Thursday, May 24, 2012

News and Notes: Thursday Edition

Above, Cornell rising senior, Eitan Chemerinski.  Below, some news and notes for Thursday...

    The Nets' free agent mini-camp ended Wednesday with Avery Johnson and Billy King professing it was great and that in Johnson's words, there were "two or three players" they liked and in King's words, "we're trying to build a summer league roster" and would be inviting "some of them" to Orlando in July.  Of the 21, most attention was focused on the five former NBA players who were overseas last year and Ben Hansbrough whose ankle injury hurt his chances of being drafted late by the Nets.Listening to Johnson and King, the Nets said particularly nice things about Adam Morrison, Al Thornton,Julian Wright, Jeff Foote and Hilton Armstrong. Foote, the Armor's seven-foot All-D-League center, has already accepted a summer league spot.
  • The Star Ledger of New Jersey writes, "Some of the 21 players invited to [the Nets' free agent] camp, which ended yesterday, will likely be invited to join the Nets’ summer league team. [Nets GM, Billy] King said 7-0 center Jeff Foote, who played for the Nets’ D-League team this season, already is on the summer team, along with his D-League teammate Dennis Horner and Nets rookies MarShon Brooks and Jordan Williams."
Deron Williams was in the Nets gym again. But he didn’t talk, so the interest factor in the joint dropped considerably.  But there were still a lot of former NBA types among the hopefuls finishing out the third day of the Nets' free agent mini-camp staged to find perhaps a roster player while coming up with candidates for their Summer League entry in Orlando and their D-League affiliate in Springfield.  “It was good,” GM Billy King said of the three-day event. “We saw some guys that we liked how they played, some guys we'll be inviting to Summer League to hopefully continue the process… A lot of the guys have been in the league. They know how to play – as we told Julian Wright, he's in better shape than when he tried to work out for us.  “We're building our Summer League roster in the hopes of building a team that can go there and play well together so we can really continue to evaluate them. And then from there, invite some guys to our veteran camp."  And already the Nets have four guys set for Summer League in early July – MarShon Brooks and Jordan Williams who completed their rookie years with the parent club and two guys whose time was spent primarily in Springfield, center Jeff Foote and forward Dennis Horner.  “And hopefully after this, we’ll have a few guys to add to it. And then we’ll do the draft and look at guys that don’t get drafted and save some spots for those guys and then we’ll be done,” King said.
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Foote obviously was on the Nets radar all season. There were times they wanted to bring him up from Springfield but were hampered by a roster spot. Finally, they decided to do so but had to wait one more day because Foote was playing. Then they were beaten to the punch by the Hornets, who signed the Cornell product to a 10-day contract.  “I was told the day before Brooklyn planned to call me up – I had a game that night and they planned to call me up the next day — but I got called up by the Hornets,” said Foote who impressed over the past three days. “So there was that. And later in the season they called up Dennis Horner who they had familiarity with. So there was nothing wrong with that. The D-League was a great experience for me. Coach MacKinnon did a tremendous job of taking my game to the next level a little bit.”  Foote, 7-0, came to the mini-camp just trying to show progress and to leave an impression. He did both apparently.  “The one good thing, I think, about Foote: he’s seven feet,” King said, reminding you can’t teach height. “And he plays seven feet, that’s the thing I love about him. He’ll be with us in Summer League so it’ll be good to see how he continues to progress throughout the summer.”  Foote had an advantage of sorts because Springfield basically employs Nets terminology and playbook. So he was real comfortable for three days.  “Especially with the defenses, it helped me adjust quicker. You know what’s expected, what needs to be taken care of. I definitely think come summer league it will make an easier transition,” Foote said.  “Here, I was trying to show them I’m still growing, I still have a lot of potential and I’m still young relatively. I’m 24. I think I showed them I’m coming along and developing,” Foote said. “I think I showed I can pass really well out of the post, have a decent array of post moves. In my personal opinion, I think I probably need to get a little stronger but that’s what summer is for. So right now that’s what I’m focusing on. That and improving the jump shot.”
  • Jeff Aubry (Cornell '99) finished with 13 points, 8 rebounds and 4 blocks as his Arecibo Capitanes captured Game 1 of the BSN semifinals series in Puerto Rico.  Arecibo defeated San German 82-67.

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