Villanova gamers carry a repute within the NBA. Take a look at the Wildcats’ alums throughout the league — notably Kyle Lowry, Mikal Bridges, Jalen Brunson and Donte Divincenzo — and also you’ll discover they’re sturdy defenders who stretch the ground offensively.
These qualities are current in Saddiq Bey, drafted nineteenth total by the Detroit Pistons in November’s draft. He was thought to be one of many strongest defenders in school basketball final season and shot 45.1% from 3 on 5.6 makes an attempt per sport.
Bey credit Villanova coach Jay Wright for his method to the sport, as Wright’s groups, traditionally, have been among the greatest within the NCAA from a defensive standpoint.
“He helps you be essentially the most full participant you may be” Bey mentioned Monday. “He helps you in each side of your sport. He doesn’t attempt to label you, he tries that can assist you in each skillset. Teaches you find out how to play laborious and collectively and for one another.”
Pistons coach Dwane Casey is accustomed to Villanova gamers. He mentioned he coached three of them in Toronto, together with Lowry.
Now, two days into coaching camp, Bey is standing out. Whereas Casey has preached he’ll be affected person with Detroit’s rookies, he additionally acknowledged Bey is holding his personal defensively. It could possibly be his ticket to cracking the rotation this season.
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“With all rookies, the one factor you higher do is play protection,” Casey mentioned. “You gotta have the ability to defend to get on the ground. That is one thing he’s been doing, he’s been stable. I don’t count on rookies to return in and set the world on fireplace, making pictures and doing loads of issues offensively for us, there’s so many reads it’s a must to make and changes you’ve got within the sport for the size and velocity. However one factor you are able to do is play laborious defensively, get again in transition, speak, all these issues.”
Blake Griffin provided larger reward for Bey. Each Griffin and Bey are represented by Excel Sports activities Administration, and that enabled them to attach after the draft. Griffin invited Bey to exercise with him in Los Angeles, and is impressed together with his sport.
“Saddiq has one of the full video games that I’ve seen, particularly from a rookie,” Griffin mentioned final week. “I do know he’s a bit of bit older, however nonetheless, a really full sport. One in all my favourite issues about him is his starvation for getting higher and for the sport of basketball. That’s all the child needs to speak about, it’s all he cares about. He simply needs to get higher. He requested the appropriate sort of questions. I’m glad I received to spend a while with him, simply because it’s very encouraging to know there’s like-minded guys on the workforce.”
Their exercise was about constructing camaraderie forward of coaching camp, and Bey is carrying that constructive expertise with him into camp.
“We simply labored on every little thing,” Bey mentioned. “Wasn’t something too particular, however simply taking part in with one another, getting a really feel for one another and simply engaged on our craft on the highest stage. I believe it was an excellent expertise.”
Positionally, the Pistons are nonetheless evaluating the place Bey matches greatest. He’s 6 ft 8 and has the dimensions and skillset to be a conventional 3-and-D wing. The teaching employees isn’t labeling him. The roster is stacked at ahead, with Griffin and Jerami Grant doubtless being the starters. Josh Jackson, Sekou Doumbouya and Dzanan Musa are additionally competing for minutes on the ahead positions. Bey has performed a number of positions by the primary two days of camp.
Bey’s rookie standing mixed with a shortened ramp as much as the common season means it would take time to earn constant taking part in time.
“When he makes a mistake, it’s an sincere mistake and he learns from it, he self-corrects himself in addition to anybody we’ve,” Casey mentioned. “The sky’s the restrict for this younger man. One phrase I’m preaching with the entire rookies is endurance and ensure everybody understands. Two or three years from now, these children are going to be one thing particular on this league. Once more, I don’t wish to put stress on him proper now, let him do it on the proper, correct tempo.”
Deividas Sirvydis replace
After a season abroad, Deividas Sirvydis — Detroit’s 2019 second-round decide — agreed to a three-year contract with the Pistons final week.
Casey mentioned Sirvydis has but to report back to coaching camp resulting from a visa subject, and should full the NBA’s COVID-19 protocols earlier than he can formally be a part of the workforce. Sirvydis performed professionally in Lithuania and Jerusalem final season.
“I believe he’s purported to be right here Wednesday, however he nonetheless has to undergo the COVID protocols,” Casey mentioned. “It’s going to be some time earlier than he has an opportunity to get out on the ground simply due to the Visa points and getting within the nation, that sort of factor. I’m excited to see him, see what he can do, see the place he’s as a participant.”
As soon as Sirvydis arrives, the objective for him can be for him to get greater and stronger. On the Pistons’ coaching camp roster, he’s listed at 6-8 and 190 kilos, lower than each participant on the roster aside from guards Saben Lee and Delon Wright.
“He’s coming within the league as a shooter,” Casey mentioned. “Primary factor he has to do is get greater and stronger as a participant.”
This text initially appeared on Detroit Free Press: Detroit Pistons: Saddiq Bey’s Villanova repute offers him increase