High Riser

Don't expect to hear much noise from this week's NBA Pre-Draft Camp in Orlando regarding the play of West Virginia's Joe Alexander. And believe it or not, that's great news for WVU's early entry candidate.

Alexander is one of 15 players who will take part in the "Physical Only" portion of the event, which begins tonight and runs through Friday. This distinction means that Alexander will participate in testing for strength, speed and agility as well as a routine medical examination.

Other players on the list with Alexander include Michael Beasley, Jerryd Bayless, Derrick Rose and O.J. Mayo among others. Syracuse forward Donte Greene, the only other remaining early entrant from the Big East, is also on the Physical Only list, according to the tireless folks at DraftExpress.com.

What this means is that, while a hefty majority of the camp's attendees will be split into teams and take part in games for much of the week, Alexander will not.

Some might see his limited participation as a bad thing for Alexander, but in reality, nothing could be further from the truth. Instead of playing to be seen and improve his stock, the exclusion from games is yet another sign that the first team all-Big East selection is likely to be selected in the top 15 picks of the June 26 draft.

One of the most attractive skills Alexander possesses is his leaping ability, showcased numerous times on the court last season on the receiving end of alley-oops. Since he first entered his name in the draft, however, the Mt. Airy, Md. native has made an impressive jump up the draft board as well. Originally seen by many as a possible late-first round selection likely to return to school, the latest projections indicate that he is likely to stay in the draft pool.

So, what's the next step? Beginning next Tuesday (June 3), Alexander may take part in individual workouts with NBA teams. Given his jaw-dropping athleticism, second-to-none work ethic, and seemingly-limitless potential, the individual workouts seem tailor-made for the jumpin' junior.

Impressive showings at these workouts could vault Alexander into the top 10, an enticing opporunity which would likely be too good to pass up.

Alexander has until June 16 to remove his name from the draft.

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