Dallas Mavericks: Moussa Seck

First-rounder Jones focused on jumper

July, 7, 2010
7/07/10
11:30
AM CT
DALLAS – Dominique Jones is known as a scorer, not necessarily a shooter.

But the Mavs believe he can develop into a knockdown shooter, much like Donnie Nelson witnessed Michael Finley do throughout the course of his career. That process started this week, with Rick Carlisle personally working with Jones on his jumper after summer league practices.

“With him working with me, I really see the difference,” said Jones, the shooting guard from South Florida the Mavs selected after purchasing the 25th overall pick. “I have a long way to go with it, but he is really grabbing me and taking me under his wing. He’s like, ‘We’re going to get you to make open shots.’ I’m open minded with that, because I know that’s something I need to do.”

Jones doesn’t believe his form needs to be tweaked. Carlisle has stressed concentrating on the timing between his knees and arms.

“Just really getting in a rhythm, just shooting everything the same way every time,” Jones said.

Big project: Moussa Seck barely played a minute for the Mavs’ summer league team last year, but he was invited back.

Why? He’s 7-foot-4.

Seck, a 23-year-old native of Senegal, is the ultimate project. He’s only been playing basketball for a few years, but his potential as a shot-blocker makes him worth the Mavs’ minimal investment.

“From last year to this year, tremendous amount of improvement,” said Mavs assistant Monte Mathis, the head coach of the summer league team. “Still has a long way to go.”

Mathis said Seck has made significant progress understanding basketball concepts. He catches and rebounds the ball much better. And he has a surprisingly soft shooting touch.
Seck, whose English is developing at a similar pace to his game, said he didn’t play basketball last season because of a shoulder injury. He understands that he’s still probably a few years away from being a legitimate NBA prospect.

But he’s an excellent candidate for the Texas Legends, Donnie Nelson’s new D-League team in Frisco, especially since folks might pay to see a the Metroplex’s tallest man play.

Look out for Lin: Rodrigue Beaubois isn’t the only point guard on the summer roster the Mavs believe has an NBA future.

They’re also high on Harvard’s Jeremy Lin.

“YouTube him against UConn,” Mathis said, referring to Lin’s 30-point performance against potential future first-round pick Kemba Walker.

The 6-foot-3 Lin, whose jumper needs improvement, has impressed the Mavs with his savvy and ability to finish and penetrate.

The Mavs’ roster is loaded at point guard with Beaubois and J.J. Barea backing up Jason Kidd. But remember Lin if Barea, an undrafted success story with a team-friendly contract, gets traded this offseason.

New additions: The Mavs added two players to the Summer League roster on Tuesday. Josh Mayo, a 6-foot guard out of Illinois-Chicago, and 6-11 center Darryl Watkins, a one-year pro who played at Syracuse bring the squad to 13 players.

Smiling Samhan ready for hard summer

July, 7, 2010
7/07/10
9:25
AM CT
DALLAS -- The Mavericks kicked off Summer League practices this week with games starting in Las Vegas on Friday. The media got to meet the 11-player squad on Tuesday. Obviously, Roddy Beaubois received star attention as the focal point of the summer team and the hope of the varsity club.

First-round draft pick Dominique Jones was also a big attraction and Harvard point guard Jeremy Lin drew a crowd as he tries to become the first American-born Asian player to make it in the NBA.

However, one of the more intriguing players to watch during the five-game Summer League (Friday-July 18) will be 6-foot-11 Omar Samhan. The charismatic traditional center doesn't possess great athleticism and despite averaging 30.5 points on 75 percent shooting against Richmond and Villanova in the opening rounds of the NCAA tournament, teams still weren't biting in the draft.

He averaged 23.1 points and 10.9 rebounds during his senior season in which he led Saint Mary's to its first Sweet 16.

"After the draft, I was super disappointed. I was pissed off; thought I should have got drafted, didn't, and I have something to prove," Samhan said. "The next day I get a Facebook message from [Mark] Cuban. He's like, 'What are you doing? Do you want to come to Dallas.' I said I'd love to."

Samhan is tall, but his 265-pound physique isn't exactly revealing of his strength. Ask about his qualities in terms of making it in the NBA and you get answers as if asking about a blind date that your buddy knows has a great personality, but, well, might fall somewhere south of a 10.

"First and foremost, great attitude, great attitude about basketball, about life," Mavs player development coach and summer league head coach Monte Mathis said. "He's an energetic guy, he's a gym rat, he loves to be on the court, he loves to be coached. You never have to kick him in the butt to get him going because he's always got an energy about himself."

And now for the actual basketball skills part: "But, he can shoot the ball. He's got skills for a big guy and I think he's going to be fun to watch, also, during summer league."

Fun and entertaining. Samhan wears a thin beard that outlines his face that always seems to be in smile mode. But, he knows how to work. He lost 50 pounds during his time at Saint Mary's and developed his skills to the point where he went from basically unrecruited to becoming a dominant low-post scorer. He is intriguing because he does play a traditional center, back-to-the-basket game, but he doesn't have the athleticism that could doom his hopes of playing in the NBA.

He also knows the Mavs' center position is in flux. Brendan Haywood is an unrestricted free agent and Erick Dampier is on the trading block. As far as Samhan is concerned, anything can happen.

"I complement someone like Dirk a lot because he's more of an outside 4 [power forward], doesn’t bang as much, so I kind of do the dirty work and he can score. It's a good tradeoff," Samhan said. "Obviously, I've got to climb a lot. It's a challenge I think is doable. It's a tough spot, but there is a light at the end of the tunnel. So, I just got to gut it out and hope Cuban believes in me, hope Donnie Nelson believes in me the way I believe in them."

Samhan should see plenty of playing time in Vegas. The only other center on the roster is 7-foot-4 Moussa Seck, a 220-pound developomental player the Mavs have been working with for a couple of years.

Mavs taking 7-4 Senegalese project to Vegas

June, 28, 2010
6/28/10
12:00
PM CT
The Dallas Mavericks' Summer League squad will be quite the spectacle in Las Vegas from July 9-18.

The team will, of course, be headlined by Roddy Beaubois and first-round draft pick Dominique Jones.

But, of neck-craning interest will be 7-foot-4 project Moussa Seck, a native of Senegal, who was with the Mavs last summer, but was so inexperienced as basketball player, didn't play. Seck will be joined by Saint Mary's big man -- in stature and personality -- 6-11 Omar Samhan.

Another attention grabber is Harvard point guard Jeremy Lin, who is attempting to become the first American-born Asian player to make it in the NBA.

Second-round pick in 2008 Shan Foster, who has been playing overseas, will also play on the Summer League team.

A group of players, many with local ties, will be trying out for the squad Monday and Tuesday at the American Airlines Center. They include:

G, Jermaine Beal, 6-3 (Vanderbilt, from DeSoto)
F Roderick Flemings, 6-5 (Hawaii, from DeSoto)
G, Kelvin Lewis, 6-4 (Houston, from North Crowley)
G, Jamel White, 6-4 (Texas Wesleyan)
F, Zivonko Buljan (TCU)
F, Mouhammad Faye (SMU)
F, Eric Tramiel (North Texas)
F, Andre Emmett, 6-5 (Texas Tech 2004, played in Europe, S. America)
F, Larry Owens, Oral Robers (Tulsa, played in D-League)
G, Tony Crocker (Oklahoma)
G-F, Derrick Byars (Vanderbilt)
G, Dwight Lewis, 6-5 (USC)

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TEAM LEADERS

POINTS
Dirk Nowitzki
PTS AST STL MIN
21.7 2.7 0.9 32.9
OTHER LEADERS
ReboundsS. Marion 6.5
AssistsM. Ellis 5.7
StealsM. Ellis 1.7
BlocksB. Wright 0.9