Nets seek help up front

Chris McCullogh (right), during a match between Syracuse University and Cornell.
Photo courtesy of Syracuse University Athletic Communications

In a sense, the sport of basketball is an all-year round activity. With now being summer, the teams belonging to the National Basketball Association already completed its draft of college players. The coaches are already talking about the free agency market to improve their teams.

Players are staying in shape and getting ready for the start of training camps. And there are personnel changes in the front office and even on the court taking place.

In Brooklyn, the coaching staff is getting ready for another season after taking a local product in last week’s draft.

The Nets stayed right here in New York and selected Chris McCullough, no relation to Bob McCullough, a basketball legend here in the New York City area over past years, especially in Harlem.

A native of The Bronx, Chris McCullough stayed at home when he became the 29th pick in the NBA draft of two rounds. Most of the fans in the stands of the Barclays Center, where the draft was held, were indeed satisfied with the selection.

Even though he did not play the whole season at Syracuse University, he feels that he is ready for the pro game.

“It’s just a good feeling to finally hear my name get called and walk on the stage,” said McCullough, who can play either forward or center and help out with the scoring and rebounding. “This is my home town.”

He followed the Brooklyn Nets last year and watched them almost every time

that he could. He watched one player particularly and that was Mason Plumlee. They both play the same position on the court.

“I saw exactly what he did and tried to have my game just like him,” the Nets’ rookie to be said.

During the draft, the Nets released Plumlee and started to make changes to improve the team. The Nets felt confident that McCullough will do the job even though he tore his anterior cruciate ligament (ACL) and played 16 games last year.

While at Syracuse, he did not see action for his entire freshman year, because he was recovering from an ACL injury that kept him sidelined.

“It (the injury) was very frustrating at first,” he went on. After that, he got over it pretty fast. “I had to come back stronger and be stronger. My overall game got even better,” said McCullough. He intends to be completely recovered by the time the Nets start the 2015-16 season.

“I should be able to play by November,” he added. “I’m not going to rush it. I’m just waiting my time. I just started runing (about) three weeks ago. It’s coming along pretty good.”

McCullough’s strong points of his game are his rebounding and defense. He just wants to work on his overall game and his body. He wants to be the best player that he can be.

The 6-10 McCullough has potential to move forward and to keep getting better.

“We like his upside,” Nets’ General Manager Billy King said. “We feel confident McCullough will do the job.”

He played his high school ball at IMG Academy in Florida and Brewster Academy in New Hampshire. However, a knee injury at Syracuse University shortened his college career. But he should be fully recuperated by the time the upcoming season rolls around.

McCullough will be one of several new faces on the Nets’ roster for the 2015-16 season.

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