NBA Draft: Andrew Goudelock joins Lakers with plenty of confidence
Andrew Goudelock hasn't yet put on a Lakers uniform after his No. 46 pick in the 2011 NBA draft, but it already seems the jersey fits.
He hasn't yet stepped foot in Los Angeles, but it already seems this city will embrace him. It remains unclear how much he'll affect the Lakers, let alone whether he'll make the roster cut, but it already seems there will be space for him.
His booming and articulate voice coming out of a speakerphone conveyed the maturity he developed in four years as a shooting guard at the College of Charleston. His strong sense of security oozed out when he confirmed a pre-draft quote: "I'm going to be able to shoot until the day I die." Not only did he embrace it, Goudelock took it a step further: "Unless something happens, unless I gain some type of disease where I forget how to shoot, I’m going to shoot until the day I die." And his direct honesty on recognizing the need to play to his shooting strengths, his need to sharpen up on defense and the need to immediately begin work the day after the NBA draft shows he has the proper perspective. "Tonight I’m going to enjoy it," he said. "Then it’s back to work for me."
But this isn't an assessment based on a seven-minute conference call with the L.A. media. It just confirms what's already apparent. Goudelock averaged 23.7 points on 45.5% shooting as a senior last season, continuing a pattern in which he increased his scoring average by at least three points and set a school record in points (2,571) and fourth-best in assists (424). He shot 40.7% from three-point range, suggesting he should already bolster the Lakers' 35.2% average from last season.
"I’m not afraid of anybody," Goudelock said. "Whenever I have that confidence with me, I think it bodes well when I’m playing against competition because I don’t care who it is. When I step on that floor, I’m giving it 150% and I’m going to try to kill them."
Lakers General Manager Mitch Kupchak did his best to temper expectations, but it was obvious he felt selecting Goudelock immediately address their top priority this off-season in bolstering their backcourt.
"It’s possible," Kupchak said when asked if it's realistic that Goudelock's strong shooting will carry over to the pros. "A lot of it is going to depend on how he fits in with our new system and new coach. His confidence, being a four-year player, will probably have more confidence than a player who’s 19 or 20. He’s a seasoned player and played for a very good coach at College of Charleston. We know him very well as a player. He seems to have a lot of confidence."
But Goudelock also has perspective.
He admitted he immediately cried after being drafted. He laughed at himself upon hearing that the Harlem Globetrotters drafted him Tuesday. And he repeatedly described the Lakers as a "classy organization" and spouted platitudes for Kobe Bryant.
It remains to be seen how that will actually play out with the Lakers, but there are plenty of signs this will work out. The main one entails his confidence. Goudelock touted the "junk" in his game, ranging from his ball handling, dribbling and play-making abilities. He admitted feeling secure matching up with NBA players after going through 16 different team workouts. And he argued that his refusal to "back down" will give him the tools necessary to "get better every day."
"I'm not bashful about my game," Goudelock said. "I have a lot of confidence in my game and I try to exert that as much as I can."
-- Mark Medina
E-mail the Lakers blog at firstname.lastname@example.org