Georgia State guard R.J. Hunter, one-half the father-son duo that sprung their own version of March Madness upon the college basketball world in Jacksonville, will spend Thursday just where you would imagine. No, not in Brooklyn, site of the 2015 NBA Draft, but in Atlanta with his family.
Yet it was in Toronto where the shooting star realized the reach of their NCAA Tournament experience. The 6-foot-6 wing threat with deep range, mounds of charisma and a puncher's chance at becoming a lottery pick explained it all in Washington Tuesday afternoon. The projected first-round selection's final workout ahead of Thursday's draft took place with the Wizards.
"I think this my 10th and final (workout). I'm starting to lose track of days and hours. I don't even know what day it is," Hunter joked with reporters.
Forgetting what city he's in upon first waking up, that's seems reasonable considering the amount of travel prospects endure during this month-long workout binge. Boston College combo guard Olivier Hanlan, another intriguing member of Tuesday's workout, revealed Washington was his 18th stop.
However, what day it is, that they know, at least this week. All the lifting, running, shooting and preparing leads up to Thursday's draft.
"You go through this whole workout process and you kind of get days where you're stalemating yourself. You're trying to figure out what's really going on," Hunter said of the pre-draft process. "Trying to take care of the little things 'cause if you start trying to control the bigger things you'll stress yourself out. It's been a fun process, traveling from city to city."
The 21-year-old with starter's potential noted a significant upside.
"No summer school, no class. That's the best part of it for real for me."
The best parts of Hunter's game - basketball instincts and perimeter shot - carried other small-school stars all the way to the NBA and then some.
"I think the (small school) guys you're talking about just know how to play. I think that's definitely a strength of mine," Hunter said. "The guys just work hard. The guys that stay in this league are always in the gym, the guys who love it. That's an attribute I have, that I've always had, work hard.
"And it's a shooters league now and a lot of these small school guys can shoot, guys like Steph Curry, C.J. McCollum. I think that's another attribute I can bring."
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Ignore Hunter's 29.8% clip from beyond the arc during his junior season and focus on his range and shooting touch (88.7 FT %). Opposing defenses sent double teams and geared schemes toward stopping the eventual two-time Sun Belt Player of the Year. Tasked with leading the attack, Hunter admitted to careless choices at times. "Good players see good defenses so there is no excuses for that. I just think I didn't make enough shots."
Hunter will have plenty of room to roam should he land with the Wizards and therefore play alongside point guard John Wall, whose passing skills make shooting easier for teammates.
"A lot easier," Hunter stated. "He's a guy who gets [down] the court in 2.5 seconds and then is looking to dish. That's why Paul Pierce and Bradley Beal got so many open shots because of a guy like him. I think I can fit in with that."
Creating open shots is one. Having the players capable of sinking the jumpers is another. The Wizards need more help in this area.
Noting the league's trend toward creating perimeter space for shooters, Hunter exclaimed, "It's perfect for me right now and the right time to come in."
The Hunter's, R.J. and Ron, came into national prominence when the son capped a rally with a mammoth game-winning 3-pointer for an upset win over Baylor at the tourney site in Jacksonsville. The stunning nature of the comeback and buzzer-beater caused Ron, hobbled by a busted Achilles, to fall from his sideline chair and America to fall for the Hunter's.
Make that North America. In Toronto for a workout, a man came up to R. J. Hunter and told him, "Hey, good shot."
"That's how I knew March Madness put me on the map," Hunter said.
In Washington, the big guard with big guts explained why he wasn't heading to New York for Thursday's big day.
"I got the invitation, but I'd already been setting things (up) and I'd rather be around my family and friends and kind of do my own thing," Hunter said.