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tiggerpolice 07-21-2005 12:56 PM

Vroman's play getting uncharacteristic praise
Vroman's play getting uncharacteristic praise
Forward stepping up in summer league
Thursday, July 14, 2005
By John Reid
Staff writer
LAS VEGAS -- Whether it's summer league or the regular season, it's not easy for a player to draw praise from Hornets coach Byron Scott.

Although guard J.R. Smith leads the Hornets with a 20-point scoring average after four games in the Vegas Summer League, Scott said Smith has been inconsistent. Maciej Lampe has shown progress as a post player. Still, Scott told him this week he'll need to improve even more before training camp starts.

But there's one player who has caught Scott's attention for all the good things he's done.

For several minutes Wednesday, Scott raved about second-year forward Jackson Vroman's hustle, improved defensive play in the post and ability to finish more plays.

"I'm really proud of his work this summer. The way he hustles and plays is going to be a big-time benefit to us," Scott said. "I think he's got some confidence. He's one of the players who is going to come to training camp and give a lot of guys trouble."

He gave the New Jersey Nets trouble Tuesday, particularly on one play. It came in the third quarter after Vroman missed a free throw. He ran through the middle of the lane to beat two Nets players for the rebound. It was a hustle play that sparked a 12-0 run by the Hornets, leading to their 84-67 victory.

"Effort is something you have to bring every game, whether you're shooting the ball well or not," Vroman said. "If you play hard every game, you can always contribute and be on the floor, and that's what I try to do."

The Hornets obtained Vroman, along with Lampe and Casey Jacobsen, in a January trade with the Phoenix Suns for guard Jim Jackson, who refused to report to the Hornets after being acquired from Houston.

In 36 games, Vroman averaged 5.4 points and 4.5 rebounds for the Hornets. He could have become a free agent at the end of the season if the Hornets had not exercised the option on his contract in May to keep him for another season.

"He got a little opportunity last year, and I thought that he showed enough signs that the coaches and management liked the way he played," Hornets general manager Allan Bristow said.

"He's such a hard-nosed player, and you can see his passion out there, doing the little things to help make the team win. He's probably one of our best low-post defenders. He draws the charge, runs the floor extremely well, and he's getting into that "Birdman" (Andersen) category -- the energy guy who does all the little things to make something happen."

In summer league, Vroman has made a team-leading 55.6 percent of his shots. He's averaged 4.5 points and 3.8 rebounds in 18 minutes per game. Occasionally, Vroman still commits unnecessary fouls, and he still hasn't developed a mid-range jump shot. But few players have matched his physical play.

"I want to work on my jump shot, but I think my defense has been pretty solid," Vroman said. "I definitely take summer league serious. I would do it every summer if I could because it can help you get better."

NOTES: The Hornets did not practice Wednesday. They conclude their summer league schedule today against the Detroit Pistons at 5 p.m. . . . Scott wants former LSU forward Brandon Bass to be a little more physical than he's shown so far. . . . Bristow returned to New Orleans on Wednesday afternoon, saying he had completed all of his scouting and player evaluations.

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John Reid can be reached at or (504) 826-3405.

papz 07-22-2005 08:31 PM

RE: Vroman
Here is Vroman's attributes and what he brings to the team... hustle, hustle, and more hustle. He doesn't do anything well, but the guy gives it 110% everytime he gets on the court. He's our Mark Madsen.

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