Raptors hopefuls wise up

RYAN WOLSTAT, SUN MEDIA

, Last Updated: 7:35 AM ET

With NBA tryouts now old hat to them, it was an older and wiser Canadian duo of Carl English and Denham Brown that impressed the Raptors brass yesterday at a free-agent camp at the ACC.

English, of Patrick's Cove Nfld., was not selected in the 2003 NBA draft, but nearly caught on after strong workout showings with Indiana.

Brown, the former Bathurst Heights and West Hill star, was picked by the Seattle Sonics 40th overall last year, but was a late training camp cut.

English went on to lead the Adriatic League in scoring last season, while Brown played well in the NBA Development League, averaging 18.6 points and 5.4 rebounds per-game.

Both say they have matured and are much more aware now of what NBA teams are looking for than they were in the past.

"When I came out, I was just a kid," said English. "I know a lot more now and I'm not nervous."

English added that he appreciated the advice of Raptors coach Sam Mitchell, who toiled many years in Europe before catching on in the NBA.

"He said he went to seven or eight of these," he said. "This is where you have the chance to impress important people and make your mark."

According to Raptors' director of player personnel Jim Kelly, the smooth-shooting English is moving in that direction.

"Carl was very good (yesterday)," Kelly said.

RECOVERING

Kelly also said Brown, still recovering from an ankle injury suffered during a short playing stint in Turkey, was solid and is in much better shape than he was in last year's pre-draft workouts.

With no first- or second- round picks in next Thursday's entry draft in New York, the Raptors are hoping to unearth a potential sleeper at this mini-camp, which wraps up today.


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