Jaron Blossomgame: Decision date looms after impressive combine showing
|Wednesday, May 18, 2016 2:23 PM- -|
Decision day is a week away for Clemson forward Jaron Blossomgame, and he has a lot of miles to travel before then.
Blossomgame was initially selected as an alternate for the NBA Draft Combine, held last week in Chicago. However, he received a late invitation to the event and took advantage of the invitation, elevating his draft stock.
Most mock drafts had Blossomgame in the 60-75 (his place in the draft hierarchy) range heading into the combine, and he told TigerNet that anything less than spot number 40 would likely mean a return to Clemson for his senior season. After last week’s showing, however, 40 or higher is a real and distinct possibility.
“I think 25-35 is more of what I'm looking for, but 40 is that range that people have been throwing around. Twenty-five to thirty-five is ideal,” Blossomgame told TigerNet Wednesday. “My last four workouts are actually with teams that have picks from 25-35. My next four workouts have two picks within that range, so these are pretty important workouts for me.”
Blossomgame has not hired an agent and has until May 25 to decide whether he will stay in the draft or return to Clemson for his redshirt senior season. As of Wednesday, he still doesn’t know what that decision will be.
“I was never leaning one way or the other, honestly. I won't know what I'm going to do until May 25th,” Blossomgame said. “I have workouts up until the 25th. I was never leaning one way. Obviously, as a kid, your dream is to play in the NBA, but I think there's a right time for me to go. The entry point is so important in the NBA. A lot of people were saying that I was leaning one way, but that was just guessing.”
Blossomgame excelled in the combine’s five-on-five games, scoring 11 points and grabbing five rebounds in a game-high 31 minutes in his first game. During Friday’s second game, he recorded a double-double in scoring 16 points while grabbing 10 defensive rebounds.
Blossomgame says he knows he shined during the scrimmage sessions.
“First of all, I played on the perimeter. I played a little bit of forward just to show my versatility,” he said. “I played all three - I came off of ball screens, played out of transition, rebounded the ball well, shot the ball really well. That's one question a lot of people had. How well can I shoot the ball from NBA range? I ended up going 4-for-5 from three, so I think I showed my versatility by being able to play in transition, around the rim, outside. I can guard most positions, and I did guard Malcolm Brogdon - the UVA guard - and Ben Bentil from Providence, who's a bigger guy. I guarded Isaiah Whitehead. I showed the versatility of how I guard different players. I think I answered the questions that they had about me.”
The past month has been a blur of workouts and travel for the Georgia native, but he knows he has one more week of the grind before making his decision.
“It's been really good. The Combine was an unbelievable experience. I was very blessed and fortunate to go,” Blossomgame said. “A lot of people don't get experience that. It was a great event to go to. It's been tough as far as travel and keeping up with everything and staying on top of academics. I'm about graduate, so I'm taking one summer course right now to graduate. I'm trying to stay on top of academics and trying to rest my body. I'm traveling everywhere. I'm in Los Angeles right now. I was just in Chicago for the Combine. The week before that I was in Boston and Utah. Now, I leave for Philadelphia tomorrow morning and after that, I go to San Antonio and Phoenix. I'm all over the place, so I'm trying to stay fresh and mentally fresh because a lot of traveling will finally catch up to you.”