Four members of the Villanova Wildcats are participating in this year's NBA Summer League in Las Vegas, Nevada and Orlando, Florida and are trying to earn a spot on an NBA roster. Although all of the former Wildcats -- with the exception of Maalik Wayns -- are only averaging under ten minutes a game, they are playing as hard as they can to keep their basketball dreams alive.
Maalik Wayns is getting the most minutes out of any former Wildcat with 26 per game. The minutes are well deserved for the former McDonald's All-American because he has played in the NBA for the past two seasons with the Philadelphia 76ers and the Los Angeles Clippers. Now, Wayns plays for the Rio Grande Valley Vipers, an NBA development team for the Houston Rockets. He has started in every single game for the Washington Wizards summer league team, although he has not played to his potential. In his first game against the Atlanta Hawks, he had three points and shot 1-of-6 from the field. He did however have three rebounds, five assists, and was able to only commit one turnover. Maalik seemed a little nervous in the second game because he only shot the ball four times the entire game. He finished with only four points but had six assists and five rebounds.
Maalik also had four turnovers in his second game and is not a good sign for him as he tries to make the Wizards roster. Even though Maalik's had his Summer League-high with eight points in his last game against the Miami Heat, he turned over the ball five times and shot 30 percent from the field, including an 0-for-4 performance from the 3-point line. Luckily, he did snag eight rebounds and dish out three assists so there were at least some good stats in the box score.
Maalik has another game against the Heat on Thursday and he must have a good game if he wants to even have a chance of making the Wizards roster.
Maurice Sutton is a center for the Oklahoma City Thunder's Summer League team and spent last year playing in the D-League for the Tulsa 66ers. Sutton has not received the minutes that he wanted but the Summer League is a good opportunity to practice and play against NBA-caliber talent. In his first game against the Memphis Grizzlies he only played one minute and the only stat he had for the game was one turnover. In his second game though, he played eight minutes and had five points with three rebounds in a 98-84 win. Sutton's last game against the Miami Heat did not light up the box score, only playing two minutes and only went 0-for-1 on the day.
The odds of Maurice making an NBA roster are slim to none but the NBA Summer League is a great opportunity for him to become a better player.
James Bell of the Charlotte Hornets had a great senior season and was First Team All-Big East but like Sutton, Bell has not received a lot of minutes so far. In his first game against the Golden State Warriors, Bell only played four minutes and went 0-for-2 from the field. In his game last Wednesday against the Dallas Mavericks, he played 13 minutes in a close 82-81 win and recorded two rebounds, one assist, and one steal. He went 0-for-4 from the field and had one point going 1-for-2 from the line. The Hornets played the New Orleans Pelicans yesterday and he only played 2 minutes and 36 seconds and did not record any stats due to lack of playing time. He also did not play when the Hornets faced the Sacramento kings last Sunday. Like Maurice Sutton, James Bell will not make a NBA team this year but he could probably play in the D-league or in Europe this upcoming season.
Mouphtaou Yarou is the last Wildcat participating in the NBA Summer League and spent his last season playing basketball in Serbia. Currently, Yarou is now on the Philadelphia 76ers' Summer League roster, and his first game against the Utah Jazz has been the highlight of his stint thus far. He recorded summer league highs in rebounds with two, points with four, blocks with one, and minutes with 12. Mouphtaou only played one minute against the Phoenix Suns a few days ago and his last game against the Lakers, he only had two points and one rebound and played a total of five minutes. Summer lLague may be a disappointment to him so far but hopefully he can keep his basketball dream alive and play in the D-League or some where in Europe next year.