Unlike his three other Tennessee teammates who are shooting for an NBA career, Kyle Alexander isn’t projected to be selected during the upcoming 2019 NBA Draft. Grant Williams, Admiral Schofield, and Jordan Bone are all showing up in NBA mock drafts (to varying degrees), and all three were invited to the 2019 NBA Draft Combine.
Alexander, however, hasn’t appeared in any big boards or mock drafts. But that doesn’t mean he doesn’t have a hope of making it into the league.
Last month, Alexander reportedly got a work out with the Atlanta Hawks. He’s presumably gotten attention from other NBA teams since then, but it hasn’t been reported on. Until now, that is.
According to Omari Sankofa II of The Athletic, Alexander was one of a handful of players invited to a work out with the Memphis Grizzlies on Saturday.
The Grizzlies will host draft workouts for the following players today:
Marial Shayok – Iowa State
Cody Martin – Nevada
Torin Dorn – North Carolina State
D’Marcus Simonds – Georgia State
Kyle Alexander – Tennessee
Jamuni McNeace – Oklahoma
— Omari Sankofa II (@omarisankofa) June 8, 2019
Unless Memphis makes some trades leading up to the draft or on the actual day of the draft, they’ll only have one opportunity to make a pick on June 20th. The Grizzlies have the No. 2 overall pick in the 2019 NBA Draft, but they have no other picks unless they trade with another team.
Memphis has been working out players to find potential free agent roster additions or players to stash away in the G League and develop. Alexander would be a prime candidate for the latter of those two options.
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 frontcourt 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.