Yogi Ferrell has raised a lot of eyebrows in the last two nights.
Ferrell, who signed a 10-day contract with the Dallas Mavericks on Saturday, started at point guard in wins over the San Antonio Spurs and Cleveland Cavaliers on Sunday and Monday, respectively.
Ferrell outplayed All-Star Kyrie Irving on Monday night, posting a career-high 19 points, 5 rebounds, 4 steals and 3 assists in 38 minutes. A night earlier, Ferrell had 9 points and 7 assists with 0 turnovers as the Mavericks won at San Antonio for the first time since 2010.
While Ferrell hasn’t been in Dallas long, the former Indiana star has already earned the respect and admiration of his teammates and coach. Here’s what they’re saying about Ferrell’s performance the last two nights.
Mavericks’ Guard Wesley Matthews:
“We’ve got to give a lot of credit to Yogi. You know, he’s come in and he’s really turned up the tempo of this team. He plays with a confidence and a fearlessness. He gets in the paint, and he’s really helping everybody. He’s picked up the offense tremendously, and coach [Rick Carlisle] is encouraging us to run. We’re really embracing that, and we’re executing.
“You know, he has got an edge to him. He’s a product of [Indiana coach Tom Crean]. So, partially being a product of Tom Crean myself, I know he’s been battle tested. … You know, he’s not going to be scared.”
Mavericks’ Forward Harrison Barnes:
“He is on one of the greatest 10-days of all time. He is playing with so much heart both offensively and defensively. He has had some tough matchups, but he has brought it every single night.
“Coach calls a lot of plays and he was picking it up on the fly. To me that was the most promising thing – to know our 45 or 50 plays and do it that quick. That was awesome.”
Mavericks’ Head Coach Rick Carlisle:
“It shows the importance of point guards in this league with playmaking and positive energy. He had two great nights, and he deserves this. He’s a kid who has worked extremely hard. He went undrafted, which we were surprised by. This is great for him. And it’s a great opportunity for the next seven or eight days, or whatever it is.”
Mavericks’ Owner Mark Cuban (an IU grad):
“It means we know to bring in as many guys from IU as possible. And everybody that graduates from IU is an NBA player. Just sometimes you don’t have enough roster spots.
“He earned it. We wanted somebody who could manage a game, was quick and strong and could finish after contact. (Sunday) night was really impressive. And obviously, he’s a great foul shooter. He didn’t disappoint. Everybody in the gym thought a rookie in his first game (with the Mavericks), there was no way. And I don’t think the ball touched the rim.”