Tuesday night marked Caleb McConnell’s third appearance during the NBA Summer League for the Oklahoma City Thunder. In the heaviest workload he’s been given so far, the former Rutgers star showcased his ability to grind and do the little things. While he scored 6 points on just 3 of 11 shooting, McConnell stood out for making hustle plays, making good decisions and of course, suffocating defense. He grabbed 10 rebounds, including 5 on the offensive glass, along with 3 assists, a steal and a block with zero turnovers. McConnell also made several deflections on the defensive end and was his usual disruptive self.
Getting through the paint and 🆙 pic.twitter.com/9p0wn3TYrs
— OKC THUNDER (@okcthunder) July 11, 2023
McConnell’s done a very good job of being ready when his opportunities come. He didn’t play in the first game last week for OKC. In their second game, he finished with a rebound, an assist, and a block coming from the help side in just 8 minutes of action. The next game, McConnell finished with 8 points, 4 rebounds, 4 assists, 3 steals and a block in 14 minutes of action. He was 4 of 10 from the floor, including 50% from two-point range and had just 1 turnover. His =/- of 8 was the second best on the team.
Offensively, McConnell has struggled to hit shots at times. However, his overall performance in three games has been a positive for OKC. He is proving an ability to play within himself at the next level and let the game come to him. He isn’t forcing things and focusing on what he does best. And it’s paying off.
After not playing in the last game, which happens due to the Thunder testing different player among an 18 player roster, McConnell showcased his strengths in extended action in Tuesday’s loss to the 105-92 loss to the Houston Rockets. He continues to impress Thunder beat writers, fans and basketball analysts with his spirited play.
I am smiling ear to ear on that poss. Caleb McConnell gets a deflection out of bounds, forces HOU to reset, then gets a board and a beautiful outlet pass to Keyontae Johnson for a slam on the break. Never doubt the juice team. 🧃
— Rylan Stiles (@Rylan_Stiles) July 11, 2023
Want to watch a player that won’t cheat you of effort/activity and knows his role then watch Caleb McConnell.He checks into the game and gets into and after you defensively,rebounds,causes deflections,gets 50/50 balls,finds the open man,gets an easy 2 with his cutting.Get noticed
— Ross Kreines (@rosskre) July 11, 2023
Good day for my long-standing takes of “Caleb McConnell and Matthew Mayer are just good basketball players”
Have always really liked these two. Smart, competitive, and tall enough to stick
— The Box and One (@TheBoxAndOne_) July 11, 2023
71% of the earth is covered by water, the other 29% is covered by Caleb McConnell
— ThunderChets (@ThunderChats) July 11, 2023
After signing an Exhibit-10 deal following the NBA Draft in June, McConnell is fighting for a coveted two-way contract. His play so far in the Summer League has warranted serious consideration for the Thunder to sign him to that type of deal. McConnell’s next chance to make his case is Wednesday night at 7:30 p.m. ET against the Detroit Pistons on NBA TV.
Thanks for reading the The Scarlet Faithful. For more Rutgers Athletics content from The Scarlet Faithful, follow us on Twitter and Instagram. You can also subscribe to our YouTube Channel. You can subscribe to The Scarlet Faithful podcast on Apple, Spotify, Pocket Casts and anywhere else you listen to podcasts. For advertising inquiries or to reach out directly, email at firstname.lastname@example.org