Ethan Happ Rumors
Reports of players in Italy flying back to the United States came in bunches on Friday morning. Emiliano Carchia, who runs the Sportando website that covers European basketball, reported the departures of Jaylen Barford, William Buford, Liam Farley, Davon Jefferson and James White from Virtus Roma in Rome. Numerous other Americans in Italy — Travis Diener, Ethan Happ and Terran Petteway among them — also received permission from their clubs to return to the States. Barford told The Athletic that people in the airport were “pretty calm” as he made his flight back to the U.S. The former St. John’s star said he might return to Italy if play resumes after the delay.
Brian Kalbrosky: Ethan Happ has agreed to a summer league deal with the Chicago Bulls, per source. He was a Consensus All-American Second-Team and was twice recognized for All-Defensive honors in his Conference. Happ also won award for NCAA’s top center.
Tell me more about your defensive mentality as the Big Ten Defensive Player of the Year and two Big Ten All-Defense appearances. JR: It came from when I was younger. My older brother was bigger, faster and stronger than I was. We would play in the backyard and it would always be a competition. I didn’t want him to beat me, I didn’t want him to score. I had to use my quickness to my advantage. I try to bait people, make them think they have an opportunity that is not there. I have a great reaction time, too. I enjoy playing defense and it’s something I’m passionate about. I can guard one through five. I’ve guarded big men like Ethan Happ and Isaac Haas and Caleb Swanigan. But I’ve guarded point guards including Chris Clemons and Carsen Edwards. I’ve really guarded a variety of positions. As a professional basketball player, I’ll probably guard twos and threes playing on the wing.
I’d love to hear how you have been preparing for the 2019 NBA draft so far. Ethan Happ: I’ve been in Chicago, my agency is based out here. Every day, we work out at Quest Multisport for a few hours and every other day we lift with the trainers. Sunday is mostly focused on yoga. I feel like we’ve done a great job preparing and at the end of the day, it comes down to playing your game to the best of your ability and focus on what has worked well for you. I have a good feeling about where I’m at right now.
Any specific plays or schemes that you think best utilize your talents? Ethan Happ: Teams can play through big men that can pass and dribble and if I get the ball in the high post or on the wing and we run a screen for a shooter, I’ll make a decision out of that for the right read. Pitch it to me in the high post and then going into pin down, you watch Golden State and they do that every other time. For pick and rolls on the weak side or the wing, hit me on the roll and I’ll make a decision from there. I’ll either pass it to the right player on the corner or take a floater myself and make the smart choice going full speed to catch it on the run. I came in where I wasn’t really a big man but me catching it on the run and putting it on the deck and kicking it right away or taking a reverse layup, that’s something I can do.
I think you shined most when passing out of the post up. How will that translate? Ethan Happ: That’s obviously going to be different with the strength and the size in the NBA. But if I get one-on-one or doubles in the post, I’m reading the other eight guys on the court besides my defender. Most players at my position will just look at their defender but I’ll read mine with my body and then get a feel for the rest of the guys on the court and find an open guy.
Ian Begley: Nets GM Sean Marks is among many execs at Priority Sports Pro Day today. Knicks and Nets – & likely the 28 other teams – have execs there. Brandon Clarke, Carsen Edwards, Bruno Fernando, Ethan Happ, Ty Jerome, Isaiah Roby, Admiral Schofield, Max Strus, Dylan Windler are there.