With the 46th pick in the second round of the 2011 NBA Draft, the Lakers selected 6-3 guard Andrew Goudelock from the College of Charleston.
Goudelock finished his collegiate career as one of the most productive scorers in Division 1 history, ranking 39th all-time with his 2,571 points. The four-year player was named the Southern Conference Player of the Year as a senior after averaging 23.7 points, 4.2 assists and shooting 82.1 percent from the line.
“His confidence, being a four-year player, he’ll probably have more confidence than a player who is 19 or 20 (years old),” said Lakers GM Mitch Kupchak. “He’s a seasoned player who played for a very good coach*. We know him very well.”
*College of Charleston’s Bobby Cremins, who was formerly the winningest coach in Georgia Tech history.
Goudelock, who improved his scoring average by roughly three points a year from 13.2 as a freshman to 23.7 as a senior, said he started to realize he could play in the NBA heading into his final season. He was elated to be selected by L.A.
“I actually started crying, it was very emotional for me,” Goudelock said. “Going to L.A. is a great thing. I’ve always looked up to guys like Kobe Bryant (and) Derek Fisher. I was just really excited. Tonight I’m going to enjoy it, and it’s back to work for me.”
Goudelock participated in a pre-draft workout at the Lakers’ practice facility and impressed the team’s brass enough that they were pleased when he was still on the board at No. 46. Kupchak was looking for a player who could knock down perimeter shots and potentially earn some backup guard minutes, and Goudelock – whose strong points are different from those of fellow guard and No. 41 pick Darius Morris – fit the bill. Known best for his scoring and shooting, Goudelock made 41.2 percent of his three-point attempts in college with a high of 44.0 percent as a sophomore, and showed NBA-type range noted by Kupchak.
“Unless I get some type of disease where I forget how to shoot, I’ll be able to shoot until the day I die,” he said.
The Stone Mountain, Georgia native emphasized that his game is well-rounded, having scored the ball in a variety of ways and also led his Charleston in assists for three straight years. Kupchak said the Lakers liked that Goudelock had the ability to both pass and shoot the ball with skill.
“I’m very unselfish,” he explained. “Although I scored a lot of points at the College of Charleston, I was never selfish. Whenever there was an open man, I passed the ball. I’m a great teammate.”
Handling the basketball is another area in which Goudelock says he has prowess.
“I have a little junk in my game, so I like to do a lot of different types of things, mix it up a little bit,” he detailed. “Dribbling, coming off screens, spin off a guy, try a crossover … A lot of people know I can shoot, so I try to put it on the floor a lot, try to create a lot of things for myself and it usually works out pretty well for me. I’m not bashful about my game.”
When asked what he needs to work on most, Goudelock said he’d like to improve defensively.
“I think the farther I come defensively the farther I come as a basketball player because my offense is there,” he said. “I’m not going to back down from nobody. I’m going to get better every day. If it means I’m going to have to guard somebody 6-5 or 6-6, I’m going to have to do that.”
In fact, Goudelock could find himself guarding someone who knows how to score, a bit, in practice that happens to be 6-6. His name is Kobe. Yet Goudelock could fit right in…
“I’m not afraid of anybody,” he stated. “I don’t care who it is, whenever I step on that floor, I’m going to give it 150 percent and try to kill it.”
At the same time, Goudelock only wants to fit in to a team he knows is full of some of the world’s best players.
“I’m not going to try and come in and try to do anything that I can’t do,” he concluded. “I’m going to come in and play my game, whatever they need me to do, that’s what I’m going to do. I’m going to be a team player first. First things first is winning.
“I know they want me to play my game … as long as you’re working hard, you don’t have much to worry about.”