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Wednesday's Workouts: The Swingmen

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Workout week gets into full swing on Wednesday as the Raps bring in four swingmen: Louisville’s Francisco Garcia, Julius Hodge from North Carolina State, UNC’s Rashad McCants and Texas high schooler C.J. Miles.

Here’s’s breakdown of Wednesday’s four prospects:

Who is he? 6-7 shooting guard from Louisville.

Last Year: Averaged 15.7 points, 4.2 rebounds and 3.9 assists in 39 games with the Cardinals.

What Can He Do? Garcia is best known for his shooting. He is an excellent long-range marksman that opponents always need to be aware of. He handles the ball well and has nice court vision. Could project to a point forward in the NBA. He blocks shots extremely well for a swingman, averaging 1.5 blocks per game last season. He is also an excellent free throw shooter, hitting 87.7% from the charity stripe.

The problem with Garcia is his inconsistency. Watching Louisville a number of times during the season, I was often asking myself where Garcia was. Sure, he can go for 30 in any given game, but he puts up way too many 2-13 performances like he did against Cincinnati. And did he get lost on his way to the national semifinal against Illinois?

He has trouble against strong defenders, which would make a Garcia-Bruce Bowen matchup fun to watch. As good a spot up shooter as he is, scouts still wonder if he can create his own shot consistently in the Association.

The Bottom Line: For all of his supposed weaknesses, Garcia’s stock is moving up due to his strong workouts. Originally thought to be an early second round pick, it appears that Garcia is playing his way into the first round. If this continues, don’t look for Garcia to be in a Raptors uniform anytime soon, as he’ll be gone long before they pick at 41.

Who is he? 6-6 senior swingman from North Carolina State.

Last Year: Averaged 17 points, 6.6 rebounds and 4.8 assists in 34 games for the Wolfpack.

What Can He Do? One of the more versatile players in this draft, Hodge does a lot of things awfully well. He has a great handle for someone his size and it would not be a stretch to see him play some point in the pros. He rebounds well and gets to the hoop to get his points if his jumper isn’t falling. He reminds some of Scottie Pippen in terms of being a stat-sheet stuffer. In a few years, he’ll be head the sleeper lists of most fantasy draft geeks.

While a big guard, scouts aren’t quite sure where he’ll play in the Association. His biggest flaw is his jump shot, which typically is a prerequisite to play 2 in the pros. For a hard-working player, he does have a tendency to disappear at times, like the 4-16 shooting performance he posted against Wisconsin in the Elite 8 last season.

The Bottom Line: Once thought to be a possible selection for the Raptors at 41, Hodge’s stock is rising faster than Barack Obama’s. It’s been rumoured that Hodge could go as high as Indiana at 17. His workouts have been stellar thus far and many teams are intrigued by his combination of versatility and NBA-ready game. We’re very high on Hodge and feel that a very good team will be adding a very good player late in the first round.

Who is he? 6-4 shooting guard from North Carolina

Last Year: Averaged 16 points, 3.0 rebounds and 2.7 assists in 33 games with the Tar Heels. Shot 42.3% from three-point range. Went for 28 against Kentucky in December.

What Can He Do? McCants is a superb athlete with a great first step. He is quick and can get to the hoop and finish. His forte is his shooting. He has great range and is not a chucker, showing great shot selection for the Tar Heels.

His issue is his attitude. He is perceived by some to be a malcontent, once comparing his time at North Carolina to being in “prison”. On the court, he may be too short to play shooting guard. A shift to point guard is not an option currently, as McCants has not displayed a good enough handle. His defense is spotty at times and he’ll need to improve this area of his game.

The Bottom Line: While not quite in the same neighborhood as Chris Taft, McCants is a player whose talent may not equate with his draft position come June 28. He would fill a need on a team who needs outside shooting, like Indiana or Denver. He should be available for the Raptors at 16, but still might be a bit of a reach at that point.

Who is he? 6-5 high school swingman from Dallas Skyline High.

Last Year: Averaged 23.5 points, 10.0 rebounds and 4.8 assists for Dallas Skyline High.

What Can He Do? Miles has a solid all-around game for a high school guard. He can create his own shot and is a good jump shooter, his 0-6 3-point performance in the McDonald’s game notwithstanding. He has demonstrated good ball handling skills and finds his teammates well. He is a solid shot blocker and rebounder for a swingman.

Unlike most guards attempting the high school-to-NBA jump, Miles is not a superb athlete. He needs to add a lot of weight and strength before his body is NBA-ready. His jack-of-all-trades, master-of-none, skill set is not conducive to the leap he is trying to make.

The Bottom Line: Miles was an interesting early entrant. He doesn’t do one thing exceptionally well, nor is he particularly athletic, traits that NBA scouts are looking for. He would probably be better served spending a few years in college, refining his game and building his body. He projects to be a late first-round selection in the draft, just probably not by the Raptors.

Yesterday's Workout Links: The Globe & Mail reports on Chris Taft's mediocre workout.

Tuesday: Battle, Homan and Taft
Friday: Gomes, Mendez, Roberts and Simien
Thursday: Doornekamp, Rothbart and Schenscher

- Jeff Chapman