While Kevin Ollie is staying put, three of his former players are hoping to continue their careers in the NBA next season. Point guard Shabazz Napier is a likely first-round pick, and forward DeAndre Daniels could sneak into the first round as well, while guard/forward Niels Giffey will likely have to earn a roster spot as either a second-rounder or free agent.
Ollie was asked Tuesday about each of his players (via the Hartford Courant's Dom Amore):
On Napier: "I tell Shabazz, 'Just be yourself. Be willing to do something another man is not willing to do. Every day get better at something. And when you open your mouth, it's an interview. People are always watching you. Work ethic first, professionalism second, humility third.' But Shabazz is going to handle everything, because he's a great leader, and NBA teams will see that."
On Daniels: He has some tremendous talent," Ollie said. "He got better each season, shot remarkably from the three-point line [41.7 percent], he can be a mismatch nightmare. He has a lot of attributes he can bring for a team."
On Giffey, who is trying to earn a summer league spot and a shot at training camp: “He had a couple workouts already with some NBA teams. I definitely think that’s a goal of his (to play in the NBA) and I think he can accomplish that. ... If he shoots like he did for us last year, he can fit in any offense."
The 2014 NBA Draft will be on Thursday, June 26.
According to the latest round of mock drafts, Shabazz Napier could go:
Daniels, meanwhile, is mocked to go 46th to the Wizards (DraftExpress.com) and 36th to Milwaukee (NBADraft.net).