Postgame: Whittington Talks D-League, Rookie Year

April 23, 2014 - Pacers rookie Shayne Whittington discusses playing in Game 1 of the D-League Finals with the Mad Ants and his year with the Pacers with WFFT Fort Wayne.

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Postgame: Whittington Talks D-League, Rookie Year

April 23, 2014 - Pacers rookie Shayne Whittington discusses playing in Game 1 of the D-League Finals with the Mad Ants and his year with the Pacers with WFFT Fort Wayne.
Apr 24, 2015  |  01:57

Highlights: Whittington in D-League Finals

April 23, 2015 - Highlights of Pacers rookie Shayne Whittington playing in Game 1 of the D-League Finals with the Fort Wayne Mad Ants. Video Courtesy: WFFT Fort Wayne.
Apr 24, 2015  |  00:31

Whittington's Season Comes to End

by Wheat Hotchkiss
Pacers.com Writer/Editor
@Wheat_Hotchkiss

Shayne Whittington's rookie season came to an end on Sunday night. The Pacers rookie, on assignment with the Fort Wayne Mad Ants of the NBA's Development League, had helped the Mad Ants make a run to the D-League Finals.

After dropping Game 1 in Fort Wayne, the Mad Ants couldn't keep up with the Santa Cruz Warriors in California. Santa Cruz pulled away for a 109-96 victory to sweep the best-of-three series.

PHOTO GALLERY: Whittington's Pacers Season »

Whittington, assigned to the D-League April 8, played 12 minutes off the bench. The 6-foot-11 center finished with three points, connecting on his only attempt from 3-point range, and pulled in seven rebounds.

PHOTO GALLERY: Whittington with the Mad Ants »

The Warriors, the D-League affiliate of Golden State, got 23 points from Finals MVP Elliot Williams and had three other starters finish in double figures. Darington Hobson had 22 points and 11 rebounds, Ognjen Kuzmic finished with 10 and 10, and Taylor Griffin (brother of NBA All-Star Blake Griffin) finished with 15 points and 11 boards.

Whittington wasn't the only Pacers representative in Santa Cruz. FOX Sports Indiana's Chris Denari handled play-by-play duties for the Finals. Both games aired on ESPNU:

PREGAME INTERVIEW BEFORE GAME 1:

Editor's Note: Below is a transcription of a pregame interview Whittington did with the D-League before Game 1 on Thursday night in Fort Wayne.

D-League: What’s been your experience like in Fort Wayne?

Shayne Whittington: It’s been great. These guys are playing really well together. CJ [Fair] and Jordan [Crawford] have been great. And I’m just trying to compliment them on the court.

DL: What are some aspects of your game that you’re trying to work on in the D-League?

SW: Well, everything the Pacers want me to do. Pick-and-pop, run the floor, defensive rebounding. Mostly, all of the effort stuff. You can control how hard you play and crashing the glass, playing defense. So I’m just trying to work hard on all of the things I can control, and I want to get comfortable in the flow of the game. Let the game come to me a bit more.

DL: When you were with the Pacers, were there any players or staff members you were trying to pick their brains from during your rookie season?

SW: Everybody. When you’re in a situation like that with so many veterans, the worst thing you can do is just be quiet. There are times when you have to be quiet as a rookie. But when the time comes, you gotta ask questions. I talked to all the guards, bigs, coaches, everybody.

DL: Are there any guys that come to mind in particular?

SW: Yeah, definitely. David [West], Roy [Hibbert]. I talked to everybody, man. David’s a great power forward. I really respect his game. I try to learn everything I can from him. I try to learn everything I can from Roy as well, being the dominant force that he is underneath the basket. There’s just a lot of things that you can learn from everybody.

DL: With you guys matched up against Santa Cruz, what’s one aspect of your game that you’re going to try to capitalize on?

SW: Just being strong in the post. Being able to play defense and be an effort guy. I can control I play defense and crash the glass.

DL: What’s it been like for you acclimating to Fort Wayne?

SW: It’s been alright. As a player, I didn’t get too much time with the Pacers in Indianapolis. So, coming down here, my brain’s honestly going a mile a minute every time I get on the court. So I just gotta calm myself down. And you know, most of it is internal. Something I gotta work on, in my head. But other than that, everything else has been good.

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