Javon McCrea and Mitchell Watt both completed their storied college basketball careers in Buffalo, but now they're trying to further their professional careers in Las Vegas. The 2011 and 2013 MAC Players of the Year are spending their time in Vegas suiting up for the Dallas Mavericks (McCrea) and Golden State Warriors (Watt).
Now, Summer League stats aren't the best showing of a player's potential with the team they are trying out for. Playing time is certainly important, but what matters is what the coaches see in practice. The good news is that both McCrea and Watt earned at least some playing time for their respective teams, a sign that the coaches like what they see in both of them.
McCrea played four and a half minutes in the Mavericks' 76-64 loss to the New York Knicks. He took just one shot but connected and finished with two points. A far better statistic was his +7 +/- number, which was second best on the team. That means that when McCrea was on the court, his team scored seven more points than the other team. It's a really good statistic that shows total influence on the game while on the court, rather than just looking at points scored.
Mitchell Watt fared a little better than McCrea, stringing together eight points while playing twenty minutes in a 70-58 win over the Charlotte Hornets. Watt also showed why some called him Mitchell Swat on the defensive end, blocking four shots and collecting six rebounds. Watt's strong defensive ability is what will help him to land on an NBA roster and it's great that he's showing the Golden State coaches what he can do.
Today's games will feature four straight games in which a former MAC player will be in uniform. The other two former MAC guys are Michael Bramos (Miami) who is playing for the Hawks and Chris Evans (Kent State) who will suit up for the Nuggets. Here are those games:
Hopefully McCrea is able to play a few more minutes and Watt is able to keep his defensive play at a high level. Check back tomorrow for recaps of Saturday's Summer League action.