Cyclones prepare for NBA Draft


Photo: Jonathan Krueger/Iowa State Daily

ISU redshirt senior Will Clyburn brings the ball inside the arc against Ohio StateĀ in the third-round game of the NCAA tournament on March 24, 2013, at the University of Dayton Arena. Clyburn ended his Cyclone career with 17 points in the 75-78 loss.

Beau Berkley

It’s a night when childhood dreams become reality.

The annual NBA Draft will commence this Thursday, June 27. With sports pundits spouting their opinions on who will be drafted and front offices working around the clock trying to decide who will lead their team forward, several Cyclones have worked their way into the discussions.

Will Clyburn transferred from Utah after the 2010-2011 season and sat out 2011-2012 as a Cyclone. During his senior campaign, Clyburn averaged 14.9 points a game en route to being named to the All-Big 12 Second Team and Big 12 Newcomer of the Year.

Clyburn did not have long to bask in his rewards. After the season, Clyburn began preparing for the draft.

“I got right to training in Vegas and it was all just repetition and getting up shot after shot and getting up and down the court, making sure I’m in shape,” Clyburn said. “I’ve just been traveling from city to city.”

Clyburn said he has worked out with the Detroit Pistons, Los Angeles Lakers, Milwaukee Bucks, Philadelphia 76ers and the Washington Wizards. In all, Clyburn said he has worked out with “about fifteen teams.”

However, Clyburn has no preference as to where he ends up.

“It doesn’t really matter where I’m at,” Clyburn said. “I’m blessed to be in the situation I’m in and I’d be blessed to go anywhere.”

Coach Fred Hoiberg says he has followed up with the teams Clyburn has worked out with and the reviews have been positive.

“They’ve (teams) really liked what they’ve seen as far as his length, athleticism and his explosiveness. He’s setting himself up for a chance, and that’s all you can ask for at this stage in the game,” Hoiberg said in a teleconference held Tuesday, June 23. “He’s worked out for pretty much every team in the draft with the exception of I think two teams, but a lot of those teams won’t pick.”

Former Cyclone Chris Babb has also spent the summer working out for various NBA teams.

“I’ve worked out for the Lakers, Trail Blazers, Pacers and a group workout in Minnesota where all the teams are represented, so I’ve been kind of everywhere,” Babb said.

Just like with Clyburn, Hoiberg has been keeping in touch with teams Babb has worked with.

“He’s had a lot of great workouts,” Hoiberg said. He “got injured at one of them, but he’s been generating a lot of buzz, so I know he’s certainly helped himself.”

The injury Babb sustained was a minor shoulder injury, something he said was not a factor in his workouts.

“It popped out, but it wasn’t bad and it’s all good now,” Babb said.

Babb and Clyburn have both noticed their mental edge during workouts due to Hoiberg’s pro-style system.

“Coach did a great job preparing me. A lot of these sets are NBA sets, so I was already prepared and knew some of the points they were trying to make and was kind of one step ahead,” Clyburn said.

NBA personnel have also picked up on the knowledge that Hoiberg’s players possess, Babb said.

“They were pretty impressed that we understood and how fast we could pick up on concepts, because a lot of stuff they’re throwing at us is already stuff we have done, so that’s a big advantage for us.”

From shooting in the driveway to shooting in Hilton Coliseum, the overall goal for all basketball players is the same: Play professionally.

“Watching NBA games on TV thinking ‘what if one day I can play’ or ‘what if one day someone wants to buy my jersey,'” Babb said. “It feels good to say I’m here now.”