- Scott Powers, Reporter
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Although unlikely, these could be John Shurna’s final days as a Northwestern Wildcat.
Shurna departed Friday to work out in front of 26 NBA teams at the New Jersey Nets’ training facility in East Rutherford, N.J. Shurna will be included in a workout group of 22 players on Saturday.
Shurna has until May 8 to withdraw his name from the draft to retain his college eligibility and return to the Wildcats for his senior season.
Northwestern coach Bill Carmody joined Shurna on the trip, and the pair flew out off of Chicago on Friday afternoon.
“He’s testing the waters,” Carmody said before the flight. “It’s just what a lot of guys are doing. This [workout] is actually pretty good because you can play 5 on 5. A lot of workouts do it individually.”
Carmody didn’t believe Shurna would require too much advice heading into the workout.
“Just the play the way he knows how to play,” Carmody said. “He’ll be relaxed. He’s played in the Big Ten for three years. He’s played on the international level.”
Attack Athletics director of basketball operations Mike Procopio, who is also a former Boston Celtics scout, thought Shurna’s shooting ability will be attractive to NBA teams.
“I think he definitely has NBA potential because of his [6-8] size and ability to shoot like he does,” Procopio said. “You think of guys like Matt Carroll and Jason Kapono, and you have to put John in the discussion. He can make shots. That’s a big commodity teams are looking for.
“Is he a NBA player today? I don’t know. If it’s not this year, it’ll be next year.”
Carmody wouldn’t say whether he expected Shurna back next season.
“We’ll be talking on the plane,” Carmody said. “We’ll just see how it goes. It’s John call. We’ll see whatever feedback he gets.”
Shurna averaged 16.6 points and 4.9 rebounds for the Wildcats as a junior. He had been among the nation’s scoring leaders through 10 games, averaging 23.3 points before injuring his ankle in Northwestern’s final nonconference game.