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Tuesday, June 28, 2011
Meet Andrew Goudelock and Darius Morris (video)

By Andy Kamenetzky

On Tuesday in El Segundo, second round draft picks Andrew Goudelock, Ater Majok (sporting a mohawk!!!) and Darius Morris were introduced to the L.A. media. Before the meet n' greet, they participated in a spirited scrimmage, part of a two-day free agent mini-camp. (Notable names on hand included ex-NBA players Gerald Green, the once exceptionally overpaid Bobby Simmons, Cedric Simmons and D.J. Strawberry.) The game-winning trey was canned by Goudelock, so that's a start for the rookie contingent. (Check out the video courtesy of Mike Trudell at Lakers.com.)

Here are four clips of Goudelock and Morris, with more to come later from BK. Among the talking points:

ANDREW GOUDELOCK, PART I

- Goudelock explains how his extreme confidence allows him to keep shooting even after a string of attempts fail to drop. This self-belief took a lot of time to develop.

- Goudelock offers a rather succinct response when asked if being a second round pick equals long odds of making the team:  "No."

- Goudelock was actually drafted by the Harlem Globetrotters a few days before the Lakers. But despite the uncertainty of getting picked by an NBA team and the opportunity to bomb "fours," Goudelock never considered a future in confetti-ball. Still, he labeled the selection "flattering."

-  In an interesting bit of symmetry, Goudelock described the Charleston program as a "family" atmosphere, which is exactly what Mike Brown tries to create with his teams, too.

ANDREW GOUDELOCK, PART II

- Goudelock, who admittedly grew nervous as he continued to fall closer to the end of the draft, on his teary reaction after getting drafted by the Lakers. "It's something that everybody wants to hear. You think about when you're a young child. Everybody wants to get drafted. They wanna hear their name called on that stage by someone. So to have your dream come true, there's nothing like it.

"This is a long time coming for me. I was only recruited by two colleges. Didn't play AAU. So this was big for me."

- Goudelock isn't worried about the impending lockout, since the situation is totally outside his control. Instead, he plans to use the time constructively. Beyond working out, on Wednesday, he'll fly back to College of Charleston and wrap up his Sociology degree.

- It wasn't just Goudelock utilizing a "chip on my shoulder" attitude in college, but rather his entire team. As he explains, that mindset was also used to turn the table psychologically against bigger, more heralded programs:

"We didn't feel any pressure. We felt like the pressure was on the other school, because if they got beat by us, they'd be hearing it.

- I love this quote from Goudelock about his shooting:

"It gives me the ultimate confidence, because I have an ace. Some guys don't have that. I always have that ace in my pocket and as long as I'm putting that ace out on the table, it's gonna be hard for people not to see it."

DARIUS MORRIS, PART I

- Despite a popular consensus that another year in college would have easily catapulted Morris into the first round of the 2012 draft, he has no regrets about leaving Michigan early.

- As it turns out, this was Morris' second time in the Lakers' training facility. When he was about 12, his older brother DeWayne received a purple and gold tryout, and young Darius tagged along to support his sib. Or cross paths with a future Hall of Famer, whichever came first.

"I was hoping to run into Kobe (Bryant)," admitted Morris with a grin. "But I didn't."

- With the lockout looming, Morris plans to seek out as much info from the coaching staff as possible before contact is prohibited. From there, he'll "work harder than I've ever worked in my life."

- While Morris will work on his outside shooting, he also insists his touch from deep is better than advertised.

- It's a "special" feeling to get drafted by a hometown squad, especially after spending so much time away from his family during college.

- Asked to describe himself as a point guard, Morris spotlights his size, quickness, passing skills, penetrate, and ability to score, whether from mid-range or outside off the dribble.

DARIUS MORRIS, PART II

- Most NBA players, even the veterans, can become starstruck at the celebrities typically courtside at a Laker game. One regular, however, is old hat for Morris. The point guard's best friend happens to be Malcolm Washington, aka "Denzel's son." Thus, he's played in front of the two-time Academy Award winner on several occasions and is comfortable playing with him in the audience. Denzel also texted him congratulations on being drafted.

- And finally, Morris grew a bit over the last year. He's now "6-5 with shoes on" and hopes to sprout even more. "I'll take all the inches," laughed Morris.

UPDATE: One more from Morris, in which he talks about his roots growing up a Bulls fan in L.A., his happiness in getting to come home for his shot at the pros, and how the lockout might impact his offseason training: