Braian Angola: Playing point guard isn’t completely unfamiliar to Angola, a 6-foot-6, versatile player with great length and playmaking abilities. He has handled point guard duties before while playing for the Colombian National Team. When he’s been on the floor for the Magic’s Summer League team, Angola has often been the one bringing the ball up and orchestrating the offense.
“I feel like I have a pretty high basketball IQ,” he said. “I feel like the coaches believe in me bringing the ball up the court. Sometimes they pressure the point guard a lot, so playing two positions you have to handle the ball and I try to do that. I like to get my teammates involved. It’s something I can do. If the team needs me to do that, I’m going to do whatever the team needs to win.”
Devin Davis: In Lakeland last season, Davis made nearly 50 percent of his shot attempts, the third best mark on the team. So, it’s no surprise that the 6-foot-6, 225-pounder has connected on eight of his 14 shot attempts in the three games he has appeared in so far for the Magic’s Summer League squad. It also appears he has become a more proficient outside shooter, something that was lacking in college and in the G League.
Davis overcame a freak car accident while he was in college at Indiana and now is looking to show NBA scouts how much he’s grown from that journey.
“It was a long journey but I embraced it,” he said. “When I was at Indiana, it was a good learning environment. (Tom) Crean taught me a lot and I just took everything that Crean taught me and applied it to life. When I went to Houston – Kelvin Sampson was the coach at Houston – he really showed me how to be a man and showed me how to be the best me and how to keep working and embracing the work process. It really prepared me for this, what’s in front of me now.”
Jeremiah Hill: A true testament to his commitment to the game and confidence in himself, Hill landed on the Magic’s G League team through an open tryout. With no guarantees, the 6-foot-2, energetic guard impressed Lakeland staff during the audition and since then has taken advantage of every opportunity put in front of him.
In Las Vegas, where the former Division II college player is averaging 10.0 points and 4.8 assists through four games, Hill has been among the Magic’s best players. Against the Nets, the 23-year-old erupted for 21 points – nine in the third when Orlando rallied back from a 17-point deficit – on 8-of-14 shooting from the field and 4-of-6 from 3-point range.
“Each game I’ve played I’ve gotten more confident,” he said afterwards. “My teammates are putting more faith in me to make shots that I’m supposed to.”
Amile Jefferson: Jefferson, who currently leads the Magic’s Summer League team in scoring, learned a lot being Nikola Vucevic’s teammate last season. The former Duke Blue Devil and NCAA champion has noticeably implemented some of Vucevic’s greatest strengths into his own game, particularly playmaking from the center position.
“You know, he’s an All-Star,” Jefferson, one of the organization’s two-way players in 2018-19, said about the newly re-signed Magic center. “He’s a guy that gets it. He’s one of the best players in the league and being able to watch him play – how hard he plays, the time he puts into the game, how smart he is, how he knows where his spots are on the floor to make the game easier for himself – has been great. Watching him in practice, how he talks, his defense, everything he brings to the table has made me get better.”
John Petrucelli: Lakeland led the G League in 3-point percentage last season. One of the team’s most efficient outside shooters was Petrucelli, who drilled 44.2 percent of his threes. Like Hill, he played at a Division II school before taking his talents overseas, where he developed his skills playing for a pro team in Slovakia.
Now in Vegas, the 26-year-old is looking to show scouts that he is a complete player who can do a little bit of everything to help a team win.
“Just that I could be a solid basketball player,” he said. “A great teammate, hit the open corner shot or the open three at an efficient rate. I can make plays for my teammates and be a great team defender both on and off the ball.”
Gabe York: Another one of Lakeland’s top 3-point shooters in 2018-19 was York, who buried 123 triples, most on the team and 12th most in the entire league.
York was also one of college basketball’s premier outside shooters while at Arizona, where in his four years he drilled 40.2 percent of his 3-point attempts. In his senior year, when he averaged 15.0 points, the West Covina, California native led the Pac-12 in 3-point percentage while also making and attempting the most threes in the conference.
In a game against Stanford in 2016, the 6-foot-3 combo guard erupted for 32 points and buried nine 3-pointers. He had a similar performance with Lakeland this past year, when he exploded for 34 points and sank seven triples against the Erie BayHawks, his former team.