View Full Version : Grizzlies Workout Schortsianitis, Keep, Podkolzine, and Stone

Ummmmm Ok
06-11-2003, 10:54 AM

Grizzlies workout
June 11, 2003


Greece's Sofoklis Schortsianitis (6-10, 314-pound forward), San Diego's Jason Keep (6-10, 280-pound forward), Russia's Pavel Podkolzine (7-4f , 310-pound center) and Louisville's Marvin Stone (6-10, 240-pound forward).

Standing out

It's difficult not to stand out when you stretch 7-4 3/4 as an 18-year-old. That was Podkolzine, who showed up every bit as advertised. He officially measured up, and dismissed any notion that his height and weight were padded. Keep, however, made as big an impression with his work ethic and attitude. Keep, who averaged 18 points and nine rebounds last season, appeared to enjoy banging bodies. He made spirited an otherwise mundane workout with aggressive play and hustle. Don't tell this 25-year-old he's hardly fighting for his livelihood. Said Keep: "Everybody was talking about the big fella (Podkolzine) coming in. That's all I was thinking about all day and all night. I just wanted to come in and give it my best."

Odds and ends

Schortsianis thought he was simply walking into a gym Tuesday morning. But the 17-year-old prospect actually strolled into a workout fire. That's because Schortsianis was the lone participant at the morning session.
The Griz entertained three draft hopefuls later that afternoon.

Scheduling conflicts made it impossible for the foursome to get together. Schortsianis had to leave for another workout. Keep, Stone and Podkolzine came to Memphis from last week's Chicago pre-draft camp but couldn't arrive here in time for the morning session.

"I wanted to work out with somebody else," Schortsianis said, "but it went great."

Grizzlies assistant coach Tony Barone conducts the workouts and said Schortsianis handled the situation well.

Schortsianis is intriguing; he's earned the nickname 'Baby Shaq' because of his size.

"He's a talented young guy," Barone said. "You can't underestimate quickness and you can't underestimate bulk."

The buzz surrounding Podkolzine brought out a number of people who work behind the scenes in the Grizzlies' organization. Seems everyone wanted to get a glimpse of the giant young man.
Griz majority owner Michael Heisley was among the onlookers. But Heisley had already seen Podkolzine last week at a private Chicago workout. Podkolzine's stock reportedly skyrocketed after that session.

"The reason there's a buzz is because everyone went to that workout thinking the guy was going to be clumsy," Heisley said. "When he wasn't, there was a nice reaction."

Podkolzine isn't sure where he stands.

"I don't know," Podkolzine said through an interpreter. "I've heard general managers and scouts speak well about me. But I don't know if it's true."

Asked what he needed to improve on, Podkolzine said: "rebounding and defense."

Because the Grizzlies were present at Podkolzine's Chicago workout, Barone said it was important to see the center compete against other people.
"It was just shooting drills," Barone said of Podkolzine's Chicago showcase. "So you don't see anything. We wanted to see him against big bodies. . . . All of these guys were physical and they banged each other. That's what we wanted to see."

The book on Podkolzine based on his Grizzlies workout is this: He shoots well from 15 feet and finishes strong around the basket. He's also slow running full court, and his footwork is awkward.

An interesting and lively moment happened when the three evening participants did a layup drill. Each player had to grab a ball from floor on each side of the basket and score as many points possible in 25 seconds.
Barone (with a wink) said the loser must run a mile.

Keep went first. He missed a layup and was credited with 10 made baskets. Stone and Podkolzine each finished with 11. Keep, though, got the impression that no one actually counted his total and guessed that he made 10.

That made Keep firmly suggest that he get another turn until it became evident that no one would run.

Later, Keep said he "was real comfortable" at the workout because Griz president of basketball operations Jerry West had seen him a few times over the past year.

He said it

"He has not had a lot of coaching and that's real noticeable." - Barone on Podkolzine.

Next up

Workouts will be conducted each day this week and through Monday. The sessions are closed to the public in a Rhodes College gym.

- By Ronald Tillery

Ummmmm Ok
06-11-2003, 10:57 AM
nobody has this Keep person anywhere....... Maybe a possible undrafted free agent? If Jerry west invited him, than West saw something in the kid. Makes me wonder a little.

Jason Keep
Birthdate: 5/9/78
NBA Position: Center
College: San Diego
Class: Senior
Ht: 6-10
Wt: 280
Hometown: Moscow, Idaho
High School: Moscow
Team Site Profile

Strengths: Physically he has amazing body strength and could be the strongest player in the entire draft ... Loves to create contact in the lane, simply enjoys physical play ... Possesses a solid hook shot that he's capable of making on both sides of the basket ... Establishes low post position with ease due to his upper body strength ... Once he gets the ball on the blocks he will simply turn and overpower his defender ... Strong finisher who takes the ball to the basket with great authority ... When rebounding Keep does a good job of boxing his man out to get the majority of rebounds in his area ... Offensively he shows good judgment when it comes to shooting quality shots ... Owns a pair of great hands, capable of catching most passes thrown into the post ... Known as a free sprit and even eccentric by some, Keep has really developed into a mature person on and off the hardwood ... For his size he is an above average runner of the court ...

Weaknesses: The intensity and aggressiveness he plays with can lead to quick fouls when playing post defense ... Lacks the leaping ability needed to be a shot blocker on the NBA level ... Offensively he must expand his range from the perimeter ... Needs to work on his free throw mechanics to take full advantage of his opportunities ... Not a great rebounder when it comes to getting boards out of position ... Not much of an offensive presence when facing the basket ... Hasn’t really focused much on post footwork as he relies solely on his brute strength to get to the basket ... Athletically he doesn’t have great leaping ability or quickness ... This is one of the reasons why he tends to have problems guarding quick athletic opponents ... Could stand to develop more back to the basket moves such as a turnaround jumper and an up and under move ... Age could be a concern with NBA Gm’s due to the fact that he is a lot older than most collegiate seniors ... Tends to be turnover prone when facing double teams ...

-Matthew Maurer

Lonely PSU Mavs Fan
06-11-2003, 11:10 AM
It sounds to me that the Grizzlies are making Pavel sound bad, hoping that he will drop to them...

Lonely PSU Mavs Fan
06-11-2003, 11:17 AM
It is intriguing, if there are not any other better undrafted free agents available it might be worth taking a look at him. he was also the guy who put up 185 the most times in chicago.

Ummmmm Ok
06-11-2003, 11:23 AM
Well I like him because he's as strong as an ox, has good hands for a big man, and he hustles. Reminds me a little of a smaller, younger, Sabonis.

I also like the point that he likes to BANG bodies. Man that would be nice to have coming off the bench.

06-11-2003, 01:24 PM
It sounds to me that the Grizzlies are making Pavel sound bad, hoping that he will drop to them...
I was about to say the exact same thing. Downtalking.
How does he have awkward footwork but finishes with the same ammount of layups in that layup drill as the other two guys?
Or are all three equally slow footed?

Will be interesting to see what Denver and Toronto have to say about him if he works out for them. At least Denver won´t need to talk him down since he won´t go higher then Nr.3 anyways.