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14-Point Buck

LarryDeerLarry Sanders came into this NBA Summer League as far under the radar as perhaps any 15th overall selection in an NBA Draft could.  Tonight, he left as an exciting young prospect who shined in his first week of professional experience.

Once again, Sanders lead the Bucks with a game high of 17 points in a final Las Vegas Summer League matchup against the Cleveland Cavaliers.  It was his second consecutive double-digit output, and Sanders’ highest total since dropping 22 this past Tuesday.

Larry finished the summer season with a 14-point scoring average, but it was on defense where the 2-time former CAA Defensive Player of the Year truly shined.

VCU fans watching at home saw the familiar shot blocking prowess that Sanders displayed in his three years with the Rams.  His 3.2 blocks per contest were tops among all players, including last year’s 2nd overall pick and shot-blocking sensation Hasheem Thabeet, as well as the NCAA’s all-time leading shot blocker and Miami Heat rookie, Jarvis Varnado.

“If I take that first game away I’d say maybe a B+, if I keep that first game I’d say maybe a C-“, Sanders graded himself on this week’s play.

Larry started the week with a serious case of the rookie nerves, trying to do too much and hitting only 4-of-15 shots in his first taste of NBA action.  He quickly settled down however going 9-14 the following evening and added 9 rebounds to go with his 22 points on the night.

Sanders then followed his offensive explosion with a dominating defensive effort — grabbing 13 boards to go along with 3 blocks and 4 steals in a summer league version of last years playoff series against the Atlanta Hawks.

The following night saw Sanders block a week high 5 shots in a loss to the Heat.  He added 14 points and 8 rebounds in the effort.

LS8’s 14 point average was tops among all Bucks players, but his versatility on both sides of the ball was what impressed most.  The rookie out of VCU averaged a team high 8.4 rebounds and ran the floor like a “Gazelle” to quote play-by-play man and ex-NBA forward, Denise Scott.

Larry will take the rest of his summer to prepare for the rigors of a full NBA season, some 77 games longer than this 5-day version that saw him break out onto the nation radar.