June 24, 2008
Charlotte's preparation for the 2008 NBA Draft continued Tuesday at the Presbyterian Hospital Training Center at Time Warner Cable Arena with Davidson's Jason Richards, Butler's Mike Green, Virginia Tech's Deron Washington, Virginia Military Institute's Reggie Williams, Wingate's Sean Barnette and Winthrop's Taj McCullough all participating in draft workouts with the Bobcats.
Jason Richards was nominated for the Bob Cousy Award and was selected First Team All-SoCon after leading the nation in assists (8.1 apg) and averaging 12.7 points in 2007-08. Richards finished his four-year career at Davidson as the team's all-time leader in assists with 663 and is tied for ninth on Davidson's all-time steals list with 121. The 6-2 guard helped lead the Wildcats to the 2008 Elite Eight and was selected as First Team All-Midwest Regional.
Mike Green was named the Horizon League Player of the Year in 2007-08 after averaging 14.6 points, 6.5 rebounds, 5.1 assists and 1.3 steals. He also garnered an AP All-America Honorable Mention, was the recipient of the Frances Pomeroy Naismith Award and was selected as a finalist for the Bob Cousy Award. Green holds Butler's single-season record for assists (172) and free throws made (196). The 6-1 guard is the only player in Butler history to record 400 points, 200 rebounds and 100 assists in a single season, a feat he accomplished twice.
Deron Washington averaged 13.1 points, 6.5 rebounds and 2.3 assists during his senior season earning him both honorable mention All-ACC and All-ACC Defensive Team honors. He finished his career ranked 16th all-time in scoring, sixth in blocked shots and 10th in steals on the school's leaderboard. The 6-7 forward is also one of only three Hokies to record 1,400 points, 600 rebounds, 100 steals and 100 blocks in his career.
Reggie Williams led the nation in scoring the past two seasons averaging 27.8 points as a senior and 28.1 points as a junior and becoming just the ninth player in NCAA Division I history to lead the country in scoring in multiple years. He also led the Big South in rebounding (9.7 rpg), ranked fourth in field goal percentage (.528) and fifth in steals (2.2 spg) in 2007-08. The 6-6 forward finished his collegiate career as the all-time leading scorer in VMI, Big South Conference and Virginia state Division I history with 2,556 points. He was honored as a member of the All-Big south First Team in both his junior and senior seasons.
Sean Barnette finished his four year career as the South Atlantic Conference's all-time leading scorer with 2,324 points, becoming the only player in conference history to top the 2,000 point barrier. He also ranks second on the conference's all-time rebounding list with 919. Barnette was selected as the South Atlantic's Conference Player of the Year in both his junior and senior seasons. As a senior at Wingate, he averaged 21.2 points and 9.8 rebounds.
Taj McCullough, a 6-7 forward, averaged 11.7 points and a team-best 5.8 rebounds during his senior season at Winthrop. He scored in double-figures 22 times in 2007-08.
Bobcats Head Coach Larry Brown, Richards and McCullough all spoke with the media following the workout.
Bobcats Head Coach Larry Brown
(On the workout)
It was good. They were all great and fun to be around. They worked hard. You try to evaluate everybody that comes through here. For these kids, itís real important to them, so you try to do the best job you can. Hopefully they learn a little and we learn a little about them. Some kids that are playing in the NBA didnít get drafted. There are a lot of guys that fall through the cracks. There are a lot of ways to make this league, look at Bruce Bowen, Raja Bell and (Ime) Udoka. (These are) guys that failed three or four places and then all of a sudden they are big contributors to their teams. I donít take any of these lightly. There are a lot of kids here that might play in the summer league somewhere. They might have a chance to play.
(On if he can tell a difference between players with four years of college experience and those that donít) The older kids certainly have a little more experience. You have to try to coach everybody. We all can learn. You can tell who has played awhile and what kind of program a kid came from. Itís pretty obvious pretty quickly who has been coached. The end result when we get them, we still have to coach, we still have to teach. There are so many things we all have to learn. I just want to find out whoís willing to learn and who cares enough about being coached. Thatís whatís important.
(On what is happening now that the draft is getting closer)
The days are longer, but you still work them out in the morning and then people are on the phone trying to figure out who might be there when you pick. We try to watch as much film as you can so you're knowledgeable about the draft. This is whatís fun for me, working out with the kids. Weíll have another one (workout) tomorrow and hopefully on Thursday, weíll be lucky and get a good player or two that can help us.
(On Jason Richards)
He can play. Heís pretty darn good, but weíll see. Hopefully heíll get drafted, but if he doesnít, Iím sure heíll get a chance to play in a summer league somewhere. Guys like him are hard to find. He has a great feel for the game. Heís well coached. Heís a great kid. Heís a better athlete than you think, so heíll get a chance. There are a lot of guys like him in our league. I donít see why he doesnít have a chance.
(On the workout)
It was great. Itís good to be back in my hometown, close to Davidson. Itís a privilege to work out for the Bobcats especially with Larry Brown. Heís such a legendary coach. With the guys we had to day, it was an awesome workout. I had a great time and Iím enjoying the experience right now.
(On if the workout was what he expected)
I heard it was a lot of Coach Brown teaching. He did a great job with that. He taught us a lot of things. We learned a lot in a short period of time so Iím very thankful for being here. It was a tough workout as well. It was a lot tougher than people say it was.
(On what he could bring to the Bobcats)
I think Iím a pure point guard. There are a lot of combo guards in the draft and in the league. I think having a pure point guard that can run the offense, not turn the ball over and get the ball to the guys who can score is what they are looking for. I think thatís why they brought me in. I think I did a good job of showing that today.
(On the other workouts heís had)
I started off in Miami, then went to Utah, New York, here and I leave tonight for Cleveland for my last one tomorrow.
(On if he expected to be working out for teams in the NBA)
I think the tournament run really helped me out. People are giving me an opportunity and Iím just taking it. If you would have told me that I wouldnít have believed you, just like if they would have said we would have had a shot at the Final Four. Itís a tremendous opportunity and Iím having a great time. Iím just thankful for being here.
(On working out in front of Michael Jordan)
Itís pretty cool. We started the workout and he popped his head in about halfway through. I met him a couple of times because his son Jeffrey plays for the same AAU program as me in Chicago. I know Marcus and Jeffrey, but he (Michael Jordan) is still legendary. You still get those chills when he walks in, so itís pretty cool.
(On what heís hearing about his status)
Iím just trying to focus on what I can do. Iím not going to listen to what people say. Iíve been doubted so many times in my career that I just want to prove people wrong.
(On if he thought he would be in this position when he came to Davidson)
I knew Davidson, but I didnít know what we were going to do and what we were capable of. Last year, I wasnít looking to get any workouts. I was looking ahead at what we were doing at Davidson. I just kept my mind focused on that. It helped us and propelled me to this opportunity. I wasnít thinking about it (workouts) in the past and I wasnít thinking about it during the season, but when the opportunity came, Iím just having fun with it right now.
(On if would play overseas if it doesnít work out in the NBA)
I can definitely see myself living overseas. Itís still a great opportunity to play professional basketball, especially to play in a different part of the world. Itís a great opportunity to explore the world and play the game we love.
(On the workouts he's had)
This is my third one. I was in Washington and Dallas.
(On how he felt the workout went)
I say (it went) average. Playing in front of Michael Jordan, thatís an honor. Larry Brown is a great coach and just to be in the gym and practice with him, that was an honor as well. It was a lot of fun. Playing with Deron (Washington) again (was good). He was in Washington with me. Heís a high flyer, so I like to compete against him.
(On what heís feeling as itís getting closer to the Draft)
(Iím feeling) just anxiety. You have to wait and see. There are a lot of great players out there. To see your name get called would be an honor.
(On his strengths)
(My strengths are) being able to handle the ball and finish.
(On if it would be adjustment for him coming to the NBA)
Itís not really much of an adjustment because in college, I actually played around the perimeter too. I was more like a 3-4. It wonít be too much of an adjustment, but Iím working on it.
This is a comment supportin' TAJ MCCULLOUGH..I remember when Taj first walked onto the court at Winthrop Coliseum and he played his heart out every second he was in the game - not to mention, he is an awesome scorer down low and KNOWS HOW TO FINISH! Get 'em Taj, you 'bout to be that DUDE!!
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