The Knicks didn’t only meet with future lottery pick Dennis Smith Jr. last week; they also worked out several second-round and potentially un-drafted youngsters. Ian Begley interviewed one such prospect, Vanderbilt center Luke Kornet, who worked out at the Knicks’ complex with Arizona State guard Torian Graham, UCLA guard Isaac Hamilton and North Carolina big man Kennedy Meeks. He provided us with a nice view of New York’s pre-draft workout protocols.
Is there triangle? You bet your ass there’s triangle!
“We spent about half the workout doing 5-on-0 stuff with the triangle and different actions and attention-to-detail type stuff," Kornet said. "We actually spent a good amount of time in terms of working different types of actions out of the triangle.”
While Hornacek ran the workout, Jackson also interjected at times to offer “advice and pointers.”
Kornet said Jackson addressed “positioning with where you were in the offense, although the rest of the coaching staff did a great job of emphasizing that as well. Then there were some things more about straight basketball stuff, certain ways to cut. It was a little bit of both.”
Whatever. It’s the Knicks’ offense, and it’s literally the only thing the team president seems to care about, so they might as well use it. But these workouts are more evaluations than practices, so hopefully Phil and the Gang didn’t spend too much time teaching them positioning.
Kornet and Meeks also ate dinner with Phil Jackson and Clarence Gaines, so clearly the Knicks are interested. You may remember Meeks as the massive kid from North Carolina’s tournament run, while Kornet led the NCAA in “cheap points”—formerly known as three-point field goals—among 7-footers. Neither is expected to be drafted, according to DraftExpress.
Another, more high-profile workout group from last week included Clemson forward Jaron Blossomgame, ranked 54th by DraftExpress, who joined shooting guard Damyean Dotson (Houston), point guard Ike Iroegbu (Washington State) and small forward Erick McCree (Louisiana Tech) at a Jackson-hosted session. Dotson, ranked 64th by DraftExpress, impressed the Knicks, according to Begley. And, yes, they also mostly ran triangle.
The draft is almost here, folks!