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Eric Hayes has the touch at predraft workout

The Washington Wizards just completed another set of predraft workouts this afternoon at Verizon Center, and included in this group of players was former Maryland guard Eric Hayes.

Members of the media were allowed to watch the final few minutes of the approximately 90 minute session, and among the highlights was Hayes executing a shooting drill to perfection. The drill called for each player to take a shot from the left and right ends of the foul line until seven shots are made. In between taking shots, the player must run and touch the sideline boundary with his foot. If a player misses, he must make a layup, run to the sideline and then shoot again from the elbow.

While the drill proved to be a chore for bigger players such as former Oklahoma forward Tiny Gallon, who is listed as 6 feet 9 and 300 pounds, Hayes had no problems at all. The 6-4 Hayes made all seven shots consecutively, and on the final two, he had Wizards Coach Flip Saunders trying to distract him by yelling and clapping.

"I should do well. It's a lot of shooting, so I was glad i was able to hit seven in a row," said Hayes, who is one of the most prolific three-point shooters in Terrapins history.

Hayes's workout came one day after that of former Maryland teammate Greivis Vasquez, whose audience included new team owner Ted Leonsis and all-star guard Gilbert Arenas.

Hayes said he did not get a chance to speak with Vasquez before today's workout. Hayes and Vasquez are bidding to become the second set of Maryland back-court players to put on Wizards jerseys. Juan Dixon and Steve Blake both played with Washington after they helped the Terrapins win the school's first and only men's basketball national championship in 2002.

"Just a little exposure to teams," Hayes said of what he hoped to achieve from this workout. "Hopefully I can build off this and get some more workouts and get in front of as many people as I can."

Hayes also said he relishes the prospect of playing just down the road from College Park.

"It would be great to play close to home, you know, around family," said Hayes, who played high school basketball at Potomac (Va.). "Fans are familiar with me from playing at Maryland, so it would be a dream come true playing here."

By Gene Wang  |  June 1, 2010; 2:00 PM ET
 
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Next: Four players to work out on Wednesday

Comments

One of those self-made players. You know when he came to Maryland he wasn't that good a jump shooter, but look at him now. I don't see him as an NBA player, but I'm always happy to be surprised.

Posted by: Samson151 | June 1, 2010 2:13 PM | Report abuse

I always saw a parallel between Hayes/Vasquez and Dixon/Blake. One was flashier, more mercurial on court, and got most of the attention and shots, while the other was low key, methodical, out of the spotlight, and somewhat undervalued on and off court for the Terps.

It wouldn't surprise me at all if Hayes ended up with a better career than Vasquez.

Posted by: kalo_rama | June 1, 2010 3:24 PM | Report abuse

It wouldn't surprise me at all if Hayes ended up with a better career than Vasquez.

Posted by: kalo_rama | June 1, 2010 3:24 PM | Report abuse

because he reminds you of Steve Blake or because of his actual ability to hoop. i think and argument could've been made about who was the better all around ball player between Blake and Dixon. Ther is no argument between Hayes and Vasquez. The only area where hayes has an edge over Greivis is the shooting touch. I don't know that Hayes ran the team any better than Vasquez. Dixon's edge over Blake was offensive IMHO, but one could argue that Blake was the better all around guard. GV is not the best shooter, but there is no doubt he was the better basketball player at UMD the whole time both were there.

Posted by: lilhollywood10 | June 1, 2010 3:40 PM | Report abuse

funny to hear Vasquez bs about having no ego and not caring about starting, just wants to try hard. He's as cocky as any player you'll ever see, and will openly try to push the teams money players everyday in practice.

Which of course exactly why he'd be a good pick.

TOUGH for the wiz to not reach on some size though

Posted by: divi3 | June 1, 2010 4:00 PM | Report abuse

I don't know that Hayes ran the team any better than Vasquez.

Posted by: lilhollywood10 | June 1, 2010 3:40 PM

I agree with Hollywood on this count. In the limited time that Hayes ran the point over the past couple of years, I thought he looked surprisingly uncomfortable.

Posted by: Bellman | June 1, 2010 4:04 PM | Report abuse

funny to hear Vasquez bs about having no ego and not caring about starting, just wants to try hard. He's as cocky as any player you'll ever see, and will openly try to push the teams money players everyday in practice.

Which of course exactly why he'd be a good pick.

TOUGH for the wiz to not reach on some size though

Posted by: divi3 | June 1, 2010 4:00 PM | Report abuse


1st off guys i'm a duke fan def not a UMD homer (i guess i'm kinda like the cowboys fans from the area, or sox fans in NY), but real talk, is the reigning ACC player of the year so much of a "reach" to a team with 4 draft picks and lack opf quality guard depth? As The homie Divi3 says, GV will push the hell out of the starter on whatever team drafts him. He is cocky and does have a big ego, but he's trying to make it clear that he puts team first just like he did at UMD.people wanna rag on the dude because he was flashier than steve blake and a tad more brash and boastful than the great Juan Dixon. F that the kid can flat out play and has been leavin it all on the floor for the past 3 yrs. he didn't care how the game looked, he just did what he had to do to try to help his team win. He's a true competitor with a flare for making the big play, yet he's as passionate about winning as any college player I've watched. He should be a good pro, a really solid floor general IMHO.

Posted by: lilhollywood10 | June 1, 2010 4:24 PM | Report abuse

"i think and argument could've been made about who was the better all around ball player between Blake and Dixon. Ther is no argument between Hayes and Vasquez."

First of all, any and everything can be argued. Secondly, "better" in college doesn't always translate to better suited to the NBA.

"In the limited time that Hayes ran the point over the past couple of years, I thought he looked surprisingly uncomfortable."

At 6' 4" with decent handle, Hayes could be a backup SG in the NBA. And Hayes actually had a better A/TO ratio for his career than Vasquez.

There's no question Vasquez is more likely than Hayes to make a spectacular play, but he's also much more likely to make a spectacular blunder. That's the difference in their NBA prospects, as far as I'm concerned. Coaches will live with high risk/high reward play from their stars/starters. But when you're talking about a 7th, 8th, 9th, 10th man (which is what both of these guys will likely be), they're a helluva lot less tolerant of mistakes. Hayes is less likely to make mistakes at crucial times because he's less likely to try and make a spectacular play when a routine one will do. And the one proven, definable skill he possesses (shooting) is highly prized by NBA coaches.

Neither one of these guys will likely ever be a preferred starter, but given the fundamental differences in their games, I could see an NBA coach being more willing to roll the dice on Hayes than Vasquez, because he's more likely to know what to expect from him on a nightly basis.

Posted by: kalo_rama | June 1, 2010 4:33 PM | Report abuse

"TOUGH for the wiz to not reach on some size though"

Because there's guaranteed money involved, they should take the best player regardless of position at #30. But with the second round pick they should definitely take a shot at some size. Maybe they get lucky and find a Paul Millsap. If the pick turns out to be a bust, then no harm/no foul; just give him his walking papers and don't look back.

Posted by: kalo_rama | June 1, 2010 4:38 PM | Report abuse

is the reigning ACC player of the year so much of a "reach" to a team with 4 draft picks and lack opf quality guard depth?
Posted by: lilhollywood10

As far as I can tell, the Wiz only currently have 3 picks. Not sure what happened to the conditional second rounder from the Clips. Does anyone know what the conditions were? Or was it conditioned in such a way that the Clips were never going to have to give up the pick and the Wizards could dump that extra bit of salary to get under the LT threshold? Ted has made noise about picking up an extra first, but I haven't seen anything credible develop.

My only problem with drafted GV late in the first or early in the second is that there may be better / more talented players there and I wouldn't want to draft GV just because he's a hometown boy and he might sell more tickets. Winning games ultimately is the best balm for ticket sales.

They mentioned drafting Dixon and Blake in the piece. Juan Dixon is a classic example of a great college player who didn't have the right combination of factors to make it as a great pro. He had a decent pro career, but probably shouldn't have been taken in the middle of the first. (Btw, what a crappy draft that was for the Wiz. 4 picks. Jared Jeffries, Juan Dixon, Rod Grizzard, and Juan Carlos Navarro...yuck.)

GV is predicted to go somewhere in the middle of the second. I would hate to see the Wiz reach for him and pass on somebody better just because he's a 'hometown' guy.

Posted by: ts35 | June 1, 2010 5:04 PM | Report abuse

Sorry, Sacramento, not the Clips

Posted by: ts35 | June 1, 2010 5:07 PM | Report abuse

if GV is there at 35 along with an assortment of fat asses (Gallon, Caracter), having nabbed Lawal at 30 may push the powers that be towards GV

of course, who says we can get lawal at 30

Posted by: divi3 | June 1, 2010 5:23 PM | Report abuse

I love GV, but I don't think he would be a good PG fit with a coach like Flip. What you see is what you get; can't see him being able to turn off the "hyper" switch.

Alternating from "wowing" you to "pissing you off" every other possession probably won't cut it at the next level. And like Kalo said, that type of inconsistency may be even more damning as a key reserve.

What he DOES have is that fearless streak that Manu has. Can he consistently deliver the goods like Manu in the NBA? For him (and for whoever drafts him) I hope so -- but I don't see that happening.

I'm willing to bet that some GM(s) thinks more highly of him, and my gut says that someone will trade up to get him on draft day.

Posted by: Bellman | June 1, 2010 5:41 PM | Report abuse

It's funny how GV was talking about his NBA role as a PG, but Hayes would clearly be a better choice at that role vice GV.

Hayes is like a poor man's Steve Blake, but with a much better shot.

Posted by: DC_MAN88 | June 1, 2010 5:58 PM | Report abuse

In all honesty, I don't see an upside to GV.

He's trying to sell "I'm a PG" just like Juan Dixon did.

That didn't work out so well.

Posted by: DC_MAN88 | June 1, 2010 6:00 PM | Report abuse

I'm a fan of GV but have to agree with those who say he's reached his ceiling. Same thing w/ Juan. When he came in, he was maxed out (4 years at Garyland will do that to you). I honestly believe GV should go overseas and play. He has the chrasima and the talent to be a mega star overseas. I mean, look at how jc navarro is received. He's a poor man's ginobli here but over there he's a league mvp (multiple mvps). And the way the economy is right now, if I was in his ear, i'd be pushing him overseas for now, establish a following, then have a nba team overpay for him to come back.

Posted by: CBell29 | June 1, 2010 6:17 PM | Report abuse

hayes would be lucky to make a roster as the 15th man, the only things gv and dixon have in common is they both went to maryland, dixon was purely a scorer with zero size

Posted by: bford1kb | June 1, 2010 7:32 PM | Report abuse

hayes is only a good shooter when it comes to an open look, he isn't ever going to be able to create his own shot, his defender biting on a pump fake is the only chance he'll ever have to go by his man, that being said I hope he finds someone who thinks he can fulfill a niche

Posted by: bford1kb | June 1, 2010 7:36 PM | Report abuse

For those who don't know, Hayes won the college 3 pt. shooting contest this past season.

I think Hayes would have had a higher scoring average if he looked for his shot more or if Gary asked him to step up his scoring.

Hayes isn't going to break his man down off the dribble and drive and score, but what he can do the Wiz need.

Posted by: DC_MAN88 | June 1, 2010 8:09 PM | Report abuse

"hayes is only a good shooter when it comes to an open look, he isn't ever going to be able to create his own shot,"

Which is why he'd be a backup.

Posted by: kalo_rama | June 1, 2010 10:30 PM | Report abuse

"hayes is only a good shooter when it comes to an open look, he isn't ever going to be able to create his own shot, his defender biting on a pump fake is the only chance he'll ever have to go by his man, that being said I hope he finds someone who thinks he can fulfill a niche

Posted by: bford1kb | June 1, 2010 7:36 PM | Report abuse "

If you ever watched any of his games, you'd note that he's able to get around his defender via picks to get his shot off.

He's not waiting on the wing for a bailout pass totally undefended like Kerr or Paxson.

Posted by: DC_MAN88 | June 2, 2010 5:47 PM | Report abuse

What the H is a "foul line?" What, did they also hang around the batting cage? I assume he means "free throw line?"

Posted by: truke | June 4, 2010 11:42 AM | Report abuse

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