Ryan Dunn, Oso Ighodaro flashing competitiveness, defensive ability early with Summer Suns

Jul 10, 2024, 9:53 AM | Updated: 10:44 am

It hasn’t taken long for Summer Suns head coach Vince Legarza to pinpoint his team’s biggest strengths ahead of its first NBA Summer League action on Saturday.

Having a pair of 2024 NBA Draft picks determined to show off their defensive abilities and hunger has helped solidify that thinking.

“I think we got some guys that really compete,” Legarza said Tuesday. “It’s a very competitive group. Our defense has been really good. We got guys playing hard, super competitive, active.

“A lot of times, you feel that more on defense than offense. I think that’s been our biggest strength is how much we compete against one another.”

2024 NBA Draft picks Ryan Dunn and Oso Ighodaro were among the names Legarza highlighted Tuesday. Veteran David Roddy also got a shoutout for his defense and leadership qualities.

But it’s the rookies and their determination defensively that continues to stand out.

“Super unique defender, honestly things we saw on film in college,” Legarza said of Dunn. “His ability to defend around the rim as kind of a wing. There are parts of practice where he’s picked up the point guards and navigated screens. There’s been times where he’s like a big, coming over to block shots. … His rim defense is something that’s really impressed me so far.”

“(Ighodaro’s) got great tools, good hands, he’s smart,” the head coach added of the Arizona native. “He’s been good in everything we’ve given him. We’ve had him in no-switch type defenses and he’s getting a hang of that. We’ve had him pick up the point guard full court and create havoc that way and he definitely has kind of a knack for switching and being able to move his feet in the perimeter, which is going to help him.”

The Suns haven’t played any Summer League games yet, but it’s a good sign that Dunn and Ighodaro are seeing their games translate at the next level.

After all, Dunn was widely regarded as one of the top defensive prospects in this year’s draft class. For him, it’s all about the same person he was at Virginia and not shying away from guarding the best players on the court.

Ighodaro showed off his versatility on both sides of the court during his time at Marquette.

“I just want to win. I want to go out there and compete. I feel like that’s why they picked me, because those winning qualities that I care about,” Ighodaro said. “I know me and Ryan have the same goal, go out there, defend, be good teammates and contribute to winning.”

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