Suns’ draft pick Ty Jerome hopes basketball IQ makes difference in NBA

Jun 21, 2019, 4:32 PM
Ty Jerome #11 of the Virginia Cavaliers cuts down the net after his teams 85-77 win over the Texas ...
Ty Jerome #11 of the Virginia Cavaliers cuts down the net after his teams 85-77 win over the Texas Tech Red Raiders in the 2019 NCAA men's Final Four National Championship game at U.S. Bank Stadium on April 08, 2019 in Minneapolis, Minnesota. (Photo by Tom Pennington/Getty Images)
(Photo by Tom Pennington/Getty Images)

Maybe it was concerning to Suns fans when it was reported that the team had traded for the 24th pick in the 2019 NBA Draft to take Ty Jerome, and the ESPN broadcast said Jerome didn’t test well in athletic measurements.

The criticism of the point guard that he’s unathletic is something he’s heard before, he told Burns & Gambo on 98.7 FM Arizona’s Sports Station on Friday.

“Yeah, I get it a lot,” Jerome said. “But it hasn’t really hindered me up to this point. So we’ll see.”

Jerome believes that there’s more to being a good player than being athletic, and that he has a skillset that makes up for that perceived shortcoming. For one, he’s proven it at the NCAA level as he and his teammates on the Virginia Cavaliers won the National Championship this year.

“I think just being a winner,” Jerome said when asked what his playing strengths are. “Making plays on the court, passing, having a high IQ, keeping the ball moving, finding tons of shooters and just tons of shooters around me now, finding guys. Just being a threat and contributing to a really good team defense, as well.”

One of those attributes, having a high basketball IQ, is key.

“It’s huge,” he said. “It’s definitely the biggest piece of my game, I would say that. Making shots, but just being able to try to be a step ahead of guys helps me make up for my athletic limitations, and that has gotten me to this point and it’s probably going to be the biggest reason I hopefully do well at the next level.”

He hopes those things translate in the NBA, where he drew interest from the Phoenix Suns. Jerome never worked out for Phoenix, but he met with them around the time of the NBA combine. He said Phoenix was a place, in particular, he wanted to come play.

“Just a young culture, good culture, trying to build something new,” he said. “I love the vision they have, and the fact that they want me to be a part of it, I’m extremely thankful for it.”

Phoenix Suns

Devin Booker #1, Kevin Durant #35, Deandre Ayton #22 and Josh Okogie #2 of the Phoenix Suns stand o...
Kellan Olson

Phoenix Suns will force Denver Nuggets, NBA to pick their poison

The Phoenix Suns are going to be putting opposing defenses in challenging positions the rest of the season.
24 hours ago
Chris Paul #3 and Kevin Durant #35 of the Phoenix Suns celebrate after defeating the Minnesota Timb...
Kellan Olson

Phoenix Suns claw to scrappy win in Kevin Durant’s home debut

Kevin Durant's home debut did not go the way anyone expected but the Phoenix Suns were still able to get an important win.
24 hours ago
Devin Booker #1 and Kevin Durant #35 of the Phoenix Suns stand on the court during a timeout form t...
Dan Bickley

Suns victory over Timberwolves outweighs celebration of Durant’s home opener

The Suns forged a collective triumph on a night that began as a celebration of one, beating the Timberwolves 107-100.
24 hours ago
Phoenix Suns forward Kevin Durant (35) drives against Minnesota Timberwolves guard Anthony Edwards ...
Arizona Sports

Kevin Durant drops 1st bucket at home for Suns in win vs. Timberwolves

Kevin Durant started and dropped a turnaround jumper over Minnesota Timberwolves F Jaden McDaniels from the left shoulder.
2 days ago
Incoming Phoenix Suns owner Mat Ishbia claps during the first half against the Brooklyn Nets at Foo...
Character Counts

Suns owner Mat Ishbia, fan team up to give away suite tickets

New Suns majority owner Mat Ishbia is finding a new ways to ingratiate himself with the community by teaming up with one fan, Andrew Leezus.
24 hours ago
Kevin Durant #35 of the Phoenix Suns reacts after scoring in the second half against the Chicago Bu...
Arizona Sports

Suns’ Kevin Durant will return Wednesday vs. Timberwolves

Phoenix Suns GM and president of basketball operations James Jones said he expected Kevin Durant to play Wednesday against the Timberwolves.
2 days ago
Suns’ draft pick Ty Jerome hopes basketball IQ makes difference in NBA