Chart: Five NBA draft hopefuls with Minnesota ties

  • Updated: June 26, 2013 - 9:57 PM

Bucknell's Mike Muscala looks to pass during the second half against Lafayette in an NCAA college basketball game for the Patriot League men's tournament title, Wednesday, March 13, 2013, in Lewisburg, Pa. Bucknell won 64-56. (AP Photo/Ralph Wilson) ORG XMIT: PARW113

Local ties

Five prospects with Minnesota connections expect — or hope — to hear their names called on Thursday night:

Mike Muscala

F-C, Bucknell, 6-11, age 21

Hometown: Roseville

Draft range: Late first round to second round

Comment: Was 6-1 small forward in high school and now is a fully grown NBA prospect who still has the perimeter shooting touch. He’s more pro power forward than center, at least until he gets stronger.

He said: “I’ve had to work hard my whole career. I’ve always been doubted, even coming into Bucknell. I suppose it’s natural coming from a small school, to be a sleeper. I like that challenge of proving people wrong. That motivates me every day.”

Trevor Mbakwe

F, Minnesota, 6-8, age 24

Hometown: St. Paul

Draft range: Second round

Comment: Scouts question his size and old age, but not the motor of a guy who made potential top 10 pick Cody Zeller look like a little boy in a game against Indiana last winter. Compares himself to undersized NBA power forwards Kenneth Faried and Jason Maxiell.

He said: “I’m not one of those guys who has to have the ball in his hands to have an impact on the game. I pride myself on my ability to rebound and defend. I think that’s one of the reasons I’m here today.”

Nate Wolters

G, South Dakota State, 6-5, age 22

Hometown: St. Cloud

Draft range: Late first round to second round

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  • South Dakota State guard Nate Wolters shoots during practice at the NCAA college basketball tournament at The Palace in Auburn Hills, Wednesday, March 20, 2013. South Dakota State plays Michigan on Thursday in the second round. (AP Photo/Paul Sancya) ORG XMIT: MIPS105

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