TORONTO - It was less than three months ago that Phil and Thomas Scrubb and the Carleton Ravens were thoroughly dominating Canadian university basketball, rolling over the opposition en route to their fifth consecutive CIS title.
Thursday, the brothers were just two of 21 players hoping to catch the favourable eye of the Toronto Raptors as part of a two-day free agent mini-camp.
"I know I'm not coming in here as Kobe Bryant and I'm going to take a bunch of shots, be the main guy on the team," said Phil. "I just tried to come in and work as hard as I can.
"It's pretty different, everyone's athletic, everyone's big, everyone's pretty much a professional, it's a lot different from the university level," he added. "But I think it will be easy to adjust if I work as hard as I can."
Olu Ashaolu of Toronto, who's been playing in Japan, and NBA D-Leaguers Jordan Bachynski of Calgary and Khem Birch of Montreal were the other Canadians in the camp for players who aren't draft eligible. The Raptors hope to use it to help stock their summer league squad.
Phil Scrubb, who had 28 points and 10 assists in Carleton's 47-point rout of Ottawa in the CIS final in March, will attend two more mini-camps in Indiana and Dallas. Thomas, who had 20 points and 12 boards in that victory, has only the Toronto camp on his schedule.
Thomas Scrubb said he let nerves get the better of him Thursday morning. With coach Dwane Casey and GM Masai Ujiri among the Raptors staff watching intently, the practice court at the Air Canada Centre was a big leap from the Canadian university gym.
"I think having played in the CIS, I need to show coaches that I can play at this level with high-level athletes and play at a higher speed and with more physicality than there is in Canada," he said. "I don't try to show that I can be a super good scorer, anything special, I've just got to show that I can stay with these guys and play well.
"I need to break out of my comfort zone," he added. "If you start thinking about who's watching and who you're playing against, it's going to throw you off."
Dan Tolzman, the Raptors' director of scouting, said the Scrubbs held their own against a group of mostly older and more experienced players.
"They make the right plays, they make the correct pass, they basket cut, they do a lot of little things that don't show up on the boxscore in addition to shooting well and just playing good defence," Tolzman said. "I think for them it helps that they've been so well-coached and so they know the game of basketball so well to where something like this isn't that difficult. They're just playing basketball."
DeAndre Daniels, the Raptors' 37th pick in last year's draft, was at camp after spending the past season playing in Australia.
"Everybody came out here and competed and played hard, as you can see, I've got blood all over my jersey," Daniels said, showing off his blood-stained shirt.
Daniels has been in Toronto for the past five weeks working with fellow 2014 draft pick Bruno Caboclo and Lucas Nogueira, who he kept in touch with throughout this last Raptors season.
Daniels, who played for the Perth Wildcats, said it wasn't easy being so far away from his family or the Raptors.
"I'd wake up sometimes at 4 in the morning just to watch them play," Daniels said. "That was probably the toughest part."