with Indiana junior small forward Troy Williams, Candace Buckner of The Indianapolis Star relays (via Twitter).

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