Friday, June 11, 2004

3-point shooting could open NBA team doors for Bobbitt

NBA predraft camp

By Dustin Dow
The Cincinnati Enquirer

CHICAGO - The desperate nature of the NBA predraft camp caters to the star performer.

Solid picks and the extra pass don't go unnoticed by pro scouts, but offensive explosions and big shots can move a fringe player right into the draft come June 24.

Tony Bobbitt's jump shot was made for camps like this one that ends today at the Moody Bible Institute. The former University of Cincinnati sharpshooter hopes he is healthy enough to play today after he missed Thursday's action because of a sprained left ankle.

Pro scouts want to see more of him too, particularly because of the way he shot from the outside in Wednesday's game, scoring 14 points on 6-of-9 shooting. Most of his shots were long-range shots, but his foot was on the line on two of his 3-point attempts. Last season, Bobbitt shot 40 percent (85-of-212) from 3-point range for UC.

"If he shoots it like he can, he's got a chance to be drafted because he's a heck of an athlete," said the scout of a team for which Bobbitt has worked out individually. "There's a lot of teams here looking at him as long as he keeps shooting."

If his ankle is good enough, shooting is no problem for Bobbitt, who earned an invitation here after impressing scouts at last month's Portsmouth Invitational. Individually, Bobbitt has worked out for Portland, Memphis and the Los Angeles Lakers.

"Bobbitt's got something that other people don't," said a Western Conference scout. "He's got incredibly deep range. Everybody here is watching him for that. It's a shame the rest of his game isn't developed as well as his shooting."

Bobbitt, 6-feet-4 and 185-pounds, admitted he needs to get stronger and show teams he can handle the ball as well, possibly at point guard.

It is his shooting, however, that could get him drafted, potentially in the second round, by a team in need of a reliable long-range threat off the bench.

If Bobbitt can replicate today what he did Wednesday and at Portsmouth, he could convince a few general managers that he's worth a pick.

"Guys come here and they go to Portsmouth and they see all the NBA scouts, I never mind that," Bobbitt said. "I just go play. It doesn't bother me. All the hype, it doesn't bother me at all. To me, if you have hype, you've still got to put your shoes on and show it."

While he waits for draft day to approach, Bobbitt plans to continue working out at UC, working with assistant coaches on training that he described as more challenging than the predraft camp.

"If you're raised by a good coach, when you get to camp, you're not going to be as nervous or passive or tentative," Bobbitt said. "Draft day comes, something good will happen to me, because I've been putting in good work."


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