Bucks to start Jennings
Rookie point guard gets spot in opener
By Charles F. Gardner of the Journal Sentinel
Posted: Oct. 27, 2009
St. Francis — Ready or not, rookie Brandon Jennings will be in the Milwaukee Bucks' starting lineup on opening night Friday in Philadelphia.
The 20-year-old Jennings experienced some tough times during the preseason as he tried to defend opposing point guards and struggled with his perimeter shot.
But he also made some spectacular passes and major-league steals, giving glimpses of the potential that caused the Bucks to select him with the 10th pick in the June draft.
Bucks coach Scott Skiles confirmed after Tuesday's practice that Jennings would start and veteran Luke Ridnour would be the primary backup.
"I felt like both guys played really well in the preseason in most of their minutes," Skiles said. "It's just my call. Even when I talked to Luke, it's not like I could give Luke five set reasons.
"It's something I'm electing to do, start him (Jennings) from opening night and see what happens. It will then depend on how he plays, how we play, all those issues."
Jennings said it was "a dream come true" to start in the opener, but he stressed that he would need plenty of help from Ridnour and Roko Ukic, the Bucks' third point guard.
"I am excited, nervous, of course, as all rookies would be," Jennings said. "I just have to go out there and run the team and stay calm."
The 6-foot-1 Jennings posted a double-double against the Chicago Bulls on Oct. 13, scoring 10 points and adding 12 assists in a reserve role. He started the next three games as the Bucks went 1-2 against Minnesota, Charlotte and Detroit.
"I think it helped me a lot," Jennings said of gaining the starting experience. "My main thing is, be aggressive at the beginning.
"A lot of players don't get going until three minutes into the game. But I've got to get going early, get Michael Redd going, get Andrew Bogut going."
Bogut, the Bucks' 7-foot center, thinks Jennings can handle the starting role.
"He's as ready as he can be," Bogut said. "He's only had three weeks under his belt as an NBA player. Is he ready to come out and absolutely dominate an NBA game? Probably not.
"But he doesn't need to do that with the guys we've got on the floor. He just needs to be a solid point guard, get the ball moving, knock down open shots and get in the paint. That's why we drafted him."
Skiles said one reason he opted for Jennings was to allow him to benefit from the experience of the starting unit, while Ridnour should feel comfortable with either the first or second unit.
Ridnour played in 72 games with the Bucks last season and made 50 starts.
Jennings shot only 33% (30 of 91) during the preseason, including just 25% (6 of 24) from the three-point range. He said he has to adjust his game and not worry so much about his offense.
"Coach (Kelvin) Sampson said I shouldn't shoot any threes this year unless it's at the end of the shot clock or it's a wide-open shot," Jennings said.
"I've been working on my shot every day. I'm not really shooting any threes. I'm shooting 15- to 18-footers, and I've got to start knocking them down, because everybody is going to be doubling on Redd."
Jennings has been knocked around in pinball fashion on several occasions during the preseason, and more of that is sure to come. But every time he has been flattened by a big man's screen, Jennings has pulled himself off the floor.
"I was in Europe for a year, and that's physical over there," Jennings said of his experience in the Italian League. "They can grab you, punch you, all that type of stuff.
"One of my favorite players still today is Allen Iverson, and he gets knocked down on the ground a lot. We have kind of the same body frame. If he can get up, I can get up. That's how I see it."
thats a good choice ..that kid i a future star...gonna be pretty exciting watching him
have u seen jennings play?..he is a past first pg ?..as far as overseas stats..he was a highschooler going over to a pro team thats right below the nba ..nba players go over there and get cut sometimes or put up worst stats..its awhole different game. bradon has backed his game up with workouts/summer leauge and preason( those dont mean awhole lot except when you racked up assists while playing wit guys who really arent scorers)..the bucks just let sessions walk which should tell you how good of a pg they think he is....but since you dont know hi game then youre right you should wait and watch him play first because actions speak alot louder then words
what in the hell are you talking about, comming out of high school he was a top recruit. If he had of played one year at Arizona they would have been sick, then you would be praising this kid. sounds like your the one passing judgement and practicing politcs.
although it wa only preason and summer leauge he also showed he could score...i dont get youre point of the going over to europe and nba players get cut..he didnt get cut so i dont get youre point on that..and he wasnt drafted off hype if that was the case he wouldnt have played as well as he did in work outs and practice..you dont hand the starting pg position to a rookie thats just hype...you earn it which he did..the kid scored more then the other rookies in this year draft so far except evans so what makes you think he cant score?...and im sure you havnt seen him play if you say just windmills and and questionable jumpshots..i do think youve seen youtube clips though..ive seen 5 of his oak hill games and he does alot more then dunk..he broke the scoring record at oakhill academy and steve smith ( the coach) said hes the best scorer hes ever had at oak hill( they have a long list of nba players that have came through)
its obvious hes never seen the guy play..hes made that clear...hes seen you tube clips though..thats what it looks like he baeing his opinion on.
lol..yeah you go do that
Brandon Jennings is going to be a superstar, I don't see how anyone can not think he'll be a great player. I mean, he has the ability to be Allen Iverson with natural passing ability. That's a hell of a combination of skills.
we all know this iggy...big o never seen him play..he even questioned the highschool he went to like it wasnt that good so that right there told me he never seen him play..he judged him off of youtube hence his comment about all he does is windmills..for those who remeber he was talked about as the best pg in the nation while a freshman and soph while in cali
Someone must have had a big bowl of hater o's this morning. I'm not sure how good he is or isn't, but for Skiles to start him not only as a Rookie, but as a pg says a lot. A lot of people seemed to fall in love with Sessions and he wasn't starting when Ridnour was healthy. Seems like he may have a lot of natural ability and if he can handle Skiles, he should improve a lot in other areas of his game. Going into the season I would have put money down that Ridnour was going to start this year no matter what. Congrats to him...now show us what you got.
I figured it would take about half the season before Skiles gave him the reins over Ridnour, but Jennings impressed. He has all the skills with athleticism and one on one skills and he is a pass first pg, so his teammates should benefit. He also has that swagger and self confidence like a van exel which is important for a yuong pg. Only potential problem I see is his consistency on his jumper. Teams might play off him ala Mike Conley. He should have probably been picked higher then 10th in hindsight.
The thing with Jennings' jumper is it really isn't all that bad. It isn't broken, and he has proven he can knock down the long ball. While he obviously has not shot a very good percentage from 3, or at all for that matter, he has shown defenders that he can make that shot. I don't see opposing point guards playing off him ala Rondo.
Yea Jennings isn't more than mediocre as a shooter, but yea it would be smart to at least contest his shots.
YES! JENNINGS NEEDS TO START! Man...I haven't been on this site in a while...but now Basketball is back! and so am I. Well it hasn't been that long...
I think he will be fine as long as he is out there playing hard and playing smart. If not Skiles will yank him in a second. As long as he does what he is asked, he won't get much said to him if his shot is not falling.
He has the ability to score alot and create alot of shots for teammates at the same time. Take Iverson's scoring (to a slightly lesser extent) and his (Jennings) already very good passing skills and you have Jennings upside, possibly. I guess you kinda have to see him play.
the point is he can score and pass....you should probably watch him play before having a opinion about what he can do..just read what the people who have seen him play has to say about him... no one is saying hes gonna be iverson they are saying he can be a very good scorer to go along with his great passing...he doesnt need to copy iveron or nash..a more accurate assesment of his potenial is a more athletic chris paul...
Chris Paul went to college for 2 years actually...and your going to take a beating no matter who you are if you play pro sports. No matter how big or small, but I will say this: Jennings needs more weight and strength to him.
not only that paul was smaller then that as a rookie..wow i thought you said you studied basketball...4years of college for paul huh....and bashing a guy youve never seen paly..you can continue to argue with him iggy im done because he obviouly doesnt know what hes talking about..hes too hung up on how tall or how much a person has to weigh to succed...also someone in here is the same kid saying they were a6'7 point guard..ill tell ya'll who soon..lol
by the way chris paul weighs 175..stop making things up