NBA Pre-Draft Camp Media Day (Part Two)

NBA Pre-Draft Camp Media Day (Part Two)
Jun 12, 2006, 02:41 am
Interviews from media day featuring Ronnie Brewer, Adam Morrison, Marcus Williams, Patrick O'Bryant and Rudy Gay.

Media Day Part One

Ronnie Brewer

Eric Weiss: With this whole process going on, we haven’t heard a lot from you as far as being out there with media exposure for such a high pick. Have you had a lot of media requests?

Ronnie Brewer: Not really. My main focus has been on basketball and getting ready for these workouts. So I prepared for them and I feel I was ready and I’ve had three solid workouts and have gotten positive feedback. That’s the most important thing, you want to always get positive feedback from your workouts and that’s been my main focus, not really trying to get my name out there. If you’re doing the things you need to do on the court, then your name will get out there.

Eric Weiss: Speaking of those workouts, we’ve heard you killed it in Orlando. Who were you going up against? Douby? Foye? Carney? Roy? All those guys?

Ronnie Brewer: Roy didn’t come, he ended up taking his name out. Like you said, Carney, Foye, Mardy Collins, Quincy Douby, Hassan Adams, and Shawne Williams from Memphis. So it was a pretty good workout.

Eric Weiss: What did you guys go through? A lot of competitive stuff?

Ronnie Brewer: A lot of one-on-one, two-on-two, shooting, pick-and-rolls, full court one-on-one, dribbling drills. So, we did a lot of different competitive stuff. That’s stuff that I think I do well and I just play my style of basketball and it works for me.

Eric Weiss: How about defensively? You were able to hold your own?

Ronnie Brewer: Definitely. That’s one of my strengths. That’s why a lot of teams like me, because I can do a lot of different things. I can defend the one, two, or three. So, I feel that I defended really well and showed those guys what I can do.

Eric Weiss: Do you feel like when you go to the NBA you’ll still be able to play 3 positions defensively?

Ronnie Brewer: Whatever team I go to, the needs that they’re looking for. If it’s a guy to bring the ball up, I think I have the skills to bring the ball up comfortably. Or a big two-guard or big three-guard, someone to rebound and defend at those spots night in and night out and be able to score, take the ball to the basket. I’m working on my shooting, but that’s going to improve and I can see myself as a guy out on the perimeter who’s going to knock down shots.

Eric Weiss: Well, a lot’s made of the whole shooting form thing and I’m not too sure whether to be concerned about that, but as far as shooting period, it’s not necessarily a weakness, but it’s not you’re primary strength, so what are you doing to prepare yourself? What’s your daily routine?

Ronnie Brewer: For me, just being a basketball player you’ve got to be able to do all aspects: handle the ball, pass the ball, play defense, just your overall knowledge of the game. At the same time, you’ve got to be able to knock down shots and be a consistent shooter because in the NBA that’s what a lot of the guys get paid for, to be consistent and just knock down shots. So, I do the repetition and try and make it so it’s a routine and over and over it’s going to go in. So, I just try to do that everyday and work on it and it’s getting better everyday.

Eric Weiss: Who are you working with?

Ronnie Brewer: Before I signed with an agent I was working out with my father and the strength and conditioning coaches at the University of Arkansas, working on my agility. Then when I signed with my guys, [agent] Henry Thomas, I went up to [Tim] Grover’s gym, worked with him and got to do the drills with him a little bit. Then I went off to my workouts and the first one in Houston was a tough one, but I knew what was expected and I got better when I went to the one in Chicago and even better when I went to the one in Orlando.

Reporter: Who have you gone to for advice during the draft process?

Ronnie Brewer: I talked to a lot of different guys. We’ve got some guys from Arkansas who are in the league, Joe Johnson, Corliss [Williamson]. I’ve talked to Scotty Pippen a little bit and he’s given me some advice. I’ve got somebody right at home, my dad has been there and he’s pretty much been a role model for me my whole life and since he’s been there he’s been able to tell me some things that help to prepare me for that next level.

Reporter: You said your dad has been a big influence on you. As far as being a basketball player, how much have you gotten from your dad?

Ronnie Brewer: A lot because, he’s kind of an old school guy. When he taught me the game and really got serious about it, he didn’t teach me to be just an offensive guy or a defensive guy, He taught me all aspects of it. That’s why a lot of teams like me, because of my versatility. So, he’s really helped me mold my game and made me into the player that I am today.

Reporter: Did he push you or did he wait to see where you wanted to go with it?

Ronnie Brewer: At first he didn’t really know how serious I was. But once I started playing I didn’t pursue any other sports as much as I did basketball. So once he saw how serious I was, how dedicated I was, he kind of let me go my way. Then once he knew I was really serious about it he started mentoring me and teach me the basics, just the right way to play.

Reporter: What stage of your life was that? High school? Junior high school?

Ronnie Brewer: It was elementary school. When I first started out, my dad ran a camp and it was grades 3 through 12. So when I was in kindergarten my sister was able to participate because she’s three years older than me. So I was watching them and just studying the game and I got a liking for it and started loving it and just wanted to get better and learn the things he was teaching everybody else. Once I got to the end of my first grade year he allowed me to participate in the camp even though I was playing two years up with the third graders and I was able to do the drills because I’d been watching them for the past 2 years watching my sister play and it only made me better. As I got older, probably in the sixth grade, that’s when he told me “I’ll coach your teams” and teach me from there. He coached me in AAU in sixth or seventh grade until I graduated.

Eric Weiss: Was that difficult sometimes?

Ronnie Brewer: I mean, he was hard on me. I expected him to be hard, to not take it easy on me just because I was his son. Being my dad he wasn’t going to take it easy, if I had 30 points he’d still critique me and he still does that today. But, at the same time it makes me a better player and it helps me to critique myself as a player because at the end of the year I’m my own biggest critic. I look at film and see what I have to work on to get better for next year.

Eric Weiss: Do you think you’re very self-critical of your game? Do you analyze a lot it?

Ronnie Brewer: Definitely, definitely. That’s the only way you’re going to get better. If everybody’s telling you that you’re this good or you’re that good, that’s what you’re going to think the whole entire time. Deep down inside you’ve got to look in the mirror and say “well if I can’t go left I’ve got to work on my left. If I can’t shoot the ball that well then I need to work on my jump shot.”

Eric Weiss: That’s something the pros do right there.

Ronnie Brewer: Thank you.

Eric Weiss: Do you think it gives you an advantage growing up in an NBA family, so to speak?

Ronnie Brewer: I think you can say that. Like I said, he prepared me from an early age and I think he did a really good job as well.

Reporter: Michael Redd wasn’t much of a shooter coming out, certainly not to the extent he is now. Do you pattern yourself after that and maybe in a couple of years…

Ronnie Brewer: Definitely. Maybe not to that extent, but that’s what basketball is all about. It’s about hard work and getting better over the years. That’s what pros do to make themselves great at basketball. You get better after the season preparing yourself for the next season. Trying to prepare myself from the college level to the NBA level, trying to extend my range and knock down shots and get better.

Eric Weiss: Speaking about this whole draft process, has it been stressful?

Ronnie Brewer: You kind of get anxious because you really don’t know where you’re going to go. But I can sleep easy at night knowing that every workout I go into, as long as I get positive feedback and I played my best and I played well, going into draft night you can’t say “I only worked out well for three teams” and if those three teams pass you by the other teams didn’t get the best Ronnie Brewer. So, as long as I play well in the workouts, which I think I’ve done, they’ve seen a lot of tape on me and seen what I’ve done in college. They know what they’re going to get off the top, and I’m satisfied with that.

Eric Weiss: How many workouts do you have coming up?

Ronnie Brewer: I got a couple lined up. A lot of teams have called up trying to get me higher. So I think I’ve got about 5 or 6 lined up. I’m trying to get a lot in, but I think my body is ready for it; it’s what I’ve trained for. So hopefully I can continue to work out the way they’ve gone in the past.

Reporter: How tempted are you to compare yourself to other players in this room?

Ronnie Brewer: You can do that. You can look at numbers. But, you’re not them and they’re not you, so you can’t really be like “I’m better than him.” You can only determine what you can do on the court and that’s what I like to do. I don’t really like to talk a lot about what I can do or “I’m better than him.” If we go into a workout and I perform better than him then its right in front of you, if not on paper. That’s just my overall view of it.

Reporter: J.J. [Redick] was saying that 5 years from now nobody is going to remember who was drafted where, just who produces.

Ronnie Brewer: Exactly. If someone goes number 1, 2, or 3 but they’re not consistent, or they’re not getting the playing time, or not in the right system; someone who goes number 11 or 12, you’re going to be talking about them more than the person who goes 1,2, or 3 because the production and the numbers speak for themselves. Just like in the workouts. This guy could have been an All American in college, but you work out against him and do better than him, than you’ve got to go with that because it’s right in front of you, its production.

Eric Weiss: That’s a big thing we talk about on DraftExpress, situation vs. position. Obviously, you gave us some great insight into that. What type of situation is ideal for you? What type of situation would you like to walk into?

Ronnie Brewer: My situation is very good I think. I can do a lot of things, like I said. If a team is needing a big 1 guard I can fit that, or if they need a 2 or 3 guard that can defend, rebound, be aggressive and run the lanes and streak to the basket, I fit those as well. So it depends on what the team is looking for. I might be one of the taller guards with NBA ready size, so a lot of teams like that. My emphasis is on my defense because that’s how you try to get your money. A lot of guys don’t take pride in it, but that’s just another aspect of my game that I really try and take pride in and really try to work on.

Eric Weiss: Coming into the league at first, is defense what you’re really going to try and hang your hat on to get into the rotation and then expand from there?

Ronnie Brewer: I think so. You know, defense leads to your offense. If you’re stopping guys and getting steals than that’s going to lead to easy baskets. I think coaches look for that. I think they’ll play you more if they think they can put you in there and you’re going to stop somebody instead of just hitting a couple of jump shots. That’s definitely the quick way to try and get on the court and I’m going to try and do that. It’s got to be in your heart to play defense. A lot of guys who have the ability still don’t like playing defense.

Eric Weiss: Switching things up a little. How’s Arkansas looking next year?

Ronnie Brewer: I think they’ll be very good. We’ve got a lot of returning guys. We had a guy sit out, Gary Irvin, from Mississippi State, who’s a solid point guard. We’ve got two solid post players returning in Darian Townes and Steven Hill. Charles Thomas coming off the bench or he might start. Vince Hunter, another big guy coming off the bench. Then you got a very strong recruiting class with one of the top junior college guys in Sonny Weems, a guy Patrick Beverley out of Chicago who’s a real athletic guard. Michael Washington is a post power forward, athletic guy. So, they’ll be pretty good, making some noise in the SEC. They’ve got a good coach and a good core of guys who can continue with what we started from last year.

Eric Weiss: Speaking of Arkansas, Joe Johnson is an interesting case. He was a highly regarded player and was ranged around where you are. He took about 2 or 3 years to find his groove and in my experience a lot of people tend to get impatient and want to make an immediate impact and if they don’t they get discouraged. But, you seem to have a very metered approach to this, taking an evaluation of yourself at the end of the season, working on your weaknesses. It’s a great mindset to have coming into the league. Instead of getting caught up in what didn’t happen, you focus on what you need to do to make other things happen. But, you might find yourself in a situation where you have to wait and there won’t be minutes for you right away. How do you deal with that?

Ronnie Brewer: The NBA is a long season; guys get hurt, stuff goes wrong, guys go through slumps. There’s always opportunity for guys to come in and play. My mindset is to continue to work hard in practice, get better as a player, and the minutes will come. If you keep that mindset than the minutes will definitely come. That’s the mindset that I’m going to take. Take things one step at a time, not try to make a huge leap. There’s no one in this room who’s going to be another LeBron, so you can’t expect to come in and average 20-25 points per game. You’ve just got to be patient, take what you can get.

Eric Weiss: Keep your focus and make sure you’re paying attention even though you’re not playing.

Ronnie Brewer: Exactly. You can’t be on the end of the bench pouting. If you’re in the last 5, you can get into the starting 5, the coaches are going to notice if you’re going hard in practice everyday. You might get minutes that way. You’ve got to look at every aspect of the game. Some coaches try to play psych games with you, so you’ve just got to be a strong individual and that’s what I think I am.

Adam Morrison

In regards to working out against other players in workouts:

Adam Morrison: I feel like I'm better against competition. I'm not a high-flying athlete. I'm not one of those type of players by myself, so I feel like I just player better against competition. I'd just rather play against somebody else.

Joseph Treutlein: What have you been doing to prepare for the draft so far?

Adam Morrison: Working out six days a week, non-stop, making sure I'm in shape, tweaking up my game, and staying sharp.

Reporter: Is this fun for you?

Adam Morrison: Yeah, it's fun. It's a whole different world now. I'm starting to get paid to play basketball. It's what I've been dreaming about, so it's obviously fun, sure.

Reporter:Are you tired of talking about diabetes or do you look at it as a platform?

Adam Morrison: I think a little bit. I think I've proven myself last year enough and I don't know why it would be any different at the next level. I'm not going to stop taking care of myself. I'm just making sure I'm doing the right things. I did it last year at a very high level. Everyone's seen how I played, so I don't know why it's different now.

Reporter:I guess the only unknown is because there's more games and it's more rigorous travel.

Adam Morrison: Yeah, you know, but the thing with the travel, I've talked to Dudley [Former NBA player Chris Dudley, also a diabetic], and he said that the travel is easier because you're flying in a nice private jet, getting catered to what you need. Obviously it's more travel, but you know, I'll prepare my body for it.

Reporter:What is the extent of your relationship with Duds?

Adam Morrison: A couple conversations, he’s helped me out when we played in Portland down there, I got to sit down and talk with him for about an hour, hour and a half. It was just good to hear from a guy who’s gone through the whole process.

Joseph Treutlein: If I’m an NBA general manager, why should I pick you in the draft? Sell me on you.

Adam Morrison: I feel like I can score at the next level. I’ve proven that I can play at a high level and I’m a tough player that can come in and make an impact. I’m not a guessing game. You’ve seen my abilities. I feel I have a lot of upside. I can get stronger.

Joseph Treutlein: You mentioned your ability to score. Against the bigger, more athletic defenders in the NBA, how do you think your scoring proficiency will translate?

Adam Morrison: In college I played, with our kind of schedule, the bigger athletic guys and I scored fine. I played every type of guy. So, I mean I think it’s going to be different, but the NBA is a lot more one-on-one type of game, and I think that suits me a lot better.

Joseph Treutlein: We’ve heard that in the Charlotte workout against Rodney Carney, you did very well, do you have anything to say about that?

Adam Morrison: Well, you know I played him against Memphis, and like I was saying, I can play well against athletic guys, and it was a good workout, and that’s why I like going against competition, because I feel I can show that I can play against more athletic guys. If I workout by myself, you’re not going to be able to see that. So that’s why I chose to workout against competition.

Reporter: Is it important to you to be the #1 pick in the draft?

Adam Morrison: No, not really. The biggest thing for me is to get in the right situation that I can be in the right situation and have a chance to play, and be a positive impact on the organization. It’s cool that I have a chance to be the #1 or a top-3 pick, but when it’s all said and done it’s about where you end up, and how you fit in that organization, if you’re a positive part of that organization. But the number doesn’t matter to me. If I’m the 30th pick, if I’m in the first round, I’m happy.

Reporter: Is Portland any more attractive because of its proximity to your school?

Adam Morrison: Yeah, it’d be great to play four hours from home, driving distance every night, to have family and friends from the Northwest. I think the Northwest knows who I am as a person. And they have a great coach, McMillian’s a great coach, he’s proven that over the years. They’re trying to rebuild that organization back to where it was, and from what I’ve heard, back when Clyde [Drexler] and those guys were playing, it was the best basketball city in the NBA. I’d love to play in Portland, it’d be a great experience.

Reporter: Are you very knowledge about their situation, about their team, the roster?

Adam Morrison: Not really. I haven’t really followed the NBA that much until now.

Reporter: I think your moustache has gotten a lot of publicity. When did that come into play?

Adam Morrison: I think the start of that was when one of my old teammates and I were watching an old Bird game, I said if I could grow a moustache I would, and he said I wouldn’t, and then I was finally able to grow one and it just grew from there, it kind of grew into its own entity I think, and kind of had a cult following in Spokane.

Reporter: Have you worked out for Toronto?

Adam Morrison: I’m working out on the 21st.

Reporter: What do you know about that situation, as far as Bryan [Colangelo], the team, and where they are?

Adam Morrison: I know that they obviously have the #1 pick and I don’t know if they’re going to make moves or whatever. I’m just taking it day-by-day. I don’t really look ahead that much.

Reporter: Have you talked to Colangelo or anyone?

Adam Morrison: I haven’t talked to them, they communicate through my agent, but I’m sure I’ll talk to them by the 21st.

Reporter: How many workouts are you going to do?

Adam Morrison: Right now I have four scheduled, but I’m sure I’ll have more. You know if a team wants me back to see me at the end, or some other teams move up, or like I said, I’m open to working out pretty much anywhere. The number doesn’t matter to me, the situation’s the most important thing.

Reporter: Do you still have Portland on Thursday?

Adam Morrison: Yes.

Joseph Treutlein: Of the players you’ve worked out against, who has impressed you the most?

Adam Morrison: Well, I’ve only worked out against Carney, but I’ve played against Rudy [Gay] and Brandon [Roy], and they’re both very good… great players. They’re going to be good NBA players. And they’ve impressed me a lot just by playing against them in the regular season.

Reporter: It’s interesting that you said, when talking about your moustache, that you were watching Larry Bird. Many compare you to him. Do you like him? Is that why you were watching tapes of him?

Adam Morrison: I think he’s one of the greatest players, obviously the greatest player in my mind, of all time. I just like how he played the game, how hard he played. I think he revolutionized the game as far as coming off screens. He was the first guy to use the curl like nobody else could, using his body. He knew how to play the game the right way.

Reporter: Is it safe to say you tried to emulate him?

Adam Morrison: Yeah, I’ve tried to emulate just because I have a similar body type to him. I’m not the most athletic man on this planet, neither was he, and I just try to play how he did.

Reporter: How concerned are you about guarding NBA players?

Adam Morrison: You know what, I’ve played against Devean George for the past three weeks every day in one-on-one, and he’s obviously an established veteran and a champion. I feel I can take the next level up in regards to defense. A lot of it’s using your hands and your length. In college it’s all about “get up in the guy, get up in him.” In the NBA it’s “stay in front of the guy, don’t let him get by you.” I feel like that helps me out. I can use my length better.

Joseph Treutlein: There was a lot of media coverage given to the way you reacted at the end of the UCLA game in the NCAA tournament, how you were very emotional. Do you have anything to say about that?

Adam Morrison: You know, positive, negative. Some people considered it a positive, some a negative. You know, at the time, every guy who lost in the tournament that cared was crying. I just didn’t make it to the locker room, that’s pretty much it. I could’ve been thinking about money and this whole process, because I knew that was my last game. Some people found it offensive, but simply those are people who don’t play sports.

Marcus Williams

Eric Weiss: What do you bring to a team?

Marcus Williams: I think I can get guys the ball and really make plays. I think I can step in and lead a team right away.

Reporter: So, you’re confident you could start next year?

Marcus Williams: Yes, I think so. You’ve got to have that confidence.

Eric Weiss: Did you read our write up from the interview we did a couple of weeks ago?

Marcus Williams: Definitely. Everyone was laughing about it. I really thought it was funny. Good interview though.

Eric Weiss: My favorite part was when you were talking about reading game situations. People have said that it was easy for you playing with a bunch of NBA guys, which never made sense to me because you are going to be playing with NBA guys. But, how you described how it was hard because you had to make all those decisions.

Marcus Williams: Certain situations require certain people [to get the ball to] and I think some people didn’t realize that. I think that’s where my IQ comes in. Where you got to get the ball to people in certain situations, know who to yell at and who not to yell at, so…

Eric Weiss: That’s the balance.

Marcus Williams: You have to know your personnel.

Eric Weiss: But you broke it down so nicely just walking through that thought process. You were saying that you knew Rashad [Anderson] hadn’t touched the ball in 2 or 3 possessions, but there had just been a big play on the defensive end, so Hilton [Armstrong] might need the ball. That kind of stuff really puts you in the mind of a point guard and shows what you have to deal with on a play-by-play basis.

Marcus Williams: You also have the coach on the sidelines calling certain plays in certain situations and four different people on the court saying, “I need the ball, give me the ball.” (laughing)

Eric Weiss: (laughing) Guys clapping for it.

Marcus Williams: And it’s just like “shut up, shut up, I got it. I got it under control.” But, it’s cool.

Eric Weiss: What’s it going to be like going to the pros as opposed to college in terms of coaching? Everyone talks about how different it is coaching wise between the pro game and the college game, a lot of college coaches haven’t had much success coming into the pros. How much control does Coach Calhoun take in game management? What’s his style?

Marcus Williams: He really didn’t want to get into offense. He just wanted to make sure everything got running in terms of primary or secondary options, fast break options. He would say when to pick up full court defense and when to pick the pace of the game up. I think he asked me around 80 percent of the time what I thought that we should be running. I’m out there on the floor and I think he trusted my IQ and the things I saw on the floor. I mean, of course he’s seeing things from the bench, but he’s not on the court to see it. So, he’d ask me about certain plays and then we’d just go from there.

If we had a hot hand in Rudy [Gay], then we’d go to Rudy. If I thought Hilton had a mismatch or a guy had 4 fouls then we’d go to Hilton because he’s aggressive in the post. There are certain things coach sees and certain things I see and we just try to combine them. We see a lot of things together.

Eric Weiss: What kind of prep work do you do for a given opponent, though? We’ve talked about reading situations in a game, talking about a guy having 4 fouls, a guy with the hot hand, etc. What type of advanced preparation do you do? When you know you’ve got a certain match up you’re going against, or know who your other guys are going against, do you do any?

Marcus Williams: I look at some tape. I look at some previous games. I watch games all season, so I keep a short memory. They’ve got to play me too, so I try to make other players adjust to my style of game.

Eric Weiss: But it does help to know the strengths and weaknesses of your opponent.

Marcus Williams: Of course. Coaches give us a big packet before the game of all the players. Like, if we play Villanova we’ll get a whole packet on Randy Foye of about 30 bullet points on things he likes to do, if he likes to go right and shoot or likes to go left and take it all the way to the rim. There are just certain things that we know about certain players.

Eric Weiss: Do you ever watch tape on your own performance and see what you’ve done?

Marcus Williams: Yes. We’ve got a lot of managers who break it down for us and give us all the defensive mistakes we’ve made or all the great defensive plays we’ve made, if we were standing straight up or if we were in proper defensive position. So everyone does a job, from the managers to coach Calhoun. It’s like a family.

Eric Weiss: There’s going to be a lot of that in the NBA. You’re taking it to that professional level. That’s where the big bucks come in because they’re expecting you to put the big time in and they have all the nice facilities, the nice film room and all that stuff. Every opportunity is there to do all the work you need to do. Are you in communication with any current NBA players?

Marcus Williams: I talk to Ben Gordon a lot. I have two guys from LA, Trevor Ariza and Dorell Wright, I know those guys. Emeka [Okafor]. I know Josh Smith a little bit. Caron [Butler] and Rip [Hamilton]. I know those guys.

Eric Weiss: A lot of the UCONN family. What do you guys talk about? Do they help you get ready for anything?

Marcus Williams: They normally don’t come at you with questions, but they’ll say “whatever you need. If you need advice on certain situations just ask.” I ask Rip and Ben a lot of questions. Whether the answer is good or bad, you know they don’t sugar-coat anything.

Eric Weiss: What do you talk about more? Is it more off-court life type of adjustment stuff or is it more getting ready for game-play itself?

Marcus Williams: Well, I mostly ask Ben about how it’s like adjusting to an 82 game season. How’s time management, like “do you go out a lot, or just sit in and rest?” I mean, it’s a long season. Just different questions like that. Whatever random question comes up I’ll just email him right then. How the playoffs are different from the regular season. He’ll say “it’s the playoffs, it’s a lot more intense when you’re trying to win 4 games to advance.” Just random questions off the top of my head like that.

Eric Weiss: It’s nice to be able to hit up some guys and be able to ask them questions like that, huh?

Marcus Williams: It’s great actually. You don’t have to go through it on your own, go straight to the NBA not knowing what to do.

Eric Weiss: Speaking of the 82 game schedule and all that, what are the two biggest questions you get from NBA teams when your going through the draft process?

Marcus Williams: Of course…laptop. It doesn’t bother me, because I know it’s going to come up. They’re investing millions of dollars in you, so of course you’ve got to answer the questions and I just answer straight forward. Another question that comes up is probably that transition from 30 games to 82 games, or if I think I can step in and lead grown men. I mean, they’re not asking me to be the president. They’re just asking me to play basketball and that’s something I’ve been doing all my life.

Eric Weiss: (laughing) Right. In terms of conditioning you did well in the Celtic run, but from wherever it started there have been questions about that.

Marcus Williams: I mean, everyone’s going to say something negative. If I had gotten 50 in the Celtic run there’d still be someone saying “he wasn’t in shape. His body wasn’t this, his body wasn’t that.” But, I think it’s a whole different thing when you get out on the court and show your talents when you play.

Eric Weiss: It seems like you’re in shape, but do you have a target of getting in better shape in terms of maximizing your physical ability?

Marcus Williams: I think my idea is to be around 207 or 208. After that, everything else will fall into place. I think I’ll start being more lean, more cut, all that stuff.

Eric Weiss: Something interesting that I think gets overlooked is the ability to go at it professionally and go at it full time, make your body your business. I think you have more physical potential in terms of speed and explosiveness. I think people tend to overlook that, they see someone as they are right now and project that out forever.

Marcus Williams: I think I’m faster than a lot of people think I am or quicker than a lot of people think I am. A lot of players that I’ve played against say in interviews “I didn’t know he was that fast.” I think that’s my advantage. I think a lot of people think I’m slow so they tend to play lackadaisical on defense.

Eric Weiss: That’s all the better for you. (laughing)

Marcus Williams: (grinning) It’s all a game I think. I’m playing them.

Eric Weiss: You set people up well, and that’s half the game. One of the things I tend to write about is that there is too much emphasis on straight line speed and explosive lift. But, there are so many more facets to athleticism. You’ve got your balance, your coordination…

Marcus Williams: …core strength. All that.

Eric Weiss: …and then adding to that the vision, the ability to read a play in advance instead of reacting to it right when it happens, which is obviously what you do based off what you said about going through all your progressions mentally. What guards do you watch in the league? Not guys you pattern your game after, but guys whose games you like?

Marcus Williams: All the passing point guards. Not to say the scoring guards aren’t good, I mean they’re always fun to watch. I mean, I know Gilbert Arenas--me and him play nothing alike. But, he’s a great player to watch.

I watch a lot of guys like Jason Kidd, Steve Nash. I watch a lot of John Stockton, Magic Johnson of course. Just a lot of the typical point guards I would say.

Eric Weiss: Is that what you’d like to be? You’re clearly going to score and probably a decent amount. But, you’re not trying to lead the league in scoring some day; you’d rather lead the league in assists more?

Marcus Williams: I think I can lead the league in assists. There’s 48 minutes and 24 seconds to the shot clock, so you got to get up shots quick. So, I think when I pass the ball that a shot will go up. I think I can get guys the ball where they don’t have to make plays and they get a wide open look, and playing in the NBA they should make it. I don’t think racking up assists will be too difficult.

Eric Weiss: No doubt. You were saying that you think you’ve got a good chance at starting. If you go to a situation like Boston…

Marcus Williams: I think that would be a good situation. I’ve been in the area for 3 years and I have a well known name there. Going to a situation like that, up and down game. I think that’s what Coach Rivers said he wanted, an up and down game. Paul Pierce, some big men that are progressing in Kendrick Perkins and Al Jefferson. Gerald Green. Delonte West. It’s a good organization.

Eric Weiss: Coming in tough. Talking about the whole mental toughness element; if things work out in a way where you have to come off the bench or you have to wait a little longer than you’d like to, theoretically, are you prepared for that? Can you handle that or are you going to get frustrated?

Marcus Williams: In high school, coming in as a 9th grader there was a 12th grader ahead of me. Probably 9 or 10 games into the season I was starting. Then coming into Connecticut I had a senior ahead of me, so it’s been happening all my life. So, I don’t think it’s a real big problem. I’ll just go out there and practice and when I get my opportunities in games I’ll go out there and show coach what I can do.

Rudy Gay

Mike Schmidt: What do you have to say to your critics that say you can’t carry a team?

Rudy Gay: One thing I’ll tell you is that you know, it’s never going to stop. As long as you prove yourself there’s going to be more expectations for you, so as long as people think I can do better, I’m going to try and prove myself so they can make more expectations for me.

Mike Schmidt: Is there a certain point in the draft where it would disappoint you that you fell that far?

Rudy Gay: Well, obviously I think I can be number one, but lower than 6, maybe [after] top 5, I’ll probably be disappointed in myself more than anything.

Mike Schmidt: Is there a team right now that has given you better feedback than anyone else?

Rudy Gay: You know, every team has basically been saying the same thing. I’ve only been to one workout, and I’m going to a couple more, and hopefully I’ll get a better feel for what I’ll be doing and maybe spending my next three years.

Mike Schmidt: What would you think if the team that drafted you hired coach Calhoun?

Rudy Gay: (laughs) Coach, I think he’s my biggest critic, but then again he’s my biggest fan. It’s good to have that, especially when I was at Connecticut. I worked my hardest for him, just like any other coach.

Reporter: What is it like having 6 of you UCONN guys in the draft?

Rudy Gay: Basically, we try to keep everybody confident and motivated. We all want to see each other do well, and I’m going to do whatever I can to help them. We always talk, wherever we go.

Reporter: Why do you think UCONN is sending so many people to the NBA?

Rudy Gay: I think the thing about UCONN, we had a lot of great players on the team this year. But the thing about it, once we leave, we see each one of our abilities. A lot of guys are limited because of our team’s success- not even success, because of how deep our team was. Some things that maybe you think I couldn’t do, I can do, but didn’t have to do because of my team.

Mike Schmidt: Does it make it harder for you to stand out on a team like that?

Rudy Gay: Well, that’s what the workouts are for, you know. They watch the games, and make their generalizations over that, but after a while when you sit there and watch one player and see what he can do in person it’s a whole different story.

Mike Schmidt: Who do you pattern your game after?

Rudy Gay: Everybody asks me that question, and I never really have a good answer for them.

Mike Schmidt: Do you just play your own game?

Rudy Gay: I kinda play my own game, but I’d like to be a Tracy McGrady type, but I could say Shawn Marion, he’s a great player, he’s an NBA all-star.

Reporter: Is there anybody who has really helped you with this whole process?

Rudy Gay: I’ve talked to Caron Butler, I’ve talked to Kevin Freeman who didn’t get picked up by an NBA team, but he kind of went through the process. Richard Hamilton, those guys, you know, even coach, who didn’t actually go through it himself, but he tells me a lot of things other guys have went through.

Reporter: What’s the best piece of advice you’ve received so far?

Rudy Gay: So far, I think it was ‘Melo. We were working out with him, and I made a play, and I said there’s nothing else I can do, and there was definitely something I could do. He kind of told me, ‘even though you think you’ve done your best, you have to expect more out of yourself’.

Reporter: What kind of feedback did Charlotte give you?

Rudy Gay: I haven’t really talked to them, I’m not really talking to any of them right now, just kind of keeping everything even. You know how things are, on draft day when you feel like you’re going one place, and maybe they don’t pick you up, so to erase that feeling, I just don’t talk to anyone.

Mike Schmidt: How intense have your workouts been in preparation for the draft?

Rudy Gay: Man, I’ve been going for about 6 weeks. For about 2 weeks, it was 3 a days, that was the first few weeks, after that, two a days. A lot of great players came through, a lot of people that my agent represents also, you know, other guys like Juan Dixon, Carmelo, Chris Paul, Justin Gray, Taj Gray, and Terence Dials. The thing about it is, all these guys play different positions, and that helps me, because I hope to be versatile enough to play multiple positions.

Mike Schmidt: Of the guys you’ve worked out against, who’s been the toughest?

Rudy Gay: Oh, ‘Melo of course. He doesn’t really take anything off, but plays like it was an NBA playoff game. I respect him for that because he’s helped me a lot more than he thinks.

Reporter: Who have you worked out for so far?

Rudy Gay: I haven’t worked out with anybody yet, just Charlotte. After the camp, I’m supposed to go to Portland. I think I’m just working out with 4 teams.

Mike Schmidt: What is your ideal 4 person workout?

Rudy Gay: Top 3 of course, I don’t expect anything less out of myself, so I would like to go in the top 3 of the draft.

Mike Schmidt: Who do you think that is at this point?

Rudy Gay: At this point? Personally, at my position- it’s kind of though, because it’s all about positions. I could go against LaMarcus all day, and if he takes me in the post, I take him out on the wing, it’s going to be two different match-ups, maybe a team doesn’t need that. It’s all about what people need, and what positions people are in. Me and Adam are close in position, and Brandon Roy, so in the top 5, I think those two are closest to me.

Reporter: You mention those two guys, both of them had a scoring average that was kind of ridiculous. In a certain way, I feel like a lot of execs think that proves a certain point. Do you feel there is a point about your game that needs to be proved?

Rudy Gay: Yeah, of course. I’ve always thought I had to prove somebody something, it’s been like that since I was maybe 10. The one thing I think the scouts don’t realize is that I was the leading scorer for most of the season on the number 1 team in the nation, which was a pretty balanced team. I feel as though I can score other points, but I wasn’t asked for that. Until I feel as that needs to happen, I think that’s empty. I’ve scored 40 points before, I’ve done that before.

Reporter: What do execs or scouts tell you most about your time at UCONN?

Rudy Gay: They say sometimes I was a little passive, too unselfish and stuff like that. Looking back at tapes I do kind of see myself doing that, but that’s what I’m working out for.

Reporter: What do they like about your time at UCONN?

Rudy Gay: I think the fact I filled the stat sheet, I think that’s one of the things I try to do the most with defense and scoring and steals, rebounds, stuff like that.

Reporter: Do you see yourself as a ’potential’ guy?

Rudy Gay: I think I could be a ’potential’ guy. [My trainer] always tells me the one word you want to get away from your name is potential, because that’s saying you’re not there yet. And that’s what I’m working to get.

Reporter: Does it annoy you that people seem to confuse you fitting in on a team with 6 guys who could potentially play in the league, but maybe trying to relate that to your own character?

Rudy Gay: Yeah, it was a lot of me fitting in, and it was a lot of respect too, because when you think about it, those guys won championships, and they’ve done things like that. With me coming in, and being a new guy, and expecting to do all these things, I did the best I could. I was the leading scorer, but me scoring 30 or 40, and 20 points a game, that would mess us up more than the way it was.

Mike Schmidt: Do you see any parallels in your situation this season and Charlie Villanueva’s last season where many people questioned his motivation going into the draft?

Rudy Gay: Yeah, and I talked to Charlie, and one thing he always says is that you’ve really got to start proving these people wrong. He’s working on that right now. He’s doing it right now, he’s in the league, and he’s proving people wrong, and people didn’t think he should be picked 7th, and all season he had that kind of chip on his shoulder. He kind of told me he really had to play like that, and I think it’s easy playing like that, rather than being on a team where you really don’t have to do so much. I’ve got to perform, and really prove to people that I can do this.

Mike Schmidt: What will you be doing on draft day?

Rudy Gay: Sweating. Most likely sweating.

Reporter: Of the skills you have improved at UCONN, do you think there is one that will influence where you go in the draft?

Rudy Gay: I think ball-handling probably the most, because if I can become a better ball-handler, it changes me from a 3 to a 2, so it changes my position, and also makes me versatile, so I think that’s one thing I’ve been working on the whole season. Also shooting and stuff like that, but I don’t really try and point out one thing in my game, I just try and get better.

Reporter: What’s the thing you try to show the most in workouts?

Rudy Gay: A little bit of versatility, and my wind, being that I can go for days, I feel like I’m in tip-top shape. I can run, I can jump, I can do all these things the whole season.

Reporter: Does it irritate you when people question how hard you play?

Rudy Gay: Yeah, it does irritate me. Sometimes people will say those things, but they don’t see the game where I hit 4 straight and I start beating my chest, and I yell at my teammates ’let’s go’ or something like that. It’s all about situations, I’m not the type of person that just comes out to get everybody fired up, but if you’re hot you gotta do something like that.

Mike Schmidt: Did you feel that you didn’t get enough credit for keeping your team in the game during the second half of the George Mason game in the NCAA Tournament?

Rudy Gay: People seem to forget that because we lost. I really haven’t thought about that, I really haven’t thought about, you know, scoring the most points in that game, I haven’t thought about anything but the loss.

Reporter: How stressful is the week going in to the draft knowing you could go anywhere from 1 to 6 or 7?

Rudy Gay: Man, it’s crazy, it’s crazy that a person they project at 1 can drop all the way to 6. But this is what we all chose to do, this is the life we chose, and I’m not going to fall back on anything, I really can’t right now, I’m happy I’m doing it.

Mike Schmidt: Do you look at it like any team is an ideal situation for you?

Rudy Gay: Yeah, you have to look at it like that, because you don’t choose the team, they choose you. With any team, you have to think about what you can do to help this team, so that’s what I’m doing.

Patrick O'Bryant

Joseph Treutlein: How have you been preparing for the draft so far?

Patrick O'Bryant: Just same thing as everyone else, working out all summer, getting ready.

Joseph Treutlein: Is there any part of your game in particular that you’ve been working on?

Patrick O'Bryant: I’d say a lot of footwork stuff and post moves, that kind of thing.

Joseph Treutlein: Is there any skill you can offer that we perhaps haven’t seen in college?

Patrick O'Bryant: I don’t think so.

Joseph Treutlein: How many teams have you worked out for?

Patrick O'Bryant: I have worked out for four. Well, actually all of them technically.

Joseph Treutlein: For the rest of your workouts, what range of picks are you planning to work out in?

Patrick O'Bryant: Lottery, pretty much.

Joseph Treutlein: So you think you’re a lottery pick?

Patrick O'Bryant: Yeah.

Joseph Treutlein: If I’m a general manager, why should I pick you?

Patrick O'Bryant: Because I’m long, athletic, work hard, good shot-blocker, good rebounder.

Joseph Treutlein: You said that you work hard. Some people have questioned your drive or your motor. How would you respond to that?

Patrick O'Bryant: I mean, why would I be here if I didn’t want to work at it? This is the best league in the world, why would I come here if I didn’t want to work at it?

Joseph Treutlein: Of the players you’ve worked out against, who has impressed you the most?

Patrick O'Bryant: I would say probably Shelden [Williams]. He’s just a big strong guy and really good.

Joseph Treutlein: What was your best workout for a team? Is there any team you think you particularly impressed?

Patrick O'Bryant: I would say New Orleans. They just seemed to have the best feedback.

Joseph Treutlein: Is there any team in the NBA that you think your style of play fits in with well?

Patrick O’Bryant: Not really any in particular, no.

Joseph Treutlein: You don’t think your game is more suited to a half-court or full-court type game for example?

Patrick O’Bryant: I think I could play in either one, really. I could do well either way.

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