Hornets Training Camp – Week 1 Recap

Let’s run down through the roster and see how everybody’s been performing through the first week of training camp.

Hilton Armstrong

I’ve heard surprising little about Hilton this past week, especially considering that he’s one of our few healthy bigs.

Earl Barron

Nothing to report. Barron, along with Larry Owens, are the extra bodies brought in for training camp. It’s extremely unlikely that either of them will make the team since the Hornets already have 15 players under contract.

Bobby Brown

His speed and leaping ability have stood out. On the floor with Chris Paul some during Saturday’s scrimmage.

Devin Brown

Didn’t show much at Saturday’s scrimmage according to at least one report, but has been slowed by blisters on both feet.

Darren Collison

Came up clutch in Saturday’s open scrimmage, scoring twice in the final 15 seconds to get the win. Byron Scott is talking like he already has a lot of faith in the kid. He’s pushing the tempo as requested. Sounds like he’s busy watching tape and doing his homework, too.

Ike Diogu

Diogu was chilling all week due to left knee injury, but John Reid reported on NOLA.com earlier that he was doing wind sprints at the end of today’s practice, and looks to be getting back to full speed.

Sean Marks

No news on Marks. I assume he’s been doing what he does.

Emeka Okafor

Our new pivot has been held out of practice all week due to a sprained second toe on his right foot, and he’s expected to miss the first three preseason games. He told reporters on Thursday that the injury is nothing to worry about:

“I don’t want to make something more serious that wasn’t serious now that it’s early and nothing really counts. I want to nip it in the bud… This is part of the game. It’s nothing serious; something minor. A couple of weeks, and I’ll be back out there with my teammates.”

Okafor and Diogu have spent time getting familiar with the offense by walking through sets.

Larry Owens

I believe his most significant contribution thus far was singing and dancing to Beyonce along with Collison and Thornton on Saturday.

Chris Paul

He’s physically stronger than he was last season, fighting through screens easier and better able to absorb contact. Byron Scott’s words in Friday’s Shreveport Times:

“A lot of times guys are trying to post him up, but our guys that are six, seven inches taller than him are having a hard time in the post because he’s so strong now. A lot of it comes with maturity and age. You get a little bit stronger and a little bit bigger. But the biggest thing is that he hasn’t lost any of his flexibility or quickness.”

Morris Peterson

He’s in good shape, having worked hard on his body this past summer. Jimmy Smith remarked on Peterson’s “chiseled physique” in Wednesday’s Times-Picayune. In Saturday’s scrimmage, Mo knocked down a bunch of three-pointers but didn’t show much else.

James Posey

Was slowed by a sore hip on the first two days of camp, but got better as the week went on. Byron said Posey was “at his best” during Friday’s practice, and Jimmy Smith reports that he showed no limitations during Saturday’s scrimmage.

Darius Songaila

Suffered a right thigh bruise at Friday’s practice, didn’t play or practice on Saturday, but John Reid reports that he was back in action today, going full speed.

Peja Stojakovic

He nailed a bunch of long bombs at Saturday’s scrimmage and was able to get up and down the floor pretty good alongside Collison. Peja insists his back is fine, though he has been taking himself out of drills every now and then so as not to overexert himself. 

As for coming off the bench this season

“I don’t have a problem with that,” said Stojakovic, who started the past three years for the Hornets. “It’s definitely going to be a challenge for me. I’m looking forward to it. If I can be productive off the bench and help the team, I’m good with it.”

Marcus Thornton

Played some point guard in Saturday’s scrimmage. Sounds like he’s in good shape, since he wasn’t as exhausted as some of his teammates after Tuesday’s practice:

“I thought it was going to be a lot harder,” said Thornton… “I figured I would have been passed out by right now, but everything went good. I expected it (a lot of running) on the first day of training camp. Everybody was trying to get their wind back, so I expected that. I thought it would have been a whole lot more than running.”

David West

West dropped a long three to tie up Saturday’s scrimmage late. Beyond that, I haven’t heard much about him, good or bad, which likely means he’s going about his business and he’ll be ready as ever once the season starts. In yesterday’s Times-Picayune, Jimmy Smith had an article about West being the longest tenured Hornet. Gotta love this excerpt:

West learned the ropes from [P.J.] Brown, a quiet professional whose off-the-court kindness was legendary, but his on-court attitude was aggressively businesslike and usually well-controlled.

Yet West doesn’t believe his demeanor mirrors Brown’s in part because his intensity bubbles at a constant simmer.

“Not yet. Not yet,” West said emphatically. “P.J. was a little more, I don’t know exactly what the word I’m looking for is, but I think he was a little more reserved than I am. Less direct. P.J. is a lot more reserved. You had to get deep to get that (anger) out of him. You don’t have to go that deep with me.”

Julian Wright

Byron Scott said early in the week that the starting shooting guard job is Wright’s to lose. Hornets.com had these words from Scott after Day 1 of camp:

“[Julian] looked good today,” Scott said. “He ran the floor well, he’s in great shape and made some very good decisions. He did a great job on the offensive and defensive end. I hope today is a sign of great things to come with JuJu. I think he’s feeling comfortable. He has a lot of confidence in himself, and I think he knows we have a lot of confidence in him. I expect him to play well this year.”

According to a poster over at Hornets Report, JuJu impressed at Saturday’s scrimmage.

Closing it out with a bunch of video from Saturday’s scrimmage, most of them via Hornets Report.

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