‘J-man’s’ wrist, shooting key to NBA success
Quickness and durability are two big question marks in Jerod Haase’s NBA future.
But above all, Haase thinks it’ll come down to his ability to shoot the ball – a skill which was cruising along at a career-best pace last season despite a severely fractured bone in his right wrist.
But the rigors of the season and his playing style eventually caught up to the Kansas shooting guard, as he was relegated to the sidelines with an unplayable hand while is team lost in the NCAA Tournament to the eventual winners, the Arizona Wildcats.
Following postseason surgery in which a two-inch screw was inserted to hold his hand to his arm, Haase wore a cast for nearly three months. And now, with his NBA future resting solely on his performance at upcoming training camps in July, Haase said his wrist feels fine.
“The first time I got the cast off, about a month-and-a-half after the surgery, it was just as small as anything. The muscles had shrunk down and it was very weak,” he said. “After I got my second cast off (about two weeks ago), I was doing everything with it. I really think it got stronger, so strength wasn’t an issue, it was flexibility. I went into hand rehab, showed them my flexibility, and they were in awe. It’s coming back quickly.”
Haase has been playing pickup games and conducting basketball camps with ease for the last couple of weeks. Despite pulling a hamstring, which set him back about a week, he said he’s ready for the rigors of an NBA tryout.
“There’s no doubt in my mind that I’m a better defender than many of the guards in the NBA. I’m not as quick, but I can make up for that with hustle, anticipation and just knowing the game,” he said. “Coming into the camps, if I shoot the ball well, that’s the big thing. That would prove that I can shoot and that my wrist is better. That’s what everyone is looking for.”
South Tahoe coach Tom Orlich agreed.
“They’ve seen Jerod in college and know what he can do. It’s like anything else. You have to prove yourself. He’ll go into a camp and if he plays well, he’ll make it. I’d be surprised if he doesn’t make it.”
Notes: Chris Grant, a former South Tahoe player, currently works for the Atlanta Hawks in the film department. The Hawks have two of the final nine picks in round two … The Los Angeles Lakers, which according to Haase have contacted Williams, choose 52nd and 54th … Utah, which has a host of free agents, including Jeff Hornacek and Byron Russell, have the 57th pick … Kansas’ other two potential draftees, Jacque Vaughn and Scot Pollard, could go anywhere from early first to late second. Kansas has never had more than one player selected in the NBA draft under Roy Williams.
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