Texas Legends Duo Looks Forward To More Court Time Together
Tulsa, Okla. • Oct. 16, 2011
Matt Rogers already has a spot picked out.
“These jerseys are going to go in a frame as soon as I get home. It’s a very big blessing and an honor to be able to play for the USA team,” the 6-11 Rogers said. “Coach Tibbetts is top-notch. He really knows the game and does a great job of teaching and getting everybody on the same page. It’s been a great experience for me, just the three practices we’ve had.”
The USA Basketball Pan American Games Team training camp also offer Rogers a final tune-up for the NBA Development League season right around the corner and more time to practice with fellow Texas Legends teammate Justin Dentmon.
Rogers, a native of Doniphan, Missouri, recognized Dentmon as a gifted player from their first tryout in 2010. “He’s a smart player, he’s a hard worker, and he sees the court well,” Rogers said. “He’s got a talent for scoring like nobody else I’ve played with. He can shoot, drive past somebody or cross somebody over and make them look funny.”
Before Rogers and Dentmon joined forces with the Legends, Dentmon had never played with a big man as skilled as Rogers. “I was really wowed that he could go out and get it and shoot the ball,” Dentmon said of the lone Division II product on the Pan American Games training camp roster.
The duo played in a number of events together this past summer and captured the Hoop It Up Dallas! 3-on-3 basketball crown. Off the court, Dentmon keeps his distance when Rogers starts strumming country tunes on his guitar, but will admit he does enjoy it when the 6-11 post player busts out rhythm and blues.
Dentmon believes familiarity will go a long way toward avoiding a slow start similar to last season. Not that the campaign went without highlights. The inaugural Legends team had four players named to All-NBA D-League teams, including Dentmon’s honorable mention. Texas also scored a double-overtime win against the favored Austin Toros. Rogers played particularly well at the end of season, consistently earning a start.
Rogers’ shooting continues to improve, as does Dentmon’s poise. Together the pair hopes that combination will earn them a USA roster spot and a trip to Guadalajara, Mexico.
“I’ve been overseas a few times, and the way they fight for their country is unbelievable,” Dentmon said. “The chance to get out there and do that for mine is a dream come true.”
Justin Dentmon Bio Notes: Named 2010-11 All-NBA Development League honorable mention after averaging 19.1 ppg., 3.5 rpg., 4.0 apg., 1.4 spg., while shooting 48.8 percent from the field, 42.9 percent from 3-point and 84.4 percent from the foul line. Has also played professionally in the Dominican Republic, Venezuela and Israel. Played his collegiate ball at the University of Washington and was selected 2009 All-Pac-10 first team and 2009 Pac-10 Most Improved Player. Concluded his UW career with 1,425 points, 12th on the UW career scoring list. Also ranked fourth on school's career 3-point field goals made list (133), tied for 11th in free throw percentage (.789), third in assists (401) and was second in steals (180). Was a four-year letterman at Carbondale High School (Ill.).
Matt Rogers Bio Notes: Drafted #4 in the first round in 2010 by Texas Legends . Played in 49 game in 2010-11 for the Toros and averaged 7.4 ppg., 4.3 rpg., 1.1 bpg., and shot 49.3 percent from the field and 72.5 percent from the foul line. While playing for NCAA Division II Southwest Baptist he was named 2009 and 2010 NCAA DII All-America first team. Ranks as Southwest Baptist’s all-time leader in points, rebounds, field goals, free throws, and block shots. As a junior he led the NCAA Division II in blocked shots with 123 in 2008-09. Attended Doniphan High School in Doniphan, Missouri, and was a two-time all-state second team selection.