Notes and quotes from Thomas Bryant’s media availability at the NBA draft combine

  • 05/11/2017 9:54 pm in

Indiana sophomore forward Thomas Bryant signed with Happy Walters and Catalyst Sports and is in Chicago this week at the NBA draft combine.

Bryant, who measured at 6’10.75″ and 247 pounds with a 7-foot-6 wingspan and a standing reach of 9’4.5″, met with the media on Thursday. Here’s a bulleted summary of his comments:

– Bryant told reporters that he’d met with eight teams so far.

– The most memorable moment from an interview was “just walking into that first one.” The New York Knicks were the first meeting Bryant had and he said Phil Jackson was there. Bryant also mentioned a meeting with the Miami Heat.

– Bryant said he has some workouts already planned with teams, but didn’t elaborate further.

– On why he left Indiana: “I felt ready, physically and mentally for myself, so I felt it was the best decision for me going forward for my basketball career.”

– Bryant said a big reason he came back for his sophomore was to mature. “I was very young and I felt like maturing more would help me a lot.”

– Among the improvements Bryant felt he made as a sophomore in Bloomington were his shooting and reading the game more on the offensive and defensive end.

– Bryant said he wants to show teams that he has an “all-around game” and that the “full talent that I have that might have not all been out there during the season.”

– On mock drafts: “I don’t listen to all of that stock stuff. I just go out there and work. It’s ultimately up to you, you’ve got to put that work in.”

– On why it’s important to attend the combine: “There’s a lot of teams, there are a lot of people out here that talk a lot and when you go out here and show your stuff a little bit, a lot of people talk and it gets your name out there.”

– Bryant said he didn’t play in the 5-on-5 because of a sore groin.

– Bryant on his decision to leave school after two seasons: “I knew from the start that I didn’t want to go back to school. No disrespect to our new coach at all or coach Crean.”

– Bryant said that even if Crean would have been retained, he would “still feel the same way” about leaving.

– Bryant said he plans on graduating in the future and would have been on track to graduate in three years.

– Bryant said he views IU’s struggles this past season and the adversity he went through as a “blessing in disguise because it made us mentally tough.”

– Knicks, Celtics, Heat, Hornets, Clippers, Jazz and Pistons among the teams Bryant said he’s met with so far at the combine.

– Bryant on Archie Miller: “I talked to Archie as soon as he got on campus. He’s a great guy. And I feel like he’s going to help Indiana University a lot with the basketball program. He’s got a real good philosophy. He’s been working hard. I worked out in a few of his workouts. I liked him.”

– On coming into the NBA: “It’s a whole different mindset. This is a business. It’s grown men. The NBA stands for the No Boys League.”

– Bryant said he wants to do as many workouts as he can and is excited to show off his passion.

– On teams using the Development League: “It’s a great idea. Just go in there and develop your game. There’s nothing wrong with that.”

– Bryant said he still talks to Tom Crean on a daily basis.

– Bryant said he wasn’t surprised by James Blackmon Jr.’s decision to hire an agent and remain in the draft.

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  • Mr.Bailey

    Pretty good measurements I’d say.

  • Seems like he wasn’t joking when he said he saw himself as a two-year player. He had his plan and he followed it. Again, best of luck to him, he’s a great kid and I hope he makes tons of money doing what he loves.

  • Lang

    All the best to him and OG

  • Jimmy Arata

    One of my recent favorites, I hope Thomas gets everything he wants and deserves at this next level. Really enjoyed having him on the team.

  • HoosierOne

    “The NBA stands for the No Boys League.” Huh?

  • TomJameson

    Glad Thomas had good words for Archie. Interesting that he still speaks daily with Crean. That speaks to the friendship they developed in those two years. I think TB is going to have a pretty good career in the NBA. Maybe not a superstar, but the NBA game can work for him. God speed TB.

  • cbags05

    Maybe he meant “no boys allowed”?

  • Sherronhasaheadache

    Too bad we couldn”t have put those measuremnts to better use t his past season

  • HoosierOne

    That would make sense…. Was partly joking and partly wondering if that was somehow a real acronym. Good for TB though……Go Get Paid…..Thanks for representing the Hoosiers well…..You can get your Degree anytime.

  • HoosierOne

    One thing Crean excelled at was developing individual players. For that I’ll give him great credit.

  • John D Murphy

    Interesting list of teams. Jazz have four picks (24, 30, and 2 2nd round). They bring in a ton of guys for individual workouts (+200 last year). With his shooting he might be a fit in SLC. Boris Diaw took a lot of 3’s for the Jazz this year.

  • Indiana_Banners

    Crean has maintained a strong relationship with many of his former players, including many that didn’t go on to huge basketball success. I’m glad he’s no longer our coach but he’s a good person by all accounts and I hope he lands on his feet.

    Or retires on that IU money. Yeesh not a bad living to say the least…

  • twopennies

    Is the height with or without shoes?

  • TomJameson

    I hear you on the retirement thing. The problem with that, is Crean has to make a good faith effort to find a comparable job.

  • Sarasota Hoosier

    I read another article that said he was 6’9.75″. that inch could make a difference.

  • Indiana_Banners

    To receive his buyout, yes. But in order to be financially solvent going forward? Neither of us knows what his accounts look like, what investments he’s made, .etc. Personally, if I had a few million in the bank and could live off of the returns off of that I would but I’m not assuming that’s where he’s at. Just wishing I was there mostly, lol.

  • Indiana_Banners

    You’re measured with and without shoes at the combine. That probably accounts for the difference. This article doesn’t specify but he must’ve measured 6’10 in shoes.

  • Yeah, when I hear about someone making $30 million in nine years, I can’t help but imagine they’re financially set for the rest of their lives. I mean, he and his family lived in Bloomington, for god’s sake — how in the world would you blow $30 million in Bloomington in nine years? So, I have to imagine TC has plenty of options notwithstanding how much of his buyout he receives.

  • iubase

    I am not sure what this quote implied – “the full talent that I have that might not
    have been out there during the season”.
    He has a good motor and it is not due to a lack of effort. Is he referring to his teammates?
    Coaching? Schemes used? Not getting him the ball enough?

  • INUnivHoosier2

    He is a workaholic, though. Really all of those guys are. He’s not necessarily working for the money at this point, although, I’m quite sure that it’s a factor.

  • N71

    I assumed he was talking about the weave of doom.

  • Mark Bando

    So much of a players NBA success is tied to the team they are on. Look at the Spurs last night. Their best player is out and they win with “their system” and with a couple guys that played on their D league team earlier in the year. They actually use the D league to develop players and teach their system. It makes you wonder why every team doesn’t do that.

  • Sure, I get that. I’m the same way — not that I have that kind of money or anything remotely like it, but even if I did, I’d still work my tail off. I just don’t know how _not_ to work. So, yeah — but it would sure be nice to not _have to_ work my tail off.

  • TomJameson

    Yes, it is only necessary to get work in a comparable field, if he wants to receive his buyout. But that buyout amount is offset by his income from the “comparable” position as well. Also yes to what’s been said about being financially secure, but then he really is a workaholic type, and I just can’t see him not working.

    Not working and losing his buyout would be like throwing away some serious money. Not certain I would do that either, no matter how rich I was. 🙂

  • Craig Mitchell Ha’o.

    Think Thomas meant “No Boys Allowed” league. Best Wishes to you and your Families, Thomas..OG, and James! Mahalo and Thanks for the memories! #AlwaysAHoosier

  • Indiana_Banners

    Maybe he has skills that weren’t utilized in gameplans because it didn’t fit what IU wanted to do or because there were other players that are better at executing that skill. Maybe he thinks he can handle well enough to run a P+R, for example, but the guards on our team were better than Bryant at that so we didn’t see him do that. I can’t see Thomas being that level of ball handler in an actual game, but that’s an example of the sort of thing that might’ve happened.

  • Yeah, I found that interesting as well. If I had to guess, it reflects his frustration throughout the season at the guards’ reluctance to feed him in the post. Of course, we would be more likely to attribute that to coaching than TB. But I remember watching him during the season and on numerous occasions, he demonstrated some real frustration that he wasn’t getting the ball inside or at the time times.

  • John D Murphy

    4 guys who’ve played on the D-League team. Pretty impressive right. I think most of the good teams try. Nobody is just remotely as good as the Spurs. The Jazz use the D-League team for development and even rehab assignments (like baseball). They even do 1/2 day assignments to send over to the D-League team for extra practice if the big team isn’t practicing that day. Even guys that have been in the league for a while.

  • John D Murphy

    Exactly. The full stats are up at draftexpress. The vertical measurements weren’t up yesterday yet.

  • iugradmark

    I recall a lot of games where he would post and if he didn’t receive the ball would drift outside. DD would repost and often receive the feed on the second or third effort.

  • Maybe he started drifting outside more because he became more convinced that he wouldn’t get fed the ball? Dunno. Maybe he was just impatient, or maybe that was the direction he was getting from TC. But for whatever reason, he wasn’t as strong in the post as he could have/should have been, and maybe that’s what he was referring to. Heck, he might be getting feedback that his post game hadn’t improved as expected, and so he’s repeating back what he’s been hearing as part of the process.

  • John D Murphy

    That’s a pretty good dissection of the quote. It’s a pretty good statement because it makes claims without directly placing blame which could be looked at negatively. I think he represented himself well, which I’ve come to expect.

  • Yep, he’s a great kid. One of my favorites in terms of his personality and overall character, just wish he’d been able to really flourish at IU.

  • marcusgresham

    I found it pretty unusual that he’s almost 6’11 and was only listed at 6’10. If he got the Blackmon treatment he’d be about 7’1.

  • marcusgresham

    That’s what she said.

  • Mark Bando

    Good systems win in basketball. They always have and they always will. The Spurs hold the Rockets to 75 points and have 32 assists on offense. Defense and ball movement. I see that in our future with Archie.

  • INUnivHoosier2

    Can’t argue with that. It would be nice to not have to work.

    One day.

  • Outoftheloop

    Good joke.

  • Outoftheloop

    Can you imagine how depressing/frustrating it must be to be living in B-town, with 2 kids attending IU, being rich by B-town standards, but everyday feeling the negative social vibes as “the failed head basketball coach”? Tom and Joani may keep a place in B-town to view their kids progress at IU, but they must want to leave “right now” to start on a new career, in a new location! Best of luck to them! They are quality, good people!

  • TomJameson

    Crean is probably the only one who possibly looks at himself as the failed head basketball coach. I certainly don’t, but of course I don’t speak for everybody. Crean just couldn’t take IU to the next level, but he surely did a fantastic job of raising IU out of the ashes.

    That’s enough to be respected and welcome in B-town. As time passes, I’m sure he’ll be more welcomed.

  • Outoftheloop

    Failed because he did not achieve greatness at a school where greatness is possible. Failed because he was fired when he wished to continue. Tom did not do a bad job, just not a great job. Thus a failure!