Now that the NBA season is well underway, it is a good time to see what our former Cougars have done and make some speculation on how their seasons could end up.
If I told you 4 years ago that Brandon Davies would have the biggest role on an NBA roster during a season, you would have called me crazy. I will concede that he plays for the worst team in the NBA, but he is still getting minutes and performing well in those minutes. He is currently playing 22 minutes a game and rewarding the 76ers with 9 points and 4 rebounds per game. He started off the season shooting very well but has cooled off over the last four games going 8-30. Although during that stretch he has rebounded well and had multiple games where he tallied multiple assists, so he is finding a way to contribute even through his shooting struggles.
What does this mean for Davies? He is showing that he is capable of being a contributor in the NBA. Yes, the team he plays on is terrible, but the teams he has played against are not. He is having this production against good talent when there is not a ton of talent around him. If this type of production continues through out the year, he will certainly land another contract, either with the Sixers or another team, and will be able to continue to play in the NBA.
Remember my hypothetical question I posed earlier? Who was the obvious answer to the question of a Cougar contributing in the NBA? Jimmer Fredette. Remember him scoring almost 30 points per game, shooting the ball from seemingly anywhere on the court, and leading the Cougars to the Sweet 16? Where is Jimmer now? Playing spot minutes for the New Orleans Pelicans. Jimmer has either played 10 minutes plus, or not played. He is averaging 12 minutes per game and scoring 2.8 points per game.
Now, I know that Cougar fans everywhere are very anxious to see their favorite player in a long time put up huge numbers in the NBA. It's probably not going to happen this year. There are not minutes to go around in the rotation at this point. Jimmer is playing behind Jrue Holiday (16 ppg, 6.9 apg), Eric Gordon (8 ppg), and Austin Rivers (8 ppg, 2.6 apg). Coach Monty Williams is running a tight rotation and relying heavily on his starting 5. I know many people think that Jimmer should get some of Rivers' minutes, but you have to realize that the Pelicans are invested in him because they drafted him in the lottery and are going to give him every opportunity to justify that pick. He is also 6-4 and athletic enough to defend both guard positions which is something else that gives him an edge over Jimmer. When Jimmer does get in games, he needs to be aggressive and look to do what he does best, score. There have been a couple games where he played 10+ minutes and did not attempt a shot, if he wants to play more he needs to score when he is in to show his value.
Trent Plaisted has established himself as a good role player for Limoges in France. He is playing 13 minutes and averaging 5 points and 2.5 rebounds per game. Limoges is currently 7-1 in their league 1-4 and in 5th place in the Group B standings of Euroleague.
Lee Cummard is starting for Aalstar in Belgium. He is averaging 7.6 points, 6.6 rebounds, and 2.4 assists. Aalstar is currently 7-0 in their league and in 1st place in the Eurochallenge Group C standings.
Jonathon Tavernari is starting for Tortona in Italy. He is averaging 12 points and 4.7 rebound per game. Tortona is 3-5 and 12th in their league, but is on a winning streak.
Rafael Araujo is on the roster for Pinheiros in Brazil, but has not recorded any stats yet.