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NBA Draft 2022: What Spurs are getting in Jeremy Sochan

By John Fanta
FOX Sports College Basketball Writer 

A basketball life that began in England and made stops in Poland, Germany and America. A flexible expertise. A buzz lower of blond hair, reflecting an enormous character.

For the rebuilding San Antonio Spurs, who possessed 4 of the highest 40 picks in the NBA Draft, the ninth decide supplied quite a lot of avenues. Instead of going for the potential of a draft-and-stash prospect or making a commerce, San Antonio went after some of the fascinating prospects in the category — Jeremy Sochan.

The versatile 19-year-old matches proper into Gregg Popovich’s blueprint in that he received’t should be taught a lot about defending. At 6-foot-9 and 230 kilos with a wingspan of greater than seven toes, Sochan received Big 12 Sixth Man of the Year and was named to the convention’s All-Freshman staff in his lone season at Baylor.

For a Spurs group that has simply two gamers over the age of 30, Sochan matches proper into the youth motion, and his defensive upside is as sturdy as any in his class. Sochan is switchable, has nice foot pace and embraces the physicality when he’s matched up with massive males. His head coach Scott Drew raved about the best way he got here into his Baylor program — which was coming off successful the 2021 nationwide title — and match proper in as one of many staff’s greatest communicators, significantly on protection. 

In the NBA, does that not simply say Spurs?

The group’s success has been constructed on a basis of gamers doing the little issues and being keen to play staff basketball. Sochan solely began one sport in faculty, but was a top-10 decide. He has the talent set of a lottery expertise however was keen to be a reserve for his staff.

“We assume he enhances the group very well. He’s a connector,” mentioned Spurs normal supervisor Brian Wright when requested about Sochan. “It’s the flexibility. As you may see now, groups enjoying smaller and guys with the ability to guard a number of positions, he connects you on each ends of the ground. He can move, he can assume. He’s bodily, he’s unselfish, he’s coachable. He’s all of the issues that we recognized that we needed so as to add to this staff, and he’s a little bit enjoyable with that head of hair.” 

Born to a Polish mom, Aneta, and an American father, Ryan Williams, Sochan moved to England on the age of two and grew up in Milton Keynes. With his mother and father enjoying basketball professionally, the sport has all the time been part of Sochan’s life. He moved to America for highschool at La Lumiere in Indiana, however went to Germany to play for a membership staff through the pandemic. Spending time in Poland as part of the nationwide staff program as properly, Sochan has actually been a worldwide citizen.

In truth, Wright in contrast Sochan to 14-year NBA participant Boris Diaw, who performed for the Spurs from 2012-16 and served as a captain for the French nationwide staff. 

“Hearing about how he thinks about basketball, however life exterior of basketball, actually traces up with what we hope to be and what we hope the atmosphere and tradition is, so we expect he’s going so as to add one thing on and off the court docket,” Wright added. 

On the offensive finish of the ground, the apparent space in want of enchancment is Sochan’s shot. Shooting simply 29% from past the arc, Sochan by no means regarded all that snug on the perimeter. Additionally, in accordance with Synergy, he related on simply 30 jumpers in the half-court over the whole 30-game season.

If the Spurs can develop that a part of his sport, Sochan is usually a actual risk, as he’s already an aggressive attacker. Sochan can punish an enormous defender off the dribble and is unafraid to attract contact when he heads to the rim. His talent and really feel for the sport, which are helped by an in depth worldwide background, give him quite a lot of methods to complete on the hoop and submit up. That’s why the jumper will seemingly find yourself being the important thing determinant of simply how impactful Sochan will likely be in The Association. 

Sochan steps into a corporation that has a historical past of creating expertise, however has work to do to get again to being a reliable pressure in the West. That mentioned, Sochan will be capable to soar proper right into a rebuilding franchise, and he’ll get loads of alternatives to influence the group instantly. 

While San Antonio has Doug McDermott and Keldon Johnson as forwards, the extent that Sochan can defend mixed together with his offensive upside makes him such a fascinating piece for San Antonio going ahead as a result of he can match up with anyone from one to 5. The developmental match for him is ideal, and it’s clear that the Spurs are taking all the things in stride after they traded Dejounte Murray to the Hawks for a bundle together with three future first-round picks and veteran Danillo Gallinari.

Spurs commerce Dejounte Murray to Hawks

The San Antonio Spurs agreed to commerce All-Star guard Dejounte Murray to the Atlanta Hawks in trade for Danilo Gallinari and draft picks. Joy Taylor explains why she is a fan of the Murray-to-Atlanta transfer.

Overall, a lot is smart with this choice, and Sochan’s throwback sport and unselfish character give him fairly a little bit of intrigue heading into the league. 

He isn’t a completed product, and he’s off to a corporation that is aware of the best way to develop gamers and is in want of recent faces for his or her future.

John Fanta is a nationwide faculty basketball broadcaster and author for FOX Sports. He covers the game in quite a lot of capacities, from calling video games on FS1 to serving as lead host on the BIG EAST Digital Network to offering commentary on The Field of 68 Media Network. Follow him on Twitter @John_Fanta.

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