Three of Tennessee’s four NBA Draft eligible players received invites to the 2019 NBA Combine. Juniors Jordan Bone and Grant Williams and senior Admiral Schofield will all participate in the combine in Chicago from May 14th through the 19th. The lone Vol that didn’t receive an invite was senior center/forward Kyle Alexander, but that doesn’t mean NBA teams aren’t interested in him.
According to Chris Kirshner, the Atlanta Hawks’ beat reporter for The Athletic, Alexander is one of six players who will be getting a workout with the Hawks on Monday.
The Hawks are working out the following players tomorrow:
C Kyle Alexander (Tennessee)
F Javon Bess (St. Louis)
G/F Terence Davis (Ole Miss)
G Amir Hinton (Shaw)
G Paul Scruggs (Xavier)
C Josh Sharma (Stanford)
— Chris Kirschner (@ChrisKirschner) May 5, 2019
Alexander isn’t expected to be drafted in the 2019 NBA Draft, but there’s still a path for him into the NBA through the G League and undrafted free agency. It’s worth noting that of the six players the Hawks are working out, three are listed as forwards/centers, so they clearly have a need for a big man. Any team that needs a rim protector or wants a post player to learn and develop for a few years would likely be very interested in Alexander.
When Tennessee signed Alexander, he was a scrawny 6-foot-9 forward out of Milton, Ontario in Canada. By the time he finished his four years of basketball with the Vols, he was a 6-foot-11 center who finished high up in Tennessee’s record books in both blocks and rebounding.
Alexander was forced into action as a true freshman in Rick Barnes’ first year as head coach because of the Vols’ utter lack of front court depth. Alexander could’ve used a redshirt year, but Tennessee couldn’t afford that luxury. Instead, the Canadian big man appeared in 32 games and made 11 starts, averaging 1.7 points and 3.2 rebounds in 12.2 minutes per game.
Alexander’s minutes and production steadily increased over the next couple years, and it culminated in him starting the final 71 games he played as a Vol. In his last season with UT, Alexander averaged 7.3 points and 6.6 rebounds a game while shooting 61.4 percent from the floor in 23.8 minutes a game while starting all 37 games during the season.
The 64 blocks Alexander totaled as a senior are the second-most in a single season in school history, trailing only CJ Black’s 73 rejections he had in the 1997-98 season. Alexander finished his UT career with 185 career blocks, the second-most in a career in program history. He, again, trailed only Black in that category. Black finished with 212 career blocks. Alexander’s 1.37 blocks per game in a career were also second all-time in UT history, trailing Black’s mark of 1.80 swatted shots a game.
Not only that, but Alexander finished fifth all-time in school history in career offensive rebounds (287), and his 2.12 offensive rebounds per game in a career are 10th all-time in Tennessee history.
Alexander’s 135 career games with the Vols places him fourth all-time in most games played at Tennessee. In those 135 contests, Alexander averaged 4.6 points, 4.9 rebounds, 1.37 blocks, and shot 58.5 percent from the floor in 17.8 minutes per game.