The Jazzs second-round pick, Boston College point guard Olivier Hanlan (42nd overall), has not yet signed with the Jazz but is participating in the first of this three-day mini-camp.
“It was a great practice. You’re still getting used to the altitude, but guys were competing and guys were going after it,” Hanlan said after the morning session. “We did a lot of defense and learning some of the basic offense stuff. We got a lot of reps in, so it was fun.”
Jazz coach Quin Snyder spoke positively of the guard, who’s hoping to earn a spot behind Dante Exum and Trey Burke.
“He’s a nice basketball player. I think he’s got ta good feel for the game. He competes,” Snyder said of Hanlan. “There’s a presence to him, a strength, defense. Glad to have him.”
Snyder gave Hanlan pointers while doing drills Thursday, and the young player soaked in that tutoring.
“He gave advice right from the start,” Hanlan said. “That’s always fun having a coach who’s involved like that right from the beginning and is big on improving guys and always making sure guys are getting better. That’s my type of coach.”
IMPRESSED COACH: Snyder is allowing assistants Alex Jensen (Utah) and Mike Wells (Las Vegas) to be the head coach for the summer league team over the next two weeks.
Snyder admitted he had a moment of positive reflection while watching Jensen, the former University of Utah star, coach Friday’s first practice.
“One of the things that jumps out to me is how far our staff has come as a group,” Snyder said. “Alex, he’s our head coach in the summer league. It’s satisfying to see the development or our coaching staff.”
Snyder added that he’s not antsy about letting his assistants take control. For one thing, he likes being able to evaluate players individually when he’s not so focused on the group as a whole.
“Alex is very good. He’s organized. I watched practice today and I liked it,” Snyder said. “I liked the energy our staff has. I think that translates to the players. We’ve got all these guys; they’re young and they need to get better. It’s almost a partnership that has to take place between them and the assistant coaches on our staff to have that happen.”
JAZZ NOTES: German center Tibor Pleiss worked out individually with Jazz staff following the first practice. At one point, he hit 11 straight mid-range shots off the glass. The 7-foot-3 big man and the Jazz continue to progress toward a contract. The Jazz will continue practicing Saturday and Sunday before playing their first game of their summer league Monday night against Boston. Two former Jazz fan favorites, Mehmet “Money” Okur and Antoine “The Big Dawg” Carr, will be in town for the summer league. They will both participate in autograph sessions Monday night in the arena before Utah’s game and will help conduct clinics for children throughout the week.