Tough Defense and Improved Mental Approach Expected from Liggins
From the perspective of a total body of work in a Skyforce uniform, DeAndre Liggins would be the most accomplished and best known commodity coming into the 2015-16 season.
Orlando snatched Liggins in the second round of the 2011 NBA Draft after leaving Kentucky a year early. Liggins arrived in Sioux Falls via the first round of the 2013 NBADL draft, looking for a path back to the NBA after being released from the Oklahoma City Thunder prior to his third professional season. In the process, Liggins put together a fantastic run that also included a stint in the Association.
Over 42 games with the Skyforce, Liggins averaged 14 points, 7 rebounds, almost 5 assists and 2.6 steals per game. Beyond the numbers, at certain times Liggins would play either guard position or small forward when the situation called for it.
The recognition for his efforts came in the form of the NBADL Defensive Player of the Year and a slot on the All NBADL 2nd Team. Miami came calling in late February and Liggins was with the team for two 10-day contracts.
It’s all in the past now as Liggins embraces a new opportunity after a year playing in Germany and Russia. “I have to come ready to work every day. I can’t come back and think I can take my foot off the pedal because I won Defensive Player of the Year the last time I was here.”
Physically Liggins has been trying to shore up his ball handling and jump shooting although most of the big gains over the past year have come mentally. “I let little things like officiating get to me during the games, but I’m ready to work and do what it takes to win games.”
This comes from a man who has proven his ability to shut down top flight NBADL perimeter players. By shoring up a few other facets of his game, the NBA might come calling again.