Byron Scott still is making his Lakers students attend classes, knowing full well no amount of practice is going to change this sorry season.
Still, the Lakers coach is eager to see whom his prized pupils are and which ones are just showing up because they must, until the season mercifully comes to an end on April 15.
Scott has discovered that rookie point guard Jordan Clarkson yearns to keep learning and that there are others who are less interested in playing all out.
"I got a sense of a whole lot of them I wouldn't want to be in a fox hole with," Scott said after Monday's practice. "I think they'd end up shooting me in the back. So I've got a pretty good sense of the guys that I think are going to be around, that we will build around, build together in this process and go through it."
The Lakers are 20-56 and headed toward lottery land with the most losses in franchise history, surpassing Mike D'Antoni's 2013-14 crew that finished 27-55.
With six games remaining, all that's left for this group with a .263 winning percentage is to try to avoid the worst winning percentage in franchise history — .264 by the 1957-58 Minneapolis Lakers, who finished 19-53.
So why practice so much, knowing this season is not going to end well?
"The first thing is, I don't quit," Scott said. "And when April 15 comes or April 16 and we look up that next day, then I'll know the season is over."
So Scott keeps teaching because, well, he said he's "got to teach every day."
The coach said he had a "quick sit-down talk" Monday with Clarkson and rookie forward Julius Randle to "teach those guys what it is to be a professional in this league and how to come to work every single day and get better."
Scott said there wasn't a target return date for Randle, who has been sidelined since breaking his right leg in the first game of the season. He also is recovering from surgery on his right foot and won't return to full-contract drills until "probably in July," Scott said, around the time summer league starts in Las Vegas.
After getting schooled by point guard Chris Paul and the Clippers on Sunday night, Clarkson said he planned on watching video of that game so he can prepare for the rematch Tuesday night.
"All I was thinking about after the game was Tuesday, the next game," Clarkson said. "I've just got to come out here and play better."