Monday, June 27, 2011

What were Honeycutt and Lee thinking?

What were Honeycutt and Lee thinking?

posted by Adam Maya, staff writer
Orange County Register, UCLA Blog
June 24th, 2011, 11:00 am

Tyler Honeycutt and Malcolm Lee had no guarantees upon leaving UCLA early. They have none entering the NBA, not even so much as a contract after falling to the second round Thursday night.

The underlying question is, Why?

Why run to a league that is all but certain to have a lockout? Why enter a draft in which most experts have pegged you to go in the second round? Why leave the most storied program in the sport and spurn the advice of your coach when you might contend for a national title if you return?

What sounds like a complicated set of questions has a simple answer: above everything else, they believe in themselves.

Like many of their peers, this has been Honeycutt’s and Lee’s mindset throughout their basketball lives, and it’s what has gotten them this far.

“There were no teams giving any promises,” said Honeycutt, who went No. 35 overall to the Sacramento Kings. “I heard from 12-30, my range was so wide (before turning pro). There was no telling where I could go.

“I’m going to go out there to try to show a lot of teams they made a mistake today. But I’m not doing it for them, I’m doing it for me. I’ve been doubted a lot in my career, told what I can and can’t do. I have great confidence in my ability and what I can do.”

This is the way he thinks, the way players think.

When asked why he thought he slipped out of the first round despite initial projections to land there, Honeycutt made what might prove to be a salient point should he ultimately prosper in the NBA.

“A lot of it I think is my body and wondering if I could play at the next level at my weight,” the 6-8, 187-pound Honeycutt said. “There are a lot of things you can’t see and weight is something you can see.”

Honeycutt then offered his own take on that: “I think I’m the most athletic player in this draft.”

Lee’s confidence after being selected by Chicago at No. 43 and then traded to Minnesota was just as resolute. He even believes he’s going to make it as a point guard, despite most analysts pegging him as a 2-guard.

“I’m real confident,” Lee said. “I’m just going to go in there and compete. I know they’re loaded with point guards but I just feel like I can also play the point. I want to show them I can play the point.”

It was interesting to hear Lee and Honeycutt each categorize their situation as a “blessing in disguise.” It’s exactly the sort of thing people say after making what everybody else would consider a bad decision.

“I’m not a regretful man,” Lee said. “I look at it as a perfect situation. I’d do it again. It’s been my dream ever since I was little. They could have said I was going to go 60.”

It’s that type of conviction that now has both Lee and Honeycutt in the NBA, ready or not.

Is Georgia’s No. 1 prospect headed to the West Coast? Tube

Is Georgia’s No. 1 prospect headed to the West Coast?

10:30 am June 24, 2011, by Michael Carvell

Some people think Georgia’s No. 1 college basketball prospect is already starting to pack his bags for UCLA.

Shaq Goodwin, the 6-foot-8 power forward from Southwest DeKalb High School, said that’s not the case. He’s heard the rumors, about how he will follow his AAU basketball coach to UCLA, and he said they are untrue because he’s undecided. However, Goodwin confirms that UCLA is one of his leaders, along with UGA, Memphis, Florida and Alabama.

“I havent’ decided anything,” Goodwin told the AJC.

Goodwin got a “shout out” when his AAU teammate with the Atlanta Celtics, Jordan Adams, committed to UCLA earlier this week.

“I want Shaq Goodwin to come with me [to UCLA],” said Adams, the former Central Gwinnett shooting guard who transferred to Oak Hill (Va.) prep school last year.

Goodwin heard the words loud and clear. He attended the announcement of his longtime summer club buddy. “That was cool; I expected it [Adams to commit to UCLA]. He had some good reasons for going to UCLA. We’ll see what happens with me.”

Discussion of the Georgia-to-UCLA recruiting pipeline started after the Bruins hired Korey McCray as an assistant coach a few weeks ago. McCray was the CEO of the Altanta Celtics, and Adams cited McCray’s hiring as a major factor in his decision. Goodwin admits it gives UCLA an advantage, too.

“It will be a little bit of a factor he’s the reason I got most of my looks from the colleges,” Goodwin said. “But I don’t think it would be the only reason for me to go there, if I picked UCLA.”

Goodwin said he will try to take two unofficial visits over the summer — to UCLA and Memphis.


Shaq Goodwin on recruiting and his name

Posted on June 22, 2011 by Jody Demling

One name that had been connected with Kentucky in recruiting was Shaq Goodwin, a 6-foot-8, 235-pound forward from Decatur, Ga.

Goodwin said he has “everybody calling” him from colleges “except UConn, Duke, North Carolina and Syracuse and I’m waiting on Syracuse.”

Goodwin played at the NBA Players Association top 100 Camp and said he hasn’t heard form Kentucky in a while but noted he was “still wide open.”

“I talk to a lot of other players at my position to see who has offered,” he said. “Kentucky has offered a couple of guys at my position, so I don’t know.

“The recruiting process is just crazy for me.”

Goodwin was asked how he got the name “Shaq” and he started laughing and said he had to tell the story about how him mom named him.

“When I was born my mom told me 21 inches or longer my middle name would be Shaquille,” he said. “If I was shorter than 21 inches then I was going to have my dad’s middle name – Stephania. That would have been pretty weird.

“I’m glad I got 21 inches.”

For more on Shaq Goodwin, see earlier post.

The men's basketball team will have new talent on the courts to regain its reputation and fill in the gaps with the Wear twins and Tyler Lamb

Joshua to Reeves: "CAN YOU HEAR ME NOW?!?"

The men's basketball team will have new talent on the courts to regain its reputation and fill in the gaps with the Wear twins and Tyler Lamb

Daily Bruin
Published June 26, 2011, 11:51 pm in Men's Basketball, Sports

It has been well documented that UCLA’s basketball program is known for being one of the elite powers in the nation, and this season will be a building block proving that the Bruins will return to the upper echelon of college basketball in the near future.


Men’s basketball season preview

Key incomer:

De’End Parker, junior small forward
The versatile Parker should come in and play big minutes from the get-go. He will also see time as a point guard or shooting guard.

Key returners:

Reeves Nelson, #22, junior power forward
As the Bruins’ leading scorer and rebounder last season, Nelson will take the reigns as the team’s leader this season.

Joshua Smith, #34, sophomore center
The big-bodied Smith is a mastermind in the low post. If he can stay out of foul trouble this season, he could be the key to a UCLA run in the NCAA Tournament.


UCLA lost two starters and All Pac-10 first teamers in shooting guard Malcolm Lee and small forward Tyler Honeycutt, both of whom were selected in the second round of the NBA Draft.

The backcourt will not be quite as strong as last season with the losses of Lee and Honeycutt. Senior point guards Lazeric Jones and Jerime Anderson will split time at the point while rising sophomore Tyler Lamb will fill in for Lee as the starting shooting guard next season.

Shooting guard Norman Powell is the Bruin’s lone incoming freshman, and he will be a crucial part of the UCLA backcourt next season thanks to his athleticism and defensive prowess.

Junior college transfer De’End Parker will also be a major player for the Bruins next season, as he has the ability to play anywhere from point guard to small forward. He is expected to step in and start in place of Honeycutt.

Undoubtedly, the Bruins’ strength will be their frontcourt. Former McDonalds All-Americans Travis and David Wear will be eligible to play after sitting out a year following their transfer from North Carolina and they should be major contributors from day one.

UCLA basketball also returns its starting frontcourt in rising junior power forward Reeves Nelson, who led the team in scoring and rebounding last season and also named in the All Pac-10 first team, and rising sophomore center Joshua Smith, who has the potential to be one of the most dominant post players in the nation.

Rising redshirt sophomore center Anthony Stover will act as a firm defensive presence, while spelling Smith and rising junior forward Brendan Lane will be a versatile frontcourt player.

While the Bruins are not anticipated to be contenders for the national title, UCLA should be one of the frontrunners to win the first Pac-12 title while also making some noise at the NCAA Tournament in March.

Daily Bruin on Honeycutt and Lee

NBA draft: Tyler Honeycutt and Malcolm Lee both second-round picks

Daily Bruin
Published June 23, 2011 in Sports: Bruin Sights
Updated:June 23, 2011, 9:27 PM

UCLA coach Ben Howland is fine with his players leaving early for the NBA, so long as they’re projected to go in the first round of the draft, where the team commitment is stronger and the money is guaranteed.

Tyler Honeycutt and Malcolm Lee added their names to a long list of Bruins to leave UCLA early, but on Thursday at the 2011 NBA draft in Newark, N.J., neither could find the landing spot in the first round many of their predecessors did.

Honeycutt was the first Bruin to be selected, going with the fifth pick in the second round, No. 35 overall, to the Sacramento Kings. Lee followed shortly after, going No. 43 to the Chicago Bulls, who are reportedly sending Lee’s draft rights to the Minnesota Timberwolves.

Honeycutt averaged 12.8 points and 7.2 rebounds per game as a sophomore last year. The 6-foot-8-inch forward also led the Pac-10 in blocks (68) and garnered all-Pac-10 first-team honors. Lee was the Bruins’ second-leading scorer as a junior (13.1 points per game) but made his name with his tough perimeter defense. Howland hailed him as one of the best defenders in the country, and Lee landed on the Pac-10’s all-defensive team.

More to come, with reactions from Honeycutt and Lee, later tonight on


NBA draft second round: Tyler Honeycutt selected by the Sacramento Kings at No. 35 and Malcolm Lee selected by the Minnesota Timberwolves at No. 43

Daily Bruin
Published June 24, 2011, 1:55 am in Men's Basketball, Sports

While Tyler Honeycutt settled into his seat at the Prudential Center in Newark, N.J. Thursday evening for the 2011 NBA draft, Malcolm Lee was at a movie theater across the country, choosing to keep his draft day draft-free.

And while Honeycutt was there to hear his name called, Lee stayed in Southern California and heard of his selection through a friend but not until he had finished watching “Super 8.”

The two Bruins who left UCLA early for the pros had vastly different experiences taking in the draft, but by Thursday night, both had found landing spots as second-round selections. Honeycutt was selected by the Sacramento Kings with the 35th overall pick, while the Minnesota Timberwolves acquired the rights to Lee – taken just eight selections later – during the draft.

Neither player achieved his goal of going in the first round, but neither had regrets about leaving UCLA early.

“I entered this draft not based on where I was going to go,” Lee said. “I’m just trying to get in the league because it’s been my dream ever since I was little.”

First-rounders are guaranteed five-year contracts according to the NBA’s rookie wage scale, while second-round picks are not. Honeycutt and Lee hoped to join former Bruins Jordan Farmar (No. 26 in 2006), Arron Afflalo (No. 27 in 2007), Russell Westbrook (No. 4 in 2008), Kevin Love (No. 5 in 2008) and Jrue Holiday (No. 17 in 2009) as early entry first-round selections but failed to do so.

Getting picked in the second round is far from an NBA death sentence, however. The pair find themselves in a situation similar to that of Luc Richard Mbah a Moute, who passed up his senior season at UCLA and was selected with the 37th pick in 2008. Mbah a Moute has become a starter for the Milwaukee Bucks and one of the best defensive small forwards in the league.

“It might be a blessing in disguise for me,” Honeycutt said of his selection.

When he declared for the draft in late March, projections had Honeycutt as a mid-first round pick. By Thursday, he knew there “wasn’t really any telling of where I could go.”

Despite the late selection, Honeycutt was pleased where he ended up. Sacramento – which selected Brigham Young standout Jimmer Fredette with its first-round pick – had a need for a small forward, and for Honeycutt, being just a short plane ride away from his hometown of Sylmar doesn’t hurt either.

“The only thing better could have been the Clippers or the Lakers,” said Honeycutt, who averaged 12.8 points and 7.2 rebounds per game as a sophomore last year while leading the Pac-10 in blocks.
The 6-foot-8-inch, 200-pound Honeycutt knows that most of the concerns about him revolve around his slender build, which could have caused him to slip out of the first round. He won’t get the benefit of the rookie summer league in Las Vegas, which was cancelled this year as an NBA work stoppage looms, but he is focused on packing on some bulk.

“Now I’m going to have a lot of time – especially with no summer league – to make sure I’m eating right and take care of my body and make sure I’m doing what I need to do to gain weight,” he said.

Six players from the Pac-10’s 2011 all-conference first team were selected: Arizona’s Derrick Williams (No. 2, Minnesota), Washington State’s Klay Thompson (No. 11, Golden State), USC’s Nikola Vucevic (No. 16, Philadelphia), Washington’s Isaiah Thomas (No. 60, Sacramento), Honeycutt and Lee.

Lee, who made his name as a tough perimeter defender, said he’s looking to play point guard for Minnesota. He saw time at the position in the 2009-2010 season with UCLA but was used almost exclusively as a shooting guard in his junior year. Lee joins a team that has two other point guards under contract, including Spain’s Ricky Rubio, who signed with the Timberwolves on Friday.

“I’m a (point guard), but I can play off the ball. If I end up playing off the ball, it is what it is, but I just wanted to show people I can play the point,” said Lee, a Pac-10 all-defensive team selection in 2011.

Lee was faced with the challenge of guarding the opposing team’s best player every night in college, but even he couldn’t come face a television when it came time to move on to the pros.

“The whole feeling of suspense, just watching, hearing the names called – I just felt like my nerves would be better if I didn’t watch it.”


The low draft picks of Tyler Honeycutt and Malcolm Lee result in extra effort to make their decision of going professional worthwhile

Daily Bruin
Published June 27, 2011, 1:27 am in Opinion Columns, Sports

The 2011 NBA Draft is over, which means two things: We don’t need to hear ESPN analyst Jay Bilas rave about a prospect’s “rejumpability” for at least another year, and people will finally get to see whether former Bruins Tyler Honeycutt and Malcolm Lee made the right decision by forgoing their final years in Westwood to make the leap to the pros.

But whether their decision was the right one or not, there’s nothing anyone can do about it now. Both their names were called on Thursday night in New Jersey.

However, it was deputy commissioner Adam Silver who announced their respective new teams, not actual commissioner David Stern, which meant that both Bruins slipped into the second round despite hopes to the contrary.

Honeycutt was taken 35th overall by the lowly Sacramento Kings. Lee was drafted with the 43rd pick by the Chicago Bulls, who then traded him to the even lowlier Minnesota Timberwolves as part of a preconceived deal.

There are perks that come with being on two teams that won a combined 41 games in 2010-2011 and occupied the bottom two slots in the Western Conference at season’s end.

There’s a few reasons why the teams were terrible, but one stands out: a lack of quality players.

Make no mistake about it – both Lee and Honeycutt will make their new teams’ NBA rosters coming out of training camp (assuming the season isn’t obliterated by a lockout). It’s not like either of them is Chukw…


That guy the Lakers took with the 56th pick who somehow averaged less than one point per game in the D-League last year.

Having said that, however, it remains to be seen just how much playing time either of them will receive, both this year and going forward.

Honeycutt finds himself in an awkward situation as a small forward with the Kings – Sacramento already has Omri Casspi, Donte Greene and Francisco Garcia on the wings, and traded for John Salmons on draft day.

Unless he improves his strength significantly and becomes a more consistent offensive presence, I think Honeycutt could end up lost in the shuffle. He’s 6-foot-8-inch, but weighs only 200 pounds after a few dozen tacos and reportedly couldn’t bench 185 pounds even one time at a pre-draft workout.

You’re telling me he’s supposed to guard LeBron when the Heat come to town?

Lee’s situation is a bit more favorable, since the T-Wolves are thin on talent at … well, everywhere, but especially guard. Lee should contribute right away simply because of his defensive prowess – this is the same guy who held lottery picks Jimmer Fredette and Klay Thompson to two-of-eight and six-of-17 shooting, respectively, within two weeks of each other last season.

In short, don’t expect to hear the names of either of these former Bruins blaring through the P.A. system in any NBA arena too often this year.

However, look for them to contribute in any way they possibly can. On such bad teams, opportunities to prove themselves will come along far more often than they would on teams with deeper benches.

If you have any idea how to spell the 56th pick’s name, email Khayat at

A couple of "no regrets" stories

Tyler Honeycutt, Malcolm Lee express no regrets after slipping to second round of NBA draft

Ben Bolch | Los Angeles Times | June 23, 2011 | 10:42pm

For two players who were selected in the second round of the NBA draft Thursday, UCLA's Tyler Honeycutt and Malcolm Lee seemed almost defiant about their decisions to leave college early.

"I think I'm the most athletic player in this draft," Honeycutt, a small forward who was selected 35th overall by the Sacramento Kings, said during a teleconference with reporters, pointing out his 41-inch vertical leap during predraft workouts.

Said Lee, a shooting guard who was picked No. 43 by the Chicago Bulls only to be immediately traded to the Minnesota Timberwolves: "I look at it as a perfect situation."

It's certainly not as ideal as it would have been had they been taken in the first round.

By falling into the second round, neither player is guaranteed a contract, meaning their ability to make a season-opening roster is somewhat tenuous. Their situations are made all the more precarious by the looming lockout that is expected to wipe out the NBA's summer leagues, a proving ground for young players.

Honeycutt, who left the Bruins after a sophomore season in which he scored more than 20 points in only one game, dropped precipitously from some projections that had him as a borderline lottery pick a few months ago.

"I'm going to go there and try and show a lot of teams they made a mistake," he said.

Lee, who departed after a junior season in which he established himself as a lockdown defender but was a streaky scorer, had long been projected as a second-round pick. He had hoped his decision to withdraw from school and focus on the draft would help him move up in predraft workouts.

"I feel like I competed hard, played defense and showed people I have the ability to play point guard and score," said Lee, who twice worked out for the Timberwolves. "I feel like I played real well."

Neither player expressed concern about making an NBA roster.

"I'm real confident," Lee said. "That's the competitor I am. I'm going to go in there and compete and show them I can help this team better themselves."

Honeycutt, who is 6 feet 8 and 200 pounds, acknowledged that his strength might have contributed to his draft slide. He reportedly could not bench press 185 pounds during one workout.

"A lot of it I think is my body and people wondering if I can play at the next level at my weight," he said. "... It's something I want to improve on, need to improve on and will improve on."

Honeycutt also said being drafted so late would "make me work harder in a way. I've been doubted a lot in my career and told what I can and can't do. I've been told I couldn't make it to a Division I school. Now I'm in the NBA and I'm going to keep working hard."

While Honeycutt traveled to New Jersey for the draft, Lee remained in Southern California and didn't even watch the proceedings on television. Instead, he went to see the film "Super 8," in which a train derails.

"It was just nerves and just the whole suspense of watching, people getting their names called and stuff like that," Lee said.

Lee said he was excited to become a teammate of former Bruins star Kevin Love and didn't think the Timberwolves' logjam at point guard would necessarily preclude him from playing the position at the next level.

Both Honeycutt and Lee said they had no regrets about their decisions, insisting they would declare for the draft again even if someone told them beforehand they would be taken in the second round.

"Once the season ended and I knew this is what I wanted to do, I made sure there weren't any regrets," Honeycutt said. "I don't regret it at all."

Said Lee: "Getting in the league is my dream since I was little. If they said I would go 60, I would go."


NBA draft: UCLA’s Honeycutt, Lee are regret free

posted by Adam Maya, staff writer
Orange County Register, UCLA Blog
June 23rd, 2011, 9:45 pm

Neither Tyler Honeycutt nor Malcolm Lee was betting they’d be a lottery pick when they left UCLA early for the NBA this past spring. They just hoped they would be first-round picks.

They lost that gamble Thursday night, as Honeycutt fell to the Sacramento Kings in the second round with the 35th overall pick, and Lee went No. 43 to the Chicago Bulls, who then traded Lee to the Minnesota Timberwolves.

Lee had made a trade of his own earlier Thursday, opting to go to the movies to see “Super 8” rather than watch the draft on TV.

“A lot of mixed feelings,” Lee said. “I definitely thought I was going to squeeze in there (in the first round). I just got to work from here. I got one foot in the door.”

Lee might be alluding to the fact second-round picks are not offered guaranteed contracts. The 6-5, 198-pound guard, widely considered one of the best defenders in college basketball last season, said his current situation does not have him regretting his decision to leave UCLA after his junior year.

“I’d do it again,” Lee said. “It’s been my dream ever since I was little. They could have said I was going to go 60.”

Honeycutt echoed Lee’s sentiments, believing he would go in the first round but not questioning his choice to come out early.

“It was a little frustrating and the nerves set in,” Honeycutt said of the draft experience, which he took in first hand in New Jersey. “I expected to go earlier. I’m going to make the best of my situation. I don’t have any regrets. Once this season ended, I knew this is what I wanted to do.”

“I think I’m the most athletic player in this draft,” the 6-8, 187-pound Honeycutt added. “I have great confidence in my ability. I’ve been doubted a lot in my career.”

The UCLA duo became the 11th and 12th players drafted during the Ben Howland era at UCLA.

After seeing "Super 8," Malcolm Lee goes to the Bulls in 2nd Round #43 overall but end up with kluv and Ricky Rubio in Minnesota.

Malcolm Lee drafted by Bulls, traded to Minnesota

By Peter Yoon
June, 23, 2011
10:44 PM PT

Malcolm Lee went on a 16-city tour over 40 days in preparing for the NBA draft, and his travels continued even during Thursday night's draft.

The Chicago Bulls selected Lee with the 13th pick in the second round (No. 43 overall) and then immediately traded him to the Minnesota Timberwolves as part of a draft-day deal.

"I feel good," Lee said in a conference call with reporters after he was drafted. "I just have to work from here. I got one foot in the door and I just have to keep it going."

The middle of the second round is pretty much where most experts had Lee pegged to go. A 6-foot-6 combo guard, Lee is a staunch defender who shut down many of the country's top scorers last season while at UCLA. He has some offensive deficiencies but has nice quickness and good size for a guard.

"I thought I was going to squeeze into the first [round], but it is what it is," Lee said. "You can’t dwell on it, you just have to keep moving on."

Lee said he was too nervous to watch the draft, so he instead went to an afternoon showing of the movie "Super 8." By the time he got out, the first round was almost over, but he still stayed away from televisions.

"I felt like my nerves would be better if I didn't watch it," he said.

Lee visited Minnesota twice during his month-long journey across the country to showcase his skills for NBA teams. When he got a call back from the Timberwolves, he said he figured something might be up.

"I kind of knew they were interested," he said. "But I didn't know if they were going to pick me."

It turns out they didn't actually pick him, but the trade with the Bulls had already happened, meaning the Bulls basically picked Lee on behalf of the Timberwolves. In the deal, the Timberwolves sent Nikola Mirotic to Chicago for Lee and Norris Cole. Minnesota then traded Cole to the Miami Heat.

"I look at it as a perfect situation," Lee said of landing in Minnesota, where he will have the chance to play alongside former Bruin Kevin Love.

Second-round picks are not given guaranteed contracts, so Lee still has some work to do if he wants to stay in the NBA. Even so, he said he has no regrets about leaving UCLA after his junior season instead of coming back and trying to improve his draft position.

"I entered this draft not based on where I was going to go, but just trying to get in the league because that was my dream," Lee said. "I felt like it was the right time. If someone told me I would go 43, I would still do it."

And, he said, he's confident he can make the Timberwolves glad they selected him.

"The competitor I am, I just feel like I’m going to go in there and compete and show them that I can help this team out to better themselves," he said.

Lee is the 109th UCLA player drafted by an NBA team, the most of any school. North Carolina and Kentucky are tied for second with 101. The last UCLA player selected with the 43rd pick was Trevor Ariza by the New York Knicks in 2004. Ariza was the first player drafted in the Ben Howland era.


NBA draft: Bulls select Malcolm Lee in 2nd round

posted by Adam Maya, staff writer, UCLA Blog
Orange County Register
June 23rd, 2011, 8:13 pm

The Bruins are off the board. The Chicago Bulls selected Malcolm Lee in the second round with the 43rd overall pick.

Lee, like Tyler Honeycutt, left UCLA early in hopes of going in the first round. Instead he joins the team with the top regular-season record in the NBA last year.

ESPN analyst Jay Bilas called Lee, who left UCLA after his junior year, a streaky shooter who can defend anywhere on the court. The 6-5, 198-pound Lee was unsuccessful in brief stints as a point guard at UCLA and is a virtual lock to play 2-guard in the NBA.

“His primary value is as a defender,” Bilas said.

Lee is the 12th NBA draft pick for UCLA during the Ben Howland era.

“I’m really excited for Malcolm Lee,” Howland said. “He did a great job in his workouts for the NBA teams. He has worked very hard and has a great career and future ahead of him.”

As a junior, Lee started in 33 of 34 games at shooting guard while helping the Bruins compile a record of 23-11 and a runner-up finish in the Pac-10 Conference (13-5) in 2010-11. As a first team All-Pac-10 performer in 2010-11, Lee was second on the team in scoring (13.1 ppg, ranked 14th in the Pac-10) and was selected to the Pac-10 All-Defensive Team.

Honeycutt taken 2nd Round #35 overall by Sacramento, vows revenge to the haters

Tyler Honeycutt slips out of first round

By Blair Angulo
June, 23, 2011
7:54 PM PT

Well, that didn't unfold how Tyler Honeycutt had originally planned.

There was no hesitation in Honeycutt's voice when he declared for the NBA draft in March, 10 days after UCLA was bounced from the NCAA tournament. He confidently backed his decision, saying simply: "I think it's in my best interest to enter the draft."

Honeycutt, by all accounts, believed he had a shot to crack the lottery portion of the draft (the first 14 picks). He left school despite the looming threat of an NBA lockout, despite some glaring holes in his game, perhaps driven by the thought that his stock was higher than it ever would be.

The Sylmar native couldn't have imagined he'd slip out of the first round, but that's exactly what happened Thursday as Honeycutt fell to the Sacramento Kings at 35th overall, the fifth pick in the second round.

He was in attendance at the Prudential Center in Newark, N.J., and appeared to breathe a sigh of relief when his name was called. As recently as this week, Honeycutt was ranked No. 26 overall by's Chad Ford.

Honeycutt turned out to be the fourth Pac-10 player taken, after Arizona's Derrick Williams (second overall, Minnesota Timberwolves), Washington State's Klay Thompson (11th overall, Golden State Warriors) and USC's Nikola Vucevic (16th overall, Philadelphia 76ers).

Heading into Thursday, UCLA was tied with Kentucky and Ohio State for the most first-round selections in the last five years with six each. Of those three programs, only Kentucky had a player taken in the first -- guard Brandon Knight went eighth overall to the Detroit Pistons.


VIDEO: Honeycutt discusses his NBA draft experience
June, 23, 2011
11:57 PM PT's Arash Markazi catches up with Tyler Honeycutt after the former Bruin was taken by the Sacramento Kings in the second round of the NBA draft with the No. 35 overall pick.


Honeycutt remains confident after slipping

By Peter Yoon
June, 24, 2011
12:11 AM PT

Tyler Honeycutt had pretty high hopes for the NBA draft, so high, in fact, that he was in attendance at the Prudential Center in Newark, N.J., expecting to hear his name called during the first round.

But as the picks went on and the first round turned to the second, Honeycutt sat in the audience without a hat to put on until the Sacramento Kings took him with the fifth pick in the second round (35th overall).

"A little frustrating, a little nervousness when the first went into the second," Honeycutt said in a conference call with reporters after the draft. "I expected to go a little earlier, but it is what it is and I’m going to try and make the best of my situation."

Honeycutt left UCLA after his sophomore season and most mock drafts had him going late in the first round. Some had him as high as the top 15, so it was somewhat of a surprise that he slipped to the early part of the second round. Honeycutt said his body type -- he's 6 feet 8 but only 188 pounds --might have scared off some teams.

"A lot of it I think is just my body and people wondering if I can play at the next level because of my weight," he said. "You can teach certain things and weight is one of those things you can teach. That is something I want to improve on, need to improve on and will improve on."

He said he plans to hit the weight room hard, something he acknowledged he didn't do much of during his two seasons at UCLA, and said he was confident in his ability to succeed at the NBA level.

"I'm going to go out there to try to show a lot of teams they made a mistake today," he said.

He cited Wesley Matthews as an example of someone who had done exactly that. Matthews was undrafted in 2009, but became a starter on the Utah Jazz that season and last season signed a five-year, $34-million free agent deal with the Portland Trail Blazers.

"He did what he had to do to make sure his second contract was big and he’s making more money than Blake Griffin now," Honeycutt said.

Honeycutt, an athletic small forward, is a top-flight set shooter with good court vision, but lacks on-ball defensive prowess and has extended periods when he checks out mentally. He said getting picked in the second round will serve as motivation to correct his weaknesses.

"It’s not going to slow me down or discourage me at all," he said. "It’s going to make me work harder. I’ve been doubted a lot in my career about what I can and can’t do."

As a second-round selection, Honeycutt will have to work harder to earn his way onto the team and with a potential lockout looming, he might not have too much time in front of the decision makers to prove himself. Still, Honeycutt is confident he already has made a good impression.

"They’ve seen me work out and I can only show them more of my athleticism," he said. "I think I’m the most athletic player in this draft."

Even after he fell to the 35th pick?

"Certain teams are looking for certain things and a lot of it plays into politics," he said. "But I left that to guys who were going to make that decision tonight and it played out very well for me."


NBA draft: Kings select Honeycutt in 2nd round

posted by Adam Maya, staff writer
Orange County Register, UCLA Blog
June 23rd, 2011, 7:40 pm

Maybe NBA Commissioner David Stern could have brought a smile to Tyler Honeycutt‘s face. The UCLA swingman attended the NBA Draft on Thursday in New Jersey, where he sat and listened with a straight face upon Deputy Commissioner Adam Silver announcement that he had been selected in the second round.

Honeycutt, who left UCLA after his sophomore year, was taken by the Sacramento Kings with the 35th pick overall.

Upon declaring for the the draft in March, Honeycutt talked about this being a weak draft and expecting to go in the first round.

ESPN analyst Jay Bilas praised 6-8, 187-pound Honeycutt’s athleticism, noting he is a good passer and sees the floor well but needs to get stronger and improve his ball-handling.

Honeycutt is the 11th NBA draft pick for UCLA during the Ben Howland era.

“I’m elated for Tyler Honeycutt,” Howland said. “He’ll be a long-time pro in the NBA. He is going to continue to improve each and every year he plays the game.”

As a sophomore, Honeycutt started in 33 of 34 games at small forward while helping the Bruins compile a record of 23-11 and a runner-up finish in the Pac-10 Conference (13-5) in 2010-11. As a first team All-Pac-10 performer in 2010-11, Honeycutt was third on the team in scoring (12.8 ppg, ranked 15th in the Pac-10) and was second in rebounding (7.2 rpg, ranked 7th in the league). He led the team and the Pac-10 in blocked shots at 2.1 bpg (68 blocks), which ranks third on the UCLA single season charts.

Thursday, June 23, 2011 has Honeycutt Rd 1 #25 to Celtics and Lee Rd 2 #38 to Rockets

This Mock was last updated on Thu Jun 23rd at 01:18:09 AM

Click on tables to enlarge

Round 1

Round 2

To check out's interactive draft table, click here.

To check out's mock draft (which has Honeycutt to the Spurs Rd 1 #29 and Lee to the Clippers Rd 2 #37), click here.

Draft Central at (link)

June 23, 2011 7 pm ET on ESPN and ESPN3

Good luck, Tyler and Malcolm!

A collective scouting report on 40 prospects in upcoming NBA draft

Thanks to ipsedixit for posting this article on Bruin Zone

A collective scouting report on 40 prospects in upcoming NBA draft

By Seth Davis, Hoop Thoughts
Posted: Wednesday June 22, 2011 12:33PM ; Updated: Wednesday June 22, 2011 2:45PM

Finch is tired. Real, real tired.

In the last year he has traveled thousands of miles. He slept in more than a hundred hotels. In the last two months alone he has pored over video for scores of hours, watched dozens of workouts and sat through countless meetings while his co-workers shared opinions and plotted strategy.

So yeah, Finch is tired. But he's ready for his big night.

That night is Thursday, when the NBA holds its annual draft at the Prudential Center in Newark, N.J. Regular visitors to this space know all about Finch. He is my amalgam of NBA scouts who have given me their thoughts on college prospects on the condition of anonymity. I usually do my Finch column late in the college basketball season, but I am offering a bonus edition now in advance of the draft.

Over the last week I interviewed six NBA scouts plus one coach to get fresh opinions that were informed by the workouts prospects have gone through for the benefit of those teams. Then I combined all the quotes into a single opinion uttered by a fictitious character named Finch. (That name was created several years ago by my highbrow colleague Alex Wolff, who selected it because Finch was the character Scout's surname in To Kill a Mockingbird.)

This year's draft features an especially strong crop of international players, but since college hoops is my bailiwick, I have limited my list of prospects to collegians. The two exceptions are Enes Kanter, the Turkish native who was a student at Kentucky but was ruled ineligible, and Jeremy Tyler, the Southern California big man who skipped his senior year of high school to play in Israel and Japan.

Here, then, are Finch's evaluations of 40 prospects who are hoping to hear their names called Thursday night. I'm sure you'll join me in wishing Finch good luck at the draft. Most of all, let's hope he gets a good night's sleep.

Marshon Brooks, 6-foot-5 senior guard, Providence. I've watched him work out, and I'll tell you what, he has really helped himself. He's long, he's athletic and he flat out scores. You watch him play at Providence and he didn't guard anybody. He also took a ton of shots. We asked him about that and he said, "My coach says I didn't shoot enough." So that was the role he was asked to play.

Alec Burks, 6-6 sophomore guard, Colorado. I'm not big on him. If your game is built on getting the ball to the rim, there are about 10 teams in the league you can't play well against. You have to be able to make open shots, and I don't know that he can do that. Burks is going to be a good player eventually, but I'd be scared to take him in the top 10 because those guys have to play right away. As good as Dwyane Wade was in college [at Marquette], what really put him over the top was when he got to where he could make NBA threes.

Jimmy Butler, 6-8 senior forward, Marquette. Typical Marquette guy. He's a hard-nosed defender, good mid-range shooter, can guard a couple of positions. Butler does a lot of different things and he's steady defensively. He's a second-round pick.

Norris Cole, 6-2 senior guard, Cleveland State. I love him. He's a poor man's Maurice Cheeks. He has defensive abilities, good size, great hands, can run a team. One of our scouts is absolutely in love with this kid. I'm telling you, his wheels are ridiculous. He's like Ty Lawson, except he's more of a scorer.

Kenneth Faried, 6-8 senior forward, Morehead State. He's a guy we're divided on. I saw him play a couple of times in college and he made some brilliant plays. I love his energy, and of course I love the way he rebounds. His footwork is terrible and he won't be able to score for you. He's not a real strong guy. To me, he's a notch below Bismack Biyombo and Tristan Thompson.

Jimmer Fredette, 6-3 senior guard, BYU. I saw him work out and he shot the ball very well. He's a little Steve Nash. People try to find a way to say he's not going to make it and find flaws. They compare him to J.J. Redick, but he can handle the ball so much better and can get his own shot. If he goes to the right team, people are going to say, "Wow, I can't believe we passed on him." He's a rich man's Dan Dickau.

Andrew Goudelock, 6-3 senior guard, College of Charleston. We had him in for a workout and I'd say he's a stretch. He didn't shoot it well but you know he can make shots, so that wasn't a concern for me. He might be an Eddie House-type who can stretch the floor. He doesn't have NBA athleticism so he has to be a specialist. Just don't say he's a point guard. If you set a pick-and-roll, the guy who sets the pick has very little chance of getting the ball. Goudelock is going to dance with it until he finds an opening for a shot.

Justin Harper, 6-9 senior forward, Richmond. I watched him in a workout, and he can really shoot. He doesn't rebound that well and he's a little soft. He's a shorter version of Channing Frye.

Tobias Harris, 6-8 freshman forward, Tennessee. I saw him in Chicago [at the draft combine] and I was very disappointed. He should have gone back to school and lost some weight [223 pounds]. He can rebound it and push it like a point forward, but his shot is a little funny. If you swing it to him and [defenders] close out, he'll be challenged. People project him as a first-rounder, but I've heard he hasn't looked good in the workouts. But he's intriguing because he's young and he does have a good feel.

Tyler Honeycutt, 6-8 sophomore forward, UCLA. He's the big tease in the draft. He's pretty talented. Passing, rebounding, has a really good floor game. He's a good athlete with a great second jump. He kind of reminds me of Doug Christie. Sure, he was inconsistent, but he was only a sophomore, right? That's not a concern for me. My worry is that he's always going to take the path of least resistance. If you're not ready to play on every possession in this league, they'll make you look silly.

Scotty Hopson, 6-7 junior guard, Tennessee. I just keep waiting for him. Waiting and waiting. He'll have a good game when he shoots and moves well, and then the next game he won't show up. He worked out for us and was just OK. His size, his length, his athleticism -- it's all good, but sometimes he floats like he doesn't care.

Kyrie Irving, 6-4 freshman point guard, Duke. Just a great kid. He has only an 11-game body of work, but he has an incredible ability to get in the lane. He's a pass-first point guard, but he can also score. He's not a freak athletically like Derrick Rose or Russell Westbrook. His game is more of the Chris Paul variety, but I don't know if he'll be that good. His lateral mobility is probably his biggest question.

Reggie Jackson, 6-3 junior point guard, Boston College. He's better than people think. He's a good mid-range shooter, can shot-fake, put it on the floor and make a play. In the NBA you have to be able to make a play off a close-out, and I think he can do that.

He's been said to have a promise from Boston at No. 25, a promise from Oklahoma City at No. 24. He hurt his knee [Jackson had surgery last month], but we hear he'll be ready. When a kid skips Chicago and skips workouts, you know something is going on. But I saw him play in the ACC Tournament and I thought he did a real nice job running his team. He reminds me a little bit of B.J. Armstrong.

Charles Jenkins, 6-3 senior guard, Hofstra. He worked out for us and he looked pretty good. When I saw him in Chicago, I thought he was heavier than I remembered and not as quick. The kid led his conference in scoring and assists and he was double-teamed all year. He's put together like a tank. People try to make him a point guard but he's not a point guard; he's more of a power guard.

JaJuan Johnson, 6-10 senior forward, Purdue. I don't know why people don't have him higher on their list. He reminds me of Harvey Grant. He needs to get stronger and put on weight, for sure. I liked him last year, and then he went back to school and added about 10 pounds to his frame. He's long, athletic, he can run, he can shoot to 16, 18 feet. I mean, what don't you like about him? If you make him into a small forward, then you're not paying attention to what the kid is. The body might scare you -- he's light in the pants -- but I've never seen him be soft. I have seen him score a ton of points.

Cory Joseph, 6-3 freshman guard, Texas. We had him in for a workout. He looked OK, but he should have gone back to school. He's a point guard but he couldn't play that position at Texas last year. He said Rick Barnes put him at the 2 [shooting guard] because he was the best shooter among the guards. Problem is, they signed Myck Kabongo, so he wouldn't play the point next year, either. Whoever drafts him will stick him in the D-League, and maybe he'll get better. Unfortunately, he just picked the wrong school. Right now, he's not good enough.

Enes Kanter, 6-11 freshman center, Kentucky. You love the way he plays. He's a big, strong kid and he knows who he is. He's a center and he's going to bang you. He just plays so hard. The coaches at Kentucky said he just works his tail off and really wants to be good. He's quiet. I think he uses the language barrier as a bit of a crutch; he understands English most of the time. He's a real physical specimen, but he can go through you and still has a little bit of feel. He can get hook shots and fallaways and he can step out and shoot it facing the basket.

Brandon Knight, 6-3 freshman guard, Kentucky. He won't work out against other players. To be honest, I think his agent is playing it right. Kyrie won't work out with him, so there's no advantage to working out with other guys. He'll be one of the top picks, for sure.

Malcolm Lee, 6-6 junior guard, UCLA. He was very good in our workout. He's long, he's athletic. He's not going to be a typical point guard, but he really defends. He'll guard you and that's the part I like about him. He can score better than he can shoot. His shot isn't broken; he just doesn't have confidence. He probably did the right thing to come out. It's his time.

Kawhi Leonard, 6-7 sophomore forward, San Diego State. The kid is a complete gym rat. They say he's going into the gym at night, getting janitors to open the place up for him, so he's going to work hard to get better. I heard during a workout in Washington he just destroyed Jordan Hamilton. About halfway through, Hamilton quit because he couldn't get his shot off. [Hamilton told reporters that he felt dizzy during the June 7 workout.] Leonard's shooting is a huge concern because at the end of the day when the ball gets swung to the corner, you have to make open shots. Yes, he's a great athlete, but those guys tend to do better in track and field. The last time I checked, that scoreboard keeps track of points.

Shelvin Mack, 6-3 junior guard, Butler. I'm a big fan. I just think he's steady. He's a point guard who can get you into the offense and can play off superstars. The team went to back-to-back championship games and he had a lot to do with it. Defensively, he knows how to play right now. He worked out very well for us. He's a career No. 2 point guard, but those guys have value. You have to have a really good backup point guard in this league. He has no B.S. in his game, and if you have B.S. in your game, he's going to take it away and make you wish you didn't see him today.

Demetri McCamey, 6-3 senior guard, Illinois. We had him in for a workout and you have to love a few of things about him. He has a great build, his body is terrific and he seems to play with some toughness. I liked him more last season. I have no idea what happened to their team at Illinois. We heard the coaches thought he was playing for the NBA instead of the team. If you expect him to be Deron Williams, you're asking too much. Someone is going to take him in the second round and get a decent player.

E'Twaun Moore, 6-4 senior guard, Purdue. He came through here for a workout and he really intrigued me. I see him as a guy who can come in off the bench and guard and play with energy. He's big and strong and he's really tough.

Darius Morris, 6-5 sophomore guard, Michigan. Shoot, he's not bad at all. In my mind, he's better than Nolan Smith or Shelvin Mack. He's just starting to get into his game. He has to work on his shooting, but he's a point guard who can really set guys up. Good size, good basketball IQ. In that system at Michigan, you didn't get to see a whole lot of facilitating, but he's still pretty good.

Marcus Morris, 6-9 junior forward, Kansas. He worked out for us and he shot it better than I thought he could. He's a versatile scorer. Offensively, he could play the 3 [small forward] or 4 [power forward]. He's in between positions -- not quite strong enough to guard 4s, not lateral enough to guard 3s. There are not many 4-men his size in this league, but he has a chance to be a starter on a bad team.

Markieff Morris, 6-9 junior forward, Kansas. He has a more defined role than his brother; he's a 4. He'll face up and shoot, he'll rebound and defend. He doesn't have the offensive skill-set his brother has, but he loves to bang inside.

Chandler Parsons, 6-10 senior forward, Florida. He's a little too up and down for me. He should really be a 4, but he wants to play the 3 so he's kind of a tweener. I watched Florida a bunch last year and I didn't come away liking any of them.

Jereme Richmond, 6-7 freshman forward, Illinois. He probably made one of the worst decisions of anyone to keep his name in the draft. He had a lot of expectations coming out of high school and he did nothing. Does he have upside? Sure he does, but how long are you going to wait on that?

Josh Selby, 6-3 freshman guard, Kansas. He shouldn't have come out. He didn't give himself a fair chance. He's worth taking a flyer on in the second round, but he's not a first-rounder. Is he a point guard? Will he make your team better? I don't know. We're digging in deep to his background, but when you talk to him, he seems like a good kid. I've never been a real fan because I think he plays with blinders on. Shelvin Mack would kick his butt 10 out of 10 times.

Iman Shumpert, 6-6 junior guard, Georgia Tech. We had him for a workout, and he's a freak athlete. He's long and athletic, but he doesn't shoot the ball that well. His people are trying to say he's a true point guard, but I'm not sure. You can put anybody in that spot, but is he going to make other people better? I like his skill-set but I don't like his intangibles. I get worried about kids who have never had success in winning. That doesn't translate well. You can have Shumpert and I'll take E'Twaun Moore, and let's play against each other and see who wins. I like my chances there.

Kyle Singler, 6-9 senior forward, Duke. I've seen him since he was in high school, and I'm still high on him. He's a great seventh man in the NBA. His shooting numbers haven't been great, but those will improve. He gives you a little bit of everything. He has great size for his position, and he's going to show up and compete every night. It's hard to find that. I heard the Spurs like him.

Chris Singleton, 6-9 junior forward, Florida State. I compare him to James Posey. His strength is he can guard multiple positions. He has some toughness to him, too. He has to be on a really good offensive team because at best he's going to be a six- to eight-point-a-game player. He doesn't have an offensive arsenal. If you can't score in this league, you better be on a really good team.

Nolan Smith, 6-4 senior guard, Duke. I don't like him as much as Shelvin Mack or Malcolm Lee. I don't see how he gets much better than he is right now. After watching him play this year, I never saw him get by guys and beat them off the dribble. He doesn't have that extra gear. Some people love him. I get in arguments in our own draft room. They say I'm crazy, but I just don't think he's good enough. People compare Nolan to Mario Chalmers, but Chalmers is a much better shooter. I'd rather have someone like that than someone who's a phenomenal athlete and can't shoot a lick.

Klay Thompson, 6-7 junior guard, Washington State. People say he's a little soft, but the kid has worked on his handle. He's going to get open in our league and he's the best shooter in the draft. The best way to describe him is he's "athletic enough." If I had to win, I'd rather have him on the floor in the last three minutes of the game than someone like Kawhi Leonard.

Trey Thompkins, 6-10 junior forward, Georgia. We had him for a workout and, boy, is he soft. He'd rather catch it at the elbow than get on the block. When you're his size, that's not a good thing.

Tristan Thompson, 6-9 freshman forward, Texas. He's a good kid, No. 1. That can't be valued enough in this league. He's a guy I'd love to work with every day for a year just to see how much better he gets. Woo, you talk about a motor! This kid goes after it. He rebounds the ball, has super long arms, blocks shots, a good defender. He's a terrible free-throw shooter and offensively, if he's not dunking it, he's in trouble. But you're not drafting him for his offense.

Jeremy Tyler, 6-11 center. We're all over the board on him. I watched him when he was in the ninth grade and he was just destroying people. When you sit down and talk with the kid, he's very impressive, but then during our workout he got pushed around and his immaturity came out. He's very raw offensively, but he looks like Shawn Kemp sometimes when he's running and jumping. He could be like a Jamaal Magloire, but I don't know if he's even that good. He can't shoot at all.

Nikola Vucevic, 7-foot junior center, USC. He measured out really well and he looked good when I saw him in a workout in Los Angeles. He uses both hands, but athletically he was not very good. Then again, do 7-footers even have to be athletic? Spencer Hawes was a starter for a playoff team [in Philadelphia], and this kid will be better than Spencer Hawes. His college coach, Kevin O'Neill, really likes him, and K.O. doesn't like anybody.

Kemba Walker, 6-1 junior point guard, UConn. People seem to have him in pretty high company, but I don't see that. I think he's a backup, so how do you take a backup in the top 10? He reminds me of Ben Gordon, and not in a good way. I see him as a point guard, and that's the problem: When your point guard is leading you in shot attempts, you wonder if he's Allen Iverson or Brandon Jennings. Those aren't winning point guards; they're just small guards who can score.

Derrick Williams, 6-9 sophomore forward, Arizona. I'm not buying that he's a 3 yet. I think he's an undersized 4. Michael Beasley was a No. 2 pick, and that's his problem. Jeff Green, too. He's another undersized 4. That takes away some of his advantage, but Williams has an explosive first step, an ability to finish at the rim and he gets to the foul line at an unbelievable clip. He's a starter.

To check out's mock draft (which has Honeycutt Rd 1 #25 to Celtics and Lee Rd 2 #38 to Rockets), click here.

To check out's mock draft (which has Honeycutt to the Spurs Rd 1 #29 and Lee to the Clippers Rd 2 #37), click here.

Draft Central at (link)

June 23, 2011 7 pm ET on ESPN and ESPN3

Good luck, Tyler and Malcolm! mock draft has Honeycutt to the Spurs Rd 1 #29 and Lee to the Clippers Rd 2 #37

Click on draft table to enlarge

Click here to get to's interactive mock draft table.

To check out's mock draft (which has Honeycutt Rd 1 #25 to Celtics and Lee Rd 2 #38 to Rockets), click here.

Draft Central at (link)

June 23, 2011 7 pm ET on ESPN and ESPN3

Good luck, Tyler and Malcolm!

Will 'UCLA factor' help Honeycutt and Lee?

Will 'UCLA factor' help Honeycutt and Lee?

By Peter Yoon
ESPN Los Angeles
June, 22, 2011

In the weeks leading up to Thursday's NBA draft, we've heard a lot about the UCLA factor.

The theory goes like this: UCLA players who have played under coach Ben Howland tend to exceed expectations in the NBA because they enter the league ready to play in it. Players such as Kevin Love, Russell Westbrook, Darren Collison, Jrue Holiday, Arron Afflalo have all taken their games to another level once they reached the NBA.

It has been such a reliable trend for so long that ESPN NBA analyst John Hollinger this year added a "Howland variable" into his math-based Draft Rater because "for some reason, every Ben Howland product massively outperformed his estimate as a pro."

So how will this affect the draft status of Malcolm Lee and Tyler Honeycutt, the two UCLA products entered in this year's draft?

Most projections have Honeycutt slated as a late first-round pick and Lee as a mid-to-late second rounder. But there are some, including Hollinger, who have Honeycutt going in the top 15 and Lee sneaking into the late first and early second round. Could this be the UCLA factor at work?

“In a weak draft with little separation between players outside the lottery both will go higher than they should and some teams may overemphasize the perceived effect of playing in the UCLA system when making the decision to draft them,” said one NBA front office source who has scouted both players.

Honeycutt is a long, athletic player with a high ceiling, but he didn't exactly light the world on fire at UCLA. Last season, he averaged 12.8 points and 7.2 rebounds while shooting only 40.6% and leading the team with 100 turnovers. Plus, he has holes in his defensive game and at 6 feet 8 and only 188 pounds, he's definitely a work in progress physically for someone who will regularly match up against 220-pound opponents.

Lee, a 6-5 combo guard, averaged 13 points and was one of the top defensive guards in the nation, but he needs work on his long-range shooting (he shot 29.5% on three-pointers last season) to be an effective NBA player.

Still, because they went to UCLA, teams might be willing to overlook some weaknesses and be more willing to take a chance on them.

"Almost every UCLA player who has come out is better in the pros than you’d have any reason to expect based on their college careers," Hollinger said. "It is theoretically possible that it’s a fluke because it’s not a very large sample of players. But it’s getting to be a long enough trend that the fluke factor is increasingly unlikely."

But, the NBA source said, Honeycutt and Lee are different players than those of the past.

“Unlike the previous UCLA players, all of whom had lottery talent…Honeycutt and Lee are now and have always been at best fringe first rounders,” said the source, who asked not to be identified.

But if Honeycutt and Lee go higher than expected, you can be certain it had something to do with the UCLA factor. However, that doesn't mean they are destined for success.

"As with any stock, past performance doesn’t guarantee future results," Hollinger said. "Just because it happened for these past players doesn’t necessarily mean it will happen for Honeycutt and Lee."

To check out's mock draft (which has Honeycutt Rd 1 #25 to Celtics and Lee Rd 2 #38 to Rockets), click here.

To check out's mock draft (which has Honeycutt to the Spurs Rd 1 #29 and Lee to the Clippers Rd 2 #37), click here.

Draft Central at (link)

June 23, 2011 7 pm ET on ESPN and ESPN3

Good luck, Tyler and Malcolm!

Wednesday, June 22, 2011

Traveling men

Bruins' Tyler Honeycutt and Malcolm Lee have endured cross-country trips this month in hopes of improving their draft stock

By Jon Gold Staff Writer
The Los Angeles Daily News
Posted: 06/20/2011 11:27:30 PM PDT
Updated: 06/21/2011 01:17:54 AM PDT

This is their lives now, the decision to leap to the NBA made long ago, and now Tyler Honeycutt and Malcolm Lee are caught right in the thick of it.

Both are jet-setting across the country, have been for a month, trying to convince one of 30 teams to take a chance, any chance, a little higher than expected. With Honeycutt slated for anywhere between the late-teens and late-20s, and Lee trying to push his way into a crowded first round, they need every opportunity.

On Monday night, Honeycutt was in Dallas for a workout and dinner with the NBA champion Mavericks, not even able to take a phone call.

Lee, meanwhile, was caught at Dallas-Fort Worth Airport on Monday afternoon, about to take off for Minnesota for a tryout with the Timberwolves.

"You're pretty much in a new city every day," Lee said. "It can be really exhausting. You have to take care of your body - eating right, make sure you stay hydrated, keep stretching and icing. I've been on the road a month straight. When it comes to workouts, I have to be ready to perform."

Honeycutt can relate.

Last week, Honeycutt worked out for the Washington Wizards, Philadelphia 76ers and New Jersey Nets in three consecutive days, his final workout Thursday showing the ill effects of life as an NBA first-round hopeful.

"To be honest, it's probably the worst workout I've had so far," Honeycutt told the Newark Star-Ledger on Thursday. "Just normal, easy stuff I usually make wasn't going in today, so just a little rest will help."

But rest is for the weary, not the young, and certainly not the young who can run and jump and dunk.

This is where they find themselves, though, after leaving UCLA with question marks.

As a sophomore, Honeycutt was named All-Pac-10 after leading the conference in blocks (2.1 per game) and finishing seventh in rebounding (7.2 rebounds) while averaging 12.8 points per game. Still, NBA scouts wonder about his strength - he did not put up a single rep in the 185-pound bench press during a recent combine - and his durability and decision-making.

For Lee, the questions are about his offensive output, though his performance on defense in many workouts has been fantastic. Lee, who was also named to the all-conference first team and all-defensive first-team, averaged 13.1 points and 3.1 rebounds as a junior at shooting guard for the 23-11 Bruins, who advanced to the third round of the NCAA Tournament.

But Lee is being looked at as a point guard at the next level, as well, and his performance at the position for UCLA as a sophomore in 2009-10 was unimpressive.

"I look forward to things like this. Auditioning gives you an (opportunity) to rise to the occasion, especially with my situation," Lee said. "I came in with the mindset that I wasn't getting drafted, that I'm not known. That underdog mentality. It allows you to perform better under pressure. It's either kill or be killed, basically."

What could help both is the much-discussed "UCLA Factor" that is making its round through basketball circles.

The success of lightly touted Bruins in the pros - including Jrue Holliday, Darren Collison, Russell Westbrook, Arron Afflalo and Luc Mbah-a-Moute - has trickled down to Lee and Honeycutt (How about Kevin Love, John? --Atb). All five have been valuable starters for playoff teams, but only Westbrook was a lottery pick, and even his ascendancy to the top crop of NBA point guards was unforeseen.

"Being able to be controlled on offense, not really take unnecessary shots, letting plays develop - I think that's what gives UCLA the edge," Lee said. "At UCLA, we have the opportunity to execute plays. When we get into the NBA, we execute a lot better and the floor is a lot more spread."

At least that's what these traveling salesman are pitching, a product less tangible than shower curtain rings or steak knives.

Lee and Honeycutt are peddling hope and potential, trying to hock their talents around the country, come one, come all. ABC: Always Be Closing.

On Thursday, it will be decided.

Honeycutt is expected to travel to New York for the draft; Lee is not sure if he'll even watch.

"I know it's going to hit me (today) after Minnesota," Lee said. "I won't have any more opportunities to perform in front of teams. I'm still debating if I'm going to watch it or not. I don't even know. I think my nerves are going to be too crazy. I'd rather get a text.

"I don't know if I can sit there pick after pick after pick. At the end of the day, whatever happens, I'll be grateful I had the opportunity to be in this position."

Click on panel below to enlarge

To check out's mock draft (which has Honeycutt Rd 1 #25 to Celtics and Lee Rd 2 #38 to Rockets), click here.

To check out's mock draft (which has Honeycutt to the Spurs Rd 1 #29 and Lee to the Clippers Rd 2 #37), click here.

Draft Central at (link)

June 23, 2011 7 pm ET on ESPN and ESPN3

Good luck, Tyler and Malcolm!

Why Jordan Adams chose UCLA

Thanks goes to Kaz for posting this on Bruin Zone. Tube Tube

Tuesday, June 21, 2011

2012 Target: Shaq Goodwin (Decatur, GA) 6-8 210 PF

Recent verbal commit Jordan Adams calls out fellow Atlanta Celtic Shaq Goodwin to join him at UCLA next year (link):

""I want 'Shaq' Goodwin to come with me," the 6-foot-5 Adams said during his announcement, referring to William Goodwin, a Celtics teammate who is among the top power forward prospects in the nation."

What do you say, Shaq? Be a Bruin!

mmercurius2006/You Tube Tube

From ESPN College Basketball Recruiting (link)

Shaq Goodwin
Power Forward
CLASS: 2012
Grading Scale

Hometown: Decatur, GA
High School: Southwest Dekalb High School
Height: 6'8''
Weight: 210 lbs

Overall Rank: 12
Position Rank: 3

Status: Undeclared

Considering: UCLA Bruins, Georgia Bulldogs, Memphis Tigers, Florida Gators, Alabama Crimson Tide

This guy took the spring and summer (2010) and decided to make a name for himself. Although always blessed with the physical attributes of a difference maker, the athletic power forward lacked the maturity to ever put it all together. However, he has matured and progressed to the point of being one of the top players in his class. Goodwin can excel in many fazes of the game. He has great length and athleticism, runs the floor extremely well and can finish in transition and in traffic. He can drive the ball from the high post or step behind the line to knock down a jump shot. He is also becoming more reliable with his mid range game and his motor is really starting to run at a consistent level. He is extremely active on the offensive glass where he relentlessly battles for the ball.

He needs to stay focused on development. If he added a good counter move, like an up-and-under or jump hook or some sort of bail out shot, he could be more effective offensively. Although he is a good offensive rebounder, he needs to continue to improve on the defensive glass where he sometimes lacks some grit to fight for a ball in a crowd. At times he will play upright and get pushed off his spot which is normal for younger players. We'd like to see him become more vocal on the floor and become a take command kind of guy.

Bottom Line:
Many feel this guy may be the best player in a loaded class from the state of Georgia. As a two sport stand-out, the charismatic post player will have his choice of schools in either football or basketball. Regardless of sport, Goodwin will be a major factor for some high major program in the near future.

Travel Teams: Memphis YOMCA/Atlanta Celtics...

_______________ ranks Shaq Goodwin its #1 player to watch at the recent Under Armour “Best of the Best” Camp.

Top 5 Georgia recruits to watch at Best of Best Camp

4:04 am June 3, 2011, by Michael Carvell

One Shaq's career ended this week while another Shaq's career is just beginning to take off (AJC photo by Michael Carvell)

Southwest Dekalb’s Shaq Goodwin and Thomasville’s Robert Carter are both ranked among the top 15 college basketball prospects in the nation for 2012.

Both Goodwin and Carter are scheduled to play in the Under Armour “Best of the Best” Camp held Friday, Saturday and Sunday at Marist. (Go here for more information)

Here’s a breakdown of the top 5 Georgia players at the camp, courtesy of’s Kerry Willis:

1. William “Shaq” Goodwin, 6-8, power forward, Southwest DeKalb: “Goodwin is the highest-rated player in Georgia (No. 12 by ESPNU) and he has continued to impress scouts with his relentless effort on the boards, his athleticism, and the added ability to be very consistent shooting the ball out to the 3-point line. Plays the game with energy and an infectious smile that crowds love.” Goodwin’s list of schools include UCLA, UGA, Florida, Memphis.

To see the rest of this article, click here.

More on new Bruin Jordan Adams


UCLA gets commitment from top prospect Jordan Adams

The highly touted 6-foot-5 small forward cites Korey McCray's hiring as an assistant for the Bruins as a factor in his decision to attend UCLA.

By Ben Bolch
The Los Angeles Times
9:44 PM PDT, June 20, 2011

Korey McCray is paying quick dividends for UCLA. Two weeks after hiring the former club team basketball coach as an assistant, the Bruins on Monday received a commitment from Jordan Adams, a highly touted small forward who starred on McCray's Atlanta Celtics.

And Adams may not be the last Celtic headed to Westwood.

"I want 'Shaq' Goodwin to come with me," the 6-foot-5 Adams said during his announcement, referring to William Goodwin, a Celtics teammate who is among the top power forward prospects in the nation.

Goodwin's college decision doesn't appear to be imminent. Persephone Goodwin, William's mother, said in a telephone interview that her son would not make his commitment until after the summer. Might the presence of McCray be a selling point for UCLA?

"It's not a selling point," Persephone Goodwin said, "but it doesn't hurt."

Adams, a Georgia native who will be a senior next season at Mouth of Wilson (Va.) Oak Hill Academy, cited McCray's hiring as a factor in his decision to attend UCLA. Before McCray moved to Los Angeles earlier this month, the pair worked out together during training sessions in which Adams would hoist 700 shots.

"He helped me get to where I am now," said Adams, who picked UCLA over Memphis, Miami and Georgia. "If it wasn't for him, I wouldn't be getting recruited by all these schools."

The commitment of Adams could signal a breakthrough for UCLA in its national recruiting efforts, particularly with McCray's ties to the South.

"Obviously, it gives them a huge in with a part of the country that UCLA has never recruited hardly at all," said Greg Hicks, a West Coast recruiting analyst for

Adams said he would try to bolster his recruiting class. When he announced his decision live on the Internet, Adams slipped on a UCLA hat and said he wanted top prospects Shabazz Muhammad and L.J. Rose to accompany him to college as well as Goodwin.

Ultimately, Hicks said, McCray will play a bigger role than Adams in influencing other players to become Bruins.

"I think it's a mistaken impression that some people have that by getting Jordan Adams they have a better chance of getting the next guy," Hicks said. "In my experience, it has more to do with the relationship of the coach recruiting the kid than other kids going to the school. Most kids don't follow a player because he went to a school."

Jordan Adams will follow Atlanta AAU basketball coach to UCLA; runner-up was UGA

Post updated Jun 21 2011 6:58 AM Pacific

spitfire9403/You Tube

Jordan Adams will follow Atlanta AAU basketball coach to UCLA; runner-up was UGA

by Michael Carvell in College Recruiting blog
9:17 pm June 20, 2011

One of the nation’s top recruits will follow his AAU basketball coach to UCLA.

Jordan Adams, who is ranked as the nation’s No. 69 college basketball prospect by, committed to UCLA over UGA, Memphis and Miami on Monday.

Earlier this month, UCLA hired Korey McCray, CEO of the Atlanta Celtics AAU basketball team, as an assistant coach. (click on story link)

Adams is a longtime member of the Atlanta Celtics and said McCray’s hiring influenced his college decision.

“It was a big factor,” Adams told the AJC. “I’ve been playing for Coach McCray since I was 12 or 13 years old. I used to always work out with him. He helped me get to where I am now as a basketball player. If it wasn’t for [McCray], I wouldn’t be this good and none of these college coaches would be recruiting me.”

The 6-foot-5 small forward transferred from Central Gwinnett High School to Oak Hill (Va.) prep school last year. Adams said McCray’s presence was a deciding factor, but also said he picked UCLA because “it’s a good school with a lot of tradition, and good academics. I knew it was the right school for me and my family. I just wanted to go ahead and get it off my chest by committing.”

Adams said UGA was runner-up. “UCLA recruited me a little bit harder. I like UCLA and their campus a lot more, and their tradition.”

New UCLA assistant Korey McCay has landed one of his former star players from the Atlanta Celtics AAU team (Photo by UCLA)

UCLA is also in the running for another longtime member of the Atlanta Celtics — this one with much bigger stakes. Shaq Goodwin, who is ranked as Georgia’s No. 1 overall prospect for 2012, lists his leaders as UGA, Memphis, UCLA, Florida and Alabama. Goodwin is a 6-8, 235-pound power forward from Southwest DeKalb High School.

Note: Didn’t everyone see this coming a mile away? It was a brilliant hire by UCLA. Paul Hewitt claimed he almost hired Korey McCray when he was coaching at Georgia Tech. Korey is stuck with the “AAU coach” label but he actually has legitimate basketball credentials for a college assistant. He started at point guard for Mercer, coached at his alma mater and at a Florida junior college, and was a graduate assistant at Florida State. He trained Dwight Howard and John Wall leading up to being No. 1 overall picks of the NBA Draft. As CEO of the Atlanta Celtics, Korey established tremendous lines of communication with not only elite recruits and AAU coaches in Georgia but also across the nation. This year, 2012, is a gigantic year for recruiting in the state of Georgia, maybe the deepest year ever for prospects — 24 have high D1 offers, compared to only a dozen that signed high D1 this past year. If there ever was a time to hire a high school or AAU coach with inside position on a couple of elite prospects, the time is now. The only thing surprising about this whole thing is that the three local colleges that ALL changed head coaches within the last two years — Georgia Tech, UGA, and Georgia State — didn’t make a move like this first, considering the boatload of local talent. I know all three hired a college assistant who had recruited the state of Georgia before; but that doesn’t compare to high school or AAU coach that is more embedded in the local scene and has better connections and recognition among the kids. I’m still surprised that a college has not tried to hire away Miller Grove High School coach Sharman White, who has tremendous coaching credentials (three straight state championships) and two blue-chip prospects in Tony Parker and Brandon Morris.

Saturday, June 18, 2011

Shabazz Muhammad dominate Pangos 2011

Thanks to Kaz for posting this on Bruin Zone Tube Tube

New UCLA hire doesn't sway Jordan Adams

Jordan Adams, Photo: Brian Ing/SL

New UCLA hire doesn't sway Jordan Adams

By Jeff Borzello
Posted on: June 10, 2011 10:58 am


If UCLA fans expected immediate results from the hiring of Atlanta Celtics AAU coach Korey McCray as an assistant coach, they won’t get it from Jordan Adams.

Adams, who plays on the Celtics, has UCLA on his list but said the hiring of McCray wouldn’t change his perception of the Bruins.

“I think it’s great for him,” Adams said. “He knows a lot about coaching, he’s a great trainer. He will help their program out a lot.”

However, he would add: “All schools are equal.”

Adams, a 6-foot-5 small forward from Oak Hill Academy (Va.), is one of the top recruits from the South in the class of 2012. His strength and scoring ability makes him tough to guard for opposing wings. Adams doesn’t shy away from contact around the basket and can also knock down perimeter shots.

He will never be mistaken for someone who can jump out of the gym, but that doesn’t faze him.

“[I’m a] shooter, rebounder, scorer. An unathletic skilled guard,” Adams said. When questioned about his lack of athleticism, he quipped: “I am, but I’m not gonna dunk on no one.”

The Atlanta Celtics were one of the “preseason” favorites for the No. 1 spot in AAU basketball, but they have struggled against the elite teams. With the talent on the roster, though, a big-time summer could be in order.

The same could be said for Adams, who commented that he hasn’t really broken out yet.

“Being selfish, really,” Adams said when asked what he needs to work on. “I like to get teammates involved, but you never get noticed for those things – like LeBron the other day.”

Plenty of schools have already liked what they saw from Adams, who listed Florida, Florida State, Georgia, Georgia Tech, Miami (Fl.), Memphis, Georgetown, Tennessee and UCLA. He said there were other schools in the mix too, but he forgot them.

Although he doesn’t have any favorites, Adams does plan on visiting Memphis at the end of June. If everything goes well, he said there is a chance he might commit to the Tigers.

“There could be [a chance],” Adams said. “[I need to see] things I’ve never seen at other colleges. They’ve been attractive to me for awhile.”

Damien Wilson, Adams’ teammate on the AAU and high school scene, committed to Josh Pastner and Memphis last month. Not surprisingly, that could play a factor in where Adams ends up.

“Yes, that’s [going to play] a big role,” he said. “I want to play on a wing across from him.”

Adams has already taken visits to UCLA, Georgia and Miami, with the Bruins and Hurricanes standing out.

“The coaches are honest, cool and I like their programs,” he said.

While there is no timetable for a decision, Adams was succinct when asked what he was looking for in a school. “Good coaching, a winning season,” he said.

McCray’s presence at UCLA seems like it will keep the Bruins in the hunt for Adams, but Westwood – and many other schools – will have to wait and see.