Marcus Dove ● 6 feet, 9 inches ● 225 pounds ● ForwardWhen the NBA D-League’s Elite Mini Camp – a two-day event that places the league’s finest talent in front of dozens of NBA talent evaluators – wrapped up in early June, two names stood far above the rest: Stefhon Hannah and Marcus Dove.
Hannah, the 2011-12 NBA D-League Defensive Player of the Year, will be playing with the Brooklyn Nets – alongside fellow 2011-12 NBA D-Leaguers Jeff Foote and Edwin Ubiles – at Summer League.
Dove, who played with Hannah on the Dakota Wizards last year and a Chinese Basketball Association team with Dennis Rodman and Allen Iverson this spring, will be manning the post for the NBA D-League Select Team. Which, for anyone on the NBA D-League Select team who plans on missing a shot or two, is great news: “He attacked the offensive glass, he got second opportunities. He’s just a live, active long body,” said Elite Camp coach Bob MacKinnon.
And just terrible news for anyone who happens to be playing against the Select Team.
Dove’s defense has been ready for the NBA since he graduated from Oklahoma State in 2008. It was probably ready before he graduated, when he picked up the first of two consecutive Big 12 Defensive Player of the Year awards – becoming just one of two players ever to win a major award on two separate occasions – by doing things like shutting down Kevin Durant and Blake Griffin.
It’s just that his offensive game, well…it’ll never be confused for Durant’s.
Dove never averaged more than 10 points a game in any of his four years with the Cowboys, and he put up fewer than nine a game in his first season in the NBA D-League, in 2009-10.
But when he came back to the Dakota Wizards in 2011-12, after earning his second invite to Oklahoma City Thunder training camp for his defense, it was a new Marcus Dove. He could shoot. He could dribble-drive. All of a sudden, Dakota coach Nate Bjorkgren said he actually found himself drawing up plays for Dove. And while he gave up much of the scoring load to Edwin Ubiles, Dove still put up 14.2 a game on 61.2 percent shooting – all while spending 29 minutes a night matched up with the other team’s best player.