A few anecdotes and some video to pass on from the blog's two-day stay in Las Vegas, spent catching up with three former Trojans in action for their NBA squads in summer-league play:
First, a great one-on-one with Marcus Johnson, in which the former Trojan high-flyer explained why -- why he thought, at least -- Suns summer-league point guard extraordinaire Zabian Dowdell didn't pass him the ball at one point in Saturday's game for what had the makings of another one of the spectacular alley-oop dunks Johnson pulled down so often at USC. Kevin Arnovitz details it over on ESPN's TrueHoop blog as well: "I mean, some guys aren't used to me, so they're not sure if I can jump or not, so I understand that," Johnson said. "But you think you can?" Johnson: "I mean, I know I can. I think you think I can too." Here's a video with Johnson, including that exchange and his assessment of his performance through two summer league games:
And here's the video with DeRozan, in which the 20-year-old swingman talks about what he expects out of the Raptors' 2010-2011 season. You can also see DeRozan's humorous response when asked if he enjoyed playing alongside former UCLA guard Michael Roll for Toronto during the summer. Keep in mind that Roll is sitting directly to DeRozan's right and listening to every word of the conversation after the Raptors beat the Suns 103-69:
Dwight Lewis, who went undrafted last month despite a fairly prolific four-year career at USC, latched on to the Rockets for the summer after flirting with playing for the Mavs' summer-league team. It's proven to be a good decision for Lewis so far, as he has been effective as a swingman behind Jermaine Taylor and Chase Budinger. Here's a video with Lewis, taken after his 10-point performance in Friday's 100-82 Rockets win over Johnson's Suns. Highlights include Lewis talking about the Pac-10 connection as former Cal guard Patrick Christopher did lay-up drills just behind him and Lewis' comments on Rockets' first-round selection Patrick Patterson:
And, lastly, a few other USC-related items of note: Lewis added to his solid performance on Friday with nine points Saturday off the Rockets' bench. Remember Davon Jefferson? The former one-and-done Trojan, who spent the last two seasons playing professionally in Israel after failing to make an NBA roster when he declared for the 2008 draft, has resurfaced on Miami's squad. He'll make his summer debut tonight at 7 p.m. With five Trojans playing in Las Vegas, the only left is O.J. Mayo, also a one-and-done Trojan. A 2008 first-round pick, Mayo will open up play for the Grizzlies at 7:30 p.m. on Monday.