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Catching up with Eric Hayes


As he prepares to participate in workouts in front of NBA teams next month, Maryland senior Eric Hayes has spent much of the past six weeks honing his craft, staying in shape and adjusting to a three-point line a few feet further from the basket than the one he grew accustomed to during his collegiate career.

One of the most prolific three-point shooters in Terrapins history, Hayes said Thursday in a telephone interview that during the past month he's worked to adapt to shooting from beyond the NBA three-point line, which is as much as three feet* further from the basket than the NCAA three-point line.

"It's a little harder to shoot," Hayes said. "It's a lot father away than the college line. Got to use your legs a lot more. You've got to kind of jump. I don't jump that much in my shot to begin with, so you just have to make a concentrated effort to get some more arc on the shot and maybe use some more legs, especially when you get tired. Because when you get tired and you try shooting a regular shot you're going to be short."

* The NBA three-point line is not a full arc, so the length from the line to the basket varies as the line gets closer to the baseline. At its closest point, the line is 22 feet from the basket; the top of the arc is 23 feet, nine inches from the basket. The NCAA three-point line, on the other hand, is a complete arc. It stands 22 20 feet, nine inches from the basket.

Hayes said most of his workouts have taken place at Comcast Center. He still lifts weights with the Maryland men's basketball team so that his strength training can be overseen by Paul Ricci, the program's strength and conditioning coach. Hayes said his father, Kendall, a long-time high school basketball coach, has helped put him through drills on the court.

Next weekend, Hayes will spend four days in Chicago, where his agent, Brad Ames, is based. Ames works for Priority Sports and also represents former Terrapins Lonny Baxter and Nik Caner-Medley. Hayes said he doesn't expect to begin his NBA workouts until mid-May.

"No set schedule right now." Hayes said. "They don't start calling guys in until the beginning or middle of May. They really don't know right now who is going to be calling who. It's just basically, right now the lottery picks are going to be the first guys working out in the beginning of May. After that, they'll start calling other guys who are possible draft picks or possible free agents pickups. Nobody right now really knows where they're going (for NBA workouts) unless they're a lottery pick."

After Hayes graduates in late May, he said he'll temporarily move to Chicago, where he will train until the NBA Draft on June 24. In Chicago, Hayes said he will work out with other Priority Sports clients, such as former Notre Dame forward Luke Harangody and former Texas forwards Dexter Pittman and Damion James.

Hayes said he's spoken to Ames and Medley, as well as fellow Priority Sports client Rob Kurz (who was added to the Chicago Bulls' playoff roster after he was signed April 9) about what the next few weeks will entail as he ventures through the draft workout process.

"Being in shape is the big thing," Hayes said. "I was talking to (Maryland senior) Greivis (Vasquez) about his experience last year and he said that a lot of the guys, I guess he was with (former UCLA guard Darren) Collison and a lot of good point guards, and he said some of those guys got tired, but he felt pretty good. That was a big key for him, that he wasn't as tired as the other guys. He felt he did pretty well. So that's definitely going to be key, just competing. Because you're all competing for a spot and competing for a team to like you."

Unlike in years past when he took a full slate of classes and had mandatory team functions to attend, Hayes said this spring he's had plenty of time to concentrate on the next stage in his basketball career. He's taking only two classes, which leaves him plenty of time to work on adjusting to that new three-point distance.

"I just have a lot more time this spring to work out and focus on getting ready for the workouts," Hayes said. "That's really the biggest difference is the time I have to work out."

By Steve Yanda  |  April 29, 2010; 2:58 PM ET
Categories:  Men's basketball  
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Comments

Good luck Eric!

Posted by: charles20001 | April 29, 2010 4:02 PM | Report abuse

Mr. Hayes, you might as well sit down with your agent and look to sign with a team overseas if you want to continue playing basketball. Ten years ago, you would have been playing for a small college or mid-major with your so-called game.

Posted by: psock1 | April 30, 2010 9:14 AM | Report abuse

Someone help me here. The article says the NCAA line is 22' 9", the NBA line is up to 23' 9", but the NBA line is 3' further away. Something doesn't add up.

Posted by: keepandbear | April 30, 2010 9:35 AM | Report abuse

psock1:

What's your deal? Hayes might end up playing overseas, but your small college or mid-major comment makes no sense. Do you think there's less talent in D1 now than ten years ago?

Your tone of douchiness is disturbing.

Posted by: acebojangles | April 30, 2010 10:07 AM | Report abuse

I'm with Ace. psock is a fool

Posted by: jpfterps | May 3, 2010 11:28 AM | Report abuse

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