Mattis, Buckley wait for call from NBA
A year ago, center Solomon Jones became USF's first NBA draft pick in two decades, and while it's unlikely that Bulls stars Melvin Buckley and McHugh Mattis will be selected in tonight's draft, both have been active in trying to get in position to land at least a free-agent contract after the draft.
"All in all, I'm confident," said Buckley, who has spent the past week in Sacramento, working out for Kings officials. "Something may happen in the draft, and if it doesn't, I think I'll get a free-agent contract. It's definitely possible for me."
We told you last week that Miami and Utah had expressed interest in getting Mattis for their summer-league teams, and Buckley said he's had interest from Sacramento, San Antonio, Houston and Miami. Sacramento does not have a second-round pick but would be more active in signing undrafted rookies as a result.
Don't expect nearly as much of a Big East presence in tonight's draft -- with stars like Roy Hibbert and Dominic James pulling their names out to return to school, the league is likely to have only two first-round picks, in Georgetown's Jeff Green and DePaul's Wilson Chandler. Pittsburgh's Aaron Gray and Syracuse's Demetris Nichols could sneak in at the end of the first round.
-- Wednesday's Lakeland Ledger had a story from my friend and neighbor Rick Brown on former USF point guard Chris Capko and two of his Kathleen High teammates. It mentions the possibility of Capko playing professionally in Europe. It does not, however, mention that Capko now has a full head of hair -- barely recognizable at a basketball camp last week -- though coming from me, that's not saying that much.
-- While I'm throwing out links, The Villages Daily Sun, up near Ocala, has a story on running back Richard Kelly, who reported with USF's freshmen on Wednesday and should be the next in a strong line of South Sumter graduates at USF.