Three Rookies, Three Stories

NEW YORK, NY - DECEMBER 21: Josh Harrellson #55 of the New York Knicks steals the ball from Marshon Brooks #9 of the New Jersey Nets during their pre season game at Madison Square Garden on December 21, 2011 in New York City. NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges and agrees that, by downloading and or using this photograph, User is consenting to the terms and conditions of the Getty Images License Agreement. (Photo by Al Bello/Getty Images)

When the Nets take the court tonight, they will have three rookies on the roster, two in uniform. Although they sent their lottery pick in the 2011 Draft to the Jazz (who took Enes Kanter of Turkey), they wound up with three picks, MarShon Brooks, Bojan Bogdanovic and Jordan Williams. Bogdanovic, of course, remains in Turkey.

The Nets long thought the Brooks would wind up in the rotation and indeed, it looks like he will, as the energy guy who can put points on the board quickly. Williams, they expected, would need a lot of time in Springfield and that, too, is likely. The big surprise of course, is that 6'9" forward, Dennis Horner, made the roster after three games at Springfield and a solid training camp.

MarShon Brooks, 6'5", 200, 22 years old. Drafted by the Celtics at #25 as part of a pre-arranged deal with the Nets. Billy King sent the rights to the #27 pick, JaJuan Johnson, and their 2014 second rounder to Boston for Brooks. the The second leading scorer in the NCAA last season, behind the much better known Jimmer Fredette of BYU. Brooks averaged 24.6 ppg and a surprising 7.0 rebounds from the back court. As athletic as any Nets draft pick in the last decade or more, Brooks also has the proverbial pterodactyl wingspan, 7'1". That's longer than Kris Humphries and equates to the normal wingspan for a player 6'8" or 6'9". He is, however, thin for an NBA shooting guard. Biggest compliment: "He's got a little Kobe in him" - Tim Grover, Kobe Bryant's trainer. Avery Johnson paired Brooks with Deron Williams in workouts so he could learn how a top professional prepares. Born at Monmouth Medical Center in Long Branch, NJ, he lived in Asbury Park till he was six, then moved to Georgia.

Jordan Williams, 6'10", 260, 21 years old. Drafted at #36, the sixth pick in the second round. The third leading rebounder in the NCAA with 11.8 boards a game to go with 16.9 points per game for Maryland. Left College Park after his sophomore year. He trimmed down after leaving Maryland and looked svelte at the time of the draft. However, as Jonathan Abrams wrote in Grantland, Williams "entered camp with weight to lose and started dropping it pretty rapidly. The effects exhausted Williams, and doctors recommend he sit out at least a week's worth of practices". He only returned to practice Monday. Bottom line: he's a project, but at #36, that's what you get. A native of Torrington, CT, he averaged 35.7 points and 20 rebounds in senior year in high school.

Dennis Horner, 6'9", 230, 23 years old. Undrafted out of North Carolina State in 2010 where didn't average double figures until his senior year. He played in Belgium and Cyprus last season. He was initally cut by VOO Verviers-Pepinster of Belgium, then moved to Cyprus where he averaged 11.6 points, 5.6 rebounds and 1.1 assists for Hasapis Omonia Nicosia. Taken with the last pick in the third round of the D-League Draft, Horner started off well in Springfield, averaging 15 points and 7.7 rebounds. In his last game, he scored 20 points, shooting 7 for 15, including 2 for 5 from deep, and grabbed nine rebounds. One of three Armor players who were called up...only one to make it. All-State selection at Holy Spirit High School in Atlantic City in 2006.

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