By JOSH NEWMAN
Special to ZAGSBLOG
The 6-foot-2, 180-pound point guard averaged 15.9 points, 7.4 assists and 4.1 rebounds as a junior for the Friars to help raise expectations as a senior. Just five minutes into his senior season on Nov. 10 against NJIT, Council suffered a hamstring injury. He would miss 10 games, returning for the Friars’ final nonconference game against Brown, which means he was forced to dive right into Big East play five days later.
Had Council not gotten hurt early coming off that big junior year, maybe he plays even better, which could have possibly raised his draft stock and helped him to avoid the Nets Draft Combine. The two-day, 44-player event opened Wednesday morning and is typically reserved for mid or late second round-picks and players who figure to end up overseas. Council was obviously prefer to wind up in the former category as opposed to the latter.
“I think before I got injured, I was playing some of my best basketball,” Council told SNY.tv on Wednesday morning. “If I didn’t have to sit out for almost two months, rehab and then come right back into the Big East season instead of playing nonconference, it would have been better. But I think having to do that helped me mentally.”
Like many other participants on Wednesday, this was Council’s first time working out in front of NBA personnel. As the workout moved into live 5-on-5 play, he found himself matched up with one of the more intriguing names at the event in Matt Dellavedova. The 6-foot-4 Australian-born point guard out of St. Mary’s is the Gaels’ all-time leader in points (1,933), assists (778) and 3-pointers made (288) while also serving as the starting point guard for the Australian National Team, which advanced to the medal round at the London Olympics.
Dellavedova wound up being one of a few guys who left a very large impression on Wednesday thanks to his halfcourt play, specifically in the pick-and-roll and his decision making once the screen came. Council, though, more than held his own, leaving his own impression that some of his attributes would translate well to the NBA game, while others could still use some fine-tuning.
“He played very smart and he has an NBA handle, NBA passing ability,” a veteran NBA scout who was in the building told SNY.tv. “If you look at his percentages, his perimeter shooting leaves a lot to be desired, but he took it all in and played very well and very intelligently today.”
Council, who played for Lincoln High School and won a PSAL ‘AA’ title with third-year Indiana Pacers swingman Lance Stephenson, has the good fortune of being able to count former Friars star guard Marshon Brooks as a friend. Brooks, another high-scoring Big East guard during his tenure at Providence, just finished up his second season with the Nets and Council says he has not hesitated to pick Brooks’ mind for advice, not only on the draft process, but what life is like in the NBA.
“He says it’s been a humbling experience and that I just gotta keep working hard and hopefully get an opportunity,” said Council, who is represented by Pinnacle Management. “Only one team has to really like you for you to make it.”
After Wednesday, Council is slated to participate in ASM Pro Day, a one-day, 17-player event being held at Impact Basketball Skills Academy in Las Vegas on May 31. That event is being run by ASM Sports, which is based in Edgewater, N.J. Beyond that, no NBA workouts are scheduled, but the Atlanta Hawks, Charlotte Bobcats, Houston Rockets and Orlando Magic have called to inquire.