Kidd-Gilchrist, Beal work out for Bobcats ahead of draft
Kentucky's Michael Kidd-Gilchrist and Florida's Bradley Beal worked out for the Charlotte Bobcats on Monday morning as the team continued evaluations for the June 28 NBA Draft.
The Bobcats own the second pick in the draft, and are considering several options on the assumption that the New Orleans Hornets will take Kentucky's Anthony Davis first.
Beal, a 6-foot-3 guard, said it was the perfect workout for contrasting his offensive skills against Kidd-Gilchrist's defensive prowess.
"It really was," Beal said. "We both got after it, on both ends, even my defense and his offense. We're just competitors and we both went at it today. ... It was cool. We were laughing and joking around, but competing at the same time."
The Bobcats also worked out potential second-round picks Quincy Acy of Baylor, Bernard James of Florida State and Kris Joseph of Syracuse. Kansas' Thomas Robinson and North Carolina's Harrison Barnes have not worked out for the team yet.
Owner Michael Jordan, president of basketball operations Rod Higgins and GM Rich Cho watched the workouts, but none commented afterward.
The Bobcats are still without a head coach after firing Paul Silas at the end of a 7-59 season, the worst in NBA history. A source told The Charlotte Observer that the team has hired St. John's assistant Mike Dunlap but an official announcement was still a couple of days away.
Kidd-Gilchrist averaged 11.9 points, 7.4 rebounds, 1.9 assists and one steal in 40 games as a freshman for Kentucky's national champions. He was chosen the South Regional's Most Outstanding Player during the Wildcats' march to the title.
NBA scouts love his strength, toughness, heart and energy, particularly at the defensive end.
Kidd-Gilchrist took a spill during the workout and tweaked his back, but he said he was fine afterward. He was to fly on to Cleveland, and he has already worked out for Washington.
"It's all about heart to me," he said. "Heart and winning basketball games. That's what I'm all about. It went good today. I'm a winner, and I showed them that today."
Both players said they were not intimidated by Jordan's presence, but they were honored to work out for him.
"I played in his high school game like a year and a half ago, so I was kind of used to seeing him sitting over there," Beal said. "But of course, when you see him walking in it's like, 'Oh, that's Mike.' But at the same time, when you're working out he's just another person in the gym. I talked to him a little bit and he said 'Good job' and I'll talk to him soon I guess."
■ The New Orleans Hornets appear increasingly serious about pairing another front-court prospect with consensus top overall draft choice Anthony Davis. New Orleans hosted 6-foot-11 Baylor forward Perry Jones III and 6-9 Ohio State forward Jared Sullinger for pre-draft workouts on Monday, boosting to seven the number of big men not named Davis who have worked out for Hornets GM Dell Demps and Coach Monty Williams at the club's training center. The Hornets have the first and 10th overall picks in the June 28 draft.
During earlier workouts, the Hornets looked at 6-9 Kentucky forward Terrence Jones, 7-foot Tyler Zeller, 6-11 John Henson of North Carolina, 7-1 Illinois center Meyers Leonard, and 6-11 Mississippi State forward Arnett Moultrie.
Tyler back with Cats after year away
Safety Dakotah Tyler is back on Kentucky's football team, Coach Joker Phillips announced. Upon the completion of summer-school courses, Tyler will be able to play next season and will be a junior in eligibility. He sat out last season for personal reasons. Tyler played in 11 games, including one start, two season ago after missing the first two games that year because of an ankle sprain.
European Soccer Championship
Spain, Italy advance to quarterfinals
Spain and Italy confirmed their heavyweight reputations at the European Championship on Monday, advancing to the quarterfinals after winning their final group matches in Poland.
Defending champion Spain sealed the top spot in Group C by beating Croatia 1-0 with a late goal by substitute Jesus Navas. Mario Balotelli came off the bench to score Italy's second goal in a 2-0 victory against Ireland, lifting the Azzurri above Croatia in the standings. Antonio Cassano had opened the scoring.
■ Abby Wambach and Alex Morgan each scored twice to give the United States a 4-1 win over Japan in Sweden. The Americans beat Sweden 3-1 on Saturday in a three-team set of exhibitions called the Volvo Winners Cup. Japan plays Sweden on Wednesday.
The last word
The NBA Finals resume Tuesday with the Heat holding a 2-1 lead on the Thunder. Miami's Chris Bosh said this year's squad is set on putting last year's finals loss behind them:
"We all got caught up in the lights and the negativity last year. We let that take away our energy away from focusing on what we needed to focus on. This year we're just being ourselves. We're coming and competing. We're playing the best basketball and we're just having confidence in our game. We're good enough. We're good enough to win it. We were good enough last year. We just had too many letdowns."