The San Antonio Spurs have a diamond in the rough with rookie Jeremy Sochan, who has been turning heads this season with his notable skill advancement in the NBA. Baylor basketball's head coach, Scott Drew, isn't one bit surprised by his former player's success, according to the Baylor Lariat. "Obviously we’re really proud of Jeremy’s growth. He’s always been able to defend 1 through 5," Drew told the Lariat as he hailed Sochan’s all-around capabilities, which have been expanding under Spurs coach Gregg Popovich’s wing, as reported by KENS 5.
In an interview with San Antonio Sports Star's "The Blitz," Drew showered the Spurs' scouting department with praise for snagging Sochan, underscoring their due diligence. "The Spurs spent so much time and energy and effort making sure that they had right person for their organization. Jeremy has been able to blossom and grow, being under Pop's [Popovich] tutelage," Drew told the Sports Star. Sochan’s stats say as much; the rookie has lifted his game from an average of 8.0 points per game in October 2022 to a robust 17.4 points per game by March.
The push to polish Sochan into a multi-positional player is clearly evident. In addition to his scoring, he's been embracing the role of point guard, a spot that has seen him log mixed results thus far. He's clocked an increase in his assist average to 4.2 per game and even with bouts of mental fatigue and pressure from opponents, the up-and-comer remains optimistic. "Jeremy is about winning and perfecting his craft and whatever helps him be successful and helps the win he's going to do," Drew commented to the Baylor Lariat, reflecting on Sochan's adaptability and determination.
What sets Sochan apart, though, is defense, a skill Drew emphasized that is a game changer for the Spurs. "In today's game, everybody talks offense but 50 percent of the game is defense. If you can guard one through five and be elite at it, that's huge," Drew explained in the Sports Star interview. With season-highs in rebounds and defensive rebounds, Sochan's proving he's no slouch on either end of the court. This combination of assertive offense and stalwart defense might just be the formula keeping this Baylor Bear blazing a trail in the NBA.