Saturday, July 12, 2008

Reviewing the Roster

The Jazz announced their Rocky Mountain Revue roster for next weeks games. And the biggest news perhaps, is that CJ Miles won't participate in the Revue. Just like last season, CJ will by-pass the opportunity to play on the Jazz Revue team and the chance to work on his game in Summer League. As a fan, I wish that he'd play. It can only help improve his game, whether he stays on the Jazz or not.

Forgetting about Miles, the Jazz will have Morris Almond, Kyrylo Fesenko and Kosta Koufos playing for the team. Those three players will garner most of the attention from the local crowd. With our 15 regular season roster spots currently filled (including CJ's qualifying offer), there probably won't be additional RMR Jazzmen making the actual team. Regardless, I'll share my thoughts on a few players from our RMR roster who might seem intriguing to fans and possibly Jazz brass alike.

Yaroslav Korolev 6'9" SF Russia
Korolev was drafted 13th in the 2005 NBA Draft by the LA Clippers. He was drafted as a young kid with extreme potential to become a good player. But after 2 seasons with the Clippers (not seeing the floor), they let him go...clearly admitting that they had made a mistake in drafting him so high (Danny Granger went after him!). I'm not entirely sure why the Clippers gave up on him so fast. He was a big project at the time. I don't think he ever got the opportunity, the training and development he needed to become a player. He's 3 years removed from that draft and hopefully has progressed to a better point as a player. Who knows? Maybe he was going to be a bust all along. But from what I know, he's got some skills and talent. He played for Moscow Dynamo last season and didn't seem to put together especially convincing stats. We'll have to see how he performs in the Revue. Perhaps he'll be able to follow in the footsteps of our own Russian star, AK47.

Earl Calloway 6'2" PG Indiana
Calloway has been considered a late-bloomer and has played well in Summer League already. He was named to the All 2nd-Team from the Orlando Summer League this past week while playing for Indiana. Last season, he played in the D-League for Fort Wayne and improved quite a bit. He's cat quick and very crafty as a point guard. It sounds like he's already getting some attention from NBA teams, but mostly from International scouts. He should at least be able to get an offer overseas if it doesn't work out in the NBA. We'll have to see how he runs the Jazz team in the RMR.

Britton Johnsen 6'10" SF The Runnin' Utes of Utah
The local product from Murray and the U has a chance to play for the local team. If nothing else, this will be a good experience for Brit and a great storyline for the local media hacks. Honestly, I've always enjoyed watching Johnsen play over the years. He had a terrific career at the U for Majerus and even had opportunities to make the NBA, with short stints playing for the Orlando Magic and the Indiana Pacers. My thoughts on Brit (being a Ute fan and all), are that if he had developed a deadly outside jumper from 3, he would have been a staple NBA player. He was always on the skinny side and lacked some strength, but possessed a great handle, passing ability, length and mid-range game. If anyone knows his game, I do, since I played against him throughout high school. It's great to support a former foe. Will he make the team? No... but it'll be fun to cheer for him. Go Brit Johnsen!
Other Notables...
Tyrone Brazleton - The impressive Western Kentucky guard who lifted his team to the sweet-16 in the NCAA tourney
Kevin Kruger - Former UNLV guard and Utah Flash player
Rickey Paulding - Missouri wing and former 2nd Round Detroit Piston pick has some athleticism
Hiram Fuller - Actually made the fall camp roster for the Jazz in 2006 before being let go.
Enjoy the Revue. Hopefully, Almond and Fesenko dominate it!


Draft Guru said...

Good article on Jazz salary cap and Booz...I echo the sentiment (even if it is Monson). Something has to give...

Orlando said...

Thanks for the Rocky Mountain Revue update. I'd love to be there in person to see Britton make incredible baseline drives and almost finish at the rim.