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Marvin Bagley III has heard just about enough about how Deandre Ayton is the favorite to become the Phoenix Suns‘ choice as the No. 1 pick in this month’s NBA draft.
Bagley thinks he Jordan Whitehead Color Rush Jersey , not Ayton, deserves to be at the top of the draft and got a chance to make his case in an individual workout with the Suns on Friday.
”I definitely believe I’m the No. 1 pick,” Bagley said, ”and if the Suns take me I’ll definitely show them why.”
Ayton took it a step further when he worked out for the Suns on Wednesday, saying ”I know I’m going No. 1.” He said that Phoenix would be his only pre-draft workout.
Bagley, on the other hand, said he will work out for the Sacramento Kings and Atlanta Hawks, the teams with the No. 2 and No. 3 picks, respectively.
”Deandre, he’s going to do what he’s going to do. That’s his plan,” Bagley said. ”All I can do is control what I can control and do what I love to do and just show different teams what I’m capable of doing. I can’t really worry about what other people are doing at this point. This is an important time in my life right now Josh Tomlin Cleveland Indians Jersey , something I’ve been working toward my whole basketball career.”
Bagley hears all the speculation that Ayton will go No. 1 and said he uses it as motivation.
”It’s disrespectful and I use it as drive every single day,” he said. ”At the end of the day, this is all talk right now. Eventually we’ll have to go on the court and we’ll have to play. That’s where all the talking ends.”
Asked if he would have a ”life-long” chip on his shoulder against the Suns if Phoenix didn’t pick him, Bagley answered, ”I’m a competitive person. You never want to come in last. You always put the work in to be great and to get to that next level. That’s just the type of player that I am. So, to answer the question, yes.”
Fans in Phoenix have known about Bagley for years. He grew up in suburban Chandler, leading his high school to the state championship as a ninth grader. From there, Bagley shifted to other basketball-oriented schools. He and Ayton were even teammates for a season at Hillcrest Prep in Phoenix.
Bagley finished his prep career at Sierra Canyon in Chatsworth, California, before his one outstanding season at Duke.
He and Ayton are 19 years old and very big but with different games.
Ayton Josey Jewell Color Rush Jersey , 7-foot-1 and 260 pounds, is seen as strictly a center by the Suns. Bagley, 6-11 and 234 pounds, is a power forward who might someday play some at center in the NBA, Suns general manager Ryan McDonough said.
So their individual workouts were different.
”We probably had Marvin do a little more ball-handling and a little more perimeter shooting and a little bit less around the basket than Deandre did,” McDonough said.
The Suns plan more workouts with No. 1 candidates this weekend. McDonough didn’t say who would work out when but he mentioned Mohamed Bamba of Texas and Jaren Jackson Jr. of Michigan State as players being considered for the top spot. Another is European sensation Luka Doncic, who is playing professionally in Spain.
”It seems like there are multiple guys who are worthy,” McDonough said. ”Some years, to be honest with you, probably don’t have any guys who deserve it but somebody has to go one.”
Bagley certainly has the credentials. He was the ACC player of the year, averaging 21 points and 11.1 rebounds per game.
He believes he is best in an up-and-down Justin Jones Color Rush Jersey , open-court game.
”Being able to get the ball and go off of rebounds and pushing,” Bagley said. ”There’s a lot more space now than there is in college. Just being able to play in open space and getting out and running. I think that’s where my best is when we’re running and everybody’s not thinking and having fun.”
He said he wants to show NBA teams ”that I’m an overall player.”
”I can do a lot inside and out, offensively and defensively,” Bagley said. ”I just want to be able to have that mindset of coming in and showing everybody a full game, a full package.”
A.J. Hinch took over as Houston’s manager before right-hander Lance McCullers’ rookie season in 2015 and the two have long held a special bond.
So when McCullers came off the mound after striking out a career-high in 12 in seven strong innings in an 11-4 win over the White Sox on Friday night, Hinch wanted to make sure he let his pitcher know how impressed he was with his big night.
He did that by enveloping him in a huge bear hug as soon as he reached the dugout when his work was done.
”I was so happy with the progress,” Hinch said. ”He’s got so many options now against any hitter. … I love the growth that’s happening for him as a major league starting pitcher. … He knows what he’s going through and how he’s taking steps forward. It’s cool to have a moment with him.”
Evan Gattis hit a three-run homer in Houston’s seven-run eighth to help the Astros to the victory.
McCullers (10-3) didn’t allow a hit until a single by Adam Engel with one out in the sixth, and gave up just three singles and one run. He kept the White Sox off balance with a flurry of curveballs to outdo his previous career best of 11 Ks.
”I came up in 2015 and was really just a young kid,” McCullers said. ”I had to learn a lot and he’s definitely been someone who has really helped me along the way in all phases as a pitcher, a baseball player and as a person. I give a lot of credit to A.J., the veterans http://www.seahawksauthorizedshops.com/a...fin-jersey , the staff.”
Chicago manager Rick Renteria raved about his curveball.
”His breaking ball today was sweeping with some depth,” he said. ”Strong breaking ball. It was a lot of breaking balls. Even going to the plate to be honest (and) looking for it, that thing was falling off the table pretty good.”
The Astros took a 1-0 lead in the third on an RBI single by Yuli Gurriel. Tim Federowicz hit a two-run double in the fourth to make it 3-0.
After Engel’s single in the sixth, Yoan Moncada sent him to third with a single to right field. The White Sox cut the lead to 3-1 with a third straight single, this one by Yolmer Sanchez. After a quick visit to the mound, McCullers was able to limit the damage when Jose Abreu grounded into a double play.
The Astros added a run in the seventh on an RBI double by Gattis to make it 4-1. They broke it open in the eighth inning thanks in part to the homer by Gattis, who finished with three hits and four RBIs. The towering shot off Hector Santiago landed on the train tracks atop left field. Two more runs scored in that inning on an error by right fielder Avisail Garcia when he misjudged a fly ball hit by Gurriel and it bounced behind him just inside the line and sailed into the stands.
Chicago starter Reynaldo Lopez (4-6) yielded six hits and three runs while tying a career high with five walks in 4 2/3 innings to snap a two-game winning streak.
McCullers won his fourth straight decision to join Charlie Morton as the first Houston pitchers to reach 10 wins this season.
He was tough from the start of this one, retiring the first six batters, including striking out the side in the second, before hitting Kevan Smith with a pitch to start the third. But he got right back on track, and struck out the next three to end the inning as part of 10 straight he sat down before Engel’s single in the sixth.
Garcia Ravens Lamar Jackson Jersey , whose career-best 14-game hitting streak was snapped Thursday night, hit a two-run homer with two outs in the ninth, and Daniel Palka followed with a solo shot off Brad Peacock.
White Sox: SS Tim Anderson was out of the lineup a night after being plunked on the left forearm. Anderson said he was sore but OK and Renteria expects him to return to the lineup Saturday.
Astros: Manager A.J. Hinch said he believes that C Brian McCann will return before the end of the regular season after he had arthroscopic surgery on his right knee Tuesday. ”I do expect him back,” Hinch said. ”I don’t know when … and he’s got a lot of things he needs to do to get back to playing, but I absolutely expect him to be back.”
The Astros dedicated Friday’s victory to Cameron Gooch, a 10-year-old who is fighting cancer and attended the game as part of his wish from the Make-A-Wish Foundation. Gooch was helped to the mound by Hinch and Gattis to throw out the ceremonial first pitch and they both wore orange armbands he gave to them during the game.
Morton (10-2, 2.55 ERA) opposes James Shields (3-9, 4.12) when the series continues Saturday. Morton took his second loss of the season in his last outing when he allowed six hits and two runs while striking out 11 in 6 2/3 innings against Tampa Bay. Shields yielded four hits and a run in 6 2/3 innings in his last start, but did not factor in the decision in a 5-3 loss to Cincinnati.
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