Virginia guard Malcolm Brogdon has always excelled in the classroom, so it’s no surprise he’d enjoy test-taking.
Sunday amounted to his final exam as a candidate for the Charlotte Hornets’ No. 22 pick. He was at Time Warner Cable Arena for the last of six workouts the Hornets held leading up to Thursday night’s NBA draft.
This was one of the better groups, as it included Brogdon, a consensus All-American last season, and Nevada-Las Vegas shooting guard Patrick McCaw.
Brogdon met with the Hornets in Chicago during the NBA’s draft combine in May and felt the meeting went well. He wanted to reinforce those positive impressions in the practice gym Sunday.
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“They seem interested, and I’m extremely interested. I love the Hornets. I love this city,” said Brogdon, who is partway through a Master’s program on public administration at Virginia.
“I thought I had a very good interview with them.”
Brogdon is different than most draft candidates, having used all four years of college eligibility before turning pro. He’s 23 and certainly comes across more mature and engaging than many of the younger players in this draft.
He played mostly shooting guard in college and was a defensive specialist. He anticipates a transition to point guard in the NBA.
“I think that is more my skill set,” Brogdon said of playing the point.
Brogdon believes he can have an immediate impact for an NBA team on defense; he thinks he’s ready right now to defend either guard position or small forwards.
He thinks his other relative strength is how he was coached at Virginia by former Hornets guard Tony Bennett.
“The better the competition is, the more skilled guys are, the more fundamental you have to be,” Brogdon said. “Coach Bennett emphasized fundamentals: Pass with two hands, catch with two hands. Just make the right decisions overall.”
Brogdon improved his scoring average each of his four seasons at Virginia. As a senior he averaged 18.2 points and shot 39 percent from the college 3-point line.
He’d clearly love to be in Charlotte.
“They’re a team on the rise, getting better and better every year,” Brogdon said.
“I think they have extremely good coaching. I was looking at some of the (slogans) on the walls (of the practice gym). They pride themselves on defense, you can always see that on the court.
“They have the makings for a championship team after they acquire a few more pieces. I like how they’re developing, and I like the coach.”
Bonnell: 704-358-5120; @rick_bonnell