Utah Jazz: Former Ute Will Clyburn heads nondescript group at Jazz workout Sunday
SALT LAKE CITY — Unlike the day before when there were a dozen players, including BYU’s Brandon Davies, and twice as many media folks on hand for interviews, Sunday’s Utah Jazz pre-draft workout at Zions Bank Basketball Center was much more low key.
For a change, the number of players outnumbered the media crowd as six mostly nondescript players worked out for Jazz coaches and scouts.
The best-known of the half dozen was former University of Utah player Will Clyburn, who transferred to Iowa State, where he enjoyed a strong season in his only year in Ames, Iowa, this past winter.
The 6-foot-7 Clyburn also only played in Salt Lake City for one season. Though he had good memories of that year with the Utes, he had forgotten about the altitude — until Sunday.
“I’m glad to be back here,’’ he said. "This altitude is hard on us. I used to be used to it, but now I’m not at all.’’
Clyburn calls himself a “long, athletic, versatile wing player that can score in a bunch of different ways’’ and says his game is similar to Utah Jazz player Gordon Hayward. He believes he will be taken “anywhere in the second round” of the upcoming NBA draft.
He said he has no regrets about leaving Utah after coach Jim Boylen was let go in 2011. He felt he needed the extra year off, and he was given an opportunity to expand his game at Iowa State, where he played positions one through four.
“They put the ball in my hands a lot more,’’ he said. “At Utah I was more of a spot-up shooter.’’
Clyburn said he ran into Boylen when he worked out for the Indiana Pacers, where Boylen is an assistant coach. He said Boylen told him he does a lot of things well but advised him to “find something I do great.’’ For Clyburn, Sunday's workout was his 10th, and he still has four more to go.
Another familiar face at Sunday’s workout was Oregon guard E.J. Singler, who played against Utah the past two years in the Pac-12. His older brother, Kyle, plays for the Detroit Pistons after being drafted out of Duke in 2011.
Singler said one player he emulates is former Jazz guard Jeff Hornacek, whose retired number hung above him as he talked to the media. He called himself “a big character guy” who is “a winner” and said he patterns his game after Hornacek, who recently left the Jazz to become the head coach at Phoenix.
“It was cool I could come here and see his name up in the rafters,’’ Singler said. “I’d like to be a knock-down shooter at the next level. I can see myself doing that.’’
The other players who worked out Sunday were mid-sized players like Clyburn and Singler: Troy Daniels, a 6-4 guard from VCU, Rodney McGruder, a 6-4 guard from Kansas State, Adonis Thomas 6-7, 240-pound swing player from Memphis, and Robert Covington, 6-9 forward from Tennessee State.
The Jazz will have 12 more players work out Monday and several more later in the week, according to Walt Perrin, the Jazz's vice president of player personnel.
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