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Eyeing IU

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Watford disappointed, but not done

Thursday wasn't kind to Christian Watford.

The former Indiana forward thought he had done enough to work his way onto the NBA draft board. Multiple analysts, based on positive reviews from individual workouts, pushed him up their mock drafts.

But 60 picks came and went, and Watford wasn't one of them.

"There was tremendous traffic as the draft was winding down last night with head coaches and owners and GMs," Indiana coach Tom Crean said. "He was highly disappointed. I mean, there's no question about that. There were quite a few scenarios inside of it that just didn't come to fruition."

Watford worked out for 16 to 17 teams, Crean said, but none of those squads saw fit to select the stretch-four with their late picks. The former Hoosier did, however, lay the ground work for a shot at a roster spot.

Reports surfaced Friday that Watford would take part in summer leagues with the Indiana Pacers and the Dallas Mavericks. Via text, Watford confirmed he will likely take part in the camps, but offered no further comment.

"What he did is a tremendous job of showing his skills, selling himself and doing the things he needed to do inside of all of his workouts," Crean said. "He went and he battled. And people got to see what we saw. I think he eliminated a lot of questions that people might have had about him."

Some of those doubts had to do with Watford's energy, his athleticism and his ability to defend his position. But the 6-foot-9 forward with a 7-foot wingspan stymied some of those concerns and bolstered his reputation as a floor spacer.

Watford's biggest asset is his shooting ability. He averaged 12.3 points and 6.3 rebounds during his senior year and was the Hoosiers' best catch-and-shoot option.

He shot 48.4 percent from beyond the arc and averaged 1.4 points per catch-and-shoot attempt.

"Really now, it becomes truly about business," Crean said. "And there are a lot of people that had a lot of interest in him. They had opportunity to draft him, they didn't, and I told him we can't worry about that.

"He'll get back at it, and he'll be really busy here quickly."

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