Mark Bryant, who coached the Thunder's Orlando Pro Summer League team, talks about the performance of his players, including Lazar Hayward, Reggie Jackson and Cole Aldrich.
Q: What were your impressions of how the young guys did this week?
A: The young guys truly grew as the week went on. They got more and more comfortable, and that's what we wanted. We gave them the opportunity to play against other NBA players, younger or older NBA players, and they did a good job. We're happy. The guys, they came in and they competed for two weeks. And they got better.
Who impressed you, who surprised you and what were some of the things that stood out?
I think Lazar really helped himself by his intensity, his leadership and being able to put the ball on the ground and go to the hole. He did a pretty good job of getting there. I think he felt that he could have finished a little bit better. But that's things we working, that's things we find out in the summertime, and he will get better with that. Reggie (Jackson) did a pretty good job. He got better as the week went on, and he's going to grow also. This is going to help him with his confidence. Cole (Aldrich) has gotten better. He's just got to keep working, keep working this whole summer. He has to play. He has to work this whole summer.
What did you think of the athleticism Reggie Jackson showed this week and the dunk he threw down over Jeremy Evans?
I shouldn't say any more. (Laughs). That dunk he had was unbelievable. I shouldn't say any more. Reggie is a good athlete, and once he feels that he can get to the spots that he wants to get to and can explode, he can make a play for himself or pass it off, he really gets a good feel of everything, I think he's going to be good.
How do you think the coaching staff was able to help the players develop over the past two weeks?
I think the main thing that we tried to bring across is pay attention to detail, being physical, playing for the whole 40 minutes of basketball, sharing the ball and just having fun.
The coaching staff has traveled to different cities in the past to work out players. Is that the plan again this summer?
Yes we are. We're going to touch guys. We're going to touch ‘em. We always got to touch them to make sure they're doing their jobs and make sure they're getting better as the summer goes on. That's how we as the Thunder organization get better by touching these guys in the summertime and getting them better before the season even starts.