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Summer League Roundup: Olah makes debut for New Orleans

Summer League Roundup: Olah makes debut for New Orleans
(Daily file photo by Aleah Matthews-Renner)

Every year, the NBA Summer League is a showcase event for players on the fringes of  basketball  looking for a shot at NBA glory. Stay with The Daily for updates on the summer league play of past Northwestern players trying to make a name for themselves at the next level.

Former Northwestern center Alex Olah made his debut in the NBA Summer League on Sunday, joining three other Wildcats in summer league action.

Olah failed to record a single minute in his first game with the New Orleans Pelicans, but NU’s all-time leader in blocks played 15 minutes against the Utah Jazz.The Romanian product went 0-3 from the field and finished the game with 0 points.

However, Olah managed to make a difference in the paint, grabbing five rebounds and blocking two shots. Olah struggled to find his touch around the rim, but the big man’s rebounding ability looked improved compared to his collegiate career. Olah will play his next game on Monday night against the Sacramento Kings.

Along with Olah, former guards Drew Crawford and Reggie Hearn saw some time in their respective games. Crawford played just over 19 minutes for the Raptors in a win over the Minnesota Timberwolves, finishing with 7 points on 3-6 shooting. He continued to impress defensively, tallying a steal and a block, but faced trouble with turnovers and missed both of his 3-point attempts. It seems Crawford has worked his way into a prominent role in Toronto’s summer rotation, as he played the fifth most minutes on the team last night.

Hearn suited up for the NBA D-League Select team again on Sunday against the Milwaukee Bucks and put up improved shooting numbers over his first game, scoring 8 points in 17 minutes. Hearn went 3-4 from the field, including 2-2 from three-point range. But the guard has yet to standout among the amalgam of D-Leaguers, and will have to boost his scoring numbers to attract the attention of NBA scouts and coaches.

While three Cats took the court on Sunday, NU standout Tre Demps didn’t play a single minute for the Chicago Bulls against the Philadelphia 76ers, his second straight game without an appearance for the team. Demps averaged 15.7 points per game last season for the Cats and was known for his ability to create his own shot, but he was one of only three players for the Bulls not to play. He will get another chance for playing time on Tuesday against the San Antonio Spurs to get playing time.

Summer League Roundup: Crawford, Hearn take court in Las Vegas

Every year, the NBA Summer League is a showcase event for players on the fringes of  basketball  looking for a shot at NBA glory. Stay with The Daily for updates on the summer league play of past Northwestern players trying to make a name for themselves at the next level.

Three former Northwestern players started their summer league seasons on Friday, vying for a chance to make a NBA roster.

Guard Reggie Hearn, who ended his Cats career in 2013 and averaged 13.4 points per game in his final season, got the day underway against the Memphis Grizzlies. After starting 22 games for the Reno Bighorns in the NBA D-League last season and averaging 11.5 points per game, Hearn earned an invitation to compete with the NBA D-League Select team.

Despite having a successful season with the Bighorns, Hearn didn’t make much of an impact in his summer-league opener, a 99-79 loss to the Grizzlies. Hearn played just under 18 minutes in the game, missed both of his 3-point attempts and finished with 4 points and a rebound. Hearn will have to wait until Sunday to get back on the court, when his team takes on the Milwaukee Bucks.

Along with Hearn, former guard Drew Crawford opened his summer league season on Friday. After finishing as a top-ten scorer in Israel last season, Crawford scored 8 points and recorded two assists in the Toronto Raptors 88-47 win over the Sacramento Kings. In the blowout, Crawford knocked down both of his three-point attempts and played solid on-ball defense, forcing opposing guards into difficult decisions and drawing offensive fouls.

During the game’s broadcast, Raptors coach Dwane Casey made an appearance and said Crawford was very close to making the team after last year’s summer league and will have a legitimate chance to make the roster this year. Crawford will return to action on Sunday against the Minnesota Timberwolves.

Rounding out NU notables in Friday’s games was Cats all-time blocks leader Alex Olah, who was one of three New Orleans Pelicans players not to play in the team’s opening game against the Los Angeles Lakers. New Orleans faces Utah on Sunday, when Olah will get another opportunity to potentially see the floor.


Demps snags summer league spot with Chicago Bulls

Demps snags summer league spot with Chicago Bulls
(Daily file photo by Sam Schumacher)

Northwestern’s men’s basketball had two graduating seniors this season, and now both of them have found chances to impress at the next level. Guard Tre Demps, the Wildcats’ leading scorer last season, is set to appear with the Chicago Bulls in the NBA Summer League in Las Vegas, per his agency.

Demps will join center Alex Olah, who is playing with the New Orleans Pelicans, in Las Vegas.

After slumping through the first half of the conference season, Demps ended his career at NU by scoring more than 14 points in each of his last 10 games. While his efficiency wasn’t great, shooting 39.8 percent from the field and 33.2 percent from 3, Demps was a key creator for the Cats, leading the team in minutes and shots and earning all-Big Ten honorable mention recognition from the media. He now gets a chance to prove that his game can translate to the NBA for Chicago, a team in transition in the backcourt after trading star point guard Derrick Rose.

The Bulls play their first summer league game July 9 at 5:00 p.m. against the Boston Celtics.