Hornets draft prospect interviews, workout 5

Saturday, June 23, 2012
By: Jim Eichenhofer, Hornets.com

After holding what was officially the fourth workout of June when Anthony Davis visited New Orleans on Tuesday (check our video section for more on Davis' day), the Hornets were back in the Alario Center on Saturday morning, hosting a handful of players for workout No. 5. Here’s some of what the group of prospects had to say following their workout:

Q: What are some of the things you know about the city of New Orleans and the Hornets?
A: I know they’ve had some tough times, obviously, with Katrina. They lost a great player in Chris Paul. But I feel like it’s a great place to rebuild. They have some young pieces coming in, as well as some that are already here, to be the core of something good. I feel like it would be a great situation for any young point guard.

Q: Every player has some area scouts or draft analysts may doubt or say should be improved. What are you trying to work on or prove to teams entering Thursday’s draft?
A: [smiles] Well first off, they always want to highlight everything you do wrong. I feel like all the guys in the draft, we’re here for a reason. Obviously there is something we do well. But there are things I want to improve on. I want to try to become more athletic, so that I can defend my position. That comes with lateral quickness, and playing at this level, learning how the game works. Also I want to be a consistent, knockdown shooter. I feel like that will take a lot of pressure off my teammates, give them more room to operate.

Q: For people who may not have seen you play a lot, who are the players you are being compared with in terms of style of play?
A: In the NBA, guys like Rajon Rondo or Jason Kidd, guys who really take pride in getting their teammates involved. That’s something I take pride in. I feel like my game is unique. Those are the players I feel I can relate to, if anyone.

Q: Who are some of your draft sleepers, players who are not getting much attention but you feel could be quality picks in the draft? For instance, the Hornets have the 46th pick.
A: A kid out of UAB, Cameron Moore. I feel like he’s going to be a good talent. I don’t know if it’s totally clicked yet, but he definitely has the setup to be a good player down the road. Another guy is Moe Harkless (of St. John’s), but I don’t think he’ll be there at 46. He’s a very talented young player.

Q: Lastly, what’s your brief scouting report on the other North Carolina players who are projected to be picked in the first round?
A: Harrison Barnes is a special talent. He’s 6-8, 225. The sky’s the limit for him. Once he gets the killer mentality, he’s going to be extremely good. That hasn’t totally clicked for him yet. He has the best work ethic of maybe any player I’ve ever seen. He’s on a regimen, does what he’s supposed to do. He’s going to work hard – that’s why I think he’s going to be successful at this level. Tyler Zeller is 7 foot, maybe 260. He’s maybe the most consistent player I’ve played with. You know what you’re going to get out of him every single night. He works hard. He’s going to get you anywhere from 12 to 16 points, and eight to 10 rebounds. You can depend on that. He may not have the ceiling that some players have, but he’s dependable. The player he reminds me of is Nick Collison. Then John Henson – he’s 6-11, 165 (pounds). Nah, I’m just playing. [smiles] He’s 220, has a crazy wingspan and gifts that can’t be taught, with the way his body is made and his timing for blocking shots. He realizes his role. He knows he’s going to be asked to alter and change shots. His offensive game is coming along to where he’s not a liability. That 10- to 20-footer, he’s knocking it down consistently. Once he gets his motor going, and realizes how good he can be, he’s going to be a special player as well.

TONY WROTEN, Washington
Q: You’ve mentioned in pre-draft interviews that you have worked out frequently against many current NBA players in Seattle. Who are some of the guys who have influenced you the most?
A: Will Conroy from the University of Washington, as well as Brandon Roy, Jamal Crawford, Nate Robinson, they influenced me a lot, because they’ve been here and know what it takes.

Q: What are some of the things you know about the city of New Orleans and the Hornets organization?
A: New Orleans is a great city. It’s recovered and came back from Katrina. They have a great coaching staff, with a young team that is getting a lot better. It’s going to continue to be a good franchise.

Q: What are some of the specific things in your game you’re trying to show teams?
A: That I’m a good all-around player and a good point guard. I can definitely be a great defender.

Q: Who are some of the players you have been compared with in terms of style of play?
A: Tyreke Evans, John Wall, Russell Westbrook, players like that.

Q: Who is your draft sleeper going into Thursday night?
A: Tu Holloway from Xavier. He’s a smaller guard (at 6 foot, 190 pounds), but he’s a good player and a great shooter.

Q: How many teams have you worked out for so far?
A: Seven.

Q: What is your goal going into the draft?
A: To be a first round pick, for sure. But no matter what I just want to find a good team for me.”

Q: What are some of the specific things in your game you’re trying to show teams?
A: I’m just trying to show teams that I can play tough. Those teams know how I play and I just have to show them that I can play tough and strong. I’m a versatile player, I’m a very good driver and I can finish around the rim.

Q: What are your thoughts on the lack of international players in this draft compared to other years?
A: I don’t know, it’s just the cycle. Last year one of the players to get drafted was (Jonas) Valanciunas (to Toronto). Some of the guys picked last year were young and were supposed to be in the draft this year (but decided to come out a year earlier).

Q: What do you know about the Hornets and the city of New Orleans?
A: My dad (Paul Pressey) coached here for a little while, three or four years, so I know that it is a good city. I know Monty (Williams) from way back, so I know what kind of coach he is and what kind of program he runs. I’m real comfortable with the Hornets.

Q: What is your previous connection to Monty?
A: My dad coached him, and they have been longtime friends. Now that he is a head coach, they have stayed in touch. I grew up with his kids and everything.

Q: What are some of the things you are trying to show teams leading up to the draft?

A: Just my toughness and IQ for the game. I think that is something that I have over a lot of guys. I have been around the game for a long time. Some guys might run faster and jump higher, but I know the game and I’m physical and tough.

Q: Didn’t your brother Phil consider coming out from Missouri but decided to go back to school?
A: Yeah. We had a pretty decent season, but I don’t think he was planning on coming out. I think guys were talking about it but I don’t think he was going to come out. As you know, he has two years left so he will play those two years and see what happens.