Two point guards expected to be taken at far different points of the NBA draft impressed the Raptors yesterday at the Air Canada Centre.
It wasn't surprising that University of Connecticut floor general Marcus Williams, expected to go anywhere from fourth to 15th in the June 28 draft, looked good in the Raptors' third workout for draft-eligible players this week. But it was the play of ex-Eastern Commerce star Jermaine Anderson, a long shot to be picked at all after a solid career playing both guard spots at Fordham University in Bronx, N.Y., that caught the attention of the assembled Raptors brass.
"(Anderson) was very impressive," Raptors scout Bob Zuffelato said. "We were all pleasantly surprised. He held his own against one of the premier point guards in the (U.S.)."
Anderson believes he can compete with anyone.
"Canadians can play with anybody in the world," he said. "I'm just hoping to be an example of that."
Zuffelato said Anderson's quickness stood out the most, but cautioned that he will have to adapt to returning to the point guard role after being more of a scorer at Fordham.
"He can really get up the floor and he pushes the ball well," Zuffelato said. "At the end of the drills, he was going as fast as the beginning. He was running like the wind."
Zuffelato feels Williams, on the other hand, lacks blazing speed, but excels in other areas such as making the right play at the right time and getting the ball to the person where and when they need it.
"The game really comes easy to Marcus," Zuffelato said. "You look at him and say he's not so quick. But some guys are quicker with the ball in their hands. On a team like ours, with guys that can run the floor, a point guard like that would look pretty nice."
Williams has been dogged with criticism since being arrested and charged for his role in the theft of four laptops last year. But Zuffelato said Williams has apologized and the Raps are not concerned.
"You have to give a guy another chance," Zuffelato said. "(UConn coach) Jim Calhoun did. They suspended him for half a year. He paid his debt and now he is on track to play in the NBA."