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Atlanta Hawks Minicamp: Taking A Closer Look At The Participants

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The real MC reports from Day 1 of the Atlanta Hawks free agent minicamp at Philips Arena. There is a very good mix of undrafted free agents and various players who played in the D-League this past season. Below I take a shot at providing a little background on each of the participants. 

  • Keith Benson - Hawks second round draft pick who is taking part in the free agent minicamp. 
  • Joe Alexander - Alexander went to from lottery pick to the D-League very quickly but showed signs of re-capturing some of that magic he had previously. Alexander had a great season for the Texas Legends where he averaged 20.2 points and 8.9 rebounds per game. He had an excellent performance in the D-League Showcase and is poised to make it back on an NBA roster this season. 
  • Vernon Goodridge - A 27 year old rookie that was the No. 5 pick in the 2010 D-League Draft. Goodridge was traded mid season last year from the Springfield Armor to the Maine Red Claws. 
  • Zach Graham - 6-foot-6 guard out of Ole Miss who averaged 14.2 points per game as a senior. Graham also averaged 4.5 rebounds and 1.5 assists while shooting 42 percent from the floor. 
  • Demonte Harper - 6-foot-4 guard out of Morehead State. Averaged 15.5 points and 3.4 assists as a senior in 2011.  Hit the game winning three point shot in Morehead State's upset win over Louisville in this year's NCAA Tournament
  • Jeremy Hazell - 6-foot-5 shooting guard who missed the last 13 games of Seton Hall's season with an injured wrist. Scored more than 2,000 points in his career and would be classified as a volume shooter and scorer. Hazell reportedly worked out with the Hawks before the draft as well. Averaged 19.8 points on 42 percent shooting in 18 games his senior season. Clearly known more for his offense than his defense. 
  • Dontell Jefferson - Began the season with the Utah Flash. Was eventually traded to Iowa. Was hampered while with the Flash with a knee injury. 
  • Ivan Johnson - Played in 49 games for the Erie Bayhawks where he averaged 22.6 points and 7.8 rebounds per game on 54 percent shooting. Played his college ball at Cal. St San Bernardino. Why have I never heard of this guy?
  • Marcus Landry - 6-foot-7 swingman that has played with both Maine and Reno in the D-League and had brief stays with the Knicks and the Celtics in the NBA. Landry spent last season with Reno where he averaged 17.1 points per game. 
  • David Lighty -6-foot-5 shooting guard from Ohio State that is one of the bigger names in terms of undrafted free agents. Lighty reportedly is drawing interest from Cleveland and Phoenix in addition to the Hawks. The AJC's Michael Cunningham expects the Hawks to make a run at Lighty once they are able to sign players. Lighty told Cunningham today that a number of teams wanted to bring him in but he chose the Hawks because of their style of play and that they had potential open spots in their backcourt. 
  • Demetri McCamey - 6-foot-3 point guard who landed on David Thorpe's ESPN.com list of the best undrafted free agents available. Thorpe says that McCamey is an excellent shooter who needs a better work ethic to stick with an NBA team. 
  • Eniel Polynice - 6-foot-5 guard who began his career playing three seasons at Mississippi. Transferred to Seton Hall for his final season. Averaged 3.8 points and two assists as a senior
  • Matt Rogers - 6-foot-11 center out of Division II Southwest Baptist University. 
  • Omar Samhan - Big man from St. Mary's that took the NCAA Tournament by storm in 2010. He went to Summer League with the Dallas Mavericks but signed to play in Lithuania this past season. He is an intriguing prospect as he was during last offseason. 
  • Damian Saunders - A-10 Defensive Player of the Year as a 6-foot-7 swingman. Averaged 12.6 points and 7.9 rebounds per game at Duquesne. Not an outstanding offensive player but his defensive motor gives him a shot. 
  • Donald Sloan - A scoring point guard from Texas A&M university. Averaged 17.8 points and 2.3 assists as a senior. Played last season with the Reno Bighorns of the NBA D-League and finished with averages of 10.7 points and 4.4 assists.
  • Malcolm Thomas - Another big name at Atlanta's minicamp is San Diego State's Malcolm Thomas. Thomas gained a little momentum at the Portsmouth Invitational where he finished with first team honors. He is only 6-foot-8 but has a 7-foot-2 wingspan and is a good athlete. Averaged 11.4 points, 8.1 rebounds, and 2 blocks per game as a senior for the Aztecs.
  • Brad Wanamaker - Combo guard out of Pitt that measured out at much more of a point guard's height at 6-foot-2. As a senior, Wanamaker averaged 11 points, 5 rebounds, and 5 assists per game for the Panthers.
  • Qyntel Woods - Former NBA player who saw stops in Portland, Miami, and New York before taking his game overseas. By all accounts, Woods has matured both on and off the floor and is looking for another shot at the NBA.