NBA Draft 2022: What Spurs are getting in Jeremy Sochan

By John Fanta
FOX Sports college basketball writer

A basketball life that began in England and made stops in Poland, Germany and America. A versatile talent. A blonde hair buzz cut that reflects a big personality.

For the rebuild of the San Antonio Spurs, who owned four of the top 40 picks NBA Draft, the ninth pick, offered a variety of choices. Rather than exploit the potential of a draft and stash prospect or make a trade, San Antonio approached one of the most intriguing prospects in the class – Jeremy Sochan.

The versatile 19-year-old fits right into Gregg Popovich’s blueprint as he doesn’t need to be taught much about defending. At 6-foot-9 and 230 pounds with a seven-foot wingspan, Sochan Big 12 won sixth man of the year and was named to the conference all-freshman team in his only season at Baylor.

For a Spurs organization that only has two players over the age of 30, Sochan fits right into the youth movement and his defensive advantage is as strong as any in his class. Sochan is reversible, has great foot speed, and takes on physicality when confronted with tall men. His head coach Scott Drew gushed about how he got into his Baylor program – which won the 2021 national title – and blended in as one of the team’s best communicators, especially on defense.

In the NBA, that doesn’t exactly mean it spores?

The organization’s success is built on players doing the little things and willing to play team basketball. Sochan only started one game in college but was a top-10 pick. He has the skills of a lottery talent but was willing to be a reserve for his team.

“We think he complements the group really well. He’s a liaison,” Spurs general manager Brian Wright said when asked about Sochan. “It’s the versatility. As you can see now, teams that play smaller and guys that can defend multiple positions, he connects you on both ends of the floor. He can pass, he can think. He’s physical, he’s selfless, he’s trainable. He’s all the things that we identified that we wanted to add to this team and he’s kind of fun with that head of hair.”

Born to a Polish mother, Aneta, and an American father, Ryan Williams, Sochan moved to England at the age of two and grew up in Milton Keynes. Since his parents played basketball professionally, the game has always been a part of Sochan’s life. He moved to America for high school in La Lumiere, Indiana, but went to Germany to play for a club team during the pandemic. Sochan also spent time in Poland as part of the national team program and was truly a citizen of the world.

In fact, Wright compared Sochan to 14-year-old NBA player Boris Diaw, who played for Spurs from 2012-16 and served as captain of the France national team.

“Hearing how he thinks about basketball, but life outside of basketball really aligns with who we hope to be and what we hope the environment and culture is, so we think he’s on and off the court.” will add something,” Wright added.

On the offensive end of the floor, Sochan’s shot is the obvious area for improvement. Shooting just 29% from beyond the arc, Sochan never looked so comfortable on the edge. In addition, he only hit 30 jumpers in the halffield in the entire 30-game season, according to Synergy.

If Spurs can develop that part of his game, Sochan can pose a real threat as he’s already an aggressive attacker. Sochan can punish a big defender from dribble and isn’t afraid to make contact when he goes to the rim. His skill and feel for the game, backed by an extensive international background, give him a multitude of opportunities to basket and post. Because of this, the knight will likely be the deciding factor in how effective Sochan will be in The Association.

Sochan is joining an organization that has a history of developing talent but still has work to do to become a legitimate force again in the West. That said, Sochan will be able to jump right into a Rebuild franchise and he’ll get plenty of opportunities to impact the organization right away.

While San Antonio have Doug McDermott and Keldon Johnson as forwards, the level Sochan can defend combined with his offensive advantage makes him such a desirable play for San Antonio going forward because he can match anyone from one to five . The development for him is perfect and it’s clear the Spurs are taking it all after trading Dejounte Murray to the Hawks for a package that included three future first-round picks and veteran Danillo Gallinari.

The Spurs trade Dejounte Murray for the Hawks

The Spurs trade Dejounte Murray for the Hawks

The San Antonio Spurs agreed to trade all-star guard Dejounte Murray to the Atlanta Hawks in exchange for Danilo Gallinari and draft picks. Joy Taylor Explains Why She’s a Fan of Murray’s Move to Atlanta

Overall, this pick makes so much sense, and Sochan’s throwback game and selfless personality lends him quite a bit of allure as we head into the league.

It’s not a finished product, it’s going to an organization that knows how to develop players and needs new faces for their future.

John Fanta is a national college basketball broadcaster and writer for FOX Sports. He covers the sport in a variety of roles, from calling games on FS1 to serving as lead host on the BIG EAST Digital Network to commentating on The Field of 68 Media Network. Follow him on Twitter @John_Fanta.

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