Big moment for Braggs
Scouts like aggressiveness

Saturday, June 6, 1998

BY MIKE DeCOURCY
The Cincinnati Enquirer

CHICAGO -- There has been only one individual workout so far, but this is no cause for alarm. NBA teams have seen all they could hope to see of Torraye Braggs.

They keep seeing his biceps, and that's a lot of Braggs right there. And they've seen him at all the spring tryout camps: the Portsmouth Invitational in Virginia, the Desert Classic in Phoenix and here at this week's NBA pre-draft camp.

Braggs, a forward from Xavier, is one of the few players to travel the complete circuit. He was MVP at Portsmouth, which earned him an invitation to Phoenix. From there, he received the expected invitation to Chicago.

And here?

"I think it's gone pretty well," said Braggs, who had 10 points and seven rebounds his first time out, five points and five rebounds in his second game. "I wanted to be more aggressive, attack more. A lot of people like what I'm doing, my aggressiveness and toughness. As far as me personally, I think I can do better."

Braggs' one tryout so far has been with the Seattle Sonics, and that did not go exactly as planned. It wasn't that he didn't play well, but he was there before coach George Karl was fired.

Sonics management has stayed the same, though, and Braggs surprised them with his ability to handle the ball and hit from the perimeter. He has no doubt he can defend small forwards, partly because Xavier's system often left him guarding shorter, quicker players.

"I've been guarding point guards, small forwards, all different positions," Braggs said. "And we've got two of the top small forwards in the nation (James Posey and Darnell Williams) and I've done it in practice."

Braggs is expecting to work out for the New York Knicks, Charlotte Hornets and Philadelphia 76ers and hopes more interviews will result from his play in Chicago.

"He's really physical and gives a good effort," Sacramento Kings scout Keith Drum said. "He's going to have to be a post player, and he's a small post player."

Braggs has played power forward at the camp. He was measured at 6-8, which is on the small side for that position in the NBA, but it hasn't stopped Jason Caffey of Golden State from becoming productive and Buck Williams of the Knicks from becoming a Hall of Fame-level player.

Neither has the advantage of Braggs' tremendous bulk.

"You have to notice his strength," Boston Celtics General Manager Chris Wallace said. "The question for him is going to be the same as for a lot of guys, and that's how he'll fit into a position."

Players at the camp who helped their standing:

1) Bryce Drew, 6-3 point guard, Valparaiso
2) Brian Skinner, 6-10 center, Baylor
3) Ruben Patterson, 6-6 small forward, Cincinnati
4) Jelani McCoy, 6-10 forward, UCLA
5) Miles Simon, 6-4 shooting guard, Arizona.

Players who hurt their standing:

1) DeMarco Johnson, 6-8 forward, UNC Charlotte
2) Charles Jones, 6-3 point guard, Long Island
3) Roshown McLeod, 6-8 forward, Duke
4) Lee Nailon, 6-8 forward, TCU
5) Rodney Elliott, 6-8 forward, Maryland.

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