Given the injuries and turnover on the roster, the New Orleans Hornets had a number of players this season that even diehard NBA fans had never heard of. Some of these players filled a brief hole and then went right back to the D-League. However, I was particularly impressed with the late season addition of point guard Jerome Dyson.
Will Jerome Dyson realize his dream and become a permanent NBA fixture with the New Orleans Hornets in 2012-13?
Jerome Dyson shouldn't be intimidated by the bright lights of the NBA since he played for one of the nation's best college basketball programs. For four years, Dyson played for the UConn Huskies and averaged double figures each year. Jerome Dyson's best season was his senior year when he averaged 17.2 points and 4.2 assists per game.
Despite his fine college career, Jerome Dyson went undrafted. So it was on to the D-League. Dyson became an instant sensation with the Tulsa 66ers. Over two years, he averaged 16.6 points per game. Finally, as the 2011-12 season drew to a close, Jerome Dyson got the call he had been waiting for from the New Orleans Hornets.
Over the Hornets' final nine games of the season, the thing that impressed me the most about Jerome Dyson was his defense. I loved watching the looks on the faces of NBA veterans going through the motions in April as this 24-year old NBA rookie was covering them like a glove. I know New Orleans coach Monty Williams had to also be impressed.
The other aspect of Jerome Dyson's game that I loved was that he had no fears about driving the lane and taking big shots. I think playing big time basketball in the Big East has really helped this young man. But the question that remains is whether or not Jerome Dyson has done enough to earn a roster spot in New Orleans next year.
Regardless of what happens in the NBA Draft, I believe the Hornets will have a new starting point guard next season. However, I think Greivis Vasquez has done enough at point guard and shooting guard to stay in New Orleans. The Hornets must start holding on to their young talent instead of trading it away like they've done in past seasons.
I believe Jerome Dyson will find his way on the New Orleans Hornets' 2012-13 roster because he is the classic substitute. For 10-15 minutes per game, Dyson can infuse energy into the Hornets' lineup and keep the offense moving. Jerome Dyson can also be a defensive stopper for the Hornets in the second half.
If he can play a bit more under control, Jerome Dyson should be in the NBA for many years to come.
Patrick Michael was born in New Orleans and currently resides in the Big Easy. A loyal New Orleans NBA fan, Patrick was a diehard New Orleans Jazz fan and now cheers for the Hornets. Patrick was in the New Orleans Arena the night the Hornets were one win away from the Western Conference Finals. Follow Patrick Michael on Twitter patmichael84.
"Jerome Dyson," sports-reference.com/cbb
"Jerome Dyson," nba.com/dleague
"Jerome Dyson," basketball-reference.com
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