Georgia Tech phenom Young impresses in workout with Hornets

EDMOND, Okla. -- Watching tapes of NBA draft prospect
Thaddeus Young, New Orleans Hornets coach Byron Scott didn't see
much that caught his eye about the Georgia Tech forward's play.

Thaddeus Young Young

In person, Young was able to sway Scott's opinion.

"I saw a bunch of tape on him this summer and watching the tape
I wasn't impressed," Scott said Friday after watching Young and
three other prospects work out. "But watching him out here in the
individual workouts and the 2-on-2 and the 1-on-1 and things like
that, he did a lot of things that I didn't see on the tape."

Scott said he had been disappointed that the three or four tapes
he watched of Young didn't show the 6-foot-8 small forward's
shooting ability and that the post-up moves primarily had him going
up against smaller players. That left the coach without a positive
opinion of Young, who's been projected as a possible selection for
the Hornets at the 13th overall pick in the June 28 draft.

Scott has said the team is looking for a shooting guard or small
forward to plug into the wing position opposite Peja Stojakovic in
a starting lineup that features point guard Chris Paul, power
forward David West and center Tyson Chandler.

Desmond Mason, who started at small forward last season, and
Devin Brown, who moved into the shooting guard spot after
Stojakovic was injured, are both free agents.

Scott isn't sure whether Young, who'll turn 19 this month, would
be ready to make an immediate impact.

"The one thing that I do like about him and that I saw out
there on the court is that he's a very fast learner. He has a great
basketball IQ and has a good feel for the game," Scott said. "Can
he accelerate the process as far as the learning curve is
concerned? Probably so. It would probably just be a matter of

After being chosen as a McDonald's All-American out of high
school, Young averaged 14.4 points and 4.9 rebounds as a freshman
last season for the Yellow Jackets. He shot 48 percent from the
field and 42 percent from 3-point range. After averaging three
3-point attempts per game last season, Young said he's been working
to develop his stroke from the NBA's 3-point range.

"Obviously, I didn't shoot the ball very much in school, but
I'm looking to show that right now that I can shoot the ball like
the other guys," Young said.

Young said he still hasn't signed with an agent, leaving open
the possibility he could return to school.

"If things hit the wall, it's a win-win situation. I could go
back to school or I could stay in the draft. Either way it's
good," Young said. "Right now, I'm just looking for some great
information and a lot of great feedback. If I keep getting a lot of
great feedback hopefully, I'll stay in."

Young said there were factors he'd have to weigh before making
his final decision, but said, "Who wouldn't stay in [the draft] if
they were a lottery pick?"

"Right now I think I should be a potential lottery pick, just
me going out there working hard. Obviously there's a lot of other
guys out there that's been working hard too, but some guys don't
have what I have," Young said. "Not putting them down or
anything, but just like I said, they work hard like I do."

Hornets general manager Jeff Bower said he thought Young would
eventually "have a game that's effective both on the block and
outside facing the basket" and that he had the quickness and
balance to be a strong defender.

"The thing that was great is his personality and his makeup.
Those are things that are going to make up for his inexperience,"
Bower said. "He's an extremely bright young man with a plan in
place in his mind for improvement, and it includes a lot of hard
work and it includes a lot of studying players that are currently
in the league.

"I was impressed in speaking with him about the seriousness of
his approach to this and his quest to learn more."

Young was born in New Orleans and said he has many relatives who
had to leave the city because of Hurricane Katrina but returned
"because of their love for the city."

Guards Marcus Williams from Arizona, Ron Lewis from Ohio State
and Zabian Dowdell from Virginia Tech also worked out in the