By Jakob Engelke, The Baltimore Sun
3:34 PM EDT, June 9, 2011
Malcolm Delaney has one thing on his mind leading up the NBA Draft: Prove the skeptics that think he'll go undrafted wrong by showing off the skills that made him such a dynamic scorer in high school and college.
After withdrawing from last year's NBA Draft and returning to Virginia Tech for his senior year because he wasn't likely to be selected in the first round, the Baltimore native is once again being projected to be on the outside looking in come June 23.
For Delaney, who worked out for the Washington Wizards with five other NBA hopefuls Thursday morning, it's an unusual situation and something he wants to show shouldn't be the case.
"I'm not on draft boards or anything like that. I'm just trying to get there," Delaney said. "I have a lot to prove, so I'm going my hardest and making the best of the opportunity."
Coming out of high school — Delaney played at McDonogh his freshman year before transferring to Towson Catholic for his final three — the 6-foot-3 guard didn't need to prove himself to anyone. As a senior, Delaney averaged 20 points, four rebounds and four steals en route to being named the Baltimore Catholic League Player of the Year and leading the Owls to a conference championship.
His impressive play in high school garnered multiple offers from college programs across the country, including Clemson, Indiana, Iowa State, Maryland and Virginia Tech. After committing to play for the Hokies in 2006, Delaney went on to have one of the best careers in Virginia Tech history.
A two-time Associated Press honorable mention All-American, Delaney played in 136 games and finished his career with 2,255 points and 543 assists, good for third- and second-best all time at Virginia Tech.
Delaney believes his ability to score at will in high school and college can transition well to the NBA, and he specifically mentioned Allen Iverson, Jason Terry and Jamal Crawford as players he has modeled his playing style after.
"Most teams tell me they want me to score," Delaney said. "That's what they're recruiting me as — a scorer. I went into this season trying to be a point guard, but I'm not a point guard. I'm going to play the point, but I'm going to score also.
"Guys who can score and play the point. That's what I see myself as, and a lot of teams are looking at me as a combo guard."
With Washington just a short drive away from Baltimore, Delaney said he would welcome the opportunity to suit up for the Wizards.
"It would be good for Baltimore. They haven't had too many people play here," Delaney said. "Just being able to get the kids from the inner city and the programs I played for to be able to come down and watch me play in the pros would be good. People weren't able to get to Virginia Tech. Being 40-50 minutes from home, everybody will get a chance to see me play."
Delaney's draft stock doesn't correlate with what he was able to do while in high school and college, though. And many mock drafts — including ones from NBADraft.net, ESPN.com, The Sporting News and Draft Express — project Delaney to go undrafted, pointing to his size a major weakness.
Still, Delaney is doing his best to show he deserves to be selected by an NBA team on June 23 and has already completed workouts with five different teams. At Thursday's workout with the Wizards, Delaney showed off his scoring touch by hitting 5 of 6 baskets during a full-court perimeter shooting drill, the most out of the other prospects — Indiana State guard Jake Kelly, Kansas forward Markieff Morris, Duke forward Kyle Singler, Georgia forward Trey Thompkins and Ohio forward DeVaughn Washington — in attendance.
"Whatever they want to see," Delaney said when asked what he was trying to show NBA scouts. "A lot of people want to see me score. A lot of people want to see me play the point. I'm just coming in and doing what I do best — score the ball and make other players better."
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