Romeo feature

I have a feature on USC recruit Romeo Miller in today’s paper.

Romeo’s high school teammate at Beverly Hills, Sejin Park, had some surprising criticisms. Surprising in that he was so open with them when he has to play with Romeo next season. Park seemed especially frustrated that Romeo was out working on movies right now while other key members of the team were practicing together trying to get better for next season. I think Park was being honest, probably too honest. But I don’t think it’s really anything to worry about for Romeo when he gets to USC. He said he wants to concentrate on basketball and school when he gets to college, putting entertainment on hold for four years. He seems serious about that. And handling the O.J. Mayo circus should be plenty of preparation for Floyd before Romeo comes in. Floyd won’t put up with selfish play, so Romeo will be on the bench if he’s like that at USC. It’s not like they are counting on much from him anyway. But he could end up being a pleasant surprise. Romeo thinks Floyd will make him a better player. He already wanted to go to USC because of the location and film school before the team was good. When Floyd came into the program, USC became the only school he could envision himself at. He seems to already bleed Cardinal and Gold.


Celebrity All-Star game at Galen

The L.A. Stars Celebrity All-Star game is at Galen Center on Sunday. Baron Davis, Paul Pierce and Gilbert Arenas run the event. Nick Young and Gabe Pruitt are expected to be in attendance, as well as Arron Afflalo for UCLA lurkers. Tickets can be ordered from the USC ticket office. The game is scheduled for 4 p.m. There’s a carnival on the USC quad leading up to the game. Proceeds are said to benefit at-risk youth in Los Angeles.

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Schedule released

Oct. 28 Sunday Cardinal and Gold (Exhibition) Galen Center TBA
Nov. 10 Saturday Mercer Galen Center TBA
Nov. 15 Thursday at The Citadel Charleston, S.C. (McAlister Field Houste) TBA
Nov. 17 Saturday at South Carolina Columbia, S.C. (Colonial Center) TBA
Nov. 22 Thursday ^San Diego Anaheim, CA (Anaheim Convention Center) TBA
Nov. 23 Friday ^South Alabama/Miami (OH) Anaheim, CA (Anaheim Convention Center) TBA
Nov. 25 Sunday ^TBA Anaheim, CA (Anaheim Convention Center) TBA
Nov. 29 Thursday Oklahoma Galen Center TBA
Dec. 2 Sunday Kansas Galen Center 11:00 A.M.
Dec. 4 Tuesday vs. Memphis New York, NY (Madison Square Garden) TBA
Dec. 8 Saturday Fresno Pacifi c (Exhibition) Galen Center TBA
Dec. 17 Monday Delaware State Galen Center TBA
Dec. 22 Saturday Cal Poly Galen Center TBA
Dec. 29 Saturday UC Riverside Galen Center TBA
Jan. 3 Thursday *at California Berkeley, Calif. (Haas Pavilion) TBA
Jan. 5 Saturday *at Stanford Palo Alto, Calif. (Maples Pavilion) TBA
Jan. 10 Thursday *Washington State Galen Center TBA
Jan. 12 Saturday *Washington Galen Center TBA
Jan. 19 Saturday *at UCLA Los Angeles, Calif. (Pauley Pavilion) TBA
Jan. 24 Thursday *at Oregon State Corvallis, Ore. (Gill Coliseum) TBA
Jan. 26 Saturday *at Oregon Eugene, Ore. (McArthur Court) TBA
Jan. 31 Thursday *Arizona State Galen Center TBA
Feb. 2 Saturday *Arizona Galen Center TBA
Feb. 7 Thursday *at Washington Seattle, Wash. (Bank of America Arena) TBA
Feb. 9 Saturday *at Washington State Pullman, Wash. (Friel Court) TBA
Feb. 16 Saturday *UCLA Galen Center TBA
Feb. 21 Thursday *Oregon Galen Center TBA
Feb. 23 Saturday *Oregon State Galen Center TBA
Feb. 28 Thursday *at Arizona Tucson, Ariz. (McKale Center) TBA
March 1 Saturday *at Arizona State Tempe, Ariz. (Wells Fargo Arena) TBA
March 6 Thursday *Stanford Galen Center TBA
March 8 Saturday *California Galen Center TBA
March 12-15 Wed.-Sat. Pacifi c-10 Conference Tournament Los Angeles, CA (Staples Center) TBA


Draft story

Here’s my story on the draft from today’s paper. Nick would have liked to have gone in the lottery, but he really didn’t sound at all disappointed.


Young quotes

First a little background on Young. When at Cleveland, he played AAU ball for Pump-N-Run with Gilbert Arenas Sr. as his coach. I’ll have more on that in my article that runs in the paper.

Quotes from Nick …

“It’s a great thing to go there and have someone familiar I can relate with and learn from in Gilbert. The Wizards use a run-and-gun offense that will give me the chance to showcase my game. Hopefully, we can get everyone from L.A. to watch us.”

On dropping to 16: “I sat there for a long time and a lot of teams passed me up. I was getting a little nervous. But I can’t complain. I ended up in a good situation and I love it. I’m happy to be picked this high. It’s been a great experience and I wouldn’t change it for the world.”

Quotes from Washington Wizards president Ernie Grunfeld …

“Any shooter that plays next to Gilbert is going to get a lot of shots, so that’s going to help his progress. He is a good player and can get his own shot. He needs to learn the pro-style game, but I think he has a great future.”

“Young fits very well with ourt team. He’s a scorer, he’s extremely athletic, long and very competitive. Having played three years at a top college program, he’s mature.”

“We went in with the mentality that we would pick the best player available, and Nick was by far the best caliber player available to us.”

“It was a very easy decision. We didn’t need the whole time to decide on Nick. … The highest player left on the board was the player we picked.”

“I think he can be a very good defensive player. He has athleticism and long arms. Every player that reaches the pro level raises their level of play, and we feel really good about this selection.”

“He shot 44 percent from the 3-point line last year in one of the top conferences in the country. He can get his own shot and, when players reach the pros, they extend their range. What I like about him is his speed, athleticism and quickness. His strength is he can get his own shot, and that is not easy to accomplish.”


Young goes to Washington

Nick Young went with the 16th pick to the Washington Wizards, where he’ll unite with another San Fernando Valley prep product in Gilbert Arenas. I’ll have more from Nick shortly.

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Draft day

Here’s the teams Nick Young worked out for, and their pick in the first round: Memphis (4), Boston (5), Charlotte (8), Philadelphia (12), New Orleans (13), Clippers (14), Detroit (15), Washington (16), New Jersey (17), Golden State (18), Lakers (19), Miami (20). I think his most likely destination is New Orleans. That would be an interesting spot. He could help Reggie Bush in efforts to rebuild the city, and he would be near Paulette Francis. The best story, and probably his second-most-likely destination, would be to the Clippers. That would keep him close to home and perhaps set up a third cross-town rivalry with Jordan Farmar, from Cleveland-Taft to USC-UCLA to Clippers-Lakers. The Clippers are the only team to work Nick out twice. Nick would love to stay in L.A.

Gabe Pruitt worked out for Washington (16), Golden State (18), Phoenix (24, 29), Utah (25), Houston (26), Detroit (27), San Antonio (28), Philadelphia (30) and Seattle (2). Obviously, the Sonics would be considering him for the second round. This is the moment of truth for Pruitt. He needs to go in the first round, or his leaving USC early for the draft was likely a mistake.

Lodrick Stewart has some hope of going in the second round. He worked out with Sacramento, Seattle and Phoenix.

The draft will be televised on ESPN beginning at 4 p.m.


Pruitt nervous?

Gabe Pruitt’s agency says he will not be speaking to the media this week until after the draft. Pruitt, who gave up his senior year at USC by declaring for the draft and hiring an agent, is projected as a borderline first-round pick.

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Draft preview on Young

Don MacLean on Young: “I think his downside is to be a good NBA player. Then the sky’s the limit. He has all the tools with his athleticism and offensive skill. I’m hopeful for Nick that he can be on a team with a great player so he can watch him, see how he operates and see how he practices to give him some direction in that regard.”


Late night

Nick Young learned today that airlines don’t care if you’re soon to be a first-round draft pick. His originally 3 p.m. flight to New Orleans was canceled twice. Now he’s scheduled to leave at midnight and fly all night before working out for the Hornets in the morning.

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