Tag Archives: Tomas Satoransky
One of the more obscure players on the Washington Wizards Summer League roster is a guy by the name of Earl Calloway. Calloway’s career is a testament to the fact that an NBA roster spot is a remarkably elusive goal to attain. That being said, his career to this point also shows off the fact that there are other ways to make a living playing basketball that don’t involve the NBA. Even though most basketball fans in America barely give a glance over at the Euro League standings, there happens to be loads of talent over there playing some incredibly good ball. One of those players is the guy we’re covering today.
Calloway was born in 1983 in Atlanta, Georgia, which believe it or not makes him a little under two years younger than 11-year veteran guard Tony Parker. He played his high school basketball at Atlanta Westlake, where he is a bit of a local legend. During his senior year, way back in 2002, Calloway was named a member of Street & Smith’s All-American team (S & S was merged into TSN’s publication back in 2007, so that’s why the accolade may not ring a bell). He was also first team All-State in Georgia after dishing out a record 632 assists (at around 9 assists per game). Calloway led his team to a 31-1 record and the 4A State Championship, finishing his career with 1,300 points. Despite these great achievements in high school, Calloway would face an uphill battle in becoming a college superstar.
Instead of signing with a top ranked program, as his abilities would suggest he should, Calloway decided to enroll at Georgia Perimeter College. GPC is actually an enormous junior college, with over 26,000 people enrolled per year as of 2011 (for reference, it’s about 6,000 shy of the University of Georgia). It is by no means a small school, and is actually a very accomplished JUCO program. While there, Calloway managed to become an NJCAA All-American and GJCAA All-Conference after averaging 18 points, 5 steals, and 4.8 assists per game. After being successful there, he caught a break with a major college program in New Mexico State.
Unfortunately, Calloway didn’t have such a great time with the Aggies as he thought he would, because nothing went as planned. After traveling across the country from Atlanta, Calloway played scant minutes backing up Jason Fontenent (the former Oregon State transfer). Earl finished the season averaging 1.9 points per game, and appearing in 28 games. He was more than likely a bit more talented than Fontenet, but like most freshman, had to wait his turn. That turn never came to fruition, though, because Calloway was suspended indefinitely during his sophomore season after violating team rules. It’s hard to say exactly what he did, but one can be sure that it was a serious offense because he was suspended for the entire season.
After having enough of the Aggies, Calloway became the first junior college player since 1999 to transfer into Indiana University. It was as a Hoosier that Calloway’s career finally started to take off. During his first year there in ’05-’06, Earl averaged 5.7 points per game while shooting 37% from long range while playing around 19 minutes per game. Calloway finished the season incredibly strong, including an 18 point on 8-of-9 shooting, 6 steal performance against San Diego State University and a near triple-double (13 points, 10 assists, 9 rebounds) against Gonzaga. This allowed him to secure the starting guard spot for Indiana during his final season at Indiana. He followed up that strong performance next season (his senior season), where he averaged career highs in points (9.6), assists(4.3), and rebounds (3.2) while playing in 29 games.
Upon finishing his career at Indiana, Calloway’s performance, while improved, did not merit being drafted into the NBA. Instead, Calloway played in the NBDL for the Fort Wayne Mad Ants in hopes of gaining some attention there from NBA scouts. He followed that up by being named the MVP of the team after averaging 19 points per game and shooting 40% from three point range. During 50 games as the point guard there, he racked up 289 assists and averaged 2 steals per game. His all around game may not have given him an NBA spot, but it did get him job offers over in Europe playing against top-level competition.
During the ’08-’09 season, Calloway found himself playing for KK Cibona, a Croatian team that competes in the A-1 Liga and Adriatic League (two top regional leagues in Europe). While there, his Cibona squad continued to absolutely pummel the competition over there as they had historically done (they’ve won 17 of the last 21 A-1 Liga Cups). While there, he proved himself to be an adept scorer in the Euroleague, averaging 12.6 points per game on 59% shooting (from two-point range) in 16 total games. That showing continued to move his career forward, as he was invited shortly after to play for the best leauge in Europe (Liga ACB) with Cajasol Sevilla in Spain.
Calloway has played with Cajasol Sevilla since 2009, and his results there have been variable. European statistics are pretty hard to decipher and translate into NBA statistics, but Calloway hasn’t been bad overall. He’s averaged around 9 points per game there, but one interesting thing to note is that Calloway also plays with Wizards second round draft pick Tomas Satoransky. That may actually have been Ernie’s reasoning for including Calloway on the Wizards Summer League roster in the first place, as he may serve as a mentor to Tomas in some ways.Perhaps one of Grunfeld’s moves makes sense now!
This entire journey brings us to Las Vegas, where Calloway has been a bright spot for the struggling Washington Wizards (1-2). Through three games, Calloway has been a sharp shooter from long range, connecting on 5-of-8 three pointers. He also collected seven rebounds over the two games he has played in, which is important because he has been dreadful at getting assists for whatever reason (he has 0 total). If Earl Calloway continues to impress, he may end up wresting the Washington Wizards’ backup point guard position away from incumbent Shelvin Mack. Here’s to hoping that Mr. Calloway can officially crack an NBA roster, regardless of if it’s the Wizards or not!
Earl Calloway Highlights!
Perhaps it the fact the Wizards were coming off their third game in as many nights, or it could have been that they did not take the D-League Select team, made up of the top players form last season who had not caught on with a team this summer, as seriously as they should’ve. Either way, the Wizards were dealt their second loss in their first three games in the Vegas Summer League after the D-League Select team withstood a late push by the Wizards to hold on for an 85-78 victory Sunday night.
The D-League Select team stormed out of the gate with a 9-0 run looking like the team that was much more prepared for the game. Shelvin Mack, presumably thinking we were in the white uniforms again last night, was turning the ball over left and right and the D-League took advantage. The Wizards battled back though and managed to cut the D-League Select lead to only three,19-16, by the end of the first quarter.
The second quarter was dominated by the Wizards as they outscored the D-League Select team 21-9. Earl Calloway got the Wizards started with two big three pointers on successive possessions and then Shelvin Mack and Bradley Beal took over going on a 14-2 run by themselves. Beal matched the D-League Select team’s output in the quarter by scoring 9 points for the Wizards.
As great as the second quarter was for the Wizards, the third quarter might as well have been a bad dream. The D-League Select team absolutely owned the game coming out of the half outscoring the Wizards by a 13-2 margin. The D-League continued their run as the quarter went on eventually out scoring Washington by 18 points in the quarter.
It literally felt like I was watching two completely different teams on the floor from the second quarter to the third. The Wizards looked tired and were not as quick to loose balls and rebounds as they had been earlier in the game. While three games in three days will take a lot out of any player the majority of this roster is fighting for a mini camp invite so I was surprised to not see a better effort.
The Wizards found their legs in the fourth quarter and made a late charge but ultimately fell short. The D-League Select team was not going to let a win slip away from them and closed the Wizards out at the foul line. When a team can go 32-38 from the foul line, hitting the tough ones late in the fourth quarter, they’re going to be tough to beat.
It was like a chapter out of Dr. Jeckyl and Mr. Hyde for the Wizards on Sunday night. While, as a team, Washington fell short there were still some impressive individual performances for the Wizards worth noting.
Bradley Beal: The Wizards top pick continued to impress Sunday night finishing with a team high 20 points. While he only shot 6/15 from the field Beal lived at the foul line, converting on 7 of his 8 attempts. Beal’s outside shot was off (Shot 1/7 on the evening) but he was much more effective when he took the ball inside the arc where he was 5/8 from the field. Like we have seen in Vegas Beal is going to hit the boards and hit them hard, as evidenced by his 6 rebounds against the D-League Select team.
Shelvin Mack: Mack overcame a rough start to have a solid game. Once the case of hiccups he had with the basketball had concluded, Mack settled in and ended up being the Wizards second leading scorer finishing with 14 points. On a night where there weren’t many bright spots on offense for the Wiz Kids Mack provided Bradley Beal with some much needed support.
Chris Singleton: Singleton got the Wizards started with a ferocious dunk over a D-League defender but never seemed to settle into any sort of groove thereafter. He went 2/6 from the field the rest of the way finishing with 9 points, 8 renounds and 8 fouls, just shy of the elusive Summer League triple-double.
Jan Vesely: Jan had the type of game we have come to expect from him. He was all over the floor, seemingly involved in the action on most possessions. Vesely could have looked for his shot more, only attempting 6 shots from the field, but he contributed in other ways finishing with 9 points, 5 rebounds and 3 steals. It is worth noting that Vesely is making the most of the 10 foul rule in Summer League, after fouling out in Friday’s opener Vesely picked up 8 personals last night.
Tomas Satoransky: Satoransky didn’t play his best game so far in Vegas last night. He did, however, lead the Wizards in assists with three for the game so there is that.
Earl Calloway: Calloway was a major bright spot for the Wizards last night, and seemingly the only player who could make a three-pointer. Calloway went 4/6 from behind the arc last night and was the only other Wizards player to crack double digits. I have been impressed with the 28 year old guard in his first three contests with the Wizards in the VSL. If he continues to shoot like this in our final two games he would have made a strong case for a training camp invite.
The Wizards are off until Tuesday the 17th when they take on the Memphis Grizzlies Summer League entry at 6:00 pm EST on NBA TV.
Jan Vesely: B
You know when a pitcher is throwing a no-hitter and you’re really not supposed to talk about it? This is basically the situation with Jan Vesely right now, because he appears to have developed a
jump shot new weapon but I’m not about to speak out loud of it and jinx the entire thing. But that jump shot new weapon turns him into a completely different player than the one we saw last year. When a 6’11, long, player like Vesely has a jump shot new weapon like the one he’s been showing, it’s exceedingly difficult to try and guard. Dirk made a career out of being unguardable because of his length. If Vesely can keep this up and continue with his development in other areas of the game, look out!
That being said, his game wasn’t great overall despite his
jump shot new weapon being unleashed again. I think Vesely may have become a little gun shy after picking up 10 fouls in Game 1, because at times he looked to be disengaged down low. He didn’t play bad defense against Houston’s bigs of Terrence Jones and Royce White, but he could have had more rebounds than he did. Vesely was moving the ball relatively well on offense, but I’d like for him to be more aggressive like he was yesterday. And this time, convert the alley oops which he’s very good at getting.
Chris Singleton: C
Singleton played with a lot of tenacity, as per usual with him, but he didn’t match his fantastic summer league debut yesterday. His follow up performance was a bit of a dud, as he finished with 10 points, 2 rebounds and 2 blocks. He failed to be as active on the boards when faced with the plethora of talented wing players thrown at him by the Rockets. When he was matched up with Terrence Jones, he got beaten down low. The occasional time he was covering Jeremy Lamb, he got shots drained in his face. Singleton did make a lot of attempts to get to the basket but because his dribbling isn’t where it needs to be, he often puts up a forced ugly, ugly, jumper. He’s still developing, but I was hoping for something better from Singleton.
Tomas Satoransky: C+
After yesterday’s performance, the old adage of not judging a book by its cover rings true right now, because Satoransky erased the memory of his previous stinker. No, his game wasn’t so good that it’s going to change my mind about him being ready for the NBA, but Sato did show that he might be able to play one day. He showed a little bit of range in hitting a long two pointer, and displayed his athleticism with a big dunk (and a Vesely-esque alley oop). I guess those Czech’s like to dunk, because it’s what they’re prone to doing this summer league. Because Satoransky doesn’t have a great first step, he does a good job shielding the ball with his body, then waiting for a screen to move around.
He’s a smart player, and I wasn’t upset with his 11 point performance. He does have to work on holding onto the ball a little better, as his 8 turnovers in two games isn’t going to fly forever. But overall, you can’t be upset with him when he shows clear improvement from one day to the next.
Shelvin Mack: C+
Shelvin on the shelf Mack didn’t get as much burn today as he did yesterday (he only played 17 minutes), likely because of him being incredibly unimpressive yesterday. In the minutes he did get, however, he played much better. Sam Cassell decided to let other, more athletic guards take the ball up the court and initiate the offense. Mack thrived when he wasn’t forced to create his own shot (which he’s unqualified for), and knocked down open jumpers when his number was called. He finished with 11 points, 3 rebounds, and 3 assists but he still couldn’t keep control of the ball as he coughed it up 3 times.
His game two was better than the first one, but I’m not sure he did a whole lot to help his case for the backup PG spot. He can’t create offense, and he’s not an amazing shooter in spite of hitting a few this game. If he can’t create , he can’t shoot as well as others, and he turns the ball over a lot, then what’s the case for keeping him with the team?
Bradley Beal: B+
Real Deal Beal couldn’t repeat his performance in game one, where he scored 22 points in his debut as a Washington Wizards, but he did show off yet another skill of his. Beal finished with 14 points, but he could have scored a whole lot more than that if he is capable of hitting over 50% of his free throws. Beal left points on the board after going 5-for-10 from the line, but the good sign is that he actually initiates contact. He was not nearly as good at drawing fouls in college, so it appears that he’s either learned the skill or taken the necessary adjustments to get the calls. That’s going to help him a whole lot more later on in the year on those nights where his shot isn’t going in (much like tonight).
Overall, he played a more well rounded game than yesterday, as he grabbed 5 rebounds in total to go along with 4 assists. Beal grabbed three offensive boards, and it’s a credit to his deceptive length. At one point, he scored on a putback with two big men to the left and the right of him; he did that because his arms are long and his positioning was right. Beal can clearly rebound, and it showed tonight. He also displayed an ability to pass the ball, throwing cross court looks with ease while creating shots for others. That may end up being a welcome surprise for John Wall, to be sure.
Steven Gray: D
Gray didn’t look like a whole lot of anything special during game two, mostly because he’s really not physically capable of playing in the NBA. He looked slow at times, failing to create his shot or stay in front of his man. Even when he did get open, he failed to knock down shots from the wings all night. He proved himself to be a pretty decent passer, though, finding Vesely for a nice bounce pass en route to a jumper. Gray finished the game with 6 points, 4 rebounds, and 4 assists, but I wasn’t impressed with his game.
Garret Siler: F (for Fat)
I really hope Siler was wearing a Tyler Perry fat suit, because if his frame is actually that 305 lb. mess that we saw on Saturday night, he doesn’t belong on an NBA floor. It was downright gross to watch him plod up and down the court, and he looked like if he played more than the 13 minutes he got then he would end up having a heart attack. I’m not going to completely bash him, but I’m not sure he’s ever hit a weight room before. Jamarcus Russell looked better than him on that court, and while he did show off some low post skill and tenacity rebounding, there is no way he can keep that up for an entire game. Andray Blatche is already out of shape, the Wizards don’t need two big men occupying the same space.
Jeff Brooks: B
Brooks was the one reserve I was relatively impressed with during tonight’s game. His 6 point, 9 rebound performance wasn’t blow you away great, but his effort level was. He seems like a very competent rebounder and someone who might be able to help Washington out in the future. Brooks turned the ball over a lot, but he also got to the line and played quite aggressively. I’m hoping he gets a little more playing time, because he might be worthwhile to have on a bad rebounding team like Washington.
Jan Vesely: B
The knock on Jan heading into the offseason was that he was completely bereft of a jump shot. Though he had plenty of athleticism, his shot would be the thing holding him back from becoming a valuable player. Well, if today’s game was more statistical norm than abberation, Vesely is going to be a major contributor moving forward for this franchise. In the first half, Vesely knocked down all three of his jumpers from 15 ft. and out. He looked to have a newfound confidence in his shot, and it certainly showed. If he can continue doing things like that, as well as contributing with his defensive length, his career is going to be more like Andrei Kirilenko’s rather than (insert Euro bust here). On the night, he finished with 11 points, 4 rebounds, and 3 assists.
He did miss three dunk attempts, which was a very disheartening thing to see, but somehow I don’t think that’s going to define his career. What Vesely needed to work on was being a more controlled player. He picked up 10 fouls in a Summer League game! That’s a joke, and shows me that he really has some work to do mentally in not getting overexcited out there. Part of the reason he was picking up fouls as such a high rate was because Shavlik Randolph and Kim Tillie were doing their best traffic cone impression out there. But a sixth pick shouldn’t be out there to collect fouls, he should be able to contribute in a lot of ways.
Chris Singleton: B+
Singleton deserves an A, but I’m not inclined to give out any of those. Despite struggling in the first half with turnovers (he had 4 total), Singleton picked it up to finish strong with 20 points, 8 rebounds, 4 steals, and 2 blocks. It’s not his offense that is going to be his ticket into the NBA, but his versatility is becoming harder and harder to ignore. Sure, he has a very hard time getting to the basket because he can’t dribble, but his defense more than makes up for it. Singleton showed off his nose for grabbing steals, oftentimes just taking the ball from defenders using quick hands. He always seems to be in position on defense and rarely gets beaten in a one-on-one scenario. He just looks like a player who is going to stick in the NBA as a great defender, and his rebounding ability has greatly improved. His positioning helped, and as a result he was the best rebounder on the court.
But then, we already knew that. And don’t let his 18 points fool you, those were very hard earned buckets. He didn’t score those with ease, and they weren’t always pretty. Singleton gets his shots in crafty ways, like on the fastbreak off of steals or wide open threes after beating his defender in a crowd. It’s not necessarily going to translate amazingly at the pro level, as we evidenced similar play last year, but he did look a lot more assertive today. Unfortunately, that assertiveness comes at a cost; Singleton turned it over five times. His ball handling isn’t where it needs to be just yet, and he has to continue to show that he has enough quickness to beat anyone off the dribble. All in all, I’m not upset with his performance, but I expected this from him.
Tomas Satoransky: D
Satoransky wasn’t expected to do much, and turning it over three times in 5 minutes was pretty much par for the course. Tomas was flat out bad, and it shows why he is going to be considered a project. Another year in Spain playing top level competition will do him some good, because in his short stint with the Wizards he looked overmatched.
One thing he did well, though, was move the ball. When he’s not turning it over, he does know how to cut into the lane and make nice, spot on passes to bigs down low in the paint. Other than that, the cupboard is barren.
For the most part he was just hard to watch, guys.
Shelvin Mack: D
Shelvin Mack really wasn’t able to manage the offense with the poise of a backup point guard. He’s a step slow in everything he does, and the offense doesn’t flow when he has the ball. Mack dribbled into defenders too many times to not mention it, and failed to create too many shots for anyone. In fact, when he didn’t have the ball everything else started clicking. He defends just as well as he did last season, but he’s not going to completely shut down anyone. Mack’s jumper wasn’t really impressive either, and it showed little improvement from last season, where it was pretty horrible.
If Mack can’t get better and impress during this summer league, he may have to look elsewhere for a job because the Wizards could desperately use a veteran backup to spell Wall.
Bradley Beal: A
Real Deal Beal was everything the Washington Wizards expected when they drafted him, scoring 22 points in 33 minutes of play. Beal looked a little slow at first, but that’s because we didn’t realize that his game is just always completely under control. He never forces anything (almost to a fault), and gets shots within the flow of the game. He hit jumpers from everywhere on the floor, three pointers, long two’s, pull up jumpers at the top of the key. You name it, Beal shot it. He also showed, at least at first, an agressive side in that he got to the line a whole lot. Beal finished strong after contact and drove to the line looking for it. His sturdy frame really shows when he’s going at the rim, because he’s able to absorb hits and maintain body control.
One thing Beal might want to work on is his defense, because even though he got two blocks, he tended to sag off of defenders. I’m not suggesting he’s bad at defense at all, because he’s not. He gets in front of his man all the time, but I think he might be trying to compensate for his slower first step by backing off people around the perimeter. He also didn’t grab a single rebound despite being billed as one of the best rebounders at his position in college. That’s largely due to the size difference in the pro’s and not being aggressive enough in grabbing boards.
Either way, it’s incredibly hard to be upset with his first game in a Wizards jersey. Bradley Beal flat out killed it tonight, and I’m looking forward to seeing him throughout this summer.
Everyone else: D
Where to begin with the players the Wizards brought in? Kim Tillie and Shavlik Randolph were horrible at the center position. They were completely abused down low, and looked like they hadn’t played basketball outside of a rec gym in a long time. The Wizards couldn’t find better talent than these two? Offensively, neither player hit a single shot from the field, though Tillie contributed with 6 points off of free throws. He drew contact down low, but didn’t show any amount of offensive game. Their five rebounds combined were pretty bad. Going forward, I’m not expecting them to get as many minutes on the floor.
In the backcourt, it didn’t really get much better. Ravern Johnson looked as he always has: like a chicken wing. He did come in immediately and hit a three pointer, showing off the range that made him dangerous in college. Other than that, he didn’t do anything of note and looks like the only way he’ll make a roster is as a three point specialist.
Earl Calloway was the only impressive player, to me. At 28 years old and having played numerous seasons of professional basketball overseas, it showed in his short amount of playing time. Calloway played with a bit of court savvy that’s hard to describe, but signifies that he knows how to manage an offense. That’s not a great thing, but he did have 7 points in 9 minutes, and I’d like to see him working with the first team offense to see how he sets people up.
Yesterday, the Washington Wizards officially announced their 2012 Vegas Summer League Roster. As you can see every Wizards draft pick from the last two seasons are listed on the roster. Tomas Satoransky, while on the roster, is still noncommittal to participating as he wants to continue to focus on training with the Czech National Team.
Like with any NBA Summer League team the Wizards roster is filled with familiar faces and total unknowns. That is the beauty of the summer league. Anyone (Marco Belinelli) can have a huge performance on any given day, it makes for intriguing basketball.
It will be interesting to see which players step up come tip off against the Hawks at 4 PM (EST). All Vegas Summer League games will be shown on NBA TV.
2012 Washington Wizards
Summer League Roster
3 Bradley Beal G Florida
40 Jeff Brooks F Penn State
51 Earl Calloway G Indiana
16 LaRon Dendy C Middle Tennessee St.
19 Steven Gray G Gonzaga
30 Ravern Johnson G Mississppi State
22 Shelvin Mack G Butler
32 Shavlik Randolph F Duke
14 Tomas Satoransky G Czech Republic
21 Mike Scott F Kent St.
9 Garett Siler C Augusta St.
31 Chris Singleton F Florida State
34 Kim Tillie C Utah
24 Jan Vesely F Czech Republic
It was announced today by @luke_mellow, a contributor to TruthAboutIt.net, that Wizards second round pick Tomas Satoransky will not be participating in July’s Vegas Summer League. This is a perplexing decision by Satoransky as even if he had no intentions of coming over to the states for the 2013 season it would still have been nice to get a chance to see what this guy can do against even low-level NBA competition. While Satoransky is still under contract with CB Sevilla, his club team in the Spanish ACB league, he would be allowed to participate in Summer League with the Wizards without having to be bought out of his current contract.
I understand that the Wizards selected Satoransky with the intention of him remaining in Europe for the time being so that his game can become more polished but this is a major disappointment for fans. There was uproar when the pick was made and the best way to get people to put down the pitchforks and stop calling for Ernie’s head for selecting yet another European player who is a project would have been for Satoransky to come over to Vegas and show off why the scout’s are so high on his potential as a player.
The Wizards still want him to be a part of the Summer League roster but as they say it takes two to tango. Hopefully Satoransky has a change of heart between now and the beginning of the Wizards Summer League schedule on July 13th. I, for one, would love to see what this kid is capable of with the ball in his hands.