Utah Jazz head coach Will Hardy knows how to get the most out of his rookies.
The Utah Jazz have three distinct and unique rookies on their roster, Brice Sensabaugh, Keyonte George, and Taylor Hendricks. All three play different positions, with different sets of skills. Sensabaugh is your three-point shooter in training, George is your point-man with impressive speed, and Hendricks is your prototypical power forward with versatility.
That doesn’t mean any of the three are going to be in line for minutes. Sensabaugh is going to be behind Ochai Agbaji, Jordan Clarkson, and Lauri Markkanen for a time, while George has to compete with Collin Sexton, Kris Dunn, Talen Horton-Tucker, and others. Hendricks, on the other hand, is going to be going up against John Collins, Kelly Olynyk, Luka Samanic, Omer Yurtseven, and Micah Potter.
Despite being a well-crafted crop of young rookies, none of them are getting minutes just because of where they’re drafted. And Utah Jazz head coach Will Hardy wants to make this a point of emphasis. The kids will get minutes if they earn them, telling the media earlier this week (via KSL.com);
I think there is a world where each of them could play themselves into minutes.
They’re going to be getting shots, however. Hardy told the media, prior to them leaving for Hawaii as part of their training camp;
They go at it, they have not backed down one second out here playing with our veteran guys. And so training camp is going to show us a lot, because it is a very different environment.
That’s the right mentality to have when it comes to fostering a work ethic in the rookies. None of the three young men have had any issues with working hard (that we know of), but we’ve seen the story too many times. A young upstart star comes in, gets complacent and either never fully matures into what he could be, or fails miserably.
Instilling a strong work ethic as part of your team’s culture is crucial for success and it seems like Hardy may be the right guy to get the most out of his hard-working young rookies.