Big Easy Buzz Blog - June 17, 2008

Hornets Draft Workouts: Day 5

Tuesday, June 17, 2008
By: Jim Eichenhofer and Nick O'Hayre,
The team began its second week of bringing in potential draft picks to the New Orleans Arena for workouts. We had a chance to speak with all four of Tuesday’s participants following the 2 ½-hour session. Workouts are scheduled to continue this week on Thursday and Friday and will also be held in the arena.
One thing I wanted to clarify after reading comments about some of the quotes that workout invitees have been providing to us: When they’ve answered the question about which current NBA players they are comparing themselves to, it’s important to note that they are referring to their style of play, not how good they think they are right now. That question is helpful in terms of trying to give people a general picture of what type of player a prospect may be, but it’s understood during the interview that it is not meant to be the player comparing themselves to an NBA veteran in terms of ability.

Listen to Dorsey’s interview with the New Orleans media in’s Audio Archives section

Q: Which players do you compare yourself to in the NBA in terms of your style of play?
A: I think I’m versatile, so I hear Kevin Garnett a lot. I’m athletic, so maybe a little bit of Amare Stoudemire.

Q: What do you think might be some of the underrated aspects of your game?
A: I bring a great attitude. I’m a winner. Basketball-wise, I block shots and rebound, but I can score when I get the ball in the post. I can put the ball on the floor, shoot the 15-foot jump shot, or whatever the team needs me to do. I’ll do whatever the coaches want to win. It doesn’t matter what it is.

Q: What about the Hornets would make you want to come here to play for this team?
A: It’s a great city and there are great people here. And there are also so many great traditions in New Orleans. Obviously the Hornets have a great coach in Byron Scott, who has won several championships. He’s a young coach I can relate to. They have a great point guard – who wouldn’t want to play with Chris Paul? There are a lot of things about New Orleans that would make me want to be here.

J.R. GIDDENS, New Mexico
Q: Which players do you compare yourself to in the NBA in terms of your style of play?
I would say Joe Johnson. He is long and athletic and can handle the ball as well as shoot the ball.

Q: What do you know about the Hornets?
A: One thing I noticed is that they are very family-oriented, very together. I think that is why they were so successful and had such a dramatic change this year from the year before. They have great coaches and great players, and a great atmosphere to be in if you are trying to win a championship. They play hard and it is great watching the Hornets play. They have great players in Chris Paul, David West and Tyson Chandler, along with all the other guys they have here and everyone knows their roles and does what is needed to win. I would love the opportunity to be able to contribute to this team and help them win in any way I can.

Q: What areas of your game are you are either trying to improve on or make stand out in these draft workouts?
A: Well I really want to highlight my athleticism. Show that I am competitive and that I want to win. Show that I will do whatever is necessary to make sure we win, and I think that is a big strength of mine.

Q: Who is your draft sleeper, a guy who is not getting much publicity right now but has a chance to be a very solid player in the NBA?
A: This guy named J.R. Giddens out of New Mexico. He is a young, athletic, handsome guy, and I think he could definitely help get people in the crowds and do a real good job. Yeah I think he is gonna be a sleeper and the team that gets him is going to be very happy.

Q: Which players do you compare yourself to in the NBA in terms of your style of play?
A: A guy that is here right now, Jannero Pargo. He is an undersized two guard, but he can also play the point. He can create his own shots and can also create for his teammates.

Q: What it would mean to you to get an opportunity to play alongside Xavier great David West?
A: Man, everyone at Xavier is so proud of David, and James Posey, and everything they have accomplished. David is a great player and a great person, and it would be an amazing opportunity to get to the chance to come play on the same team as him.

Q: What areas of your game are you are either trying to improve on or make stand out in these draft workouts?
A: I’m just trying to come out and show that I can score the ball and also make plays for my teammates. I think I showed that today in the 2-on-2 drills, making things easier for my partner Joey (Dorsey). I have gotten a lot of attention for my defense, I was defensive player of the year this season, but I want to show what I can do on the offensive end of the floor as well.

Q: Who is your draft sleeper, a guy who is not getting much publicity right now but has a chance to be a very solid player in the NBA?
A: Josh Duncan (Xavier), how can I go against him? He is a very good player, a great teammate and a very good guy off the court

Giddens, Burrell, Dorsey, Longar visit New Orleans

Bios of the four players invited to Tuesday's workouts at the New Orleans Arena:
J.R. Giddens, New Mexico
Giddens, a 6’5” shooting guard from Oklahoma City, averaged 16.3 points, 8.8 rebounds and 3.1 assists in 31 games for the University of New Mexico. He was named the 2008 Mountain West Conference co-Player of the Year after leading the Lobos in scoring, rebounding, steals and blocks. He was the first guard in MWC history to lead the league in rebounding. Giddens played his first two seasons at Kansas before transferring to New Mexico (sat out the 2005-06 season due to transfer rules). The McDonald’s High School All-American out of Marshall High School in OKC, Giddens is an excellent athlete with three-point range.

Stanley Burrell, Xavier
Burrell, a 6’ 3” guard from Indianapolis, averaged 12.2 points, 2.6 rebounds and 2.9 assists in his four-year career at Xavier University. In his senior season, he was named the 2007-08 Atlantic 10 Conference Defensive Player of the Year. Burrell played alongside fellow NBA draft prospect Josh Duncan, and together they led the Musketeers to a school-record 30 wins and helped Xavier reach the NCAA Tournament Elite Eight for the second time in five years. The 23-year old scored 1,612 career points, placing him 12th on XU's all-time scoring list. He also appeared in 132 games, which tied the school record for games played. He is a hard worker who prides himself on his defense, has a solid handle and an above average three point shot.

Joey Dorsey, Memphis
Dorsey, a 6’9” power forward from Baltimore, averaged 6.9 points, 9.5 rebounds and 1.9 blocks his senior year at Memphis. Dorsey earned First Team All-Conference USA honors as a junior and Second Team honors as a senior. He was also named C-USA Defensive Player of the Year and took home league All-Defensive Team honors his junior and senior seasons. He also finished his collegiate career as the all-time leader in rebounding in Conference USA history with 1,209 career boards and ranks as the school’s all-time leader in field goal percentage (.614). Dorsey teamed with projected number-one overall pick Derrick Rose leading the Tigers to the NCAA championship game where they fell to Kansas. The 24-year old has been routinely compared to defensive standout Ben Wallace due to his rebounding and blocking ability. He is an incredibly strong low-post player with explosive athleticism who relishes in doing the dirty work.

Longar Longar, Oklahoma
Longar, a 6’11” center born in Sudan, averaged 11.4 points, 5.6 rebounds and 1.0 block in 2007-08 for the Sooners. He finished second on the team in scoring, rebounding and field-goal percentage (.488). Longar increased his point-per-game production every season he played at OU. He was named to Big 12’s All-Improved Team by a panel of sportwriters who covered the conference in his junior season. He was a consensus top-75 national player as a high school senior in 2002-03 while attending Laurinburg Institute (N.C.). The 24-year old is a slender, skilled center who has good coordination and can run the floor extremely well. Longar is dedicated and hard-working, efforts which are evident by his continued improvement, including a nine-point increase in his scoring average from his freshman to senior seasons at Oklahoma.