Two years ago, I went through a big CAA college basketball phase. George Mason, Hofstra, UNC-Wilmington, Iona -- I got hooked on the high level of competition and would watch these teams religiously. The conference's best player that year? Hard not to go with Northeastern point guard Jose Juan Barrea. Roughly 30 months later, Barrea's on the court in the Vegas summer league, doing the same thing he did all those random nights on ESPN 7 -- running the show. The Mavericks' starting point guard in these games, Barrea's hit every clutch shot (over Greg Oden vs. Portland on Sunday), every big free throw, and made guys like Mo Ager and Pops Mensah-Bonsu look like stars. If Barrea was maybe three inches taller, he'd be a starting point guard in this league. For now? He's a summer league superstar. Here's to hoping he gets some real burn for Dallas in the regular season.Barea's defense appeared to be improved during the short summer league and that will have more to with his playing time than anything he can do offensively.
Here are the Mavs final stats for the VSL. Some notables:
- Brandon Bass led the team in scoring, and Bill Ingram has an article on him today at Hoops World. I think Bass will definitely end up on NBA roster next season, but it's highly unlikely it will be with the Mavs.
- Pops led the team in rebounding, grabbing 8.8 per game. Ingram had an article on Pops at the end of last week, and it included this interesting tidbit.
Now a number of NBA teams are starting to call the Mavs to inquire about their future plans for their young power forward.Good to know. If the Mavs sign another free agent they'll need to make room on the roster. Trading Pops Mensah-Bonsu for future second rounder seems like the most obvious way the Mavs would look to accomplish that.
- Diop led the league in blocks per game with 3.2.
- JJ Barea averaged 14.4pts, 6.2ast, 3.0reb, 1.4 TO's, and was named to the summer league first team
JJT writes kindly of Mark Cuban.
Jeff Caplan has a must read article on Devin Harris. Harris has gained 15 pounds of muscle so far this offseason, which is pretty amazing since I haven't been able to gain that much weight in about seven years. I won't quote it, just read it.
Carnival of the NBA