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The Jazz know Jeremy Senglin can score.
The former Weber State star averaged 21 points a game this past season. He's the all-time leading scorer in school history, and he's the second leading scorer in Big Sky Conference history. So, putting the ball in the basket, even at the NBA level, shouldn't be an issue.
What the Jazz want to know, and 29 other NBA teams want to know, is if Senglin can play point guard at the pro level. And if he can defend, and make a successful transition from undersized college scorer to NBA floor leader.
How Senglin answers those questions will ultimately determine his professional future.
"Guys like me, I'm used to taking a lot of shots in college, a lot of tough shots," Senglin said. "So we have to prove that we can make smarter decisions and take smarter shots. In a way, it's good for me. I had to take a lot of tough shots in college. I don't think it's going to be like that in the NBA."
Senglin worked out for the Jazz, Wednesday, showcasing his shooting prowess, VP of Player Personnel Walt Perrin said. And even if Senglin can't make it to the NBA as a point guard, undersized scorers are starting to become a recent trend.
Ian Clark who got his start with the Jazz is a prime example. Coming out of Belmont college with a buttery jump shot but few playmaking skills, Clark has become a valuable reserve as a 6-foot-2 shooting guard with the NBA champion Golden State Warriors.
Bryn Forbes is 6-foot-1. He isn't a point guard, and yet he's been able to stick with the San Antonio Spurs. Even Eddie Gill a former Weber State great was able to forge a career in the league as a guard who was a scorer first, playmaker second.
Why are undersized shooters becoming a thing? The easy answer is shooting. In today's NBA, the league values players who can make shots from the perimeter above all else. Secondly, point guards aren't exclusively running offenses as much. In Utah's case, forwards Gordon Hayward and Joe Ingles ran the Jazz offense this past season with as much frequency as point guards George Hill and Dante Exum. So, for Senglin, it's all about fit. While he's trying to prove he can play the point, he knows it isn't a death knell if he can't. Making shots and defending the point guard position. That's what he knows he has to do.
"The answer with someone like Jeremy depends on the franchise," Perrin said. "More and more, you're seeing coaches utilizing players that are small for the position. It kind of varies, but the fit is depending on the franchise. Jeremy looked good in his workout today. He shot the ball well, he competed hard and he played well defensively."
Senglin counts current Jazz player and former Weber State star Joel Bolomboy as one of his best friends. He says former Weber great and currently Portland star Damian Lillard reaches out "more than he should."
The Weber program is tight-knit. Senglin is well aware that the school is making a name for the NBA talent it produces. And Wildcats coach Randy Rahe was present at the workout, hugging Senglin and taking pictures with his former star following.
"The guys who have come before me, they've set the bar high, so I have to live up to it," Senglin said. "When I work out for these teams, they know I'm from Weber State, so they expect me to play like it. That's where hard work and confidence helps. I work out every day, so I'm just trying to get better every day."
Jeremy Senglin update
Has worked out for eight NBA teams. Worked out for the Jazz Wednesday morning
Is Weber State's all-time leading scorer
Is trying to follow Damian Lillard and Joel Bolomboy into the NBA
Jazz's Wednesday workout
• James Blackman, 6-foot-3 shooting guard, Indiana
Of note: His father, James Blackmon Sr. was drafted by the New Jersey Nets in 1987
• Charles Cooke, 6-foot-5 shooting guard, Dayton
• Of note: Led the Flyers in scoring in both his junior and senior seasons
• Jeremy Senglin, 6-foot-2 shooting guard, Weber State
Of note: Played AAU basketball with Texas Select, with Jazz forward Joel Bolomboy
• Jimmie Taylor, 6-foot-10 power forward, Alabama
Of note: Finished his Alabama career playing in 133 consecutive games, which is the second-longest streak in school history
• Rashawn Thomas, 6-foot-8 power forward, Texas A&M Corpus Christi
Of note: Is the first player in school history to score 2,000 career points
• Jacob Wiley, 6-foot-7 small forward, Eastern Washington
Of note: Is the 2017 Big Sky Player of the Year, and Defensive Player of the Year