McCamey hoping for call for workout with NBA team

John Supinie

Illinois guard Demetri McCamey hopes the phone rings Thursday.

After submitting his name for the NBA draft, McCamey anxiously is waiting to learn if he will secure any workouts with teams with the NCAA deadline looming. Thursday is the first day teams can make invitations and run players through a workout session.

Guys like McCamey have until May 8 to pull their names from consideration and retain NCAA eligibility. McCamey, a first-team all-Big Ten pick last season, would be a senior next season.

"Hopefully, I'll have some calls and workouts planned,'' McCamey said Wednesday after an offseason practice session with the Illini at the Ubben Basketball Complex. "I think I'll get a couple teams. That's me saying it. The NBA might be thinking differently. We have to take it by ear and wait for calls.''

The NBA and NCAA calendars aren't matching up this year after the NCAA deadline moved up from mid-June to early May. The NBA's deadline to pull a name from consideration is June 14, but that's too late if a player wants to retain college eligibility.

Half of the NBA teams responded to an ESPN poll, and only Portland said it would hold a workout during the window that begins Thursday and runs through May 8. The timing might help college coaches but does little for aspiring NBA players.

"They're trying to help the college coaches build a program,'' McCamey said. "It (stinks) for the players.''

Players can't skip class for the workouts, but McCamey's final class is Friday. His only semester final is May 4.

The NBA advisory committee rated McCamey as a prospect who could go somewhere in the second round, coach Bruce Weber said. Second-round picks aren't guaranteed money, and McCamey showed little interest Wednesday with the possibility of a second-round slot.

"Second-round money isn't guaranteed,'' McCamey said. "You have to fight for spots. You get on a summer league team. You're still trying to fight. It's not guaranteed. I probably won't look at things like that. I'll focus on coming back to Champaign.''

Weber called about 15 NBA teams seeking analysis on McCamey, but NBA teams haven't shown much enthusiasm for the workouts.

"Right now, it doesn't look like a lot of guys are going to get workouts,'' Weber said. "When I talked to the NBA office, their whole thing is the advisory committee. That's what it's for. They watched them all year, numerous games and practices. That's where they want the kids to make a decision. It's not a two-hour workout.

"Teams are saying that. Whether they follow up on that, I don't know.''

Illinois forward Mike Davis, who also submitted his name, is a long shot to get an NBA workout.

LEONARD INJURY: Robinson senior center Meyers Leonard, one of three incoming recruits, suffered a stress fracture in his left foot and will wear a boot until mid-May but won't require surgery, Weber said. Leonard attended the workout session Wednesday and met with the Illinois medical staff.

The injury occurred during the Nike Hoop Summit in Portland, and Leonard hoped to return for the USA Basketball tryouts for the under-18 national team. Waukegan's Jereme Richmond, who also signed with Illinois, and Illini commitment Tracy Abrams from Chicago Mount Carmel were also invited to the tryout.

Leonard made a big impression during the Hoop Summit.

"He was an unknown commodity,'' Weber said. "Now here's this 7-1 kid who can run and do things. It was a good experience for him.''

John Supinie can be reached at