June 24, 2009
Charlotte held its final workout for the 2009 NBA Draft on Wednesday at the Presbyterian Hospital Training Center in Time Warner Cable Arena. Wake Forestís James Johnson and Xavierís Derrick Brown were back for their second workouts, while UABís Robert Vaden and Lawrence Kinnard had their first workouts for Head Coach Larry Brown and his staff.
James Johnson is an early entry candidate for the 2009 NBA Draft. He is a two-time Third Team All-ACC honoree and was freshman All-American and runner up for ACC Rookie of the Year. Johnson lead Wake Forest in rebounding in each of his two seasons, with averages of 8.1 as a freshman and 8.5 as a sophomore. He finished his career with 903 points and 508 rebounds.
Derrick Brown is another early entry candidate for this yearís draft. He earned Second Team All-Atlantic 10 honors and First Team NABC All-District honors as a junior. He ranked second on the team in scoring (13.7 ppg), first in rebounding (6.1 rpg), second in field-goal percentage (.504), and first in three-point percentage (.433). Brown is 36th on Xavierís all-time scoring list with 1,096 career points.
Robert Vaden spent the first two seasons of his college career at Indiana before transferring to Alabama-Birmingham. Last season, he ranked fifth in Conference USA in scoring (17.6 ppg) and was named Second Team All-Conference. As a junior, Vaden averaged 21.1 points per game and was named to the All-Conference First Team as well as being honored as the Newcomer of the Year.
Lawrence Kinnard was named Third Team All-Conference USA as a junior and a senior. He led the conference in rebounds per game (9.2) last season and finished 12th in scoring (14.0 ppg). Kinnard is one of two players in school history to record at least 1,000 points and 700 rebounds in a career.
(On todayís workout)
They were really tired, but they did great. Itís got to be tough on them. James (Johnson) said that he has been on the road for a month and a half and I think Derrick (Brown) had 18 workouts. But I think the more you have, obviously the more interest you will have, which is not a bad thing.
(On if any of the recent trades have affected the Bobcats)
No, I mean, we canít figure out the draft. I have some friends in front of us that are giving me some information, but everything changes all of a sudden. Now, Minnesota has five and six and Washington is out of it. You try to look at team needs and what their direction might be, and I canít figure it out. We just keep putting down 13 or 14 names and different alternatives. In our league, you only get five minutes (to make a pick). Itís not like the NFL where you have 15 minutes, so you better have some contingency plans. Iím sure weíll start looking at all options, but weíre going to get a good player.
(On how they will rank the draft prospects)
If we just judge our body of work based on a workout, weíve really failed. Iím pretty confident that weíve seen everybody and we have a pretty good idea of who the best players are. I donít think everybody agrees exactly on the order, but I think we are pretty consistent on the top 15 guys. I would hope we would consider how we play and our style of play. I think thatís critical. A guy might be good for some other team but how he fits in with what we are trying to do is really valuable.
(On what they want in a player)
You obviously want good character guys, and we have that. I want guys that are athletic, want to guard, and have a pretty high basketball IQ. I donít think a center needs to have a high IQ if he can block shots and get every rebound. If they can play more than one position, that would be great. We write on the board: play hard, play together, have fun, be unselfish, and then we say defend and rebound. I think thatís pretty significant if we write it every day in practice and before every game.
(On James Johnson)
Heís terrific. Heís pretty versatile and a better athlete than youíd think. I think he has a chance to get better. We like him because he can handle the ball, he can shoot the ball, and he can pass the ball. Iím sure heís going to be in this league for a long time.
(On trading the 12th overall selection)
There is a possibility. I think that is a scenario that you can consider. I read that Rod (Higgins) said we would do it for a veteran player that can come in and play. I donít want an old one. I would want one that has a future, because I donít think short range is in our best interest. It could be for multiple picks. If we do it for cap space, I hope we get talent back, because we are not at the point now as a team where we can give up talent.
(On the workout)
Getting a second workout is a good sign. I thought I was going to shut it down after Utah, but I had to go back to Toronto yesterday, and here today. It feels good to have teams wanting you back. This is working out for me, I like it.
(On yesterdayís Toronto workout)
Iím worn out. I was there by myself. They called me for an individual workout. They ran me, put me on strings, and my legs are tired, but thereís no excuse, I still have to come out and perform, and I did the best I could today.
(On if he sees himself as a lottery pick)
Hopefully I do, but if not, I gave it my best shot during the workouts and I move on from there. I will play my hardest for who I end up playing for.
(On the workout process)
Itís any kidís dream. Not many people can go city to city every day. Iím in one city, then Iím out of the state, then Iím in another city. Itís good to work out for coaches that can help you out and tell you where youíre at.
(On how this workout compared to his first Bobcats workout)
The only difference is that I improved on what they wanted with moves and things like that, and there were only four guys instead of six.
(On getting a second workout with the Bobcats)
It was an interesting feeling. It was my sixth workout in six days, and it was my 18th overall, so itís a long process. A million people would love to be in this position, so Iím just grateful to have the opportunity.
(On where he thinks he may be drafted)
Itís looking good. To turn down workouts would be dumb for me. I feel like I am a player that is in a pretty good position, but I still want to prove myself to everybody that wants to see me.
(On the toughest part about the workouts)
You have to be at your best. Itís not like you can have an excuse to say I worked out for five straight days, so take it easy on me today, itís just not like that. Itís a business, and you have to be ready to get the job done.
(On what he has learned from the workout process)
Consistency. You have to really be ready every day. In college if you are the best player, maybe you can take a day off. Here, you have to be prepared all the time and willing to work.
(On his draft stock)
I feel good. Iíve gotten a lot of good feedback and I know my stock has improved since coming into this whole thing. Iíll still be nervous tomorrow, but I feel pretty good.
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