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Saturday, May 31, 2008

NBA GMs Take Notice - Joey Dorsey Will Be A Fan Favorite With a Big Smile and A Big Mouth

Dorsey says Beasley, not Rose, will be No. 1 in the NBA draft

KISSIMMEE, Fla. (AP) -- Joey Dorsey came to this week's NBA predraft camp looking to get noticed on the court.

Yet with one bold proclamation, he created quite a buzz off the floor Wednesday -- and added considerable intrigue to an already-hot topic, the incessant speculation about whether Michael Beasley or Derrick Rose will be selected No. 1 overall in next month's NBA draft.

The way Dorsey explains it, the outcome will be simple.

Beasley, the star forward from Kansas State, is headed to the Chicago Bulls, who hold the top selection. Such a move would mean Rose, the stellar point guard and Dorsey's teammate at Memphis this past season, will join Dwyane Wade in the Miami Heat backcourt next year.

"Chicago's got a lot of pressure on them because Derrick's from Chicago," Dorsey said during the first full day of predraft workouts at the Disney complex near Orlando. "But they're going to take Beasley. I've got the inside. They're going to get Beasley. ... I'm not telling you how I know. You'll see June 26. I can't say any more."

Whether Dorsey was being factual or not, both the Bulls and Heat probably both wish he didn't say that much.

Within hours after word broke of Dorsey's prediction, officials from both Chicago and Miami insisted nothing has been decided.

"I'm not going to get into any details on that," Heat general manager Randy Pfund said.

"Nobody has any idea," offered Bulls general manager John Paxson.

So it'll take another four weeks to know if Dorsey was or wasn't offering clarity about the top of the '08 draft class.

Either way, everyone else's fate -- including his own -- remains quite the enigma.

Anyone who watched the NCAA-runner-up Tigers this past season knows the muscular forward who was listed at 6-foot-9 and 265 pounds probably was convinced that Dorsey can rebound and defend.

Dorsey's mission this week is to show is an offensive game, something that he didn't get to display as much as he would have liked in college.

"I'm not at Memphis anymore," Dorsey said. "I can't just be on the low block and wait for a lob. So I'm trying to show everybody I can shoot the ball, pass the ball and put it on the floor and everything like that."

Dorsey averaged 6.9 points for Memphis this past season, sixth-best on the talented Tigers' roster. He shot 64.7 percent, which mostly was a testament to his ability to grab lobs and offensive rebounds.

"My first set of drills, I looked up and saw Larry Bird and I went something like 2-for-5," Dorsey said.

His nerves have calmed a bit since this predraft camp opened Tuesday night, replaced by his omnipresent sense of confidence.

And he's hopeful that by week's end, the comparisons to Ben Wallace -- like Dorsey, someone who possesses a ripped physique and is generally thought of solely as a defensive presence -- might go away.

"On offense, I'm a way better scorer," Dorsey said. "I'm showing that in the drills that we're doing. Every drill where we went 1-on-1 and 2-on-2, I scored the ball every time. And I'm showing I can pass the ball, too."

There is a chip on his considerable shoulder, too, and he's quite proud of that.

Dorsey and the Tigers played with plenty of attitude, a belief that most of the college basketball world was rooting against them. And in this chapter of his basketball life, Dorsey is playing the same way.

He hears what the naysayers claim about him and some of his Memphis teammates, that he doesn't have an offensive game, that prohibitive first-rounder Chris Douglas-Roberts has an ugly shot, that Rose isn't ready to be an NBA point guard.

It's fuel for him.

"They're still doing it to us," Dorsey said. "We don't mind. I'm just here, trying to compete."

After his first scrimmage on Wednesday, where he went 3-for-5 from the floor and added four rebounds and three assists in his team's 75-70 victory, Dorsey remained on the floor for nearly an hour, talking about the draft and his chances of reaching the first round.

"A lot of kids don't get this opportunity," Dorsey said. "I'm just happy that I did."

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