Q&A with Coach Koran Godwin on Pitt center Talib Zanna and the NBA Draft

Kevin C. Cox

If you're out on Twitter and paying attention to Pitt basketball, you may have come across Coach Koran Godwin, who has been providing some regular updates on Panthers center Talib Zanna. Godwin is a trainer and coach (who also happens to be the University of North Florida's all-time leading scorer) who is working with Zanna in preparation for the NBA Draft.

You might remember that Coach Godwin was also the source of a video of Zanna working out, that I posted on our site a while back.

You can follow him on Twitter @CoachGodwin and also check out his JumpStartHoops.com website. In addition, you can check out his YouTube page with loads of videos, including the ones on Zanna's workouts.

Koran was gracious enough to answer some questions about Zanna as we get ready for this week's NBA Draft. You can see his answers to my questions below.

For those unfamiliar with you, can you give our readers an idea of what you do and what your schedule is like following the season?
I am a national basketball trainer, coach, author, app owner, founder of instructional video website JumpStartHoops.com and creator of the ball hog ball handling gloves.  I train and mentor some of the best players in the country. Following Talib's senior year we evaluated his draft status and what we had to work on to add value to an NBA team.  This involved training almost everyday and getting feedback from NBA coaches and executives. 

In regards to former Pitt center Talib Zanna, what are some of the specific things you've been working with him on?
I work on his strengths which are his explosiveness, rebounding ability and conditioning.  We also focus on his pick and pop jump shot and being able to score from the post areas. We touch every aspect of his game so he is ready to perform at a high level in NBA pre draft workouts.
What are the things Talib does well that will be attractive to NBA teams?
Talib brings energy, defense and rebounding on a nightly basis.  He is also one of the fastest end to end front court players in the draft which puts tremendous pressure on the opposing team's defense.  It goes without saying that he is mentally and physically tough spending 5 years at Pitt. Many teams will be surprised that he can knock down the 15 -17 foot jump shot with consistency. He also adds tremendous value with the ability to guard the pick and roll.  Many front court players are not quick enough to hedge and recover on a high screen. Talib excels in this area. The NBA today is primarily a pick and roll league which bodes well for a player with Talib's skillet.
For those that haven't been following you on Twitter, what are the teams that have had Talib in for workouts?
Talib has worked out for Charlotte, Indiana, Dallas, Philadelphia, Clippers, Orlando, Utah thus far.  He still has a couple more workouts to go before the draft.
Based on your work with so many athletes in the past, what do you think of Talib's chances to be taken in the NBA Draft?

This draft is heralded as one of the deepest in over 10 years. Many teams have expressed interest in Talib in the 2nd round because he is willing to do the dirty work (Defend, rebound, run rim to rim) and he is a great locker room guy.  Regardless of what happens on draft night Talib will play in the NBA summer league, the perfect opportunity to showcase his talent.

Be sure to join Cardiac Hill's Facebook page and follow us on Twitter @PittPantherBlog for our regular updates on Pitt athletics. Follow the author and founder/editor @AnsonWhaley.

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