A.J. Abrams Scouts Texas’ NBA alumni

10.30.08 9 years ago 8 Comments
A.J. AbramsA.J. Abrams (photo. University of Texas)

I just got off the phone with University of Texas senior guard A.J. Abrams, a preseason All-Big XII first teamer and one of the premier three-point shooters in the country. Under coach Rick Barnes, the Longhorns program has fostered a genuine, close-knit family atmosphere every college coach hopes for (and tries to sell recruits on), where former players can always be found on campus working out and interacting with the current class. During the interview I asked Abrams for his thoughts on some Texas alumni currently doing their thing in the NBA:

Kevin Durant — “Kevin always comes back and works out in the summer. He’s improved a lot since his first game in the NBA and since I first saw him when he was a freshman. He’s got the work ethic. I think he has the ability to be as good as T-Mac and guys like that, as long as he continues to get better every year and doesn’t get content where he’s at.”

LaMarcus Aldridge — “His game has evolved. At first he was mostly a back-to-the-basket type guy, but now he can put it on the deck with a few dribbles and has a nice jumper. He’s in the gym all the time trying to get better.”

T.J. Ford — “T.J. came back a couple summers ago and worked out with us. It’s always fun playing with him; he’s a big talker — he kind of talks you through the game as well as playing it — so it helped me learn some things. I think (Indiana) is a great fit for him, but I think he can fit anywhere. He’s a passing point guard and he’s worked on his shot a lot. Any time you have a point guard that’s quick like him that can get into the paint, any team could use that.”

D.J. Augustin — “I think he’s gonna be a big-time player in the League. He made the game a lot easier for all of us on the court. I think he’ll be fine (playing behind Ray Felton). Everybody has to wait their turn, but I know he’ll be one of the hardest working guys up there and he’s got the ability to do some great things.”

Daniel Gibson — “Daniel is pretty much the main guy I leaned on my freshman year. He’s a great shooter and he’s in a great fit right now with the Cavs. I look for him to do big things with them. It didn’t surprise me at all (when he became an overnight sensation during their ’07 Finals run). From playing against him every day, I knew what he was capable of. He just needed a shot, and he did it. Once his name was called, he played like I knew he could play.”

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