Interview with Ryan Blake #2

Interview with Ryan Blake #2
Apr 12, 2005, 05:12 am
Interview with Ryan Blake #2

Jonathan Givony: Hey Ryan, its good to see you again. How would you rate PIT so far?

Ryan Blake: I think it went really well. In terms of let's say the crowd, I think we had a really good crowd. Everybody that came in had a good time. They do a good job, I think the focus on the community was obviously here, without fluffing it up. From the perspective of the players, they came out and played hard. There were only a couple of blowouts. The first two games of the night were just great, I saw you having a good time as well. The injuries [Deng Gai, Paul Marigney] are always obviously disappointing, but they were legit injuries. They aren't bad injuries, so I don't think the kids are going to be out for a long time. I talked to Marigney and he said he'll be back in a week.

Jonathan Givony: What happened to Deng Gai? I was really hoping he would play and have a big game. He really needed it.

Ryan Blake: What was his deal? I think it was a sprained ankle [looks at list], yeah ankle. I think he hurt it the first night. So that was disappointing. But he's here, he's getting treatment. He went to go check it out.

Jonathan Givony: What you think about the fact that when the tournament started, it seemed like there were a million scouts here, and now it seems like this area [we were sitting in the area that was devoted strictly to the scouts] is like 1/8th of what it was when the tournament started. It seems like almost everyone is in Memphis. [at the Nike Hoop Summit]

Ryan Blake: And that'swe wouldn't have liked to have Memphis on the same weekend. I'm sure that the Portsmouth people wouldn't have either. The people [the crowd] will still be here. This is not an NBA run thing, this is run by Portsmouth. And I think that a lot of people that don'tI mean there is a writer here from ESPN, he has been here for a while, and he still doesn't know that the NBA doesn't run this event! The Portsmouth people do. Then he goes on to say how Aaron Miles did not play well in the first game. I mean is he even watching the games?

Jonathan Givony: Maybe the fact that you guys are making DVD's of all the games basically on the spot makes the NBA people think ok, well we can go to Memphis, since the practices there won't be on tape, but these games will.

Ryan Blake: We've always had tapes.

Jonathan Givony: Because a lot of people were telling me that that this area [where the scouts sit] was packed here solid for four days

Ryan Blake: I think it's because of the Nike Hoop Summit. That's the only thingI mean you have the first two days of practices, and then the game. The game is today [Saturday] so I would thinkI would be at this game. At Portsmouth.

Jonathan Givony: I'm looking at the Hoop Summit rosters, now that Gerald Green is gone, there is a chance that there won't even be ONE player in the draft that is playing in Memphis. Isn't that a waste to miss this for that?

Ryan Blake: About scouting, its not only who CAN play, but also who cannot play. And that's one of the biggest things that we do that has been told to us for our league, that if I go out and see a great small school college kid with props, and he can't play, then someone can go and watch someone else that might be a prospect and evaluate this guy a little bit more. Because again, if you look at your website, we have a world of talent that we have to cover. And if I can eliminate somebody that's just as important then telling a guy that you need to go see him again.

Jonathan Givony: I want to ask you about Katelynas. What has he shown you here? You told us in our last interview that he was one of the sleepers of this camp. Boy are you looking smart right now.

Ryan Blake: What did you think?

Jonathan Givony: I thought that maybe he wasn't the number one guy in terms of his performance here, you have guys like Maxiell who probably changed the game a bit more, but I think he showed the most potential of anyone here, just in terms of how damn intriguing he is. Maybe its because I hadn't seen him before and a lot of the other guys have been shoved down our throats dozens of times, but damn, he is 6-9, he's got all tools in the world and then some to play the 3, I mean he has some weaknesses of course, but they look like correctable weaknesses to meI was impressed. I love how hard he plays, he's a team player. I think the people that skipped out may be kicking themselves, because like you said, that athleticism doesn't come off as well on tape (laughs)

Ryan Blake: Well there isn't much else to say. You just explained it perfectly right there. We've talked about him for a number of days, and I'm just glad that he's shown what I thought that he can do here. The knowledge of three positions are at a higher level, in other words, he does have a good handle to get inside, and he does have three point. He's shooting what, 25% [for three], but when I saw him he was shooting lights out at school, and that's only 21 games.

Jonathan Givony: He didn't take a lot of 3's from what I saw, but he still hit them at a pretty good clip.

Ryan Blake: Yeah, he's a multipurpose player, but more than that he's an effort player. Here's a guy that I know people are going to be more than excited about. He's Chicago bound. That's not a question, its not going to be an inside scoop. He's there.

Jonathan Givony: It's a shame, because people went to see Europeans who might become prospects in a few years, who knows, but here's a guy who has about as much upside as any European in the draft not named Aleksandrov or Andriuskevicius.

Ryan Blake: Absolutely. And another thing, we've got guys that I said lets put on the roster for people to come see, guys like David Logan, Lee Cook, Nate Daniels who everyone already knew about [played at Louisville] because he was on our college prospect level as a guy that needs to be tracked for small colleges. And there are other guys out there that we couldn't get in here, so to speak, but these are who we said lets take another look at.

Jonathan Givony: Players like Coppenrath and Jawad Williams, who are better than a lot of guys who pulled out, but maybe didn't play that well here, is that going to hurt them in terms of getting into Chicago?

Ryan Blake: No. Because you don't take just this as the final self-countdown to the Europe song. People have to look at their homework, and what they've done throughout the year and what they've seen. Regardless of whatever system they played in at college, doesn't mean that this is event is going to change that. They played well enough that they should get enough looks for Chicago.

Jonathan Givony: Besides Katelynas, who are some players that you thought played really well?

Ryan Blake: McFarlin and Maxiell obviously. Maxiell probably being the best guy to make a difference on both ends of the court.

Jonathan Givony: Conroy?

Ryan Blake: Conroy, obviously. That helps. You've got a guy that delivers, and you've got a guy that finishes.

Jonathan Givony: I loved what he told me after the game. I asked him what his secret was to impressing the way he has so far, and he told me I'm looking at the other PG's, and they don't understand that their role in the NBA isn't going to be to score 25 points a night, its going to be to do all the little things, and that's what I'm showing NBA teams that I can do

Ryan Blake: See, that's maturity right there. As we talked about before about advisors whether they are agents or whatever. They tell people to come in here and score. You know who those players are, especially if you've seen them before during the season and you know they haven't done that before. And then you look at other guys like Ronald Ross, who hasn't had a great tournament so far. You know what he can do, in terms of his intelligence and so forth and I think you can't disqualify those things too. Things that are intriguing to me are maybe beauty in the eye of the beholder, but each scout will pick up on the things that they may like. Everybody here has at least played with heart.

Jonathan Givony: I wasn't here at Portsmouth last year, but did Vroman [Iowa State, #31 pick, Phoenix] play kind of similar to the way Jared Homan played this year? I mean, I was very impressed by him.

Ryan Blake: Yes. It's funny, we were talking about just that earlier.

Jonathan Givony: OK Ryan, the 2nd game is about to start here. I really appreciate your time, it was a pleasure as always.

Ryan Blake: Thanks Jonathan. Keep up the good work.

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