NBA Draft: Steve Alford talks about Kevon Looney, Norman Powell

UCLA head coach Steve Alford answered a few questions about Kevon Looney (No. 30 overall pick, Warriors) and Norman Powell (No. 46, Raptors) after Thursday night’s NBA draft.

What are your thoughts on Looney’s fit with the defending champs?

“You can never predict the draft, and you don’t really have any say of where you go. it’s one of the first times. These guys pick their AAU, pick their high school, pick their college. it’s a different experience for them. You go in the draft, and now you get a chance to go in the first round. You get picked by the defending champs, an organization like Golden State — it just doesn’t get much better than that.

“We said the same thing last year in regard to Kyle (Anderson going to the Spurs). I think if you talk to Kyle — he didn’t play a whole lot this year, he got some minutes — but being a part of that franchise, it was an incredible year for him. I couldn’t be happier for Kevon, because he’s going to a terrific organization.”

Did concerns about Looney’s health depress his draft stock?

“There’s no question. He definitely dropped because of that. Fortunately, he dropped into a great situation, being with the franchise he’s with. But I definitely think those were some concerns. I had to field an awful lot of phone calls in the last week or two, and all of my comments were the same. Continue reading

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UCLA’s Norman Powell drafted in second round by Raptors

A few months ago, UCLA’s Norman Powell saw himself as a late first- or early second-round draft pick. He lasted just a little bit longer on Thursday, going No. 46 overall in the 2015 NBA Draft.

The 6-foot-4 guard became the 16th pick of the round — going to the Toronto Raptors as the pick that the originally belonged to the Milwaukee Bucks. The Raptors received the pick as part of their deal in giving up Greivis Vasquez.

In Toronto, Powell joins another Pac-12 senior in point guard Delon Wright, taken No. 20 overall as the second draftee out of the conference.

UCLA forward Kevon Looney was drafted 30th by the Golden State Warriors, falling amid concerns about his hip and back.

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Where will UCLA’s Kevon Looney be picked in the NBA draft?

Kevon Looney is among the 19 players who accepted invites to Thursday’s NBA draft. How long will his green-room wait last?

Once considered a near-certain lottery pick, many mock drafts have since dropped the former UCLA forward to borderline top-20 status.

Pac-12 Networks analyst Don MacLean, a former Bruin, isn’t among the detractors.

“Ten years from now, I think Kevon Looney may be the best player from this year’s draft coming out of the Pac-12,” MacLean said. “I really like him. You just don’t see guys with the length, the rebounding, the instincts. … The way he was used at UCLA, you didn’t see the entire package.”

MacLean’s projection is optimistic, but not all that outlandish. After all, the only other Pac-12 product with lottery potential is Arizona’s Stanley Johnson — a strong defender who likely won’t turn into an elite scorer.

But many questions surround Looney’s draft stock as well, some of them not helped by the Bruins’ game plan. Continue reading

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NBA Draft: Norman Powell, Josh Smith work out for Lakers

Former UCLA players Norman Powell and Josh Smith worked out for the Lakers yesterday, and our beat reporter Mark Medina got the updates:

» Norman Powell sees himself as “NBA ready” after four years in college. He’ll work out with about 20 teams through the draft evaluation process.
» Center Josh Smith, who transferred to Georgetown six games into his junior year at UCLA, admits that he was “lazy” as a college player.

From late last month: Kevon Looney said he didn’t think he showed his full potential at UCLA.

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NBA combine: Looney, Powell measure out with long wingspans

The NBA Combine will hold its on-court portions to end this week, with five-on-five competition returning for the first time since 2008.

Former UCLA guard Norman Powell is slated to participate, part of a nine-man squad that also includes Kentucky’s Andrew Harrison, Arizona’s T.J. McConnell, and Stanford’s Chasson Randle. They will take the floor at 1:30 p.m. PT on both Thursday and Friday.

In the meantime, there are full body measurements from 63 players to pore over. Both Powell and forward Kevon Looney stood out in one particular category: their wingspans.

A potential lottery pick after his lone season at UCLA, Looney spread his arms out to 7’3.5″, tying him for sixth at the combine with Kansas’ Cliff Alexander. The downside is that he also tied for the eighth-highest body fat percentage at 11.9 percent. It’s a surprising number given how lanky he looked as a college player, and helps explain why he appeared winded at the end of the season despite being listed at 6-foot-9, 220 pounds. Continue reading

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