Hornets Draft Workouts: Day 7

Friday, June 20, 2008
By: Nick O'Hayre and Jim Eichenhofer, Hornets.com

Hornets.com interviewed each of the participants following Friday’s draft workouts at the New Orleans Arena:

JUAN PALACIOS, Louisville
Q: Which players do you compare yourself to in the NBA in terms of your style of play?
A: In some ways I like to compare myself to Ron Artest, but not the crazy side, just his intensity! I really like the way he plays defense and he's a very versatile player that can do a lot of things.

Q: What do you know about the Hornets?
A: I feel like it is a running team with a lot of freedom. The players create their own plays and I like the intensity. It was a good, fast workout so it seems like that is what they play and that is the way I like to play.

Q: What areas of your game are you trying to improve or prove to scouts that they aren’t weaknesses?
A: Something I like to try and show is that I am a coachable player. It's a little harder to show in the workouts, but I just do all the drills as hard as I can, change up anything if they tell you you are doing it wrong. At the same time, I like to show my intensity. The other things I'm focusing on are just shooting and dribbling.

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: I have to go with my teammate, David Padgett. I think the way he plays and how smart how he is, he can really help a team. You might not see it in these workouts, but the things he can do 5-on-5 can make an impact in the real games.

JAYCEE CARROLL, Utah State
Q: Which players do you compare yourself to in the NBA in terms of your style of play?
A: That's a good question. I've had people compare me to kind of a Steve Kerr, kind of an assassin that can come in and stretch the floor and knock some shots down. I really grew up watching Jeff Hornacek play a lot with the Jazz and I loved the way he played. I'd love to be kind of like Kirk Hinrich, a combo guard that can come in and play either spot. At the same time I love watching Rip Hamilton, and in college that's the kind of offense I had. I ran off a lot of screens to catch and shoot, catch and one dribble pull-up, so those are all guys with different styles I can play just depending on the situation I'm in.

Q: What do you know about the Hornets?
A: This is my first time down in New Orleans. I had a blast watching them play this season, especially their playoff run. It is a very rewarding experience to get to come down here and see how this organization runs and be able to have a shot at being a part of it.

Q: What areas of your game are you trying to improve or prove to scouts that they aren’t weaknesses?
A: I'm kind of known as a guy who can knock down some jump shots and things like that, and I want to make sure I show people that. Even though they may have heard about it, they like to see it for themselves. At the same time, with that reputation, it opens up doors to show that I can put it on the floor, get to the basket and that I can get up and dunk it every once and a while and things like that. On the other hand, I like to show that I can play defense, that I can guard these other guards from bigger conferences and other places, and every workout I've been on I've been able to show some of those things.

CHARLES RHODES, Mississippi State
Q: Which players do you compare yourself to in the NBA in terms of your style of play?
A: Since we are in New Orleans, I'll say David West. We play the same type of game. I play similar to him and I am trying to play just like him and I'd love to play right behind him.

Q: What do you know about the Hornets?
A: They are right down the street from Jackson, Mississippi, and that's where I'm from. I just know too much about it. Deuce McAllister is like my big brother, and I'm always with him so I am always in the New Orleans area. I know a lot about them.

Q: What areas of your game are you trying to improve or prove to scouts that they aren’t weaknesses?
A: Basically I just try to do what got me here. I want to show some things that I didn't do in school because I wasn't allowed to because I had to do some things that were just best for the team. But just running, being competitive and respecting the coaches and having fun is all I'm worried about.

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: I don't know, I just have to go with myself and my teammate Jamont Gordon.

JaJUAN SMITH, Tennessee
Q: Which players do you compare yourself to in the NBA in terms of your style of play?
A: Someone like a Monta Ellis, a combo guard that can play off the ball and also guard the opponents’ point guard.

Q: What do you know about the Hornets?
A: Their style of play, it's exciting. Coming from my college, that's the way we play and I think this team would be perfect and I'm just wishing for the best.

Q: What areas of your game are you trying to improve or prove to scouts that they aren’t weaknesses?
A: I want to show I can get up and down and show that I can make plays on the defensive end, because that is my strength. I think making my opponents do things they don't want to do is my strength but that is harder to show in 3-on-3 games.

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: I got to go with my boy Marreese Speights from the University of Florida. I think a lot of people are going to sleep on him and he's going to sneak in there and make a big impact.

D.J. WHITE, Indiana
Q: How did your workout go today?
A: I think things went pretty well. I started off slow but picked it up in the end. I think I showed my athleticism and showed that I can put the ball on the floor, make plays and make shots.

Q: What are you hearing about where you might get picked?
A: Right now it’s still up in the air. I’m not real concerned about it right now. I’m just trying to finish out my workouts strong. I have two more to go. After that, I’ll start to worry about it. But it’s still early and different things can happen.

Q: What number workout is this for you?
A: This is 12. It’s been difficult, traveling every day and working out every day. But it’s part of it. I finish with Cleveland and Toronto.

Q: What is your impression of New Orleans?
A: It’s a great city. I got a chance to walk around the city yesterday, but it wasn’t my first time here. The people are nice. I’m Southern, from Alabama, so it’s nice to be back in the South and I think this would be a great place for me.

Q: What position do you see yourself playing in the NBA?
A: I think I’m a power forward. I’m a little undersized to play center in the NBA, so I expect to be a power forward.

PAT CALATHES, St. Joseph’s
Q: Which players do you compare yourself to in the NBA in terms of your style of play?
A: A lot of people compare me to a Mike Dunleavy or a little bit of a Tayshaun Prince. A little bit of Lamar Odom. For my size, I can shoot the ball and put the ball on the floor. I get complimented a lot for making the guys on my team better and getting them open shots.

Q: What areas of your game are you trying to improve or prove to scouts that they aren’t weaknesses?
A: Finishing aggressively at the rim. In college I had a reputation for being able to shoot the ball, but I’ve really been working on putting the ball on the floor. Defensively in college, that was one of my weaknesses, so I’ve been working on that a lot.

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: Gary Forbes of UMass. He’s starting to get more recognition, but he’s an underrated player, in my opinion. He’s been playing well and is starting to move up all of the lists for the draft. Another guy is Jeremy Pargo from Gonzaga, but he’s going back to college now. I also like Brian Roberts of Dayton.

Q: What are some of the reasons you’d want to play here for the Hornets?
A: Coach Scott is one of the best shooters to ever play the game. With his basketball IQ, you can really learn a lot. What he’s done for the franchise over the past year is unmatched. And the whole staff here seems like they really care about the (organization).



White, Rhodes, Carroll, Smith, Palacios, Calathes visit


The list of six players who are working out for the Hornets today in the New Orleans Arena:
D.J. White of Indiana, Charles Rhodes of Mississippi State, Jaycee Carroll of Utah State, JaJuan Smith of Tennessee, Juan Palacios of Louisville and Pat Calathes of St. Joseph's.
We'll have more coverage of Friday's workouts later in the blog.