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Pitt's Brown preparing for his NBA audition

By John Grupp
Thursday, June 2, 2011

Gilbert Brown this week dropped into the second round in a respected 2011 NBA mock draft.

But Steve Kyler, the editor and publisher of , said the former Pitt star, a mock draft first-rounder one week earlier, remains an intriguing talent.

"Gil is one of the better perimeter defenders in the draft class," Kyler said. "In this draft, at the bottom of the first round and top of the second, you are looking for specialty guys who can come in and do things right away. Gilbert will be able to play right away."

The 6-foot-6, 215-pound Brown will get a chance to show what he can do during a cross-country tour that begins this week and includes workouts with 10 NBA teams leading into the June 23 draft.

Brown, who has spent the past month training at Impact Basketball Academy in Las Vegas, will fly to Indiana to meet with the Pacers on Friday. He also has workouts scheduled with Atlanta, New Jersey, Milwaukee, Dallas, Memphis, San Antonio, Phoenix, Sacramento and the Los Angeles Clippers. He met with the Wizards last month.

"I feel great," Brown said. "I definitely want to open a lot of eyes. Teams are very interested. I just have to focus and make it happen."

Brown has been working with NBA and top college players at noted trainer Joe Abunassar's Impact Academy, including personal drills with Milwaukee Bucks forward Corey Maggette. Brown had a daily routine of individual drills, workouts and 3-on-3 pick-up games. Top players at the camp include projected lottery picks Kawhi Leonard of San Diego State, Alec Burks of Colorado and Tristan Thompson of Texas.

"The scouts came through, and I showed them I'm more than just defense and taking an open shot," Brown said.

His performance is one reason HoopsWorld had Brown going in the first round, 27th overall, in their May 22 mock draft. The latest mock draft, after some additional input from NBA scouts, has Brown going in the second round, 45th overall.

Kyler spent a couple days in Las Vegas watching Brown. Many scouts have compared the 23-year-old Harrisburg native to Nuggets guard Arron Afflalo.

"The one thing I really saw from Gilbert was a lot more ability than maybe we saw at Pitt," Kyler said.

Former Pitt guard Brad Wanamaker, who is training at IMG Academy in Bradenton, Fla., and center Gary McGhee also await the two-round draft. Wanamaker, who has workouts with the Spurs and Celtics, among others, is projected to go in the second round, 35th overall.

"The one thing about Brad is that he doesn't leap off the page," Kyler said. "He is very ordinary at first glance. But when you peel it back and look behind it, he's a really good player."

Still, none of the former Pitt seniors was invited to the 54-player pre-draft combine in Chicago last month.

"I was hoping to be there, but it's not going to make or break me in the draft," Brown said. "It is definitely going to motivate me."

Kyler said among the Pitt players, Brown has the best chance to hear his name called. The Panthers haven't had a NBA first-round draft pick since Vonteego Cummings went 26th overall in 1999.

"I would be surprised if Gil doesn't get drafted," Kyler said. "He has a clear NBA skill (defense). I don't know if I would be shocked if Brad didn't get drafted — through no fault of his own. There's just not a lot of excitement about Brad."



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