Skeen: I Can Play Either Forward
Jamie Skeen hasn’t had the classic run to college stardom and the NBA as some players. During his high school senior season he tore the meniscus in his right knee, but recovered before his freshman year and made the ACC All-Freshman team at Wake Forest.
Skeen’s career at Wake was cut short though, due to an academic scandal that reportedly involved cheating. Instead of applying for reinstatement, Skeen chose to transfer to Virginia Commonwealth University where he would make a name for himself during an unlikely run to the NCAA Final Four this past season. A run he attributes to head coach Shaka Smart.
"He got us ready to play every game and he pretty much made it seem like this could be your last game. I give all the props out to coach smart," Skeen told HOOPSWORLD during the combine.
That run has propelled Skeen from an after thought in the NBA draft to a potential second round pick, HOOPSWORLD currently has him going 23rd in the second round. Skeen is hoping a good couple of weeks during workouts could move him into the first round.
"Practice is going well, the transition is a little faster paced. When we were out there today we pretty much went from drill to drill with no breaks, so you just got to get to the next drill real quick."
The biggest question with Skeen seems to be whether or not he has a position in the NBA. At 6’8′ in shoes he is a bit undersized to play power forward, but lacks some of the perimeter skills needed to play small forward.
"I (believe) that I can play both. That’s not my job to position myself, (teams) have got to look at me and see where I fit best for that team. I believe that’s the reason why they’re out here to see where I fit best in their system."
Skeen knows he isn’t a finished product and is working on skills that will help him no matter what position he plays.
"Being a little bit more aggressive on offensive and defensive rebounds," Skeen said. "Just keep my motor going…and if I want to play small forward, definitely ball handling."
Skeen believes there are several players he can be compared to that are already playing in the NBA, players that have similar skills and size.
"There’s a lot guys, like Josh Smith, Zach Randolph, David West, all those guys that are undersized Power Forwards."
Skeen has been through a lot during his career, from a major knee injury to a reported cheating scandal, but if he continues to be a coachable, hard working player he should find himself taking his game to the next level.