2014-15 Season in Review | Noah Vonleh

by Quinton Wash

By Sam Perley, hornets.com

2014-15 Season in Review | Noah Vonleh

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Tipping Off
After spending one season at Indiana University, rookie Noah Vonleh declared for the NBA Draft and was chosen as the ninth overall pick by the Charlotte Hornets on June 26, 2014. In his lone season as a Hoosier, Vonleh was named Big Ten Freshman of the Year after averaging 11.3 points, 9.0 rebounds and 1.4 blocks in 26.5 minutes across 30 games for Indiana. He was also named to the 2014 All-Big Ten third team and All-Big Ten freshman team as well.

Summer in Vegas
Vonleh debuted for the Hornets during the 2014 Summer League in Las Vegas where he posted 9.1 points, 10.0 rebounds and 1.1 blocks through seven games. He would officially sign with the Hornets on July 25.

Early Injury Slows Development
During a workout sometime in late August, Vonleh suffered a sports hernia, which forced him to undergo surgery on Sept. 2. The surgery sidelined him for nearly two months, causing him to miss almost the entirety of the Hornets preseason workouts.

Finding Playing Time
Vonleh played sporadically during the season but picked up more minutes as the season progressed and injuries mounted for the Hornets. With 25 games played total, Vonleh saw his most extensive action at the end of the season when he averaged 5.1 points and 5.8 rebounds in nine games in the month of April.

“When it came down to the end of the season, coaches told me to stay ready, stay positive and I just kept working,” said Vonleh. “When my time came, I was ready to go and show what I can do.”

This stretch was highlighted by his first career double-double against Detroit on Apr. 12 when the rookie tallied team and career highs in both points (16) and rebounds (12). He followed it up three days later in Charlotte’s season finale with nine points, 12 rebounds and two blocks against Toronto on Apr. 15. 
“[That stretch at the end of the season] was great for [Noah]. He’s a hard-working, hard-playing, talented athlete who is committed to basketball,” said Head Coach Steve Clifford. “If he can’t get to be good with those traits, I’ll be disappointed. Obviously he's a young kid, He’s got a lot to learn. I thought he did some good things. The biggest thing that came out of it for me is he can rebound. He has a strength and NBA skill right now that he can use to play well. He can build his game around that.”

2015-16 Outlook
Entering his second season in 2014-15, Vonleh is excited to have his first chance to go through an NBA Training Camp and the rigors of the preseason as his game continues to develop.

“[I need] to get better defensively and add some more strength because playing against some grown men who have been in the league for years,” he said. “Keep getting better as a rebounder and in pick-and-roll situations. Driving the ball, getting to the rim quicker and being able to create for guys- things like that. This will be a big summer for me. I am going to work out and get better at different things that I have planned.”