June 24, 2004
NEW YORK, N.Y. –
With the 44th pick in the 2004 NBA Draft the New Orleans Hornets selected Florida State University guard Tim Pickett. The draft was held at the Auditorium at Madison Square Garden. Pickett was one of only three players from the Atlantic Coast Conference to hear his name called during the draft. He was joined by only Duke’s Luol Deng (first round, seventh pick by Phoenix) and Chris Duhon (second round, 38th pick by Chicago).
New Orleans finished with a 41-41 record and fell to the Miami Heat in seven games during the first round of the Eastern Conference playoffs.
“It feels really good to be drafted by the Hornets organization,” said Pickett. “It’s just like starting over like when I first came to Florida State. I just have to go there and show them that I can make the right decisions and that I can continue to make myself a better player.”
Pickett worked out for the Hornets in New Orleans Tuesday with a group of players that included Jameer Nelson.
“I feel like I played good defense when I was there,” Pickett said. “I feel like I shot the ball well and showed the staff that I can make good decisions with the basketball.”
Pickett became the 18th Leonard Hamilton-coached player selected in the NBA Draft. Hamilton is entering his third season as the Seminoles’ head coach.
“I think this is a tremendous opportunity for Tim to be part of an organization that needs a guy who can do all of the things he can do,” said Florida State head coach Leonard Hamilton soon after the selection.
Pickett was an All-America Honorable Mention and All-ACC First-Team selection as he led Florida State to the second round of the NIT as a senior in 2004. He averaged a team-leading 16.5 points and 2.5 steals per game as a senior. He will long be remembered as one of the most exciting players in Florida State men’s basketball history and the preeminent building block in Head Coach Leonard Hamilton’s mission of making the Seminoles a program of significance in college basketball.
In only two years at the Division I level Pickett was a two-time All-ACC selection – First-Team in 2004 and Second-Team in 2003. He joined only All-American Bob Sura in 1994 as the only two Florida State players to earn All-ACC First-Team honors in school history. Pickett was a two-time All-ACC Defensive Team selection – by both the coaches and the media – in both 2003 and 2004 and totaled 164 steals in his two seasons at Florida State. He closed his career ranked tied for second in ACC history with a 2.64 steals per game average and is tied with NC State’s Chris Corchiani and ranks behind only Maryland’s Johnny Rhodes in conference history. Pickett finished 33rd on Florida State’s all-time scoring list with 1,038 career points as he averaged 16.7 points per game during his 62-game career.
Pickett completed his collegiate career ranked fourth in school history with 194 3-point shots made and third in school history with 529 career 3-point shots attempted. He shot .367 from the field for his two-year career – the ninth best career percentage in school history and he finished second in school history with a .814 free throw shooting percentage.
Pickett became the first Seminole selected in the NBA Draft since James Collins in 1997. Collins was selected in the second round by the Philadelphia 76’ers. The last Seminole player selected in the first round was Bob Sura in 1995 by the Cleveland Cavaliers. Sura was the 17th overall selection in the draft.
Said ESPN Draft Expert Jay Bilas: “Tim Pickett – he is strong, he is quick, he’s got really good range on his shot and he’s very productive. I’ll tell you what; nobody plays harder than Tim Pickett. He will be a nice addition to that team.”
Pickett earned his bachelor’s degree in sociology from Florida State in commencement exercises April 30 in the same arena where he played his collegiate basketball – the Tallahassee Leon County Civic Center.