Marquette's Jerel McNeal Says Defense Will Make Difference in NBA

Ryan MillerCorrespondent IJune 10, 2009

MILWAUKEE - MARCH 07: Jerel McNeal #22 of the Marquette Golden Eagles celebrates hitting a three point shot against the Syracuse Orange on March 7, 2009 at the Bradley Center in Milwaukee, Wisconsin. Syracuse defeated Marquette 86-79 in overtime. (Photo by Jonathan Daniel/Getty Images)

How was today’s workout?


We stretched out a little bit and went into some skill work on the court. We did a lot of stuff in transition, coming off pick-and-roll situations and also coming off screens and shooting the ball a lot. After that we went to the other court and did all the physical testing: vertical, approach jump vertical, lane agility stuff, ¾ court spring, bench press 185.



You were known as one of the top defensive players in the country (a Big East Defensive Player of the Year) in college. How will you be able to translate that same defensive intensity to the NBA?


I think it’s a situation where that’s going to be one of my strong points and separate me from a lot of other people that play my position. It’s an added bonus that I can bring to the table. Not only can I do things offensively but I’m in situation where I can come in and change the game on the defensive end of the game as well.



With so many individual offensive drills and workouts with teams, is it difficult to show them how you can make an impact on defense?


With a lot of the workouts you end up playing a lot of either one-on-one, two-on-two, or three-on-three. You try to make your mark then not only on offense but on defense as well. You show that you can guard your man one-on-one without any help. Like you said, it’s a little difficult to show, not actually being in a five-on-five set where you’re actually playing and competing and can guard the ball. It’s something that I feel like I’ve proven throughout the course of my career in college too, so hopefully the teams will understand and know what they’re getting.



You’re known as a defender, but made huge strides at Marquette on offense and left as the career leader in points (1,941). Do you think that improvement can show teams you’re still improving at scoring the ball?


It’s definitely a part of it and a part of the progression throughout the course of my career. Each year I played in college my scoring average went up. I make the biggest jump from my junior year to my senior season. Like I said, It’s going to be one of the things that I feel is going to separate me. I feel like I can get it done on both ends of the floor, offensively and defensively.


NBA Pre-draft Combine Results:

Height w/o shoes: 6' 1.5"
Height w/ shoes: 6' 3"
Weight: 190
Wingspan: 6' 7.25"
Standing Reach: 8' 3.5"
Body Fat: 5.4 percent
No Step Vert. 31.5
Max Vert. 36.5
Bench Press: 10
Lane Agility: 10.61
3/4 Court Sprint: 3.25 sec.