Find out what Stephen Curry said about No. 7’s future. Plus, Thornton dishes on his return and Honeycutt shares key takeaways from his time in the D-League.
As two of the most prolific scorers and accurate outside shooters in recent collegiate basketball history, Kings second-year standout Jimmer Fredette and Warriors guard Stephen Curry quickly became familiar with each other’s game and drew frequent comparisons from scouts and coaches.
“It was fun in college – in my junior and I think his junior year, as well, I heard about him and knew he was playing at a high level,” said Curry. “Then, after my tournament, they always compared us to each other, coming from smaller schools.
“Jimmer’s a talented player. When he has an opportunity to play, he changes the game because you have to be aware of where he is at all times. He’s become a better playmaker with the ball in his hands, making plays for others.”
Fredette reveals along with All-Stars Chris Paul and Steve Nash, he’s modeled parts of his game by watching Curry develop into one of the top young guards in the League.
“He’s a guy who I definitely looked up to and thought I could be that type of player,” said No. 7. “Obviously, he’s molded himself a very successful career so far, and if could continue to work hard and work on my game likes he’s worked on (his), I think I could be a similar type of player.”
While Kings Head Coach Keith Smart – who served as an assistant and head coach in Golden State during Curry’s first two seasons – believes the two are currently different types of players, he says he’d be hard-pressed to choose a better outside scorer.
“I’d love to see those two in room in a shooting contest,” said the Kings leader.
Fredette says he’s up for the challenge.
“I’d like to think I would win, just being a confident guy,” said the BYU product smiling. “But I think it would be a really good matchup because he’s a great shooter, as well.”
Curry – who ranks second in the NBA in three-pointers made (72) and is averaging 19.9 points and 6.6 assists per game in his fourth season – envisions a bright future for Sacramento’s guard.
“There’s nothing that can stop him now from just getting the opportunity to go out and play his game,” he said. “I think (as he gets) more reps, he’ll be able to thrive and I wish the best for him.”
– Before returning to action, after missing four games due to personal reasons, Marcus Thornton revealed he was anxious to get back on-court and help his team.
“At home, watching those games, you could see a lot of what’s going on,” he said.
“(I saw) us being young, and we showed it a lot by going one-on-one. I’m just trying to figure out the way to come back and try to help those situations and those areas (where) we’re lacking.”
Thornton immediately made his presence felt on Wednesday, scoring 19 points and connecting on five three-pointers – including a game-sealing triple with 1:12 remaining in the contest.
– Warriors forward David Lee commended DeMarcus Cousins – who earned 18 trips to the foul line and notched 24 points, seven rebounds and five assists – on his powerful inside presence.
“He’s always a very talented guy,” said Lee. “He can really score the basketball and he’s tough to box out on the boards.
“(The Kings are) a strong team inside,” he continued. “That’s one of their strengths – crashing the glass with (Cousins and Jason Thompson) and Chuck (Hayes).”
– Monday, the Kings recalled second-year forward Tyler Honeycutt from D-League after No. 9 averaged 10.9 points, 9.6 rebounds, 2.3 steals and 1.7 blocks in seven contests in Reno.
“I think the young man has grown,” said Smart. “He had some really good games, showed that he can play all over the floor, make plays (and) rebound the basketball. (He) shot the ball pretty decent, and now (we have to) get him incorporated back into what we do.”
Honeycutt believes the experience helped him develop as an all-around player and get a better feel for the professional game.
“I was playing a lot of the four (power forward) down there because of my size,” he said.
“I worked on (my post-up game) a little bit, my rebounding and my post-defense.”
Catch Cousins and the Kings take on Blake Griffin and the Clippers tonight at 7:30 p.m. on CSNCA and 1140 The Fan, as Sacramento visits L.A. in its second of a three-game season series.