Milwaukee Bucks first pre-draft workout features Trevon Hughes

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Wisconsin Badger point guard Trevon Hughes

The Milwaukee Bucks first pre-draft workout Monday featured a familiar face to Wisconsin Badger fans, while another recognizable alum looked on in support. It was just the first of many for Trevon Hughes, who was pleased with his overall effort and performance.

By Jake McCormick

“I think it went pretty well. … I felt good about it,” Hughes said. ““I don’t have any expectations. I just want to workout to the best of my ability, show them my athleticism and take it from there.”

Hughes’ roots extend down the I-94 stretch connecting UW-Madison and St. John’s Northwestern Military Academy in Delafield, and it was only fitting that his first step down the path to a potential NBA career began with the Bucks.

“Trevon worked really hard today and we were happy to have him in as a local kid in our first visit,” said Jeff Weltman, the Bucks’ assistant general manager. “We thought that was good for him and good for us. He’ll get his chance to show his talents to a lot of teams because he’s a very competitive player.”

Teams always take pure skills and athleticism into consideration when hosting pre-draft workouts, but Weltman said the Bucks turn up the heat a bit and try to place each prospect into a consistently competitive environment.

“Obviously skills are skills and we’re only allowed to have three-on-three max, so we can only do so much, but we try to do everything competitively,” he said. “Whether it’s a shooting drill or a ball-handling drill we’ll keep score and see how they get after each other.”

Weltman was understandably reluctant to get into specifics about any of the prospects, as the Bucks have only begun the process of working out potential picks. However, he was willing to give Hughes some credit for his strengths.

Fresno State guard/forward Paul George“We like his toughness and competitiveness and he got better every year and he’s a winner,” Weltman said. “We were eager to have him in and he’s a guy we’ve liked for a while.”

Other than Michael Finley and to a lesser extent Devin Harris, Wisconsin isn’t considered an NBA prospect powerhouse, but Hughes believes coach Bo Ryan’s emphasis on a methodic half court offense, stingy defense, and team cohesiveness have prepared him to play in the Association. He also added that one-on-one play is a big adjustment he’ll have to make in order to stick with a professional team.

Hughes was the main media focus of Monday’s workout, but he was one of five participants in a morning session that also included 2010 Pac Ten player of the year and California senior Jerome Randle, Fresno State sophomore Paul George (proj. mid to late first round), and Iowa State junior big man Craig Brackins (proj. late first/early second).

George, a 6’8” shooting guard/forward combo, said his style of play is most similar to Rudy Gay, Josh Howard, and Joe Johnson, and he would take some of the pressure off point guard Brandon Jennings in the back court if he was drafted by the Bucks.

“(I’d) just be another shooter and get out and defend,” George said. “I think I can bring a lot to the Bucks.”

It was the second workout George has been through so far, the first being with the Chicago Bulls, and he commented on what the process has been like for him.

“It was definitely exciting,” he said. “Not a lot of guys can say that they are doing this so I take every day as a challenge and when you get out of bed, this is what you really want to do. You get a chance to compete with top players around the world so it’s definitely fun.”

Brackins, a 6’10” forward, described his game as versatile with lots of energy, which would give the Bucks another player in the Ersan Ilyasova mold. It’s unlikely the Bucks seriously consider Brackins with the 15th pick, he could very well be on the board when Milwaukee picks twice in the second round, but he said he doesn’t pay a lot of attention to draft projections.

“I don’t really pay attention to that,” Brackins said. “I feel like when you go into workouts, that’s what predicts your draft stock. I just come in to workouts and work as hard as I can.”

Monday’s other workout participants:
Iowa State senior Marquis Gilstrap
LA-Lafayette Tyren Johnson
Clemson senior Trevor Booker
UTEP junior Trevor Caracter
Louisiana Tech senior Magnum Rolle
Louisville sophomore Samardo Samuels
Louisville senior Jerry Smith
Bakersfield (D-League) Jeremy Wise

Stay tuned for the next pre-draft workout report as the Bucks start bringing in a few bigger names as the draft draws closer.

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