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May 31, 2008

Draft Diary: Hardin goes to camp

MORE: Before They Were Stars: DeVon Hardin | Draft Diary Part I | Part II | Part III

Former California center DeVon Hardin is one of only a handful of players you can find in the first round of an NBA mock draft who actually participated fully at the pre-draft camp in Orlando.

The 6-foot-11 center, who has been working out in the Washington, D.C., area in preparation for the draft, told Rivals.com he always planned on playing in the 5-on-5 games at the camp, and he didn't back away from that statement.

Hardin was on "Team 5" at the Disney Wide World of Sports complex. His team included such players as underclassmen Danny Green of North Carolina and Jeremy Pargo of Gonzaga and fellow seniors such as Nebraska's Aleks Maric and Kentucky's Ramel Bradley.

The team lost its first game 75-70 to "Team 6," led by Mike Taylor, the first NBDL player to be invited to Orlando. Hardin had eight points on 4-of-6 shooting.

The teams finished up play on Friday. The players will remain in Orlando through Sunday for more meetings and physicals by NBA teams.

In the fourth installment of his draft diary for Rivals.com, Hardin talks about his Orlando experience, his teammates for the week, and what teams have lined him up to visit once pre-draft camp has concluded.

So tell us about your first day or two in Orlando.

"I got here on Monday. The first thing they did was set us up in our rooms. My roommate is Stanley Burrell from Xavier. Tuesday we went up to the gym and did drills and learned plays and scrimmaged. From there out it was on.

"We found out who was on our teams on Tuesday. They passed out the lists.

"On my team we had a couple of guys who were interesting to watch. I enjoyed the play of Danny Green. He has a swagger to the way he plays. Richard Roby played well. And my Pac-10 guy, Bryce Taylor (from Oregon). Othello Hunter from Ohio State played very well. We had the guy from Nebraska, too, Aleks (Maric). It was good to have another big there. He took a lot of pressure off me. The guards were solid, too, Ramel Bradley and Pargo."

What did you think of your team?

"I thought we had a pretty good team, but we suffered a couple of casualties and our numbers were down some.

"We had a couple of guys go through some minor injuries. Danny Green didn't play (on Friday) and Richard Roby didn't play (on Friday).

"Richard, he's in a hand cast. I'm not sure what's going on with that. Danny had a small sprain not too serious, but it was their decision not to participate and I respect that. They played in the first and second games."

How did you feel you played during the week?

I had probably 8-10 points a game. It's some good competition. I felt like I was putting up consistent numbers and making strong moves to the basket, and I'm defending well. I felt like I did OK. There was definitely some things I was disappointed in and could have improved. But it's over and done now.

"I did well in the testing portion which we just finished. I put up some solid numbers. The vertical (leap) test they didn't give me the exact numbers but I think it was in the 40s. The four-point agility test, 11.16 was my final I think. I think most of the guards were getting like 10.6. In the sprint I got a 3.4 and I think Bryce Taylor got a 3.2. I was try to keep up with the guards as far as agility work.

"The bench press I was extremely disappointed. I figured if there is anything I could blow away at camp that would be it. But I was pretty fatigued at the end of today. I planned on getting 30 (reps with 185 pounds), but I only got 20. Everybody was looking at me like that's great, but I feel like I failed in my eyes. The highest I think was Josh Duncan (of Xavier). He got 26. Somebody else got 24.

So what's next?

"I'm headed back to D.C. on Monday morning. They just passed out schedules for the rest of the weekend. Saturday is medical testing, and Sunday is testing with teams' doctors and athletic trainers.

"After that my agents have been busy setting up a schedule for me to visit teams after the camp. So far the ones I know are Toronto, Washington, New Jersey, Phoenix, Utah, Seattle, Boston, Cleveland, Houston, San Antonio and Golden State. There's supposed to be a bunch of other teams at Golden State so that will knock some more out.

Is it kind of like being recruited all over again?

I wish it was. I wish I could just commit to somebody. But it should be interesting.

Bob McClellan is the college basketball editor for Rivals.com. He can be reached at bmcclellan@rivals.com.

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