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New Jazz guard Jerel McNeal discusses 10-day deal, Wesley Matthews

Published March 27, 2013 12:44 pm

This is an archived article that was published on sltrib.com in 2013, and information in the article may be outdated. It is provided only for personal research purposes and may not be reprinted.

The Utah Jazz signed point guard Jerel McNeal to a 10-day contract on Tuesday, making him the second player brought in by the Jazz since waiving Raja Bell earlier in March.

McNeal played collegiately at Marquette from 2005-2009, where he was a four-year teammate with former Jazz guard Wesley Matthews. McNeal averaged 18.1 points, 3 rebounds and 5.5 assists with the Bakersfield Jam of the D-League

The guard went through morning shoot around with the Jazz. He will be available Tuesday night against the Phoenix Suns, but will likely be inactive.

Leslie spent four games with the Jazz and was active once.

McNeal spoke with the media Tuesday morning. Here are some highlights.

On his first practice with the Jazz | "It was good, I got a chance to meet the team and things like that, for me it was just really exciting and humbling. To come from where I just came from to today, this morning, being in an NBA locker room, means a lot to me." Much of what he knew about the Jazz, was because of Wesley Matthews, who played in Utah in 2009-10 as an undrafted rookie | "I always followed them closely because of him, and not only that but because one of the better teams and organizations in the league for a while now."

On what Matthews said when McNeal was signed | "I got a chance to talk to him earlier this morning right after I got done doing all the paperwork. Just the type of guy he is, he was super excited for me, and just happy I was getting the opportunity just to showcase my skills and get another shot at this level."

On what his expectations are of the Jazz and vice versa | "The main thing is I'm trying to make the most out of the opportunity, whether that be helping out in practice, if I'm fortunate enough to get any playing time in the game, whatever it may be, I just want to do whateer I can to show the organization and the coaching staff not only am I a great guy off the court, I'm able to contribute something on the court, too, if I'm given the opportunity. ... They told me just to come in and be myself more than anything. They said they were familiar with the type of player I was."

— Bill Oram