NEW YORK, NY - MARCH 09: Jarrid Famous #31 of the South Florida Bulls and Yancy Gates #34 of the Cincinnati Bearcats battle for a rebound during the second round of the 2011 Big East Men's Basketball Tournament presented by American Eagle Outfitters at Madison Square Garden on March 9, 2011 in New York City. (Photo by Nick Laham/Getty Images)
Jarrid Famous has secured an invite to the Indiana Pacers training camp after just three games of action in the NBA Development League, according to a source close to the player. NBA teams were allowed to begin contacting players on Wednesday morning, though agreements can't officially be signed until Dec. 9.
Famous is playing for the Iowa Energy and, following Wednesday's matinee game, the 6-foot-11 rookie out of South Florida is averaging 24.7 points and 12.7 rebounds -- 6.7 of which are coming off of the offensive glass. The 23-year-old averaged 8.7 points and 5.4 rebounds during his senior season with the Bulls.
The Energy are off to just a 1-2 start, but Famous has held his own early on his first season of professional basketball. Against the Sioux Falls Skyforce, featuring the best front line in the D-League with Greg Stiemsma and Charles Garcia, scored 33 points and grabbed 15 rebounds in a losing effort.
Having only watched Famous for three games thus far, deferring to the always excellent Jonathan Givony on his shortcomings seems to be wise:
Defensively, Famous has some excellent tools to work with, as he has great size, length and mobility for his position and could develop into a very effective matchup down the road, especially with his ability to switch on the pick and roll.
Unfortunately that doesn't help him very much right now, as he simply lacks the fundamentals and awareness needed to be effective at the moment, and he's frequently targeted for isolation plays both in the post and on the perimeter by opposing coaches, often with great success. Famous tends to gamble a lot on this end of the floor and clearly isn't as tough or active as you would like to see from a big man with his physical tools, something he needs to improve significantly if he's to have any chance of making the NBA. While he's an above average rebounder offensively, the same can't be said about his production on the defensive end. Getting stronger should help in this regard, but at the same time, Famous must improve his effort level as well.
NBA training camps open next Friday and while Famous is only one of what is expected to be 30-40 players called-up from the NBA Development League, he might be the one with the most ridiculous upside.