Herb Pope Shot
Practices for the Roundball Classic were different from those for the McDonalds game in that both teams were on the same court, with each team having their own half. This allowed evaluators to get a look at both teams, as opposed to having to run back and forth from court to court at the McDonalds practices. Pick and roll drills were highly emphasized in the Roundball practices, with trainers stressing the fundamentals of running the pick and roll properly. There was also a short scrimmage between the two teams, and below are the top performers that day one had to offer:
O.J. Mayo, 65, PG/SG, Signed with USC
Anthony Randolph, 610, SF/PF, Signed with LSU
DeAndre Jordan, 70, C, Signed with Texas A&M
Evan Turner, 66, PG/SG/SF, Signed with Ohio State
Gani Lawal, 69, PF, Signed with Georgia Tech
Kevin Love, 69, PF/C, Signed with UCLA
Jonny Flynn, 511, PG, Signed with Syracuse
J.J. Hickson, 69, PF, Signed with North Carolina State
Anthony Randolph Interview
DraftExpress: Tell me a little bit about what happened with the McDonalds game? Did you get any explanation as to why you were snubbed, given that virtually everyone has you as a top 15 guy in the country?
Randolph: I dont think I was snubbed. They put the best players in the game. Im just grateful that I was chosen for the Roundball Classic and the Derby Classic, and thats what Im supposed to play in. Everything happens for a reason. I wasnt supposed to be in that game.
DraftExpress: Tell me a little bit about how your high school season went.
Randolph: We did kind of bad. We didnt make the playoffs. I dont think it was issue of talent, but it was an issue of us gelling and stuff.
DraftExpress: With Glen Davis entering the NBA Draft, have the coaches at LSU spoken with you about how your role might have to change a little?
Randolph: Not really. Its the same thing that they talked to me about. They just want me to come in as a basketball player and want me to get better as both a basketball player and a person.
DraftExpress: Now have they told you what position youre going to play next year?
Randolph: No, not really. They just said that Im going to come in and play basketball and theyre going to make me a basketball player. Thats all I can ask for.
DraftExpress: What areas of your game do you feel you need to improve upon the most?
Randolph: My consistency. Sometimes I can hit shots when Im hot, and others its just a little off. Other then that, its just my size and understanding of the game.
DraftExpress: With the AAU camp scene changing and there only being the Nike camp until Reebok recently announced that they were holding their own camp, do you prefer it with only two camps, or with all three major camps?
Randolph: I like it with all three camps because I feel its more competitive. When you have only two camps, youre focusing on a much smaller amount of people and theres not going to be as much focus of helping as many players get better.
DraftExpress: What is the pressure like from the three different shoe companies to play in their respective camps and all-star games?
Randolph: Really there is no pressure. I just play basketball to have fun. Thats what Im going to do.
DraftExpress: So how did you decide which camps and all-star games to play in personally?
Randolph: Well I knew I was going to play in the Adidas game because thats who I was with. I knew if I was selected for the Roundball Classic, I was going to play in this game because there is such a historic atmosphere. So many great players have played in it and it would have been a great honor just to be selected, so I knew I would come play here if I was selected.
DraftExpress: What are your thoughts on the NBAs age limit?
Randolph: Honestly, at first I didnt like it because I was one of the kids who thought I had a chance to go (to the NBA). Now I realize that I have a lot of work to do and its going to get me better by going to college. I will have that college experience. College will allow me to put on weight and it will make me better as a person.
DraftExpress: If there is no age limit, what are you doing? College or the NBA?
Randolph: Now, I would go to college. Before if all of this wouldnt have happened, I would have tried to go (to the NBA).
DraftExpress: Who is your pick for the Ohio State/Florida game?
Randolph: Florida. Theyve got everybody coming back. Thats just experience. Ohio State is pretty good, but I think it would be an upset if Ohio State won.
DraftExpress: When selecting a college, were you looking for a school that would give you the opportunity to be one and done after your freshman year?
Randolph: Not so much be one and done, but if I was ready and everything went right and I was able to go one and done, yes. Mostly just where Id be comfortable and where I could see myself for four years. I looked at each college and told myself can I see myself for four years and get my education, while still having fun?
DeAndre Jordan Interview
DraftExpress: What was going through your mind when all of the rumors of Coach Gillespie were leaving were circulating?
Jordan: I wasnt really too worried about it. I just tried to focus on school and stuff like that. I cant go to school if I dont graduate high school. I wasnt too worried about that, because if youre going to be successful, youre going to be successful anywhere you go. It doesnt matter what school or what coach you played for. I just kept calm while everyone else was panicking a bit. I just kept calm and waited to see what he was going to do. I just kept calm, thats it.
DraftExpress: If Coach Gillespie would have taken the job at Kentucky, or somewhere else, what would you have done?
Jordan: I cant really tell you right now. That didnt happen, so theres nothing to talk about. If he did leave, I probably would have left and went with him. I would have just looked at all my options.
DraftExpress: When selecting a college, were you looking to go to a school where you would have the opportunity to be one and done?
Jordan: I wanted to go to a school that had a good coach. I didnt care about the location, but I had to like the style of play. I wanted a lot of up and down play, a team that got the ball into the post a lot. A school who focused a lot on defense. I wanted to go to a school where I could not make a name for the school, not one necessarily already has a name for itself and I would be in the line of top recruits. I wanted to go somewhere where I could make a name for myself, and the school.
DraftExpress: What are your thoughts on the NBAs age rule
Jordan: They made the rule, so I guess they think its the right thing. I just feel that if a player is physically ready to go to the league, they should have the opportunity to do so.
DraftExpress: What areas of your game do you think you need to work on the most before you hit Texas A&M, and then possibly the NBA?
Jordan: My perimeter shot. My 15-17 footer. Then just my perimeter defense. If a team comes out with a guy whose 66 and I have to guard a guy who is 66...a wing .then I have to work on my perimeter defense.
DraftExpress: What is the pressure like from the three major shoe companies to play in their respective camps and their respective all-star games?
Jordan: Theres no pressure. Im just loyal to the people who have been loyal to me. Whether its Reebok, Adidas, or Nike, I was just going to be loyal to the people who were loyal to me.
DraftExpress: Did they give you any explanation as to why you didnt make the McDonalds game?
Jordan: No, there was no explanation. I just wasnt selected. Everything happens for a reason. I just have to come here and go hard. I cant come here and think about how I didnt make the McDonalds game. I mean, this isnt the rookie game. Half of these guys played in the McDonalds game, so I have to play this game as if it were any other all star game.
DraftExpress: I mean, youre a top 10 player in the country on every recruiting service. How does a top 10 player not get picked for the McDonalds game?
Jordan: (laughs) I dont know. I have no idea. Im pretty sure there was a reason, but I dont know what it was off of the top of my head. I cant dwell on that though. I just have to focus on Roundball.
DraftExpress: Ohio State or Florida?
Jordan: Florida is mature. Theyve been in this situation last year. I think maturity is going to get the best. Ohio State is a good team, but I think maturity is going to get the best of them.