If Marreese Speights has one thing to boast about on the resumé he brings to the NBA draft, it probably wouldn't be the meager numbers he posted for Florida in his year as a starting power forward.
Instead, what Speights could tout is his practicing every day as a freshman against Al Horford, the consensus No. 2 rookie in the league last season behind Kevin Durant, and using what he learned as a model when he moved into the starting lineup.
"Every possession, he goes hard," Speights said yesterday after working out for the 76ers at the Philadelphia College of Osteopathic Medicine (PCOM). "He developed that midrange game, and that's what you need in the NBA, to be able to shoot like him. I learned a lot from him."
Speights, 21, is about the same size as Horford, 6-foot-10 and 245 pounds, and probably almost as skilled around the basket. He averaged 14.5 points and 8.1 rebounds last season, his sophomore year, while shooting better than 62 percent from the field.
NBA scouts had only one season to see Speights as a regular in the lineup, but Sixers assistant general manager Tony DiLeo said that being on the same team as Horford and Joakim Noah, another Gator on an NBA roster, for his first season benefited him.
"He can score around the basket with both hands," DiLeo said. "He can step outside and shoot the jump shot. He's a work in progress, but a talented player."
Speights is considered a mid- to late-first-round pick in Thursday's draft. The question marks concern his conditioning and often unfocused play on defense.
"I just keep working on my conditioning," he said.
The Sixers have the 16th pick, and Speights could be around then. They won't get an impact player, but Speights fits into the team's up-tempo style.
Notes. The Sixers also worked out forwards Ryan Anderson of California, David Padgett of Louisville, Kentrell Gransberry of South Florida, and Callistus Eziukwu of Grand Valley State. Eziukwu, the third-leading all-time shot blocker in NCAA Division II, was visiting for the second time. . . . New Jersey Nets officials were at yesterday's PCOM workout. DiLeo said he had gone to North Jersey for a workout featuring Ohio State center Kosta Koufos. . . . DiLeo also disclosed that the Sixers saw Texas A&M center DeAndre Jordan in a private workout two weeks ago.