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By One Fan's UCLA Basketball Blog

July 14th, 2005




Phoenix Assistant Discusses Dijon Thompson


This Blog of the Day post is courtesy of One Fan's UCLA Basketball Blog, daily thoughts on the Bruin men' s basketball program.



Iavaroni, the Phoenix Suns assistant who is coaching their summer league team, touches on a host of topics in this interview, including his perception of Thompson:

Hes good in the open court. He makes very smart basketball plays, hes unselfish and he just wants to find a way to get the ball to the basket or to the open man. Weve been very pleased with that. He can shoot it, (but) hes a little streaky from beyond the three-point arc. Were still working on that. We, as a team, have not shot well (from beyond the arc), so were in a little bit of a three-point slump and Im sure hes not happy with his performance there. His range can be extended and made more consistent, because it is further than the college three-point line.

Defensively, hes made strides. Hes playing harder and hes playing lower. Hes a long, lean guy whos got very long legs, so that makes it tougher to defend, but hes learning. Youve got to play with your body, beef up your body. Youve got to dish it out and know where youre going to end up taking it. So, its usually your choice.

Personally, hes a sweet kid. I like him a lot as a guy. But, you can be that way off the court. Leandro [Barbosa]s a sweet guy too and hes one of my favorites. But, Leandros a killer on the court and he wants to beat people, and compete, do whatever it takes. I think thats something Dijon is going to have to find out, as well. Hes more like Jamal Wilkes, if I can bring up an old-time name. Everybody has to be themselves, but you just want to make sure that in the process of being yourself, youre not creating a weakness, that youre always trying to improve yourself.

Jamal Wilkes is good company, but it sounds like Iavaroni believes what everyone else does: that Thompson needs to improve defensively and become more intense on the court. If Thompson can get better in those areas, he could end up being a productive NBA player.


This Blog of the Day post is courtesy of One Fan's UCLA Basketball Blog, daily thoughts on the Bruin men' s

basketball program.



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