With the Santa Cruz Warriors off to an 8-4 start to lead their division, they've undoubtedly been led by NBA alums Elliot Williams and Joe Alexander, who have stepped up in the early goings as the team's top performers.
But the team's talent doesn't stop there --- they've also benefitted from the likes of James Michael McAdoo, Mitchell Watt, and Aaron Craft, all of whom came to town via NBA training camp with Golden State as subsequent affiliate players.
As such talents fill out the team's lineup, it could potentially prove difficult for the other players on the roster to stand out and make their respective marks as well.
Just don't tell Sean Kilpatrick that.
Also an affiliate player as a late training camp acquisition for Golden State, Kilpatrick got off to a slow start following training camp as he worked his way back from a visible previously nagging injury. But in recent weeks, the sharpshooter has begun to hit his stride, even garnering a few spot-starts along the way.
Through twelve contests, Kilpatrick has averaged 12.3 points (on 41% from the field) and 3.2 rebounds. All of this has come while playing just 22.3 minutes per game. While such numbers may not be all too staggering, he's nevertheless played an important role for the Warriors. Able to spread the floor effectively, the guard keeps defenses honest night in and night out, on account of his prowess from long range. If Kilpatrick positions himself beyond the arc, he's someone an opposing team should keep their collective eyes on.
The guard's most recent minor league success follows a very strong senior year at the collegiate level with Cincinnati, during which he averaged 21.6 points on 43% from the field and 35% from deep.
Kilpatrick has been able to stand out amongst all of the other talent currently hitting the hardwood in town. He's found a respective niche, which may prove to be all the more valuable as NBA teams search for potential prospects to fill certain voids in the weeks to come. The opportunity to sign such young guns to ten-day contracts grows nearer and nearer.
Kilpatrick may not be the most talented player available, nor is he necessarily the most versatile one. But what he does, he does quite well. He's as assertive as can be, and his confidence never seems to waver. In addition to spreading the floor, the guard has been picking his spots well while attacking the basket and taking advantage of higher-percentage looks, too.
As Santa Cruz look to stand ground atop of their division, look for Kilpatrick to play a key, if not also a pleasantly surprising role, along the way.