July 27, 2004
LONG BEACH, Calif. - Tim Pickett, who earned All-America Honorable Mention honors this past season as a senior member of the Florida State University men's basketball team, averaged 13.0 points, 4.4 rebounds and 2.8 steals as a member of the NBA Stars team in the Southern California Summer Pro League. Pickett played in four games for the Stars in the league which ran July 10 through July 23 at Long Beach State University.
Pickett's best outing came in a 117-108 victory over the Sacramento Kings' summer league team during which he scored 28 points, pulled down seven rebounds, was credited with six assists and earned six steals. He teamed with J.R. Smith, the Hornets' first round draft choice, to score 59 of the Stars' 117 points during the game. Pickett led the team with five 3-point field goals made and shot three of four from the free throw line.
Pickett's six steals against the Kings tied for single-game league high while his five 3-point shots made were the most in a game by any player in league play.
Pickett, who must earn a roster spot with the Hornets this fall, showed his versatility as he played both the point and shooting guard positions.
"I love his energy", first-year Hornet coach Byron Scott said of Pickett. "He's an emotional type of player. When we start practicing, he is going to go after Baron Davis (the Hornets' starting point guard), J.R (Smith) and whoever else because that's the only way he knows how to play."
Pickett also sought out 15-year NBA pro Olden Polynice for advice about making the adjustment from the college game to the NBA. A veteran of the ACC at Virginia, Polynice assisted Jeff Bower (the Hornets' Director of Player Personnel) with the coaching the team during league play. He is also competing for a spot on the Hornets' roster for the upcoming 2004-05 season.
"I just try to talk to him (Pickett) because it's a big difference from college to the NBA," said Polynice. "He seems like a kid who wants to work. But a lot of guys who come into the league are not like him. They don't realize the end result. They see Tracy McGrady, Kobe Bryant and Jermaine O'Neal right now, and they don't remember that they spent a lot of time on the bench as rookies. It's such a tough road, and it's not as easy as people make it out to be. That's what somebody needs to talk to them about."
The Hornets drafted Pickett to play both the point and shooting guard positions.
"At Florida State, I played mostly shooting guard, but I can handle the ball and get everybody involved," said Pickett. "Right now I'm just trying to get a better understanding of the game. Most of these guys in the NBA are explosive, versatile and creative, and I need to lean what they know. So my ears are open."
Pickett will continue to work out on his own until training camp begins for the Hornets in mid-September.
Pickett By The Numbers Opponent Points FGM-A 3FGM-A REBS ASSISTS STEALS Memphis Grizzlies 9 3-8 1-4 2 1 1 Golden State Warriors 12 3-15 0-6 5 2 2 Dallas Mavericks 16 5-11 3-5 4 8 4 Dallas Mavericks "B" 0 0-6 0-3 4 4 1 Sacramento Kings 28 10-15 5-8 7 7 6 Totals 65 21-55 9-26 22 22 14 Avgs./Pcts. 13.0 .382 .346 4.4 4.4 2.8
Special thanks to the Times-Picayune Newspaper of New Orleans and staff writer John Reid.