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Coby & MJ: White broke record

Possible Bulls target Coby White eclipsed Jordan’s UNC freshman scoring mark.

North Carolina’s Coby White (2) drives to the basket against Duke’s Zion Williamson (1) during the second half of a game in the Atlantic Coast Conference tournament in Charlotte, N.C.
North Carolina’s Coby White (2) drives to the basket against Duke’s Zion Williamson (1) during the second half of a game in the Atlantic Coast Conference tournament in Charlotte, N.C.
Photo by Chuck Burton/AP

Quest Multisport on the West Side is a fairly small facility for something as sprawling as the NBA Draft Combine. Prospective draftees, NBA front-office members and the media are all smashed in a little closer than any of the three distinctly different groups would prefer.

It’s one long tryout/job interview for the players. They are full of agreeable smiles, and most say they would be blessed to be drafted by any team. They are working hard and ready to fit in at any position with any team in any city. The lifelong NBA dream is so close, it isn’t the time to ruffle feathers. So some actual raw honesty, a real opinion, stuck out like a sore thumb in the media scrum full of bad questions and fake platitudes.

Question: “Are you a shooting guard or a point guard?”

North Carolina’s Coby White had an instant and definitive answer: “I’m a point guard.”

Bulls vice president of basketball operations John Paxson has said that the team needs more competition at the point, and White is expected to slot in somewhere near the No. 7 pick. He’s a popular Bulls selection in the dozens of mock drafts floating around the internet.

Coby White speaks with the media during Day 1 of the NBA Draft Combine at Quest Multisport Complex.
Coby White speaks with the media during Day 1 of the NBA Draft Combine at Quest Multisport Complex.
Photo by Stacy Revere/Getty Images

White broke Michael Jordan’s scoring record for a North Carolina freshman last season, a stat that will open some eyes. He officially measured 6-3½ at the combine.

“Michael Jordan is the GOAT, greatest to ever do it,” White said. “To break his record means a lot.”

White said he hasn’t talked to the Bulls yet. Cam Reddish, a freshman from Duke, already has met with the Bulls. He took a back seat to freshman sensations Zion Williamson and RJ Barrett this past season, but his stock is expected to rise during the combine. Reddish said he’s “really good friends” with current Bull and former Blue Devil Wendell Carter Jr.

“I’ve been doing a ton of workouts and just trying to get back to who I really think I can be,” Reddish said. “I’m going to show that, and I definitely should move up.”

Reddish, who measured 6-8, also has met with the Lakers, Hawks, Cavaliers and Knicks. He played on the wing at Duke, but it isn’t out of the question that he could be a guard in the NBA.

Cam Reddish speaks with the media during Day 1 of the NBA Draft Combine at Quest Multisport Complex on May 16, 2019, in Chicago.
Cam Reddish speaks with the media during Day 1 of the NBA Draft Combine at Quest Multisport Complex on May 16, 2019, in Chicago.
Photo by Stacy Revere/Getty Images

“I was more of a shooter [at Duke],” Reddish said. “I don’t really want to think of myself as a shooter. If I just go out there and play my game, I can do a variety of things.”

Vanderbilt guard Darius Garland, another point-guard prospect, abruptly left the combine Wednesday. There’s some speculation that he received a draft promise from one of the teams in the lottery. The Bulls, Lakers, Suns and Grizzlies are all lottery teams looking at point guards.

Sophomore guard Jarrett Culver, who led Texas Tech to the NCAA championship game, is another player considered to be a possible fit for the Bulls. He measured 6-5¼.

“Right now I’m just getting adjusted to the three-point line, repetition,” Culver said. “I love the game. I don’t see it as a job.”

RECORD-SETTER

Tacko Fall, a 23-year-old from Central Florida, was the breakout star in the measurements category. He set combine records for height with shoes (7-7), wingspan (8 feet, 2.25 inches) and standing reach (10 feet, 2.5 inches). Those numbers also broke every record in DraftExpress.com’s database, which goes back to the 1980s.

Central Florida center Tacko Fall (24) is fouled by VCU guard Mike’L Simms, right, during the second half of a first-round game in the NCAA men’s college basketball tournament in Columbia, S.C.
Central Florida center Tacko Fall (24) is fouled by VCU guard Mike’L Simms, right, during the second half of a first-round game in the NCAA men’s college basketball tournament in Columbia, S.C.
AP Photo/Sean Rayford

Fall held his own against Williamson, the likely No. 1 pick, when the Knights lost to Duke by one point in the second round of the NCAA Tournament.

Bol Bol, the son of former NBA player Manute Bol, is another intriguing 7-footer at the combine. He’s a tremendous shooter and measured 7-2 with a 7-7 wingspan.

Bol was a high school sensation in Nevada but only played nine games in his freshman season at Oregon. He averaged 21 points and 9.6 rebounds and shot 52 percent from three-point range. He’s a possible lottery pick, but scouts are concerned about his durability.

LOCALS

Four area players were invited to the combine. Simeon grad Zach Norvell (Gonzaga) and St. Rita grad Charles Matthews (Michigan) played in the second scrimmage. Norvell scored eight points, and Matthews had seven points and five rebounds.

Zion-Benton grad Admiral Schofield (Tennessee) and Simeon grad Talen Horton-Tucker (Iowa State) elected to sit out of the five-on-five game, a decision that has backfired on players in the recent past.