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Former Iowa State Players Compete in Orlando Pro Summer League

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Kevin Jairaj-USA TODAY Sports

Summer is a period of evaluation for NBA teams. It's a time that gives them a chance to adjust their new draft picks to the faster speed of the pro game, while also bringing in guys from the D-league and overseas clubs to give them a shot at impressing and making a regular season roster.

The first of three summer leagues wrapped up on Friday down in Orlando, Florida. The Southwest Airlines Orlando Pro Summer League housed many squads, including two with former Iowa State players on their rosters. Melvin Ejim suited up for the Orlando Magic's 'White' squad, with Diante Garrett and Royce White giving it a go with the Los Angeles Clippers.

Let's review how each player performed during their week in the Sunshine State.

Diante Garrett

July 4 vs. Orlando Magic 'Blue'
MIN FGM-A 3PM-A FTM-A OFF DEF TOT AST PF ST TO BLK PTS
Diante Garrett 19:32 1-3 0-0 0-0 1 0 1 6 1 1 2 0 2

Lacking in points, but a strong showing in the assists category. Garrett's six dimes were the most for the Clippers and second only to the nine from the #10 overall pick of the 2014 NBA Draft, Elfrid Payton, in the game.

July 5 vs. Detroit Pistons
MIN FGM-A 3PM-A FTM-A OFF DEF TOT AST PF ST TO BLK PTS
Diante Garrett 13:17 3-5 0-0 0-0 0 2 2 1 0 1 3 1 6

This game was probably Garrett's worst game of the week, though he only got 13 minutes of playing time to make it happen on the court. 3-5 from the field is good in the small sample size, but three turnovers to one assist is probably the reverse of how Garrett wanted those stats to end up.

July 7 vs. Oklahoma City Thunder
MIN FGM-A 3PM-A FTM-A OFF DEF TOT AST PF ST TO BLK PTS
Diante Garrett 16:33 4-9 1-4 0-2 0 3 3 1 2 2 1 0 9

Nine points in a little over 16 minutes is pretty solid. Once again lacking in the assists department, but Garrett played much more comfortably than in his first two games.

July 8 vs. Miami Heat
MIN FGM-A 3PM-A FTM-A OFF DEF TOT AST PF ST TO BLK PTS
Diante Garrett 36:40 9-18 1-3 1-2 1 5 6 3 5 3 0 0 20

The breakout game, and the single best performance of any Cyclone in the summer league so far. Garrett got the start when guard Nate Wolters came down with an injury, and he excelled with the extra playing time, going off for 20 points, 6 rebounds, 3 assists and 3 steals. Highlights of the game can be viewed in the video below.

July 10 vs. Oklahoma City Thunder
MIN FGM-A 3PM-A FTM-A OFF DEF TOT AST PF ST TO BLK PTS
Diante Garrett 39:27 6-12 1-2 3-5 0 4 4 6 2 2 3 1 16

In a game that went into overtime, Garrett once again played well under the heavy workload. His six assists led the team for the second time as he kept finding open teammates for easy baskets. Teammate and former Texas Longhorn, Jordan Hamilton, exploded for 29 points and 8 rebounds in the 101-100 2OT loss.

Final Stats
MIN/G FG% 3P% FT% OFF/G DEF/G RPG APG PF/G SPG TO/G BPG PPG
Diante Garrett 20:48 48.9% 33.3% 44.4% 0.4 2.8 3.2 3.4 2.0 1.8 1.8 0.4 10.6

Garrett should probably be happy with how he performed in Orlando. Leaving out the poor free throw percentage (which would probably get better with a larger sample size), his numbers across the board are about what you'd expect. Garrett has the capability of getting hot like he did in the Clippers' game against Miami, but his best chance of sticking in the league is coming off the bench and distributing when the starting point guard needs a breather.

At his height, Garrett has above-average quickness, tight handles and can get in the lane easily, which should interest teams in need of a solid backup floor general.

Royce White

July 4 vs. Orlando Magic 'Blue'
MIN FGM-A 3PM-A FTM-A OFF DEF TOT AST PF ST TO BLK PTS
Royce White 12:50 0-1 0-0 0-2 0 0 0 2 1 0 2 1 0

In the Clippers' starting five for their first game, White put up a forgettable line. He showed a bit of his great court vision, but it only amounted to two assists, which were offset with two turnovers.

July 5 vs. Detroit Pistons
MIN FGM-A 3PM-A FTM-A OFF DEF TOT AST PF ST TO BLK PTS
Royce White 8:04 0-3 0-0 0-0 1 1 2 0 2 0 2 0 0

White almost erased his 0-fer performance from the field on a nice drive to the bucket in transition that he banked off the glass and in, but it was waved off on an offensive foul call that probably should have been on the defense. This is the only game he ended up hauling in any rebounds (two).

July 7 vs. Oklahoma City Thunder
MIN FGM-A 3PM-A FTM-A OFF DEF TOT AST PF ST TO BLK PTS
Royce White DNP 0-0 0-0 0-0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0

The first of two DNP - Coach's Decision. Rumor is White and the Clippers' summer league coaching staff got in a disagreement.

July 8 vs. Miami Heat
MIN FGM-A 3PM-A FTM-A OFF DEF TOT AST PF ST TO BLK PTS
Royce White DNP 0-0 0-0 0-0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0

The second DNP - Coach's Decision.

July 10 vs. Oklahoma City Thunder
MIN FGM-A 3PM-A FTM-A OFF DEF TOT AST PF ST TO BLK PTS
Royce White 2:18 1-2 0-0 0-0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 2

In the Clippers' final game, White got a measly two minutes of action. He actually scored the game's first basket, but was taken out soon after due to a bloody nose. He never returned.

Final Stats
MIN/G FG% 3P% FT% OFF/G DEF/G RPG APG PF/G SPG TO/G BPG PPG
Royce White 7:44 16.7% N/A 0.0% 0.3 0.3 0.7 0.7 1.0 0.0 1.3 0.3 0.7

Woof. Not the kind of summer league a guy trying to make a basketball comeback wants to have. White looked out of place at times on offense and wasn't able to make up for it on the defensive end of the floor. There were points where he flashed his immense potential, with most coming when he had the ball in his hands and was able to draw defenders and kick to an open teammate like he did at ISU. The problem is, the chance that an NBA team gives him a shot in a point forward role are next to none.

I loved watching Royce in Hilton Coliseum and wish him nothing but the best (#BeWell), but he's got a lot of work to do to even get close to sniffing a spot on an NBA roster.

Melvin Ejim

July 4 vs. Detroit Pistons
MIN FGM-A 3PM-A FTM-A OFF DEF TOT AST PF ST TO BLK PTS
Melvin Ejim 28:38 4-6 1-1 2-2 1 6 7 2 2 0 3 0 11

Ejim led the team in rebounding with his seven boards and also chipped in 11 points as the 'White' team cruised to a 87-76 victory over the Pistons.

July 6 vs. Indiana Pacers
MIN FGM-A 3PM-A FTM-A OFF DEF TOT AST PF ST TO BLK PTS
Melvin Ejim 29:23 2-7 0-0 8-9 2 5 7 3 2 1 3 0 12

In his highest-scoring game (12 points), Ejim went to the free throw line nine times and made eight of his foul shots, while also adding seven rebounds. The seven boards once again led the team, and his three assists tied for most of all 'White' squad players.

July 8 vs. Charlotte Hornets
MIN FGM-A 3PM-A FTM-A OFF DEF TOT AST PF ST TO BLK PTS
Melvin Ejim 30:00 3-6 0-1 4-4 4 3 7 2 5 3 3 0 10

Tell me if you've heard this before: Ejim's seven boards led the team - again. 10 points and 3 steals also from the undersized forward equaled yet another solid performance.

July 9 vs. Brooklyn Nets
MIN FGM-A 3PM-A FTM-A OFF DEF TOT AST PF ST TO BLK PTS
Melvin Ejim 28:39 3-7 1-3 0-0 0 8 8 0 7 0 3 0 7

The leading-rebounder streak was kept alive as Ejim pulled down eight defensive boards and added seven points. The 'White' team won their fourth consecutive game and set up a showdown with the Grizzlies in the Orlando Pro Summer League championship game.

July 10 vs. Memphis Grizzlies
MIN FGM-A 3PM-A FTM-A OFF DEF TOT AST PF ST TO BLK PTS
Melvin Ejim 33:35 2-5 2-5 0-0 0 5 5 0 2 1 1 0 6

Ejim's final game in Orlando ended up being his worst, and it stung a little more because Russ Smith's sudden-death (yeah, they do that in the summer league) game-winner in double overtime went in right over Melvin's head. You can see it for yourself in the Vine below (Melvin is #19).

Final Stats
MIN/G FG% 3P% FT% OFF/G DEF/G RPG APG PF/G SPG TO/G BPG PPG
Melvin Ejim 30:03 45.2% 40.0% 93.3% 1.4 5.4 6.8 1.4 3.6 1.0 2.6 0.0 9.2

Ejim started every game for the Orlando Magic 'White' team and had the most impressive stats of the three Cyclones who played. For being described with the dreaded "tweener" label when he came out of school, Ejim has clearly worked hard on improving his ball handling and quickness to become more of a traditional NBA 3-man. Despite transitioning into a role that typically plays around the basket less, he put on an impressive rebounding display with the 6.8 RPG average over five games. That total ended up leading his team, despite them starting two players who stand at 6-foot-11 (Ejim is listed at 6-foot-6). The only thing he could have done better in this league was cut down on the turnovers a bit.

For now, it's a wait-and-see approach to see where he'll end up for the coming basketball season, but Ejim's stock is trending in the right direction.

But wait, there's more!

Diante Garrett, Tyrus McGeeDeAndre Kane and Bryce Dejean-Jones are all playing in the Las Vegas Summer League that goes on from now until July 20. Garrett and McGee are playing for former Iowa State head coach Fred Hoiberg and the Chicago Bulls, Kane is with the Atlanta Hawks and Dejean-Jones is playing for the New Orleans Pelicans.

If you'd like to watch them play, all games are broadcast on NBA TV. The Bulls play today at 5 p.m. against the Raptors and the Hawks play at 7:30 p.m. versus the Warriors. You can view the complete former ISU player summer league schedule HERE, and be on the lookout for updates on the WRNL Facebook page.