NBA Draft Blog Interview with Randy Culpepper

Recently, I had the chance to talk to former UTEP guard Randy Culpepper.  Culpepper, at 6’0 tall, scored over 19 points a game for a 25 win UTEP team this past season.  During our chat, Culpepper discussed his development as a player, draft preparations and overcoming the misperception that he can’t be a NBA-level point guard.  Yesterday, he worked out for the Washington Wizards and all indications of his performance were positive, and I expect to hear more about his future workouts.  A pleasure to speak to, I hope you enjoy Randy in his own words :

Randy on what brought him to UTEP:

 

“I’m from Memphis, and at the time I was looking at schools, Tony Barbee was an assistant at Memphis.  When he got the coaching job at UTEP, he invited me for a visit. It was my first visit and I loved the school right away.”

Randy on how his game has changed since he started college:

 

“My game has changed tremendously.  Coach Barbee gave me a better understanding of the game as a whole, and when Coach (Tim) Floyd took over, he has coached in the NBA.  He taught me what I need to do on both offense and defense to play at that level.”

 

Randy on preparing for the NBA Draft:

 

“I’ve been in Memphis training with Scotty Mason, who has helped me train since the 6th grade.  I get up at 8 am, do individual workouts for two to three hours, then do an hour in the pool.  I’ll take a break for a few hours and go back at it.  There are a couple of guys training with me who play professionally overseas, so I work with them too.  It has taken over my life, but it is worth it.”

 

Randy on what kind of role he envisions playing at the NBA level:

 

“Honestly, I know that I would be coming off the bench, especially early on in my career.   There’s an impression that because of my lack of size and that I didn’t play point guard a lot at UTEP that I won’t be able to do it.  However, I was really recruited to be a point guard in college, but the team really needed scorers, so Coach Barbee moved me off the ball.  But I can play point guard, and can definitely fill the role of a scoring point guard.”

Randy on his game’s biggest strengths:

 

“Playing defense is definitely one of my biggest strengths.  Especially once Coach Floyd took over, he is very defensive-minded, and I did a lot of picking up guys full court.  I think I do a good job playing the passing lanes and getting steals.  Also, my shot selection has improved every year since I was in college.”

Randy on what he wants to improve about his game:

 

“Everything.  There is always room to improve every part of your game.  Specifically, the pick and roll game is not something I got to do a lot in college and I know it’s a big part now of the NBA game.  Also, I am working on just getting stronger, making my body better.”

 

Randy on what he wants teams and fans to know about him:

 

“I’m a good person. I’m not a troublemaker, on or off the court.  I graduated college in 3 ½ years and that’s something that can never be taken away from me.  I’m a leader, I will always bring my best every game, whether I play 20 minutes or 5 minutes..”

I want to thank Randy for his time and I wish him the best of luck as he looks to fulfill his dream of getting to the NBA.  Thank you also to his agent Austin Walton of Walton Sports Management Group for arranging this interview.  Make sure to check back tomorrow for interviews with Adnan Kodzic, Andrew Goudelock and Mickey McConnell.

 

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