After a long wait — 110 days to be exact — Ty Jerome finally got to put on his Phoenix Suns jersey for a game. Jerome didn’t participate in the NBA Summer League, so Tuesday night’s preseason game against Minnesota was his first professional action since the Suns drafted him at No. 24 overall in the 2019 NBA Draft.
“[I was a] little nervous in the beginning to get out there and just finally put this jersey on and be with the guys on the court,” Jerome told reporters after the game. “It felt good.”
He clearly felt good, starting the game 3-for-3 from the court and finishing 6-for-7 with 12 points, four assists, and a rebound in 23 minutes of action. His contributions helped the Suns take down the Timberwolves, 111-106.
Jerome entered the game with 2:57 to play in the first quarter and immediately made an impact. Right out of the gate, he displayed his high basketball IQ that Virginia fans are very familiar with. The result of the play was an open three for teammate Frank Kaminsky.
5. This is literally the first possession for Ty Jerome as an NBA player.— Seven Seconds Or Less Podcast (@7SOLpod) October 9, 2019
Directs Diallo to release to Johnson, runs to his spot, recognises the space & cuts. Makes the final 2 defenders draw off their men & finds Frank for the open 3. pic.twitter.com/vwSXxDZjxQ
His first bucket followed as he corralled a rebound for the offensive put back with 2:22 to play in the first quarter. Jerome showed off some moves that were familiar for Virginia fans, perfectly executing the elbow floater and using his body to shelter the ball from defenders as he drove the lane and got the shot up.
Ty Jerome showing what he can do when he puts the ball on the floor— Suns Video Breakdown (@SunsVideo) October 9, 2019
While he's not the fastest or most athletic, his footwork and patience is helping him create opportunities
Watch how his hesitation dribble freezes the D, and he's able to attack on the drive
Beautiful. #Suns pic.twitter.com/xg4VdmWp1k
Suns’ head coach Monty Williams had praise for Jerome after the game. “Ty was solid,” Williams said of the rook. “He was in his shifts in the right spot. Offensively, when he first came into the game, he knocked down a few shots and was making the right reads.”
NBA veteran Ricky Rubio was complimentary, too: “Ty played a great game, controlling the tempo of the game.”
It wasn’t ALL good as Jerome had five turnovers and missed the one three-pointer he attempted, but the good greatly outweighed the bad in his first game. Plus, his off-ball movement and ability to adjust to the faster, stronger NBA game was evident.
I haven’t tweeted about him yet so I wanna give this guy a little praise:— Max (@maxmcc11) October 9, 2019
Ty Jerome moves excellently off-ball. He’s been missed for wide-open shots on multiple cuts tonight.
Next time out, Jerome will see a familiar face as the Suns take on Kyle Guy’s Sacramento Kings on Thursday (October 10) night. The game is scheduled for 10pm EST.