May 11, 2009

Taylor begins busy stretch of travel, workouts

Earlier entries: April 18 | May 5

NBA scouts spent the entire college basketball season traveling the nation and watching the best draft-eligible players perform for their respective schools.

Now is the time of year when NBA teams get an even closer look at the players they may be drafting. In the latest entry of his NBA draft diary, UCF guard Jermaine Taylor discusses his first individual workout with a pro franchise.

Taylor worked out Friday with the Oklahoma City Thunder. The Thunder tested Taylor's athleticism off the court before finding out how he matched up on the floor against other players who have entered the draft.

"At first I just did athletic drills my vertical leap, how many times you can bench 195, things like that. Then we did some shooting drills. Then we did some one-on-one, two-on-two and three-on-three (drills). I didn't know what to expect, but I wasn't nervous at all. I'm never nervous to play basketball. I thought I did pretty well. From what my agent was telling me, they thought I did really well."

Taylor said he was at less than 100 percent while competing in the workout.

"I tweaked my groin a little bit before the workout even started. It kind of slowed me down a little bit in the live play. They knew I hurt my groin, but I'm not one of those guys who's going to sit out a workout like this just because he's hurt. I toughed it out and got through it. It's getting there now. When I got home (Friday night), I got some treatment on it, and I got some treatment today. I just did a lot of stretching. I'll be 100 percent by the time I get to my next workout (Wednesday)."

The workout with the Thunder began a busy stretch for Taylor. He has three more workouts with teams this week.

"I was ready going into this workout, but I think now that I really know what to expect, I'll even be more ready. The workout was shorter than I thought it would be. It was only an hour. I thought it would be a lot longer.

Taylor also had an interview with the Thunder the day before his workout.

"They asked me a little bit of everything. They were just trying to get to know me and my personality. They asked me about my family. Everything came naturally. They asked me a question and I just answered it."

Taylor also learned a lesson from the first workout. He was asked to bench-press 195 pounds as often as he could, and he had his choice of doing the bench press before or after the workout. He chose to do it at the end of the workout.

"I'll have to make sure I do it before (the workout) next time. I did it 12 times. A lot of guys didn't even do it 12 times, but I know I could have done more than that. But it was at the end of the workout. I should have done it before."

Steve Megargee is a national writer for He can be reached at

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