Upon entering their names in the NBA D-League Draft in hopes of getting selected, plenty of lesser known basketball prospects aim to rise from obscurity and make themselves known.
Sometimes such a task can prove to be a tricky one for a Division II athlete, but it never hurts to have an NBADL championship winning head coach in one's corner.
Perhaps with that in mind, Fayetteville State's Tyrrel Tate has been working out with former Los Angeles D-Fenders coach and current director of the D-League's national tryout and elite mini-camp, Coach Bob MacKinnon.
Discussing his training regiment, Coach MacKinnon recently spoke to RidiculousUpside.com and said, "When I train guys, I do a lot of offensive skill work. It's quick. We go from one drill to another very quickly. We don't stand around and talk very often. We'll work for about an hour and twenty minutes, and get up about 300-350 shots up. We work out just like my teams in the D-League play. It's fast-paced. We move and run. Guys get into shape and learn how to shoot at a high pace and get into a rhythm."
But apparently, Tate, who averaged 18.7 points (on 51% shooting) and 4.8 boards during his senior year last season, has thus far been working hard and keeping up nicely.
"In this timeframe, he's lost about 26 pounds and has really transformed his body and his game. The thing is, he's in the draft and all that, and people watch his film from college, but he's a different player than he was then. He used to be a 3/4, but he's a 6'5" kid who's going to be a 2/3. He'll be more of a wing," Coach MacKinnon said about Tate.
Examining his potential impact in the league and placement in next month's draft, the coach added, "He's long, athletic, and can really shoot the ball. He'll be a much better defender now. He'll be able to guard the wing position. I think he's going to be a guy who could be a steal in the draft. Coming out of Fayetteville State, it's D-II school, and he was a little heavier. I told him he had to trim down and transform his body, and he's done that."
Coach MacKinnon alluded to the success of fellow former D-II prospect Josh Magette (who played for him on the D-Fenders last season) to assert the window of opportunity for a player like Tate remains open.
The veteran coach, who guided the Colorado 14ers to an NBADL championship in 2009, is no stranger to offseason training. Clearly a man with an eye for talent, Tate is simply next in a long line of talented individuals to be guided by MacKinnon. He even trained CJ Williams, a key contributor for Los Angeles this past season, last summer.
Tate, who received a minor league contract and gained draft eligibility after impressing at the national tryout in New York City, has attended multiple team open tryouts this fall, a source tells RidiculousUpside.com.