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News » Ex-Aggie Nelson back in camp

Ex-Aggie Nelson back in camp

Ex-Aggie Nelson back in camp There are a lot of familiar faces in training camp for the Utah Jazz , including one who has never played a regular-season game for them.

Spencer Nelson played in two Rocky Mountain Revues for the Jazz , and he participated in camp before the 2005-06 season.

A Pocatello, Idaho, native who starred at Utah State, Nelson is optimistic about his latest attempt to finally stick with the Jazz .

"A few faces have changed but obviously the system is the same and the organization is as first-class as it's always been," Nelson said Saturday.

"I'm just excited to be here. I feel like it's a great opportunity to come in and try to earn a spot. I feel like, if I come in here and do my best, I've got as good a chance as anybody to stick around."

In the last four years, Nelson has played professionally in Germany, Italy and Greece.

A power forward in college, believes his experiences in Europe have improved his chances of making the Jazz's roster.

"Overseas, you learn a lot," Nelson said. "... I played a lot of perimeter over there. I came here my first year trying to play the 'three' and I was OK, but there were adjustments I had to make.

"This last year in Greece, I played the majority of time at the three spot. So I've gotten more familiar with playing on the perimeter, offensively and defensively."

Coach Jerry Sloan breaks into a broad smile when asked about Nelson and his chances of sticking with the Jazz .

"We love Spencer," Sloan said. "He's one of the most refreshing guys you can have on a team. He's always come in and worked hard. He's just so close, you know, to having an opportunity to play [in the NBA]."


Stew Morrill fan club member

During the conversation about Nelson, Sloan took the opportunity to sing the praises of Utah State coach Stew Morrill .

"I'll say this about the guys we get from Utah State," Sloan said. "They all know what's going on. The head coach up there is probably the best coach in the country, in my opinion. He does a great job, and the kids we've gotten in here from up there are just wonderful people."

Nelson spent four seasons with the Aggies, who won 96 games during his career.

As a senior, Nelson averaged 16 points, 7.9 rebounds and 4.8 assists.

Told of Sloan's high opinion of Morrill, Nelson said, "As good as any coach I can imagine. A great detail guy. He pays attention to all the little things. Very disciplined. He runs a lot of schemes, so you learn a lot from that standpoint."

Nelson added: "He always emphasizes defense and rebounding and that's what wins championships, regardless of the level you are playing on. ... Stew's incredible. I'm grateful for the opportunity to play for him. Great person. Great coach."


Lots of work ahead

The NBA education of rookie guard Eric Maynor is just beginning.

The Jazz used the 20th pick in the 2009 draft on Maynor, a highly decorated point guard from Virginia Commonwealth, and he spent his first day of Jazz training camp trying to absorb everything that was happening around him.

"Just learn as much as possible," Maynor said, "and get prepared for the season. Learn from these veterans. That's my main thing before the season starts -- get everything down."

With Sloan unlikely to overwork Deron Williams in the camp, Sloan will likely give Maynor plenty of playing time during the exhibition season, which opens Thursday against Denver at EnergySolutions Arena.

"He's got a point guard mentality," Sloan said. "I think he's going to have to work on his body to get better, but he looks to pass the ball.

"We think he can be a player in this league. But obviously, where we picked, he's got to work and figure out what's going on. We'll see how that goes for him as we go forward."

Author: Fox Sports
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Added: September 28, 2009


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