Morning tip: Vets keep Porter at attention

Morning tip: Vets keep Porter at attention
October 2, 2013, 8:00 am
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FAIRFAX, Va. -- The most difficult part of training camp for coach Randy Wittman is teaching rookie Otto Porter.

While the No. 3 overall draft pick is chosen in June, in part, because of his high basketball IQ there's no substitute for hands-on training.

Going into the fifth, and final, day of training camp at George Mason University, Porter (right hip flexor) has yet to take part in contact drills with his teammates. The same goes for Trevor Booker (right knee), but he has played here the past three seasons. 

So what has Wittman picked up in the limited time he has had with Porter, who had his stint in Las Vegas summer league cut short by right hamstring soreness and did mostly individual workouts and conditioning at Verizon Center in the off-season?

"I haven't learned anything," Wittman said. "It's hard to learn when you're not on the floor." 

The only thing Wittman can do? "Sit with him, watch film with him -- even though he's not in the film," he said. "Watching practice with him and talking him through different things, it's about all you can do. You got to continue to teach him even though he's not on the floor."

Fortunately for Porter, there are enough veterans on the team who can help guide him such as Martell Webster, Trevor Ariza, Al Harrington, Nene and Eric Maynor. 

"Stay the course," Ariza said of the advice he gives Porter, who'll compete with him for playing time. "They drafted you at that position for a reason. The season's long, a lot of ups and downs. Stay the course and continue to work hard and you're going to be alright."

Webster is never one to be short on words, but he'll choose them carefully when addressing the rookie. 

"Focal points in defensive schemes and offensive schemes, you tell him to pay attention to those because when he gets back he's going to have to perform. I'm not going to talk his head off," Webster said. "But for key focal points I'm going to tell him to make sure he's paying good attention, that he's aware of them. ...

"This is a game that you can't speed back to. You can't just come out here and rush it. There's going to be times where he's frustrated because his legs might not be there or he may not be as fast. He may not have that first step. It's all part of it when you get back into the swing of things. It's going to be tough. But we'll have his back."