NBA Summer League: Former Arizona Wildcats Kyle Fogg, Brendon Lavender make teams

Feb 25, 2012; Tucson, AZ, USA; Arizona Wildcats senior guard Brendon Lavender (24) prior to his final home game at the McKale Center against the UCLA Bruins. Mandatory Credit: Chris Morrison-US PRESSWIRE

Former Arizona Wildcats guards Kyle Fogg and Brendon Lavender have made summer league rosters for the Houston Rockets and Atlanta Hawks, respectively.

Houston Chronicle reporter Jonathan Feigen reported Fogg's inclusion on Houston's summer roster at the Ultimate Rockets blog, while Lavender reported the news himself via Twitter.

Fogg, who measured in at 6-foot-2, 183 pounds at the pre-draft combine will have a tough time finding playing time with the Rockets. They've invited a number of guards to camp, including Zoran Dragic, a 6-foot-5, 200 pound guard and brother of the Rockets' free agent Goran Dragic.

Houston also has former Temple 2-guard Dionte Christmas signed up after the high-scorer averaged nearly 19 points in a Greek league last season. He's also listed around 6-foot-5, and considering he's paired with No. 12 overall draft pick Jeremy Lamb on the summer league team to play the wings, Fogg actually might end up playing point guard.

Considering his size and how well he played the point at the Portsmouth Invitational Tournament in April, that might not be a bad thing.

But the more surprising news for the Wildcats was reserve guard Brendon Lavender making an NBA summer league roster.

His size and athleticism always was considered NBA-capable, and that's perhaps the reasoning for his four-star label coming out of Mountain View High School four years back. However, it was his shooting 48.7 percent beyond the college three-point arc that could make him more of a specialty player in the NBA -- maybe even moreso than Fogg considering that at 6-foot-5 he's not a guard version of a tweener.

From Bruce Pascoe's article last week:

"A lot of teams are watching me," Lavender said. "It's pretty uncommon for guys to have a pure jump shot, so my jump shot is really helping me out right now."

Lavender said he's also been working on fundamentals and other aspects of his game and has worked out in Southern California with former Wildcat Derrick Williams of Minnesota.

Coming off the bench this year, Lavender had a several big games where he came off the bench hot, ready to put in the three-balls. Despite only playing 15 minutes per game, he made at least two three-pointers in 14 of the Wildcats' 35 games this past season.

The thinking for the Hawks? That could translate well to the NBA as a eighth or ninth role player, and though it's an uphill battle for Lavender -- Atlanta hasn't released their roster just yet -- it's at least a good sign for a player who never lived up to the hype but never wanted to quit his teammates.

During the memorable 2011 NCAA tournament run, Lavender was a hero for coming off the bench and hitting two huge three-pointers in the slim victory against Texas to advance Arizona to the Sweet 16.

I chatted with Lavender in the locker room the next day to write this piece, and for a guy that could've transferred to a smaller school, I was impressed.

"My role on this team ... it's been tough but at the same time it's still a blessing," Lavender said. "I have a lot of advantages being a UofA college basketball player. Everyone shows the love. My family's happy for me. I'm getting a great education.

"I think at the end of this, when all is said and done, I can say I had a great experience," he added. "I was successful."

Now he gets that chance. For a bench player on a team bounced from the NIT during his senior year, that's a pretty good one.

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