Charlotte Coach Praises Tom Crean and IU Program
July 3, 2014
Bloomington, Indiana - Charlotte Hornets Coach Steve Clifford was excited to have the opportunity to choose another Indiana player in the first round of the NBA Draft when his team was able to select Noah Vonleh with the ninth pick last week.
Last year, the then Charlotte Bobcats took former Hoosier All-American Cody Zeller with the No. 4 pick in the NBA Draft. He played in all 82 games and averaged 6.0 points and 4.3 points and showed continued improvement as the season wore on.
Clifford was surprised that Vonleh was still available but had no concerns about taking the Big Ten Freshman of the Year despite not having him in to workout for the Hornets.
"We didn't think we would have a chance at someone like Noah," said Clifford. "Honestly, we thought he would be gone early, probably in the top five picks or soon after."
"We started to realize that Noah or (Julius) Randle may drop to us at No. 9," said Clifford."
Clifford also knew the type of player he would be getting if he selected someone who played for Tom Crean.
"The fact that Noah played for Tom Crean (at Indiana) was a positive," said Clifford. "That's a really structured, good program. They run a lot of stuff he'll see in the NBA. We were very, very happy to have a chance at someone like Noah."
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