Jeremy Sochan doesn’t mind being thought of as irritating, writes David Aldridge of The Athletic. The Baylor forward, who has gone from a fringe first-rounder to a likely lottery pick in a matter of months, sees aggressive, annoying defense as his ticket to success in the NBA.
“I’ve always had that little edge,” he said. “My mom, she was my first coach, and to this day, she tells me defense comes first. … She used to tell me to be cheeky, being able to see the play two steps ahead. So, I feel with that, being cheeky, maybe getting into people’s spaces, can separate their games, and they can play worse. There’s examples: Draymond (Green), Patrick (Beverley), Jrue (Holiday), so there’s so many. I feel like I can be one of those in the next step.”
Sochan was the main attraction Friday in Chicago at an eight-player workout staged by Tandem Sports + Entertainment. At least nine NBA teams had representatives at the session, according to Aldridge, including the Spurs and Knicks, who both interviewed Sochan during the Draft Combine. San Antonio holds the ninth pick and New York has No. 11, which is about the range where Sochan is expected to be taken.
“We did a little bit (of defense) at the end, with the two-on-two, the screen work, but you can’t really show too much,” Sochan said after the session ended. “I feel like they’re going to have that in mind, and when I go to team workouts, I’ll be able to show a little bit more of that. And whoever picks me, I’ll be able to show that in practices and games.”
There’s more on the draft:
- Iowa’s Keegan Murray will turn 22 before he plays his first NBA game, but he doesn’t believe his age will discourage teams from drafting him, according to James Boyd of The Indianapolis Star. “I’d say I’m a 21-year-old in an 18-year-old’s body,” Murray said. “In high school, I was a 5-foot-10 sophomore and ended up growing to 6-foot-8 my senior year of high school. So I’m a late bloomer in that sense, so for me, I’m young. I feel young. … If you’re comparing me on age and not what I do on the court, then maybe that’s another conversation. I feel like my ceiling is as high as anyone else in the draft.”
- Dyson Daniels is starting to get some consideration as a top-five pick after an outstanding pro day at the combine, tweets Jonathan Givony of ESPN. The Australian swingman, who played with G League Ignite this season, impressed scouts with his shooting and “immense potential,” according to Givony.
- North Carolina guard Kerwin Walton worked out for some teams this week, but he may decide to return to college and transfer, tweets Jon Krawczynski of The Athletic. Walton’s workouts included the Timberwolves and Bucks, and he has an upcoming session with the Hornets, according to Darren Wolfson of 5 Eyewitness News (Twitter link).
- Baylor’s Matthew Mayer plans to take his name out of the draft and transfer to another school, per Adam Zagoria of Zagsblog. “I’ve decided that I’m coming back to college, but don’t know where,” he said.