Utah Jazz Season Preview

The Utah Jazz 2012-2013 season tips off eight weeks from tonight.  Here at Academically Ineligible we will have a weekly preview right up until the week before the first game.  Part I will be to introduce the new faces who are either on the team or trying to make the team this season.

DeMarre Carroll

Position: Small forward

Years Pro: 3

Height: 6-8  Weight: 212

College: Missouri

Carroll isn’t technically a new face, but as he only played a small amount of games last season with the team but is expected to make the team this year, I thought I’d give him a quick glance.  He was drafted 29th overall in 2009 by the Grizzlies after leading his Missouri team to the first Big 12 tournament title in 16 years and an Elite 8 appearance.  He was once shot in the ankle while serving as a peacemaker.  His nickname is “Junkyard Dog” stemming from his work ethic.  You’ll remember Carroll from making his way into the Jazz starting line up by season’s end as several players became less effective.  He’s a hustler and a great player to have coming off your bench to spell your starters.

Shan Foster

Position: Shooting guard

Years Pro: Rookie

Height: 6-6  Weight: 213

College: Vanderbilt

There isn’t much background available on Foster but he has been invited to camp.  Given the logjam already in place at the wing positions with Gordon Hayward, Alec Burks, Randy Foye, Marvin Williams, and DeMarre Carroll I wouldn’t expect him to finish camp on the roster.

Randy Foye

Position: Shooting guard

Years Pro: 6

Height: 6-4  Weight: 213

College: Villanova

Foye is one of the genuinely nicest dudes you will ever hope to meet.  He arrived to Utah via free agency earlier this summer after the LA Clippers didn’t make him an offer.  He was drafted 7th overall in 2006 by Boston and then traded to Minnesota.  He grew up in Newark, New Jersey and his whole focus since being drafted has been to give back to his community.  Foye is a player who can play both guard positions and will bring some toughness and veteran leadership to the team this season.

Kevin Murphy

Position: Shooting guard

Years Pro: Rookie

Height: 6-6  Weight: 185

College: Tennessee Tech

Kevin Murphy is the team’s only draft pick this year, #47 overall.  Much like Foster above, he will be a long shot to make the team because of the logjam at his position.  He has a great ability to score the ball which will probably make him a lock to get a contract out of camp, but I wouldn’t expect to see him on the floor much if he does.

Mo Williams

Position: Point Guard

Years Pro: 9

Height: 6-1  Weight: 195

College: Alabama

Just like Kevin Murphy and Paul Millsap, the Jazz chose Williams with the 47th overall pick in the 2003 draft.  He played one season here before heading to Milwaukee on a free agent deal that former GM Kevin O’Conner still laments as being his greatest regret with the Jazz.  He played a few years with LeBron James in Cleveland where he made his one and only All-Star appearance in 2009.  He left Cleveland and ended up in LA with the Clippers, playing alongside of Randy Foye.  He was largely played as a shooting guard, a position that had him out of his comfort zone for most of the time and his stats suffered.  He comes home to Utah as part of a three team trade that used the Jazz’ trade exception from Memo’s trade last year.  With the departure of Devin Harris to Atlanta, Williams will step in and play starter’s minutes at the point guard and provide a toughness on defense that was largely missing from the team’s backcourt the past few seasons.

Marvin Williams

Position: Small forward

Years Pro: 7

Height: 6-9  Weight: 245

College: North Carolina

Marvin Williams was drafted 2nd overall by the Hawks in 2005 largely based on talent and potential.  He played one season at North Carolina and never even started a game while a Tar Heel.  He’s a lock-down perimeter defender with an ability to shoot the 3 and spread the floor offensively for the Jazz.  Williams will come in and start right away at the small forward position; a position that was too much of a revolving door for the team last season.  He’ll finally be able the shed the stigma of being a 2nd overall pick that hasn’t quite lived up to his hype and just play ball here in Utah without all that pressure.  His defensive prowess will help this team immensely as he’ll be able to play strong against some of the best players in the game today.

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