By now, pretty much everyone knows the Wisconsin Badgers Jon Leuer and his back-story. He’s the kid from Orono, MN who played at the guard position until high school when he sprouted an extra ten inches to reach his 6-10 frame.
In his four-years in Madison, he has learned how to use his knowledge of the guard and forward positions to become one of the nation’s most complete players.
In The Sports Bank’s latest NBA Mock Draft, David Kay has Leuer going to the Chicago Bulls 26th overall.
During Big Ten Media Day, The Sports Bank Founder and CEO, Paul Banks caught up with Leuer to talk about how playing with Team USA this summer has helped develop his game.
By: Nick Grays
The experience of going to New York and practicing with Team USA was something of a dream for Leuer. Playing against some of the NBA’s best has only improved his confidence and also showed what he needs to do to become an even better player.
“I got to guard Lamar Odom, Kevin Durant pretty much everyday, going up against these guys was a great experience and I feel I’m a better player for it,” said Leuer.
While helping to prepare Team USA for the FIBA World Championships, Leuer started to understand what coaches Kryzyewski and Colangelo are doing for the direction of USA basketball.
“They are some of the best basketball minds ever to be involved in the game, so to see them in action, they kind of brought pride back to USA basketball,” said Leuer.
What Leuer can value the most from the entire ordeal is the perspective he received on what it takes to get to the next level.
“Guys are stronger and more athletic and they also do the little things still. Guys were diving on the floor for loose balls and that kind of stuff. I need to step up but I feel it’s something i can do,” exclaimed Leuer.
There’s no doubt that the opportunity to play with Team USA has helped Leuer develop into an NBA talent. Through 16 games, the senior is leading the #20 Badgers with 18.8 points and 7.3 rebounds per game.
On Saturday, Leuer helped Wisconsin knock off #16 Illinois with 26 points and 9 rebounds, his 24th-straight game with double-digit scoring and seventh 20-point game of the season.
The game was a big one for Leuer after critics claimed he was no where to be seen in a tough loss in East Lansing. Leuer took that personal and made it an issue to bounce back in the win over Illinois.
“Obviously I didn’t have a good performance against Michigan State. That definitely was motivation to come out and help the team more. I felt like, after Michigan State, that I let my team down by not being aggressive and making good plays and good reads. I felt like tonight I did a better job of that but it was a team win. It was a total effort from everybody. That was good for us to get back on track and hopefully we can string some wins together,” said Leuer.
Leuer dominates the stat-sheet in almost every game he takes part in, but always makes sure to credit the team when they win. A player who takes care of business and plays team basketball, what else can the NBA ask for?
Do you think Jon Leuer will be a solid player in the NBA? Please let me know by commenting below!
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