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Tuesday, June 4, 2013

Trail Blazers work out Elijah Johnson

Kansas guard Elijah Johnson waves goodbye to the Bramlage Coliseum crowd after the Jayhawks' 59-55 win over Kansas State on Tuesday, Jan. 22, 2013.

Kansas guard Elijah Johnson waves goodbye to the Bramlage Coliseum crowd after the Jayhawks' 59-55 win over Kansas State on Tuesday, Jan. 22, 2013.

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Former Kansas University combo guard Elijah Johnson worked out for the Portland Trail Blazers on Monday with fellow NBA Draft hopefuls Kentavious Caldwell-Pope (Georgia), Sherwood Brown (Florida Gulf Coast), Jared Berggren (Wisconsin), Brandon Davies (BYU) and Abdul Gaddy (Washington).

After a session that included live scrimmaging and 1-on-1 drills, Johnson was asked by the Oregonian what he brings to the NBA table.

“I feel I can fit a lot of different teams. I feel I’m versatile,” the 6-foot-4 Las Vegas native said. “Some players do one thing. It’s either they fit or don’t fit.

“I feel I can adjust a little more than the average person.

“I’m trying to show I can guard all the way to 6-6. I’m not going to go away easy,” he added, smiling.

Johnson said he will work out for Washington today then take a break before “going to Houston, Utah, Dallas, a couple more places.”

“I feel I can attack and score the ball, too,” Johnson noted. “I feel I can score the ball at will when I have the opportunity or if that’s my job. I’ve always been able to guard. That’s what we do at Kansas. I feel like I got that from coach (Bill Self).”

Releford in Sacramento: Former KU guard Travis Releford worked out for the Sacramento Kings on Monday with Will Cherry (Montana), Chris Evans (Kent State), Rudy Gobert (France), Aziz N’Diaye (Washington), and Brandon Triche (Syracuse).

“I feel I can come in and be a spark on the defensive end,” Releford told Sacramento News 10 KXTV. “I talked to the coach about that. He said the focus in this year’s draft ... they want a guy to be able to come in and be a lockdown defender. Hopefully they take a good look into me because I feel I can do that.”

The 6-foot-6 Kansas City native added: “At Kansas the past two years I’ve been one of those guys that always guarded the best player on the other team. I take pride in that and doing whatever it takes to win.”

Withey in Denver: Former KU center Jeff Withey worked out for the Denver Nuggets on Monday. He was joined by Tony Mitchell (North Texas), Phil Pressey (Missouri), Colton Iverson (Colorado State), Mike Muscala (Bucknell), Nate Wolters (South Dakota State), Reggie Buckner (Mississippi), Reggie Bullock (North Carolina), Matt Dellavedova (St. Mary’s), C.J. Harris (Wake Forest), Elias Harris (Gonzaga), Ricky Ledo (Providence).

Comments

Ralster Jayhawk 10 months, 2 weeks ago

The future is not yet written...RCEJH! Go light em up, Elijah!

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KansasComet 10 months, 2 weeks ago

EJ was and still is one of my favorite Jayhawks!!

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RiceOwl610 10 months, 2 weeks ago

Still love how Elijah and the other Chickenhawks choked on Michigan like the football team choked on Rice.

BLUE AND GRAY FOR RICE TODAY!

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Bryce Landon 10 months, 2 weeks ago

Can't see EJ doing anything other than riding the bench in the NBDL.

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Ralster Jayhawk 10 months, 2 weeks ago

Love the photo. EJ "christens" the Elijahgon-o-gloom! Following in fine tradition of the Sherrontagon and Tyshawntagon. Was this the game where EJ crossover dribbled between that Class-A-sucker's legs on the way to a rim finish? (Spradling or SprawledFlat, cant remember his name, you know, the one who serves as a token high-contrast player for those purple&grey uniforms...). Our mission is to empty out the Octagoners before the start of the game--we will try our hardest...seeing that Brucie Weber is doing his usual part to empty out the KState lineup.... He has 1 3star player coming in, a 6ft guard. From contender to Div1 pretender in 1 season= W-e-b-e-r D-o-w-n-d-r-a-f-t has really out-done himself this time...

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Jack Wilson 10 months, 2 weeks ago

Michael Dixon to Memphis ...

http://sports.yahoo.com/blogs/ncaab-the-dagger/memphis-gambles-impact-transfer-michael-dixon-talent-worth-161205391.html

I wonder if the kusports.com staff has any word on Anrio Adams, and his potential landing spots? I wasn't able to find anything online that was recent.

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jaybate 10 months, 2 weeks ago

Now that Self has landed X, Selby and Andrew, and skimming cream is no longer a novelty, I am now eagerly awaiting Coach Self pursuing players with some truly audacious monikers.

I am envious of Georgia for having had Kentavious Calder-Pope.

KU desperately needs some players with redundant names, like Bak Bak of Cal and Majok Majok of Ball State.

Come on, Coach Self, the Legacy needs a refill on exotic names.

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Sam Constance 10 months, 2 weeks ago

I was about to say I was pleasantly surprised that there weren't any sour grapes on this thread. Guess I should have posted about 22 minutes ago.

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theend 10 months, 2 weeks ago

EJ? Well....good luck to you, kid. You were ok.....but I kind of think of you as a girlfriend I just sort of liked.......and I'm content you have moved on and someone else gets to deal with you.

Sorry folks......but you can say all the good stuff about this kid you want......and I would agree with probably 90% of it. But he blew that game vs Michigan. Absolutely.....100% blew it. You can spin it any way you want......but that game was on EJ.

I honestly like him.....and wish him well. And I guess I should just get over it. It's done.

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Andrew Horigan 10 months, 2 weeks ago

"I’ve always been able to guard. That’s what we do at Kansas. I feel like I got that from coach (Bill Self)"

Love the quote EJ. Good Luck!

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Jason Keller 10 months, 2 weeks ago

What does everyone think about how Mario is playing? What about the Morris twins? If you're not aware the Morris twins are averaging around 20 minutes per game with a line of around 8 points with a few rebounds to go with it. They have really turned into nice players. Self's reputation for developing pros is improving. Ben is key, he needs to develop into a solid starter. Wiggins won't hurt either when he comes out although Self likely won't get as much credit for that one because of the sheer amount of talent Wiggins has.

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jhawkrulz 10 months, 2 weeks ago

I've watched a lot of basketball, but when did they start playing defense in the NBA?

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William Blake 10 months, 2 weeks ago

"Guarding good" in the NBA primarily means being able to trap well once your man drives by you... and make him work for his drive-by, creating only an indirect path so help can come.

Sounds easier than college ball, but it isn't because of the level of competition.

Other defensive attributes are being able to switch quickly and plenty of ball-denial sticky glue away from the ball.

Last... but maybe most-important, is to contest shots. At this level, the chances of the ball going in on an uncontested shot is extremely high.

Very last... know how much body and slapping is allowed without picking up the foul. Use it all to keep the ball handler slowed down. Use the same contact for ball denial and rebound position.

One disadvantage for TRele is his size and he needs to play with more contact.

Jeff needs to keep eating and lifting. Get him on a jump machine to work on his elevation.

EJ is the closest to "ready made" concerning body, but has to focus better and work harder. Can he ever get the lift back he had early in his KU career? And nail the trey?

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jhox 10 months, 2 weeks ago

I like Releford's chances. He's long and an elite defender who has a knack for sliding through screens (best KU player at that since Hinrich, and you can see how valuable Hinrich is to the Bulls defensively), and he can knock down shots when left open. He also can slash. But it's his defense that gives him a great chance of making a roster. There are not a lot of guys with the ability to defend like that. I'll be shocked if he doesn't make an NBA roster.

EJ has NBA athleticism but I dont believe his shooting is consistent enough, and he doesn't make a lot of use of his athleticism offensively, he's reluctant to penetrate and when he does, he tends to be a leaner. He is not a great ball handler. It will be an up hill battle for him. I hope he proves me wrong. He's likely to be playing overseas.

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Greg Lux 10 months, 2 weeks ago

In my memory of EJ's years at KU, he was never able to guard. He could never stop a guard driving to the basket. EJ is a good guard offensively but defensively he is to slow on his first step to stay in front of an NBA guard. But I wish him all the best and hope he improves enough to make an NBA team.

Rock Chalk

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Jason Keller 10 months, 2 weeks ago

I do think that most GMs will be pleasantly surprised with how athletic EJ is. He didn't always get to show that here at KU but at 6-2, he is a guy you can throw lobs to and he will go get them.

I also think they may be a little surprised with Releford's perimeter shooting stroke. He doesn't elevate near like Ben but he'll keep defenders in the NBA honest. Leave him open and he'll bury it.

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Jack Jones 10 months, 2 weeks ago

If EJ believes he can guard up to 6-6 ~ he either will be able, or he won't. Athletic ability + attitude and belief often equals success. Good luck EJ, Travis,Jeff and Kevin....and Ben.

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jaybate 10 months, 2 weeks ago

EJ is 6-2 in NBA inches and he is guarding all the way up to 6-6?

Good luck.

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jaybate 10 months, 2 weeks ago

1 of 7.1 billion persons in the world that would play for big money, if they could, vying for 60 or so draft slots.

Insane odds.

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Colby Hebert 10 months, 2 weeks ago

With the new trend of having a team with 3 all-star caliber/max contract players, surrounded by role players, You do not need the 2 or 3 other guys in the rotation to score. You need affordable lock down defenders. If you can stick to a guy like glue, you can have a role on an NBA team.

Elijah and Releford have got the size to cover those tall SG and most SF, if they can show GM's they can do it they have a shot to make an NBA team

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