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St. Bonaventure’s Conger invited to work out in front of all NBA teams

blog by Ben Tsujimoto  • 

Summer 2013 is a quiet season for graduating Big 4 basketball players, especially considering last summer’s fanfare that accompanied St. Bonaventure’s Andrew Nicholson—who was selected No. 19 to the Orlando Magic in the 2012 NBA Draft.

A slew of average to above-average college players have exhausted their eligibility, as Canisius’ Harold Washington, UB’s Tony Watson II, St. Bonaventure’s Eric Mosley and Niagara’s Devon White were all valuable Division I players but were never considered NBA prospects.

The Bonnies’ Demitrius Conger, however, is a slightly different case. His all-around game was overshadowed by Nicholson’s dominance until his senior year, when St. Bonaventure head coach Mark Schmidt did his best to compensate for the loss of one of the program’s all-time greats.

As a ringing endorsement of his versatility and college accomplishments, Conger has been invited to an NBA draft prospect combine hosted by the Brooklyn Nets on Wednesday and Thursday. Representatives from all 30 NBA teams are expected to watch four groups of 11 players get measured, have their skills tested and participate in five-on-five action over a 90-minute workout.

While it’s not the true NBA Draft Combine that aired extensively on ESPN, the Nets’ combine will serve as exposure for talented fringe prospects that could begin their professional career in the D-League or overseas.

Conger, a 6’6 forward, is joined by the point guard for reigning national champion Louisville, Peyton Siva, Wisconsin big man Jared Berggren, Syracuse guard Brandon Triche and Temple two-guard Khalif Wyatt in the 9:30 a.m. workout on Thursday. Here’s a list of the remaining invitees to the two-day combine.

Although the end result of St. Bonaventure’s season was a disappointment—the Bonnies failed to even reach that Atlantic 10 Tournament—Conger capped a memorable career, closing as the third player in Bonaventure’s history to score 1,000 points,, haul down 500 rebounds and dish out 200 assists.

Perhaps equally impressive, however, was Conger’s durability and endurance, as he started the final 92 games of his college career—dating back to the beginning of his sophomore season, and barely took a breather as St. Bonaventure plodded through a brutal A-10 schedule. Here’s part of our rationale for selecting Conger to the Buffalo.com All Big 4 first team back in late March:

He played a ridiculous 36.4 minutes per game—the most in the 16-team Atlantic 10—and he played 521 of the Bonnies’ final 530 minutes of the season, including two-straight 45-minute overtime marathons.

At this point, Conger isn’t expected to have his name called on draft day. He doesn’t do anything exceptionally well (even if he’s solid in all areas), lacks a true position and doesn’t come from a school that perennially produces NBA players. Still, the fact that he’s even gained this much exposure is a remarkable achievement, and we wish him the best of luck in representing Western New York at Thursday’s combine.

(Header photo courtesy of PickinSplinters.com, while interior photo is from St. Bonaventure Athletics’ Facebook page).

TAGGED: andrew nicholson, atlantic 10, big 4 basketball, demitrius conger, mark schmidt, nba draft, st. bonaventure, st. bonaventure basketball, st. bonaventure bonnies, wny hoops

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