OAKLAND —Everything was business as usual at the Warriors practice facility Monday, as an Oakland superstar who averaged 20 plus points per game last season rained down threes. Everything except for his name.
Oakland University standout Travis Bader — the NCAA Division I career leader in three-pointers — highlighted the third session of the Warriors pre-draft workouts.
With no pure shooters behind Klay Thompson and Steph Curry, the Warriors would be an ideal place for Bader:
“I would love to slide into the ‘Splash Brothers’ (nickname). This would be a perfect situation, they are known for shooting the ball, and being a shooter you kind of dream of being in a situation like this where that’s what they do. You know whatever happens, happens but if I end up here I’d be very happy.”
But through the whole pre-draft process Bader has also been trying to show a more expansive all-around game:
“I’m trying to show my defense, that has been a big question for a lot of people, I know I got to get a little bit stronger but just trying to show I can defend and trying to show my handles a little bit, not get carried away with it, just show that I’m more than just a shooter.”
Bader was one of the six prospects to participate in workouts at Warriors headquarters Monday, including Brendan Lane (Pepperdine), Rob Loe (St. Louis), Akil Mitchell (Virginia), Eric Moreland (Oregon State) and Roberto Nelson (Oregon State).
Bader and Moreland both rank on ESPN’s Chad Ford’s Top 100 list, Bader at No. 81 and Moreland at No. 65, which is the highest a prospect has ranked in any of the Warriors workouts.
Moreland, a 6-foot-10 redshirt junior, averaged 8.9 points, 10.3 rebounds and 2.0 blocks per game for Oregon State after being suspended for the first 14 games of the season for undisclosed reasons. This is the second year in a row that he has averaged more than 10 rebounds and two blocks for the season.
Being joined by his teammate Nelson in his workout was not something Moreland expected:
“It was surprising actually, this is like my 10th one and I’ve come across like one Pac-12 player so coming to a workout with Berto … it’s cool. I’ve gone through a lot of workouts so I’m comfortable, but having my teammate here and playing together, we were actually on the same team together too, it was fun.”
Moreland’s teammate Nelson, a 6-foot-4 guard, became the first Oregon State player to lead the Pac-12 in scoring since Gary Payton did it in 1990, averaging 20.7 points per game.
Mitchell led the Cavaliers in rebounds grabbing seven a game, which propelled Virginia to a No. 1 seed in the NCAA tournament and a Sweet 16 appearance.
At 6-foot-8 and 229 pounds, Mitchell is trying to showcase his defense but also his ability to win:
“I boil it down to that, if I can win every drill, win every game, if I can make winning basketball plays then I feel like I’ve accomplished the workout for sure.”
Mitchell, Nelson and Brendan Lane all make appearances on nbadraft.net’s big board, Mitchell at No. 83, Nelson at No. 95 and Lane at No. 81.