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May 16, 2008

Draft Diary II: Cal center DeVon Hardin

MORE: Before They Were Stars: DeVon Hardin | Draft Diary Part I

DeVon Hardin understands it will take hard work for him to secure a place in the first round of the NBA Draft.

That's why he is working out seven days a week, two to three times a day, nearly 3,000 miles from home. Hardin, a 6-foot-11 center who played at California, probably was a first-round lock if he had come out after his injury-shortened junior season. However, he returned for his senior season with the Golden Bears and his numbers tailed off a bit. He averaged just 9.3 points and 7.4 rebounds per game, but he did shoot a career-high 55.4 percent.

With his eligibility used up, he's in the draft to stay. You'll find him in almost every mock draft some in the first round, some in the second round.

In the second installment of Hardin's NBA draft diary for Rivals.com, Hardin talks with Rivals.com basketball editor Bob McClellan about how he passes the time between workouts in Washington, D.C., the guys he's working out with and how much he's looking forward to a 5-on-5 run this weekend:

What have you been up to this week?

It's the same old same old. Doing the whole workout thing. We don't take a single day off. We go seven days a week. It's fun and hard and exhausting.

What about those few moments when you're not working out and not catching up on sleep?

I have a PS3, so I'm trying to figure out "Grand Theft Auto IV." I don't have enough patience for it, but I'll work with it. It gets frustrating. I've got a couple of sports games, too 2K8 college hoops, the game I'm on so I can play as myself, and "NBA Live 08." I got both of those. I'm unstoppable on 2K8. My teammates are mad at me because I don't pass.

Who's new working out with you (Hardin said last week that Memphis' Joey Dorsey and Maryland's James Gist are using the same NBA trainer and strength and conditioning coach)?

We had Josh Duncan (of Xavier) join us and this kid from Poland, Thomas. I couldn't tell you his last name. He reminds me a lot of Dirk Nowitzki. He's a 7-footer and he has that kind of shot. He can really shoot it.

We haven't really talked much about which one of us might get drafted first. We talk a lot of mess, but not that one. But, hey, it's not about who gets drafted the highest but about who plays the most and makes the rookie team for the All-Star Game weekend.

Besides all of the conditioning and NBA specific drills, are you playing much?

We go one-on-one every day. That's my favorite part of the workout. We go hard in that. I'm winning my fair share. It's competitive in there. There's no fouls in the NBA workouts, so we simulate that here. It gets pretty rough. Dorsey is dirty, but I'm dirty, too. I gave him a taste. It's like going up against myself. He's a real physical guy, and I am, too. He doesn't shut up and neither do I. There's a lot of trash talk, but it's all good-natured.

We probably get in twice a week running 5-on-5. We're driving to a campus gym about 20 minutes away and running with a couple of pro guys. Kevin Durant and Michael Beasley are at those games, D.J. Strawberry, Ty Lawson. Those are on Sunday afternoons.

MORE: Before They Were Stars: DeVon Hardin | Draft Diary Part I

This is actually going to be my first time this Sunday. It should be pretty fun. I'll tell you about it next week.

Bob McClellan is the college basketball editor for Rivals.com. He can be reached at bmcclellan@rivals.com.



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