Tyler Honeycutt Answering Critics
By: Stephen Litel
Last Updated: 5/25/11 6:56 AM ET
Tyler Honeycutt knows there are initial thoughts about both he and his game. In these last few weeks before the NBA draft, he is doing everything he can to show the NBA world the misconceptions are not reality.
"Just me being lazy, not a hard worker," Honeycutt told HOOPSWORLD. "I've heard a lot of that, which I completely disagree on, so you know I'm trying to work hard and do everything to the max effort."
One of the other criticisms of Honeycutt's game is there are times when it seems as if he is coasting on the court. Instead of succumbing to the criticism, Honeycutt verbalizes why he believes some may have that view, but he also believes it is for the right reasons.
"Sometimes it might be me trying to conserve energy playing the most minutes," said Honeycutt. "I know Coach needs me out there on the floor, so I'm trying to make sure I play as many minutes as I can for him."
A benefit for Honeycutt is having someone he is very familiar with along for the ride. That person, of course is his college backcourt mate Malcolm Lee, which gives Honeycutt a familiarity on the court, allowing him to relax and show what he is able to do with a basketball in his hands. Lee's presence is felt even when he is unable to be on the court with Honeycutt.
"It's very high," said Honeycutt, referring to Lee's NBA potential. "He wasn't able to showcase his talents, but given where we're at right now, he will be. I was watching him a little bit before I got out there and he did a good job."
The only way Honeycutt can prove any doubters wrong is to focus his weaknesses. Show the NBA personnel that you're making a conscious decision to expand on your game and they will be impressed.
"Just staying low, offense and defense," said Honeycutt, referring to his current focus. "Dribbling the ball, staying low on defense, closing out strong and not getting beat off the dribble."
Of course, the delicate balance is working on supposed flaws in your game at the same time as showing off what your greatest strengths are on the court. For Honeycutt, those strengths are evident.
"Just show the athleticism and I've been working this whole time on my shot and getting it down pat," said Honeycutt. "I've got a lot of confidence in it. I'm just trying to show how athletic I am. A lot of people weren't able to see that at UCLA."
His athleticism and versatility may be what makes him stand apart from many of the other shooting guards working towards draft day. Versatility is a very important area the NBA is looking for and Honeycutt is well aware of that fact.
"I was working out with the threes today, so I feel like I can play both," said Honeycutt.
Make no mistake though, Honeycutt has a preference for the position he would like to play a majority of his time in the NBA.
"Probably the two," said Honeycutt.
With his athleticism, his choice for the style of team he would hope to join is obvious, but proving more doubters wrong, Honeycutt is also humble.
"I'd rather prefer an up-tempo game, show my athleticism, but really anywhere," said Honeycutt.
During this most important time in his life, Honeycutt cannot help but think of those who got him to this point. It's been a long road to draft day and there are only weeks left before his NBA dream becomes a reality.