Scoring 10 or more points for the Idaho Stampede helps the NBA Development League team. Adding 10 or more rebounds is twice as nice.
Thats why coach Mike Peck appreciates Sean Evans so much: Hes a double-double machine.
Evans notched his 11th double-double of the season Friday night against the Los Angeles D-Fenders. Evans, who is tied for second in the league in double-doubles, had 11 points and 10 rebounds in a little more than 20 minutes as Idaho (8-17) won 114-88 at CenturyLink Arena.
Evans numbers are even more impressive when you consider that hes playing out of position. Listed at 6-foot-8, 250 pounds, hed fit in perfectly as a power forward on most teams.
Idaho, however, has played him at center because it has lacked a true big man for most of the season.
I have to guard bigger guys sometimes, and I have no problem with that, Evans said. Ive been doing that my entire career. I have the ability to guard different positions, so I use that to my advantage. And then on offense, I do the same thing. If theyre bigger than me, I take them outside.
Every player in the D-League is hoping to make an impression on NBA scouts, and playing out of position could be seen as a detriment.
I would say its a gift and a curse, said Evans, who played four years at St. Johns. Its showing NBA teams that I can guard bigger guys.
So, while Evans gives up at least a couple of inches to most other centers, Peck has watched Evans find ways to use that to his advantage.
Hes undersized, but playing at the five spot (center), that is helping him showcase what he can do against other fives that arent as mobile as him, Peck said. I think hes done a heck of a job for us. I think hes flourished and gotten better.
Evans flourished more than any other Stampede player this season Dec. 19 at Bakersfield, when he scored 34 points and corralled 22 rebounds.
Pretty good, right? Evans said with a smile. Oh, man, it was just one of those games where I was playing out of my mind. Every shot was going in, and rebounds, anything close to me I was catching it and it was sticking to my hands.
After the game, I thought I was gone (to the NBA), Evans said half-jokingly. I was thinking, I hope I get that call tomorrow.
But Evans knows more work needs to be done and more rebounds need to be pulled down.
If I can do anything every night, its going to be rebounding, Evans said. If you look at the NBA, some of the best rebounders are 6-8, 6-9 guys.
Charles Barkley comes to mind, said assistant coach Scott Williams, a longtime NBA big man who has worked extensively with Evans this season. (Evans) got after the glass tonight, and he has been all season. With his motor, if he was just 2 inches taller, hed be up in the league right now. But well get him there. Well get him on to bigger and better things.
Thats exactly what drives Evans, day in and day out.
I know I can play there, so Ive just got to stick with it until I get there, Evans said.
GAME NOTES: Seven Stampede players scored in double figures, led by Justin Holidays 22 points. Justin Harper matched Evans double-double with 11 points and 10 rebounds. Guard Mike Taylor, who shined for Idaho when it won the D-League title in 2008, made his debut with the D-Fenders (9-16). He scored 15 points in 11 minutes.
Chris Langrill: 377-6424