- The Washington Times
Thursday, June 2, 2011

As the Wizards concluded their Thursday morning pre-draft workout, the players and coaches gathered in a circle at center court, where coach Flip Saunders gave the players one word of advice — conditioning.

The Wizards put six more players through their workout paces, including Georgetown guard Austin Freeman, and Illinois forward Mike Davis, an Alexandria native.

Thursday’s draft participants:

• Talor Battle, a 6-foot, 170-pound guard from Penn State. Battle averaged 20.2 points, 4.4 rebounds and 2.9 assists, and was voted first-team All-Big Ten his senior year.

Mike Davis, a 6-9, 225-pound forward from Illinois. A graduate of Alexandria’s T.C. Williams high school, Davis averaged 12.5 points and 7.1 rebounds his senior year.

• Papa Dia, a 6-9 235-pound forward from SMU. Dia averaged 18.3 points and 9.6 rebounds per game his senior year.

Austin Freeman, a 6-3 235-pound guard from Georgetown. A DeMatha grad, Freeman averaged a team-high 17.6 points for the Hoyas his senior year.

• Justin Hurtt, a 6-4, 201-pound guard from Tulsa. Hurtt averaged of 20.0 points and 3.8 rebounds per game his senior year.

• Ravern Johnson, a 6-7, 175-pound guard from Mississippi St. Johnson averaged 17.6 points and 3.6 rebounds his senior year.

Freeman, projected as a second-round pick, said he’d love to play for the hometown team, but will be happy just to be drafted.

“I want to show teams I can score the ball and that I can shoot,” Freeman said.

Diagnosed with diabetes last year, Freeman calls his condition just something he has to deal with.

“I’m working out with a trainer and I’ve changed what I eat,” he said. “That’s what I need to do if I want to play in this league.”

To any general manager concerned about selecting him, Freeman said there’s no reason to be.

“I have it under control, and it’s not affecting me,” he said.

Still close to former teammate Greg Monroe, who now plays for the Detroit Pistons, Freeman got a little advice on what to expect from the NBA pre-draft workouts.

“I have to try my best to be the best,” Freeman said. Freeman is also scheduled to work out for the Blazers, Cavaliers and Warriors.

Alexandria native Davis called it “awesome” to get a chance to try out for his hometown team.

“I always wanted to work out for the Wizards. They have a lot of young talent on this team,” Davis said.

Describing himself as long and athletic, Davis believes he brings a lot of energy to the court, and knows how to stretch the floor. An honorable mention for All-Big Ten last season, Davis led Illinois in rebounding for two seasons, and finished second in school history in that category.

“Playing for the Wizards is a chance to turn a dream into reality,” Davis said.

Battle, one of nine siblings, said he learned how to be competitive just growing up in such a large household.

“The workout went well. Everybody just tried to give it their all,” Battle said.

Battle tested the NBA Draft waters last season, but came back for his senior year, and said he knew what to expect from the workout wars.

“You just have to be your best and play your game,” he said. Do that and everything else will take care of itself.”

The Wizards have more workouts scheduled for next week, and again on June 14 and June 20-21. The NBA Draft is June 23.

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