Wesley sees good fit with Wizards as a defensive point guard


WASHINGTON -- Many draft prospects who attend workouts with NBA teams do so with the intention of showing those teams parts of their game that weren't necessarily on display during their time playing in college or in other settings. That could be due to the role they were asked to serve or an element of their game they believe has improved in the months since.

Blake Wesley of Notre Dame worked out for the Wizards this week and wanted them to see his abilities as a point guard. Wesley, 19, was on a Fighting Irish team with seven seniors, so he had to fit in where the opportunities were presented. And with senior Prentiss Hubb (a Gonzaga HS alum) at point guard, that led to Wesley playing much of the time off the ball.

He is billed as a combo guard and prides himself on being versatile, but also made it clear when addressing Wizards reporters that he sees a lot of potential for himself as a point guard.

"They need a point guard, that’s what I heard," Wesley said of the Wizards. "I feel like I could come in and just be that."

Starting or coming off the bench is not of concern for Wesley, he says. He just wants to help whatever team drafts him with his playmaking and defense at the guard position. The Wizards also have a need for defense, specifically a ball-stopping point guard.

At 6-foot-4 with a 6-foot-9 wingspan, Wesley has good size for a point guard. He averaged 1.3 steals per game last season at Notre Dame to go along with 14.4 points, 3.7 rebounds and 2.4 assists.

While Wesley believes his defense will translate quickly to the next level, he says weight training will be key to that.

"I’ve gotta get strong, gotta get bigger. The game is more physical," he said.

Wesley will also need to improve his shooting. He shot just 40.4% from the field and 30.3% from 3-point range.

Wesley says he met with the Wizards at the combine. They have the 10th overall pick in the June 23 draft, while Wesley is projected by most evaluators to go later in the first round.

He has also visited the Hornets, Nuggets, Spurs, Cavs, Bucks and Pistons. Wesley will also work out for the Bulls, Grizzlies and Heat.

There is a wide range of possibilities for Wesley, but he is keeping it all in perspective thanks to his family. Wesley is very family-oriented, it's why he chose to play for Notre Dame, just 15 minutes away from where he grew up in Indiana. 

"I’m a big family guy. I have my mom tatted on me, I love my mom. Then, my grandparents would have to travel to see me. I wanted to stay local so they could see me. I can’t be that far away from my family. Just to see them every once in a while was good for me," Wesley said.

Wesley explained how his grandfather is currently a source of inspiration in the pre-draft process because he is in the hospital. Wesley says he is doing well and they are talking on a regular basis.

"He wants to see me get drafted and walk across the stage, or just get drafted. I’m doing it for him. I love that man so much, so to do it for him would be special for me. Every time I’m on the court, I do it for him," Wesley said.

There is also his father, Derrick, who is one of the best players in Ball State University basketball history. Wesley says his dad got him into the game of basketball and is coaching him through the process, constantly reminding him "it's a special opportunity right now, you've got the gifts."

If he's drafted by Washington, Wesley would be far from his home in Indiana. But in his eyes, everything else would make for an ideal fit.

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