J.J. Hickson got off to a quick start last night in his first summer league game:
LAS VEGAS –Cleveland Cavaliers assistant John Kuester was on a roll Monday, thinking up new ways to praise rookie J.J. Hickson.
â€œWe’re talking about an N.C. State guy, and I’m still saying nice things,â€ former Tar Heel Kuester joked. â€œHe’s that great a kid.â€
And seemingly that good a prospect. Hickson looked spectacular during a 97-94 summer-league loss to the New York Knicks, with 26 points and nine rebounds.
He made 11 of 15 shots from the field and generated seven trips to the foul line. If that’s indicative of his scoring at the next level, he’ll be a steal by the Cavaliers with the 18th overall pick.
Some NC State fans were upset by a recent interview where J.J. Hickson almost seemed to avoid giving any credit for his success to Coach Sidney Lowe or his time spent at NC State, but Lowe did get a mention from his former player in this interview:
While the moves were home-grown â€“ Hickson had the basics of low-post scoring in high school â€“ he found it invaluable that N.C. State coach Sidney Lowe spent a decade in the NBA.
â€œEverything he said was coming from the NBA perspective already,â€ Hickson said. â€œYou wouldn’t believe all the things I knew just from being around him that season.â€
Hopefully, Derrick Favors, John Wall, Ryan Kelly, Lorenzo Brown and Richard Howell, all key 2009 targets for Coach Lowe, are paying attention.