Former Big Ten players engage in summer league in Orlando

BY KYLE MANN | JULY 09, 2014 5:00 AM

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It was a quick turnaround for draftees selected in the NBA draft on June 26, as the Orlando Pro Summer League began playing games on July 5. Summer League squads for the Celtics, Nets, Pistons, Rockets, Pacers, Grizzlies, Heat, Thunder, Magic, and 76ers are taking part, giving fans a chance to see several former Big Ten stars compete against other draftees.

Former Hawkeye Devyn Marble was very impressive in his first game for the Orlando Magic, and far outplayed fourth overall selection Aaron Gordon and 10th selection Elfrid Payton in an 83-77 victory over the Sixers on July 5.

Marble scored 13 points on 5-of-7 shooting from the floor and 2-of-3 from 3-point range. The combo guard also grabbed 5 rebounds, 2 assists, and 3 steals in 16 minutes. He followed that up with a lackluster shooting performance on Monday, going 1-of-9 from the field, but he shot 7-of-9 from the-free throw line. He ended with 9 points, 7 rebounds, 1 assist, and 1 steal.

Former Indiana Hoosier and No. 2 overall pick in 2013 Victor Oladipo, who has also played well, was delighted when he heard that he would play with his former Big Ten opponent.

“The day I found out that we got him, I was probably one of the most excited dudes in America,” Oladipo told members of the media in Orlando. “He’s been scoring like that and playing like that since he was a freshman.”

Oladipo and Marble could potentially come together to form a lethal scoring backcourt, but Marble obviously still has some work to do until he is at a level similar to Oladipo’s.

The runner-up for 2014 Rookie of the Year may have already played his only game of the Summer League, but he left a promising impression. The former Hoosier guard scored 18 points against the 76ers, to go along with 6 rebounds and 3 assists. If Oladipo can look as aggressive and reliable as a scorer as he did on July 5, expect a breakout season in 2014-15.

The 21st overall pick of the Oklahoma City Thunder, former Michigan Wolverine Mitch McGary, has played well after missing his sophomore season because he was suspended.

In his first two games, the 6-10 big man has averaged 13 points on 44 percent shooting, and he has averaged 8 rebounds. Receiving the starting nod in Monday’s game against the Nets, McGary had 18 points, 13 rebounds, and 2 blocks in 31 minutes. The Thunder won the game, 98-84.

Ohio State star point guard Aaron Craft went undrafted in June but was able to catch an opportunity to play with the 76ers’ Summer League squad. Craft has not signed a professional contract.

Many critics wondered if Craft’s game, dependent on hustle and being a pesky, heady college veteran would translate to the NBA, and so far Craft has played only sparingly — averaging only 1.5 points per game in nine minutes, the 6-2 guard hopes he will get a chance to prove himself on a team who could use some guard — and defensive — help.

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