Coug Motum increases his range as draft looms

BROCK MOTUM guesstimates his chances of being drafted by an NBA team at "50-50," but he's 100 percent certain working out with personal trainer Dan Connelly has made him an even better shooter than he was at WSU. "Coming out of college, I was a good shooter," Motum told CF.C. "But I think now, after working with him every day, I think I'm a great shooter, especially from NBA 3-point range."

His ability to hit the long ball, Motum thinks, is key to his draft chances.

"I think that's something I have to offer to get my foot in the door in the NBA," said Motum.

Motum left WSU after the season ended in March – he's a couple online courses away from graduating -- and has been training with Connelly since April in the Washington, D.C., area. Connelly has been a college assistant coach and an advance scout with the NBA's New Orleans Hornets.

"He knows what he's doing," Motum said. "He's got me better. He's helped me improve a lot. Good dude."

Motum, whose shooting range was quite impressive for a 6-foot-10 college forward, is adjusting to the deeper 3-point line used in the NBA and other pro leagues worldwide. Motum said Connelly has helped him refine his stroke and strengthen his legs to improve his accuracy from long range.

Motum worked out with the Washington Wizards on Wednesday. Previously, he worked out with Chicago, Houston, Boston and Philadelphia.

MOTUM SAID TWO more teams definitely plan to bring him in (he preferred not to name them out of respect for the teams). Three other teams have talked about possibly bringing him in for workouts prior to the June 27 draft.

"It's been good," Motum said. "Some (workouts) are better than others, obviously. It's been a great experience. Hopefully, I can just keep getting better."

Motum said his best workout came with the 76ers.

"I shot the ball well," he said. "I think they liked me, but who knows?"

Motum, who left his native Australia to play college basketball in the United States with an NBA career in mind, said he's prepared to play in Europe if he fails to stick in the NBA this season. Top European pro leagues pay far more and offer better competition than in Australia's pro league.

"Right now," he stressed, "my focus is the NBA."

NBA teams operate short, unofficial summer leagues in Orlando and Las Vegas. Motum said he hopes to land on one of those teams, whether he's drafted or not.

Motum is acquainted with fellow Australian Aron Baynes, the former Cougars center who broke into the NBA with San Antonio this season. Motum said he's happy to see the undrafted Baynes in the NBA Finals, but Motum said he hasn't consulted Baynes about the draft.

"I'm not nervous," he said. "I think I'm more a little anxious just to see what the future's going to hold in the immediate future."

MOTUM'S DAILY SCHEDULE generally consists of morning workouts with Connelly and weight training in the afternoon. The two-time Pac-12 Conference scoring champion is living in a suburban Washington apartment complex that also houses two-time NCAA rebounding leader O.D. Anosike from Sienna (N.Y.). Both are clients of the Sports International Group.

Motum occasionally works out with Anosike, a 6-8 power forward, and the two socialize on occasion. Mostly, however, the two work out on their own as they try to improve their skills and make a living in the NBA.

"That's my dream," Motum said. "I'll keep working until I get there, and I'm pretty confident I will."

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